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Hosea

Chapters:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Chapter 1

1 The word of the LORD that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam, son of Joash, king of Israel. 2 In the beginning of the LORD'S speaking to Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea: Go, take a harlot wife and harlot's children, for the land gives itself to harlotry, turning away from the LORD. 3 So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 Then the LORD said to him: Give him the name Jezreel, for in a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed at Jezreel And bring to an end the kingdom of the house of Israel; 5 On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. 6 When she conceived again and bore a daughter, the LORD said to him: Give her the name Lo-ruhama; I no longer feel pity for the house of Israel: rather, I abhor them utterly. 7 Yet for the house of Judah I feel pity; I will save them by the LORD, their God; But I will not save them by war, by sword or bow, by horses or horsemen. 8 After she weaned Lo-ruhama, she conceived and bore a son. 9 Then the LORD said: Give him the name Lo-ammi, for you are not my people, and I will not be your God.

Chapter 2

1 Protest against your mother, protest! for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove her harlotry from before her, her adultery from between her breasts, 2 Or I will strip her naked, leaving her as on the day of her birth; I will make her like the desert, reduce her to an arid land, and slay her with thirst. 3 I will have no pity on her children, for they are the children of harlotry. 4 Yes, their mother has played the harlot; she that conceived them has acted shamefully. "I will go after my lovers," she said, "who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink." 5 Since she has not known that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, And her abundance of silver, and of gold, which they used for Baal, 6 Therefore I will take back my grain in its time, and my wine in its season; I will snatch away my wool and my flax, with which she covers her nakedness. 7 So now I will lay bare her shame before the eyes of her lovers, and no one can deliver her out of my hand. 8 I will bring an end to all her joy, her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths, and all her solemnities. 9 I will lay waste her vines and fig trees, of which she said, "These are the hire my lovers have given me"; I will turn them into rank growth and wild beasts shall devour them. 10 I will punish her for the days of the Baals, for whom she burnt incense While she decked herself out with her rings and her jewels, and, in going after her lovers, forgot me, says the LORD. 11 Therefore, I will hedge in her way with thorns and erect a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths. 12 If she runs after her lovers, she shall not overtake them; if she looks for them she shall not find them. Then she shall say, "I will go back to my first husband, for it was better with me then than now." 13 So I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. 14 From there I will give her the vineyards she had, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. She shall respond there as in the days of her youth, when she came up from the land of Egypt. 15 On that day, says the LORD, She shall call me "My husband," and never again "My baal." 16 Then will I remove from her mouth the names of the Baals, so that they shall no longer be invoked. 17 I will make a covenant for them on that day, with the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, and with the things that crawl on the ground. Bow and sword and war I will destroy from the land, and I will let them take their rest in security. 18 I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; 19 I will espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the LORD. 20 On that day I will respond, says the LORD; I will respond to the heavens, and they shall respond to the earth; 21 The earth shall respond to the grain, and wine, and oil, and these shall respond to Jezreel. 22 I will sow him for myself in the land, and I will have pity on Lo-ruhama. I will say to Lo-ammi, "You are my people," and he shall say, "My God!"

Chapter 3

1 Again the LORD said to me: Give your love to a woman beloved of a paramour, an adultress; Even as the LORD loves the people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and are fond of raisin cakes. 2 So I bought her for fifteen pieces of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. 3 Then I said to her: "Many days you shall wait for me; you shall not play the harlot Or belong to any man; I in turn will wait for you." 4 For the people of Israel shall remain many days without king or prince, Without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or household idols. 5 Then the people of Israel shall turn back and seek the LORD, their God, and David, their king; They shall come trembling to the LORD and to his bounty, in the last days. 1 The number of the Israelites shall be like the sand of the sea, which can be neither measured nor counted. Whereas they were called, "Lo-ammi," They shall be called, "Children of the living God." 2 Then the people of Judah and of Israel shall be gathered together; They shall appoint for themselves one head and come up from other lands, for great shall be the day of Jezreel. 3 Say to your brothers, "Ammi," and to your sisters, "Ruhama."

