1The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri, in the days of Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah, and in the days of King Jeroboam son of Joash of Israel.
2When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take for yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord. 3So he went and took Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4And the Lord said to him, Name him Jezreel; for in a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. 6She conceived again and bore a daughter. Then the Lord said to him, Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have pity on the house of Israel or forgive them. 7But I will have pity on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the Lord their God; I will not save them by bow, or by sword, or by war, or by horses, or by horsemen.
8When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. 9Then the Lord said, Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not my people and I am not your God. 10Yet the number of the people of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which can be neither measured nor numbered; and in the place where it was said to them, You are not my people, it shall be said to them, Children of the living God. 11The people of Judah and the people of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head; and they shall take possession of the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
2Say to your brother, Ammi, and to your sister, Ruhamah. 2Plead with your mother, plead for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband that she put away her whoring from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts, 3or I will strip her naked and expose her as in the day she was born, and make her like a wilderness, and turn her into a parched land, and kill her with thirst. 4Upon her children also I will have no pity, because they are children of whoredom. 5For their mother has played the whore; she who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, I will go after my lovers; they give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.
6Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns; and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths. 7She shall pursue her lovers, but not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them. Then she shall say, I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better with me then than now. 8She did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished upon her silver and gold that they used for Baal. 9Therefore I will take back my grain in its time, and my wine in its season; and I will take away my wool and my flax, which were to cover her nakedness. 10Now I will uncover her shame in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of my hand. 11I will put an end to all her mirth, her festivals, her new moons, her sabbaths, and all her appointed festivals. 12I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, of which she said, These are my pay, which my lovers have given me. I will make them a forest, and the wild animals shall devour them. 13I will punish her for the festival days of the Baals, when she offered incense to them and decked herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers, and forgot me, says the Lord.
14Therefore, I will now allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. 15From there I will give her her vineyards, and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she shall respond as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. 16On that day, says the Lord, you will call me, My husband, and no longer will you call me, My Baal. 17For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be mentioned by name no more. 18I will make for you a covenant on that day with the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land; and I will make you lie down in safety. 19And I will take you for my wife forever; I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. 20I will take you for my wife in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord. 21On that day I will answer, says the Lord, I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth; 22and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel; 23and I will sow him for myself in the land. And I will have pity on Lo-ruhamah, and I will say to Lo-ammi, You are my people; and he shall say, You are my God.
3The Lord said to me again, Go, love a woman who has a lover and is an adulteress, just as the Lord loves the people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes. 2So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer of barley and a measure of wine. 3And I said to her, You must remain as mine for many days; you shall not play the whore, you shall not have intercourse with a man, nor I with you. 4For the Israelites shall remain many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or teraphim. 5Afterward the Israelites shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; they shall come in awe to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011