Hosea 4

God's Charges Against Israel

Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land: There is no truth, no loving devotion, and no knowledge of God in the land! Cursing and lying, murder and stealing, and adultery are rampant; one act of bloodshed follows another. Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it will waste away with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air; even the fish of the sea disappear. But let no man contend; let no man offer reproof; for your people [are] like those who contend against a priest.
Or for my case is against you, O priests
You will stumble by day, and the prophet will stumble with you by night. So I will destroy your mother— My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as My priests . Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children. The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; they exchanged their Glory
Or their glorious God (Syriac and an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition); MT I will exchange their glory
for a thing of disgrace.
They feed on the sin of My people and set their heart on iniquity. And it shall be like people, like priest. I will punish both of them for their ways and repay them for their deeds. 10  They will eat but not be satisfied; they will be promiscuous but not multiply. For they have stopped obeying the LORD. 11  Promiscuity, wine, and new wine take away understanding. 12  My people consult their wooden idols, and their divining rods inform them. For a spirit of prostitution leads them astray and they have played the harlot against their God. 13  They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is pleasant. And so your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery. 14  I will not punish your daughters when they prostitute themselves [or] your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves go off with prostitutes and make sacrifices with cult prostitutes. So a people without understanding will come to ruin. 15  Though you prostitute yourself, O Israel, may Judah avoid such guilt! Do not go to Gilgal, do not go up to Beth-aven,
Beth-aven means house of wickedness. This is a derogatory term for Bethel, which means house of God
. . . and do not swear on oath, ‘As surely as the LORD lives!’
16  For Israel is as obstinate as a stubborn heifer. Can the LORD now shepherd them like lambs in an open meadow? 17  Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone ! 18  When their liquor is gone, they turn to prostitution; their rulers
Hebrew shields
dearly love disgrace.
19  The wind has wrapped them
Hebrew her
in its wings and their sacrifices will bring them shame.
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