The Lord Accuses Israel

Hosea 4

1 Hear the word of the LORD,
You children of Israel,
For the LORD brings a a charge 1 against the inhabitants of the land:
"There is no truth or mercy
Or b knowledge of God in the land.
2 By swearing and lying,
Killing and stealing and committing adultery,
They break all restraint,
With bloodshed 2 upon bloodshed.
3 Therefore c the land will mourn;
And d everyone who dwells there will waste away
With the beasts of the field
And the birds of the air;
Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.

4 "Now let no man contend, or rebuke another;
For your people are like those e who contend with the priest.
5 Therefore you shall stumble f in the day;
The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night;
And I will destroy your mother.
6 g My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
h Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

7 "The more they increased,
The more they sinned against Me;
i I 3 will change 4 their glory into shame.
8 They eat up the sin of My people;
They set their 5 heart on their iniquity.
9 And it shall be: j like people, like priest.
So I will punish them for their ways,
And 6 reward them for their deeds.
10 For k they shall eat, but not have enough;
They shall commit harlotry, but not increase;
Because they have ceased obeying the LORD.
11 "Harlotry, wine, and new wine l enslave the heart. 12 My people ask counsel from their m wooden idols,
And their 7 staff informs them.
For n the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray,
And they have played the harlot against their God.
13 o They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops,
And burn incense on the hills,
Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,
Because their shade is good.
p Therefore your daughters commit harlotry,
And your brides commit adultery.
14 "I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry,
Nor your brides when they commit adultery;
For the men themselves go apart with harlots,
And offer sacrifices with a q ritual harlot. 8
Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled.

15 "Though you, Israel, play the harlot,
Let not Judah offend.
r Do not come up to Gilgal,
Nor go up to s Beth 9 Aven,
t Nor swear an oath, saying, 'As the LORD lives' -
16 "For Israel u is stubborn
Like a stubborn calf;
Now the LORD will let them forage
Like a lamb in 10 open country.

17 " Ephraim is joined to idols,
v Let him alone.
18 Their drink 11 is rebellion,
They commit harlotry continually.
w Her 12 rulers 13 dearly love dishonor.
19 x The wind has wrapped her up in its wings,
And y they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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