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Hosea: 4

The LORD's accusation against Israel.

Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel;
for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land.
There is no faithfulness or kindness,
and no knowledge of God in the land;
there is swearing, lying, killing, stealing, and committing adultery;
they break all bounds and murder follows murder.
Therefore the land mourns,
and all who dwell in it languish,
and also the beasts of the field,
and the birds of the air;
and even the fish of the sea are taken away.

The LORD accuses the priests.

Yet let no one contend,
and let none accuse,
for with you is my contention, O priest.
You shall stumble by day,
the prophet also shall stumble with you by night;
and I will destroy your mother.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

The more they increased,
the more they sinned against me;
I will change their glory into shame.
They feed on the sin of my people;
they are greedy for their iniquity.
And it shall be like people, like priest;
I will punish them for their ways,
and requite them for their deeds.
They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
they shall play the harlot, but not multiply;
because they have forsaken the LORD
to cherish harlotry.

The LORD condemns pagan worship.

Wine and new wine
take away the understanding.
My people inquire of a thing of wood,
and their staff gives them oracles.
For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray,
and they have left their God to play the harlot.
They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains,
and make offerings upon the hills,
under oak, poplar, and terebinth,
because their shade is good.
Therefore your daughters play the harlot,
and your brides commit adultery.
I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot,
nor your brides when they commit adultery;
for the men themselves go aside with harlots,
and sacrifice with cult prostitutes,
and a people without understanding shall come to ruin.

Though you play the harlot, O Israel,
let not Judah become guilty.
Enter not into Gilgal,
nor go up to Beth-a'ven,
and swear not, "As the LORD lives."
Like a stubborn heifer,
Israel is stubborn;
can the LORD now feed them
like a lamb in a broad pasture?

E'phraim is joined to idols,
let him alone.
A band of drunkards, they give themselves to harlotry;
they love shame more than their glory.
A wind has wrapped them in its wings,
and they shall be ashamed because of their alters.


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Notes: This page displays the Revised Standard Version as flowing text. The katapi New Study Bible reference section has been incorporated into the page as follows: Links to parallel passages show below passage headings. Links to Old Testament quotations in New Testament verses show after the verse number.
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Please e-mail me. © Paul Ingram 2006.