Hosea 9

Fertility Cult Festivals Have Intoxicated Israel

9:1 O Israel, do not rejoice jubilantly1 like the nations,

for you are unfaithful2 to your God.

You love to receive a prostitute's wages3

on all the floors where you thresh your grain.

9:2 Threshing floors and wine vats will not feed the people,4

and new wine only deceives them.5

Assyrian Exile Will Reverse the Egyptian Exodus

9:3 They will not remain in the Lord’s land.

Ephraim will return to Egypt;

they will eat ritually unclean food in Assyria.

9:4 They will not pour out drink offerings of wine to the Lord;

they will not please him with their sacrifices.

Their sacrifices will be like bread eaten while in mourning;

all those who eat them will make themselves ritually unclean.

For their bread will be only to satisfy their appetite;

it will not come into the temple of the Lord.

9:5 So what will you do on the festival day,

on the festival days of the Lord?

No Escape for the Israelites This Time!

9:6 Look!6 Even if7 they flee from the destruction,

Egypt will take hold8 of them,

and Memphis will bury them.

The weeds will inherit the silver they treasure9

thorn bushes will occupy their homes.10

9:7 The time of judgment11 is about to arrive!12

The time of retribution13 is imminent!14

Let Israel know!15

Israel Rejects Hosea’s Prophetic Exhortations

The prophet is considered a fool16

the inspired man17 is viewed as a madman18

because of the multitude of your sins

and your intense19 animosity.

9:8 The prophet20 is a watchman21 over Ephraim22 on behalf of God,23

yet traps24 are laid for him along all of his paths;25

animosity rages against him in the land26 of his God.

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

9:9 They have sunk deep into corruption27

as in the days of Gibeah.

He will remember their wrongdoing.

He will repay them for their sins.

9:10 When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the wilderness.

I viewed your ancestors28 like an early fig on a fig tree in its first season.

Then they came to Baal-Peor and they dedicated themselves to shame –

they became as detestable as what they loved.

The Fertility Worshipers Will Become Infertile

9:11 Ephraim will be like a bird;

what they value29 will fly away.

They will not bear children –

they will not enjoy pregnancy –

they will not even conceive!30

9:12 Even if they raise their children,

I will take away every last one of them.31

Woe to them!

For I will turn away from them.

9:13 Just as lion cubs are born predators,32

so Ephraim will bear his sons for slaughter.

9:14 Give them, O Lord –

what will you give them?

Give them wombs that miscarry,

and breasts that cannot nurse!33

9:15 Because of all their evil in Gilgal,

I hate them there.

On account of their evil deeds,

I will drive them out of my land.34

I will no longer love them;

all their rulers are rebels.

9:16 Ephraim will be struck down35

their root will be dried up;

they will not yield any fruit.

Even if they do bear children,

I will kill their precious offspring.

9:17 My God will reject them,

for they have not obeyed him;

so they will be fugitives among the nations.

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