Hosea’s Wife and Children
1 The word of the Lord which came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.” 3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 And the Lord said to him, “Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”
6 Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. 7 But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the Lord their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen.”
8 When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. 9 And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God.”
10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel Will be like the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered; And in the place Where it is said to them, “You are not My people,” It will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God.” 11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together, And they will appoint for themselves one leader, And they will go up from the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel.
Israel’s Unfaithfulness Condemned
2 Say to your brothers, “Ammi,” and to your sisters, “Ruhamah.”
2 “Contend with your mother, contend, For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband; And let her put away her harlotry from her face And her adultery from between her breasts, 3 Or I will strip her naked And expose her as on the day when she was born. I will also make her like a wilderness, Make her like desert land And slay her with thirst. 4 “Also, I will have no compassion on her children, Because they are children of harlotry. 5 “For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’ 6 “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, And I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths. 7 “She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; And she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, For it was better for me then than now!’
8 “For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine and the oil, And lavished on her silver and gold, Which they used for Baal. 9 “Therefore, I will take back My grain at harvest time And My new wine in its season. I will also take away My wool and My flax Given to cover her nakedness. 10 “And then I will uncover her lewdness In the sight of her lovers, And no one will rescue her out of My hand. 11 “I will also put an end to all her gaiety, Her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths And all her festal assemblies. 12 “I will destroy her vines and fig trees, Of which she said, ‘These are my wages Which my lovers have given me.’ And I will make them a forest, And the beasts of the field will devour them. 13 “I will punish her for the days of the Baals When she used to offer sacrifices to them And adorn herself with her earrings and jewelry, And follow her lovers, so that she forgot Me,” declares the Lord.
Restoration of Israel
14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Bring her into the wilderness And speak kindly to her. 15 “Then I will give her her vineyards from there, And the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. 16 “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord, “That you will call Me Ishi And will no longer call Me Baali. 17 “For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, So that they will be mentioned by their names no more. 18 “In that day I will also make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, The birds of the sky And the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, And will make them lie down in safety. 19 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.
21 “It will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the Lord. “I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, 22 And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, And they will respond to Jezreel. 23 “I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’”
Hosea’s Second Symbolic Marriage
3 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” 2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. 3 Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.” 4 For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols. 5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.
God’s Controversy with Israel
4 Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, For the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness Or knowledge of God in the land. 2 There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land mourns, And everyone who lives in it languishes Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, And also the fish of the sea disappear.
4 Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof; For your people are like those who contend with the priest. 5 So you will stumble by day, And the prophet also will stumble with you by night; And I will destroy your mother. 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
7 The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame. 8 They feed on the sin of My people And direct their desire toward their iniquity. 9 And it will be, like people, like priest; So I will punish them for their ways And repay them for their deeds. 10 They will eat, but not have enough; They will play the harlot, but not increase, Because they have stopped giving heed to the Lord.
11 Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding. 12 My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God. 13 They offer sacrifices on the tops of the mountains And burn incense on the hills, Under oak, poplar and terebinth, Because their shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters play the harlot And your brides commit adultery. 14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot Or your brides when they commit adultery, For the men themselves go apart with harlots And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes; So the people without understanding are ruined.
15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot, Do not let Judah become guilty; Also do not go to Gilgal, Or go up to Beth-aven And take the oath: “As the Lord lives!” 16 Since Israel is stubborn Like a stubborn heifer, Can the Lord now pasture them Like a lamb in a large field? 17 Ephraim is joined to idols; Let him alone. 18 Their liquor gone, They play the harlot continually; Their rulers dearly love shame. 19 The wind wraps them in its wings, And they will be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
The People’s Apostasy Rebuked
5 Hear this, O priests! Give heed, O house of Israel! Listen, O house of the king! For the judgment applies to you, For you have been a snare at Mizpah And a net spread out on Tabor. 2 The revolters have gone deep in depravity, But I will chastise all of them. 3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from Me; For now, O Ephraim, you have played the harlot, Israel has defiled itself. 4 Their deeds will not allow them To return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, And they do not know the Lord. 5 Moreover, the pride of Israel testifies against him, And Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also has stumbled with them. 6 They will go with their flocks and herds To seek the Lord, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn from them. 7 They have dealt treacherously against the Lord, For they have borne illegitimate children. Now the new moon will devour them with their land.
8 Blow the horn in Gibeah, The trumpet in Ramah. Sound an alarm at Beth-aven: “Behind you, Benjamin!” 9 Ephraim will become a desolation in the day of rebuke; Among the tribes of Israel I declare what is sure. 10 The princes of Judah have become like those who move a boundary; On them I will pour out My wrath like water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, Because he was determined to follow man’s command. 12 Therefore I am like a moth to Ephraim And like rottenness to the house of Judah. 13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, And Judah his wound, Then Ephraim went to Assyria And sent to King Jareb. But he is unable to heal you, Or to cure you of your wound. 14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim And like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear to pieces and go away, I will carry away, and there will be none to deliver. 15 I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.
The Response to God’s Rebuke
6 “Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. 2 “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. 3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
4 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud And like the dew which goes away early. 5 Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth. 6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. 7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me. 8 Gilead is a city of wrongdoers, Tracked with bloody footprints. 9 And as raiders wait for a man, So a band of priests murder on the way to Shechem; Surely they have committed crime. 10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing; Ephraim’s harlotry is there, Israel has defiled itself. 11 Also, O Judah, there is a harvest appointed for you, When I restore the fortunes of My people.
7 When I would heal Israel, The iniquity of Ephraim is uncovered, And the evil deeds of Samaria, For they deal falsely; The thief enters in, Bandits raid outside, 2 And they do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness. Now their deeds are all around them; They are before My face. 3 With their wickedness they make the king glad, And the princes with their lies. 4 They are all adulterers, Like an oven heated by the baker Who ceases to stir up the fire From the kneading of the dough until it is leavened. 5 On the day of our king, the princes became sick with the heat of wine; He stretched out his hand with scoffers, 6 For their hearts are like an oven As they approach their plotting; Their anger smolders all night, In the morning it burns like a flaming fire. 7 All of them are hot like an oven, And they consume their rulers; All their kings have fallen. None of them calls on Me.
8 Ephraim mixes himself with the nations; Ephraim has become a cake not turned. 9 Strangers devour his strength, Yet he does not know it; Gray hairs also are sprinkled on him, Yet he does not know it. 10 Though the pride of Israel testifies against him, Yet they have not returned to the Lord their God, Nor have they sought Him, for all this. 11 So Ephraim has become like a silly dove, without sense; They call to Egypt, they go to Assyria. 12 When they go, I will spread My net over them; I will bring them down like the birds of the sky. I will chastise them in accordance with the proclamation to their assembly. 13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from Me! Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against Me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against Me. 14 And they do not cry to Me from their heart When they wail on their beds; For the sake of grain and new wine they assemble themselves, They turn away from Me. 15 Although I trained and strengthened their arms, Yet they devise evil against Me. 16 They turn, but not upward, They are like a deceitful bow; Their princes will fall by the sword Because of the insolence of their tongue. This will be their derision in the land of Egypt.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)