Chapter 4

1 Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel, for the LORD has a grievance against the inhabitants of the land: There is no fidelity, no mercy, no knowledge of God in the land. 2 False swearing, lying, murder, stealing and adultery! in their lawlessness, bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land mourns, and everything that dwells in it languishes: The beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and even the fish of the sea perish. 4 But let no one protest, let no one complain; with you is my grievance, O priests! 5 You shall stumble in the day, and the prophets shall stumble with you at night; I will destroy your mother. 6 My people perish for want of knowledge! Since you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from my priesthood; Since you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your sons. 7 One and all they sin against me, exchanging their glory for shame. 8 They feed on the sin of my people, and are greedy for their guilt. 9 The priests shall fare no better than the people: I will punish them for their ways, and repay them for their deeds. 10 They shall eat but not be satisfied, they shall play the harlot but not increase, Because they have abandoned the LORD 11 to practice harlotry. Old wine and new deprive my people of understanding. 12 They consult their piece of wood, and their wand makes pronouncements for them, For the spirit of harlotry has led them astray; they commit harlotry, forsaking their God. 13 On the mountaintops they offer sacrifice and on the hills they burn incense, Beneath oak and poplar and terebinth, because of their pleasant shade. That is why your daughters play the harlot, and your daughters-in-law are adulteresses. 14 Am I then to punish your daughters for their harlotry, your daughters-in-law for their adultery? You yourselves consort with harlots, and with prostitutes you offer sacrifice! So must a people without understanding come to ruin. 15 Though you play the harlot, O Israel, let not Judah become guilty! Come not to Gilgal, nor up to Beth-aven, to swear, "As the Lord lives!" 16 For Israel is as stubborn as a heifer; will the LORD now give them broad pastures as though they were lambs? 17 Ephraim is an associate of idols, let him alone! 18 When their carousing is over, they give themselves to harlotry; in their arrogance they love shame. 19 The wind has bound them up in its pinions; they shall have only shame from their altars.

Chapter 5

1 Hear this, O priests, Pay attention, O house of Israel, O household of the king, give ear! It is you who are called to judgment. For you have become a snare at Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor. 2 In their perversity they have sunk into wickedness, and I am rejected by them all. 3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from me; Now Ephraim has played the harlot, Israel is defiled. 4 Their deeds do not allow them to return to their God; For the spirit of harlotry is in them, and they do not recognize the LORD. 5 The arrogance of Israel bears witness against him; Ephraim stumbles in his guilt, and Judah stumbles with them. 6 With their flocks and their herds they shall go to seek the LORD, but they shall not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them. 7 They have been untrue to the LORD, for they have begotten illegitimate children; Now shall the new moon devour them together with their fields. 8 Blow the horn in Gibeah, the trumpet in Ramah! Sound the alarm in Beth-aven: "Look behind you, O Benjamin!" 9 Ephraim shall become a waste on the day of chastisement: Against the tribes of Israel I announce what is sure to be. 10 The princes of Judah have become like those that move a boundary line; Upon them I will pour out my wrath like water. 11 Is Ephraim maltreated, his rights violated? No, he has willingly gone after filth! 12 I am like a moth for Ephraim, like maggots for the house of Judah. 13 When Ephraim saw his infirmity, and Judah his sore, Ephraim went to Assyria, and Judah sent to the great king. But he cannot heal you nor take away your sore. 14 For I am like a lion to Ephraim, like a young lion to the house of Judah; It is I who rend the prey and depart, I carry it away and no one can save it from me. 15 I will go back to my place until they pay for their guilt and seek my presence.

Chapter 6

1 In their affliction, they shall look for me: "Come, let us return to the LORD, For it is he who has rent, but he will heal us; he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds. 2 He will revive us after two days; on the third day he will raise us up, to live in his presence. 3 Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD; as certain as the dawn is his coming, and his judgment shines forth like the light of day! He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain that waters the earth." 4 What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your piety is like a morning cloud, like the dew that early passes away. 5 For this reason I smote them through the prophets, I slew them by the words of my mouth; 6 For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than holocausts. 7 But they, in their land, violated the covenant; there they were untrue to me. 8 Gilead is a city of evildoers, tracked with blood. 9 As brigands ambush a man, a band of priests slay on the way to Shechem, committing monstrous crime. 10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing: there harlotry is found in Ephraim, Israel is defiled. 11 For you also, O Judah, a harvest has been appointed.

