1The Lord gave this message to Hosea son of Beeri during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash*1:1 Hebrew Joash, a variant spelling of Jehoash. was king of Israel.
Hosea’s Wife and Children
2When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute,*1:2 Or a promiscuous woman. so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”
3So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son.
6Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to Hosea, “Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah—‘Not loved’—for I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them.
8After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son.
10*1:10 Verses 1:10-11 are numbered 2:1-2 in Hebrew text.“Yet the time will come when Israel’s people will be like the sands of the seashore—too many to count! Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said, ‘You are children of the living God.’
2:1*2:1 Verses 2:1-23 are numbered 2:3-25 in Hebrew text.“In that day you will call your brothers Ammi—‘My people.’ And you will call your sisters Ruhamah—‘The ones I love.’
Charges against an Unfaithful Wife
2“But now bring charges against Israel—your mother—
for she is no longer my wife,
and I am no longer her husband.
Tell her to remove the prostitute’s makeup from her face
and the clothing that exposes her breasts.
3Otherwise, I will strip her as naked
as she was on the day she was born.
I will leave her to die of thirst,
as in a dry and barren wilderness.
4And I will not love her children,
for they were conceived in prostitution.
5Their mother is a shameless prostitute
and became pregnant in a shameful way.
She said, ‘I’ll run after other lovers
and sell myself to them for food and water,
for clothing of wool and linen,
and for olive oil and drinks.’
6“For this reason I will fence her in with thornbushes.
I will block her path with a wall
to make her lose her way.
7When she runs after her lovers,
she won’t be able to catch them.
She will search for them
but not find them.
Then she will think,
‘I might as well return to my husband,
for I was better off with him than I am now.’
8She doesn’t realize it was I who gave her everything she has—
the grain, the new wine, the olive oil;
I even gave her silver and gold.
But she gave all my gifts to Baal.
9“But now I will take back the ripened grain and new wine
I generously provided each harvest season.
I will take away the wool and linen clothing
I gave her to cover her nakedness.
10I will strip her naked in public,
while all her lovers look on.
No one will be able
to rescue her from my hands.
11I will put an end to her annual festivals,
her new moon celebrations, and her Sabbath days—
all her appointed festivals.
12I will destroy her grapevines and fig trees,
things she claims her lovers gave her.
I will let them grow into tangled thickets,
where only wild animals will eat the fruit.
13I will punish her for all those times
when she burned incense to her images of Baal,
when she put on her earrings and jewels
and went out to look for her lovers
but forgot all about me,”
says the Lord.
The Lord’s Love for Unfaithful Israel
14“But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.
15I will return her vineyards to her
and transform the Valley of Trouble*2:15 Hebrew valley of Achor. into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
as she did long ago when she was young,
when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
16When that day comes,” says the Lord,
“you will call me ‘my husband’
instead of ‘my master.’*2:16 Hebrew ‘my baal.’
17O Israel, I will wipe the many names of Baal from your lips,
and you will never mention them again.
18On that day I will make a covenant
with all the wild animals and the birds of the sky
and the animals that scurry along the ground
so they will not harm you.
I will remove all weapons of war from the land,
all swords and bows,
so you can live unafraid
in peace and safety.
19I will make you my wife forever,
showing you righteousness and justice,
unfailing love and compassion.
20I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
and you will finally know me as the Lord.
21“In that day, I will answer,”
says the Lord.
“I will answer the sky as it pleads for clouds.
And the sky will answer the earth with rain.
22Then the earth will answer the thirsty cries
of the grain, the grapevines, and the olive trees.
And they in turn will answer,
23At that time I will plant a crop of Israelites
and raise them for myself.
I will show love
to those I called ‘Not loved.’*2:23a Hebrew Lo-ruhamah; see 1:6.
And to those I called ‘Not my people,’*2:23b Hebrew Lo-ammi; see 1:9.
I will say, ‘Now you are my people.’
And they will reply, ‘You are our God!’”