Hosea 4
New American Bible Revised Edition

II. Israel’s Guilt, Punishment, and Restoration

Indictment of Israel*

1Hear the word of the Lord, Israelites,

for the Lord has a dispute

with the inhabitants of the land:a

There is no fidelity, no loyalty,

no knowledge of God in the land.

2Swearing, lying, murder,

stealing and adultery break out;*

bloodshed follows bloodshed.b

3Therefore the land dries up,

and everything that dwells in it languishes:

The beasts of the field,

the birds of the air,

and even the fish of the sea perish.c

Guilt of Priest and of People

4But let no one accuse, let no one rebuke;

with you is my dispute, priest!*

5You will stumble in the day,

and the prophet will stumble with you at night;

I will make an end of your mother.*

6My people are ruined for lack of knowledge!

Since you have rejected knowledge,

I will reject you from serving as my priest;

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,

I will change their glory* into shame.d

8They feed on the sin of my people,

and are greedy for their iniquity.*

9Like people, like priest:e

I will punish them for their ways,

and repay them for their deeds.

10They will eat but not be satisfied,f

they will promote prostitution* but not increase,

Because they have abandoned the Lord,

devoting themselves

11to prostitution.

Aged wine and new wine

take away understanding.g

12My people consult their piece of wood,*

and their wand makes pronouncements for them,

For the spirit of prostitution has led them astray;

they prostitute themselves, forsaking their God.

13On the mountaintops they offer sacrifice

and on the hills they burn incense,

Beneath oak and poplar and terebinth,

because of their pleasant shade.*

Therefore your daughters prostitute themselves,

and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.

14I will not punish your daughters for their prostitution,

nor your daughters-in-law for their adultery,

Because the men themselves consort with prostitutes,

and with temple women* they offer sacrifice!

Thus a people without understanding comes to ruin.

15Though you prostitute yourself, Israel,

do not let Judah become guilty!

Do not come to Gilgal,*

do not go up to Beth-aven,h

do not swear, “As the Lord lives!”i

16For like a stubborn cow,

Israel is stubborn;

Will the Lord now pasture them,

like lambs in a broad meadow?

17Ephraim* is bound to idols,

let him alone!

18* When their drinking is over,

they give themselves to prostitution;j

they love shame more than their honor.

19A wind* has bound them up in its wings;k

they shall be ashamed because of their altars.l

Book Introduction


Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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