Chapter 7

1 When I would bring about the restoration of my people, when I would heal Israel, The guilt of Ephraim stands out, the wickedness of Samaria; They practice falsehood, thieves break in, bandits plunder abroad. 2 Yet they do not remind themselves that I remember all their wickedness. Even now their crimes surround them, present to my sight. 3 In their wickedness they regale the king, the princes too, with their deceits. 4 They are all kindled to wrath like a blazing oven, Whose fire the baker desists from stirring once the dough is kneaded until it has risen. 5 On the day of our king, the princes are overcome with the heat of wine. He extends his hand among dissemblers; 6 the plotters approach with hearts like ovens. All the night their anger sleeps; in the morning it flares like a blazing fire.7 They are all heated like ovens, and consume their rulers. All their kings have fallen; none of them calls upon me. 8 Ephraim mingles with the nations, Ephraim is a hearth cake unturned. 9 Strangers have sapped his strength, but he takes no notice of it; Of gray hairs, too, there is a sprinkling, but he takes no notice of it. 10 The arrogance of Israel bears witness against him; yet they do not return to the LORD, their God, nor seek him, for all that.11 Ephraim is like a dove, silly and senseless; They call upon Egypt, they go to Assyria. 12 Even as they go I will spread my net around them, like birds in the air I will bring them down. In an instant I will send them captive from their land. 13 Woe to them, they have strayed from me! Ruin to them, they have sinned against me! Though I wished to redeem them, they spoke lies against me. 14 They have not cried to me from their hearts when they wailed upon their beds; For wheat and wine they lacerated themselves, while they rebelled against me. 15 Though I trained and strengthened their arms, yet they devised evil against me. 16 They have again become useless, like a treacherous bow. Their princes shall fall by the sword because of the insolence of their tongues; thus they shall be mocked in the land of Egypt.

Chapter 8

1 A trumpet to your lips, You who watch over the house of the LORD! Since they have violated my covenant, and sinned against my law, 2 While to me they cry out, "O, God of Israel, we know you!" 3 The men of Israel have thrown away what is good; the enemy shall pursue them. 4 They made kings, but not by my authority; they established princes, but without my approval. With their silver and gold they made idols for themselves, to their own destruction. 5 Cast away your calf, O Samaria! my wrath is kindled against them; How long will they be unable to attain innocence in Israel? 6 The work of an artisan no god at all, Destined for the flames -  such is the calf of Samaria! 7 When they sow the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind; The stalk of grain that forms no ear can yield no flour; Even if it could, strangers would swallow it. 8 Israel is swallowed up; he is now among the nations a thing of no value. 9 They went up to Assyria -  a wild ass off on its own -  Ephraim bargained for lovers. 10 Even though they bargain with the nations, I will now gather an army; King and princes shall shortly succumb under the burden. 11 When Ephraim made many altars to expiate sin, his altars became occasions of sin. 12 Though I write for him my many ordinances, they are considered as a stranger's. 13 Though they offer sacrifice, immolate flesh and eat it, the LORD is not pleased with them. He shall still remember their guilt and punish their sins; they shall return to Egypt. 14 Israel has forgotten his maker and built palaces. Judah, too, has fortified many cities, but I will send fire upon his cities, to devour their castles.

