Hosea 4

God’s Case against His People

1Hear the word of the LORD,

O children of Israel,

for the LORD has a case

against the people of the land:

“There is no truth, no loving devotion,

and no knowledge of God in the land!

2Cursing and lying,

murder and stealing,

and adultery are rampant;

one act of bloodshed follows another.

3Therefore 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.

4But let no man contend;

let no man offer reproof;

for your people are like those

who contend with a priest.a

5You will stumble by day,

and the prophet will stumble with you by night;

so I will destroy your mother—

6My 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.

7The more they multiplied,

the more they sinned against Me;

they exchanged their Gloryb

for a thing of disgrace.

8They feed on the sinsc of My people

and set their hearts on iniquity.

9And it shall be

like people, like priest.

I will punish both of them for their ways

and repay them for their deeds.

10They will eat but not be satisfied;

they will be promiscuous but not multiply.

For they have stopped obeying the LORD.

11Promiscuity, wine, and new wine

take away understanding.

12My 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.

13They 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.

14I will not punish your daughters

when they prostitute themselves,

nor your daughters-in-law

when they commit adultery.

For the men themselves go off with prostitutes

and offer sacrifices with shrine prostitutes.

So a people without understanding

will come to ruin.

15Though you prostitute yourself, O Israel,

may Judah avoid such guilt!

Do not journey to Gilgal,

do not go up to Beth-aven,d

and do not swear on oath,

‘As surely as the LORD lives!’

16For Israel is as obstinate

as a stubborn heifer.

Can the LORD now shepherd them

like lambs in an open meadow?

17Ephraime is joined to idols;

leave him alone!

18When their liquor is gone,

they turn to prostitution;

their rulersf dearly love disgrace.

19The whirlwind has wrapped themg in its wings,

and their sacrifices will bring them shame.

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