Chapter 9

1 Rejoice not, O Israel, exult not like the nations! For you have been unfaithful to your God, loving a harlot's hire upon every threshing floor. 2 Threshing floor and wine press shall not nourish them, the new wine shall fail them. 3 They shall not dwell in the LORD'S land; Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and in Assyria they shall eat unclean food. 4 They shall not pour libations of wine to the LORD, or proffer their sacrifices before him. Theirs will be like mourners' bread, that makes unclean all who eat of it; Such food as they have shall be for themselves; it cannot enter the house of the LORD. 5 What will you do on the festival day, the day of the LORD'S feast? 6 When they go from the ruins, Egypt shall gather them in, Memphis shall bury them. Weeds shall overgrow their silver treasures, and thorns invade their tents. 7 They have come, the days of punishment! they have come, the days of recompense! Let Israel know it! "The prophet is a fool, the man of the spirit is mad!" Because your iniquity is great, great, too, is your hostility. 8 A prophet is Ephraim's watchman with God, yet a fowler's snare is on all his ways, hostility in the house of his God. 9 They have sunk to the depths of corruption, as in the days of Gibeah; He shall remember their iniquity and punish their sins. 10 Like grapes in the desert, I found Israel; Like the first fruits of the fig tree in its prime, I considered your fathers. When they came to Baal-peor and consecrated themselves to the Shame, they became as abhorrent as the thing they loved. 11 The glory of Ephraim flies away like a bird: no birth, no carrying in the womb, no conception. Were they to bear children, I would slay the darlings of their womb. 12 Even though they bring up their children, I will make them childless, till not one is left. Woe to them when I turn away from them! 13 Ephraim, as I saw, was like Tyre, planted in a beauteous spot; But Ephraim shall bring out his children to the slayer. 14 Give them, O LORD! give them what? Give them an unfruitful womb, and dry breasts! 15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal; yes, there they incurred my hatred. Because of their wicked deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no longer; all their princes are rebels. 16 Ephraim is stricken, their root is dried up; they shall bear no fruit. 17 My God will disown them because they have not listened to him; they shall be wanderers among the nations.

Chapter 10

1 Israel is a luxuriant vine whose fruit matches its growth. The more abundant his fruit, the more altars he built; The more productive his land, the more sacred pillars he set up. 2 Their heart is false, now they pay for their guilt; God shall break down their altars and destroy their sacred pillars. 3 If they would say, "We have no king" -  Since they do not fear the LORD, what can the king do for them? 4 Nothing but make promises, swear false oaths, and make alliances, While justice grows wild like wormwood in a plowed field! 5 The inhabitants of Samaria fear for the calf of Beth-aven; The people mourn for it and its priests wail over it, because the glory has departed from it. 6 It too shall be carried to Assyria, as an offering to the great king. Ephraim shall be taken into captivity, Israel be shamed by his schemes. 7 The king of Samaria shall disappear, like foam upon the waters. 8 The high places of Aven shall be destroyed, the sin of Israel; thorns and thistles shall overgrow their altars. Then they shall cry out to the mountains, "Cover us!" and to the hills, "Fall upon us!" 9 Since the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel. There they took their stand; war was not to reach them in Gibeah. 10 Against the wanton people I came and I chastised them; I gathered troops against them when I chastised them for their two crimes. 11 Ephraim was a trained heifer, willing to thresh; I myself laid a yoke upon her fair neck; Ephraim was to be harnessed, Judah was to plow, Jacob was to break his furrows: 12 "Sow for yourselves justice, reap the fruit of piety; Break up for yourselves a new field, for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain down justice upon you." 13 But you have cultivated wickedness, reaped perversity, and eaten the fruit of falsehood. Because you have trusted in your chariots, and in your many warriors, 14 Turmoil shall break out among your tribes and all your fortresses shall be ravaged As Salman ravaged Beth-arbel in time of war, smashing mothers and their children. 15 So shall it be done to you, Bethel, because of your utter wickedness: At dawn the king of Israel shall perish utterly.

Chapter 11

1 When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son. 2 The more I called them, the farther they went from me, Sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols. 3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; 4 I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer. 5 He shall return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be his king; 6 The sword shall begin with his cities and end by consuming his solitudes. Because they refused to repent, their own counsels shall devour them. 7 His people are in suspense about returning to him; and God, though in unison they cry out to him, shall not raise them up. 8 How could I give you up, O Ephraim, or deliver you up, O Israel? How could I treat you as Admah, or make you like Zeboiim? My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. 9 I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you. 10 They shall follow the LORD, who roars like a lion; When he roars, his sons shall come frightened from the west, 11 Out of Egypt they shall come trembling, like sparrows, from the land of Assyria, like doves; And I will resettle them in their homes, says the LORD.

Chapter 12

1 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, the house of Israel, with deceit; Judah is still rebellious against God, against the Holy One, who is faithful. 2 Ephraim chases the wind, ever pursuing the gale. His lies and falsehoods are many: he comes to terms with Assyria, and carries oil to Egypt. 3 The LORD has a grievance against Israel: he shall punish Jacob for his conduct, for his deeds he shall repay him. 4 In the womb he supplanted his brother, and as a man he contended with God; 5 He contended with the angel and triumphed, entreating him with tears. At Bethel he met God and there he spoke with him: 6 The LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD is his name! 7 You shall return by the help of your God, if you remain loyal and do right and always hope in your God. 8 A merchant who holds a false balance, who loves to defraud! 9 Though Ephraim says, "How rich I have become; I have made a fortune!" All his gain shall not suffice him for the guilt of his sin. 10 I am the LORD, your God, since the land of Egypt; I will again have you live in tents, as in that appointed time. 11 I granted many visions and spoke to the prophets, through whom I set forth examples. 12 In Gilead is falsehood, they have come to nought, in Gilgal they sacrifice to bullocks; Their altars are like heaps of stones in the furrows of the field. 13 When Jacob fled to the land of Aram, he served for a wife; for a wife Israel tended sheep. 14 By a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet they were protected. 15 Ephraim has exasperated his lord; therefore he shall cast his blood-guilt upon him and repay him for his outrage.

Chapter 13

1 Ephraim's word caused fear, for he was exalted in Israel; but he sinned through Baal and died. 2 Now they continue to sin, making for themselves molten images, Silver idols according to their fancy, all of them the work of artisans. "To these," they say, "offer sacrifice." Men kiss calves! 3 Therefore, they shall be like a morning cloud or like the dew that early passes away, Like chaff storm-driven from the threshing floor or like smoke out of the window. 4 I am the LORD, your God, since the land of Egypt; You know no God besides me, and there is no savior but me. 5 I fed you in the desert, in the torrid land. 6 They ate their fill; when filled, they became proud of heart and forgot me. 7 Therefore, I will be like a lion to them, like a panther by the road I will keep watch. 8 I will attack them like a bear robbed of its young, and tear their hearts from their breasts; I will devour them on the spot like a lion, as though a wild beast were to rend them. 9 Your destruction, O Israel! who is there to help you? 10 Where now is your king, that he may rescue you in all your cities? And your rulers, of whom you said, "Give me a king and princes"? 11 I give you a king in my anger, and I take him away in my wrath. 12 The guilt of Israel is wrapped up, his sin is stored away. 13 The birth pangs shall come for him, but he shall be an unwise child; For when it is time he shall not present himself where children break forth. 14 Shall I deliver them from the power of the nether world? shall I redeem them from death? Where are your plagues, O death! where is your sting, O nether world! My eyes are closed to compassion. 15 Though he be fruitful among his fellows, an east wind shall come, a wind from the LORD, rising from the desert, That shall dry up his spring, and leave his fountain dry. It shall loot his land of every precious thing.

Chapter 14

1 Samaria shall expiate her guilt, for she has rebelled against her God. They shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed to pieces, their expectant mothers shall be ripped open. 2 Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt. 3 Take with you words, and return to the LORD; Say to him, "Forgive all iniquity, and receive what is good, that we may render as offerings the bullocks from our stalls. 4 Assyria will not save us, nor shall we have horses to mount; We shall say no more, 'Our god,' to the work of our hands; for in you the orphan finds compassion." 5 I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them. 6 I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar, 7 and put forth his shoots. His splendor shall be like the olive tree and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar. 8 Again they shall dwell in his shade and raise grain; They shall blossom like the vine, and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon. 9 Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols? I have humbled him, but I will prosper him. "I am like a verdant cypress tree" -  Because of me you bear fruit! 10 Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent know them. Straight are the paths of the LORD, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them.

New American Bible Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

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