The Prophet Hosea
1 The Lord spoke his word to Hosea, son of Beeri, when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah and when Jeroboam, son of Joash, was king of Israel.
Hosea Marries a Prostitute
2 When the Lord first spoke to Hosea, the Lord told him, “Marry a prostitute and have children with that prostitute. The people in this land have acted like prostitutes and abandoned the Lord.” 3 So Hosea married Gomer, daughter of Diblaim. She became pregnant and had a son.
4 The Lord told Hosea, “Name him Jezreel. In a little while I will punish Jehu’s family for the people they slaughtered at Jezreel. Then I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 On that day I will break Israel’s bows and arrows in the valley of Jezreel.”
6 Gomer became pregnant again and had a daughter. The Lord told Hosea, “Name her Lo Ruhamah [Unloved]. I will no longer love the nation of Israel. I will no longer forgive them. 7 Yet, I will love the descendants of Judah. I will rescue them because I am the Lord their God. I won’t use bows, swords, wars, horses, or horsemen to rescue them.”
8 After Gomer had weaned Lo Ruhamah, she became pregnant again and had a son. 9 The Lord said, “Name him Lo Ammi [Not My People]. You are no longer my people, and I am no longer your God.
10 “Yet, the Israelites will become as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore. No one will be able to measure them or count them. Wherever they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be told, ‘You are the children of the living God.’ 11 The people of Judah and Israel will be gathered together. They will appoint one leader for themselves, and they will grow in the land. The day of Jezreel will be a great day.
Israel Is the Lord’s Unfaithful Wife
2 “So call your brothers Ammi [My People],
and call your sisters Ruhamah [Loved].
2 “Plead with your mother; plead with her.
She no longer acts like my wife.
She no longer treats me like her husband.
Tell her to stop acting like a prostitute.
Tell her to remove the lovers from between her breasts.
3 If she refuses, I will strip her.
I will leave her as naked as the day she was born.
I will turn her into a dry and barren land,
and she will die of thirst.
4 I won’t love her children,
because they are children of a prostitute.
5 Their mother acted like a prostitute.
The woman who became pregnant with them did shameful things.
She said, ‘I’ll chase after my lovers.
They will give me food and water,
wool and linen, olive oil and wine.’
6 “That is why I will block her way with thornbushes
and build a wall so that she can’t get through.
7 She will run after her lovers, but she won’t catch them.
She will search for them, but she won’t find them.
Then she will say, ‘I’ll go back to my first husband.
Things were better for me than they are now.’
8 “She doesn’t believe that I gave her grain, new wine, and olive oil.
I gave her plenty of silver and gold,
but she used it to make statues of Baal.
9 That is why I will take back my grain when it has ripened
and my new wine when it’s in season.
I will take away the wool and the linen
that I gave her to cover her naked body.
10 I will show her naked body to her lovers,
and no one will rescue her from my power.
11 I will put an end to all her celebrations:
her annual festivals, her New Moon Festivals,
her weekly worship days—all her appointed festivals.
12 I will destroy her grapevines and fig trees.
She said that they were gifts from her lovers.
I will turn her vineyards into a forest, and wild animals will devour them.
13 I will punish her for all the times she burned incense
as an offering to other gods—the Baals.
She put on her rings and jewelry,
and she chased after her lovers.
She forgot me,” declares the Lord.
The Lord Continues to Love Israel
14 “That is why I’m going to win her back.
I will lead her into the desert.
I will speak tenderly to her.
15 I will give her vineyards there.
I will make the valley of Achor [Disaster] a door of hope.
Then she will respond as she did when she was young,
as she did when she came out of Egypt.
16 “On that day she will call me her husband,” declares the Lord.
“She will no longer call me her master.
17 I won’t allow her to say the names of other gods called Baal.
She will never again call out their names.
18 “On that day I will make an arrangement with the wild animals,
the birds, and the animals that crawl on the ground.
I will destroy all the bows, swords, and weapons of war,
so people can live safely.
19 “Israel, I will make you my wife forever.
I will be honest and faithful to you.
I will show you my love and compassion.
20 I will be true to you, my wife.
Then you will know the Lord.
21 “On that day I will answer your prayers,” declares the Lord.
“I will speak to the sky,
it will speak to the earth,
22 and the earth will produce grain, new wine, and olive oil.
You will produce many crops, Jezreel.
23 I will plant my people in the land.
Those who are not loved I will call my loved ones.
Those who are not my people I will call my people.
Then they will say, ‘You are our God!’”
Hosea’s Adulterous Wife
3 Then the Lord told me, “Love your wife again, even though she is loved by others and has committed adultery. Love her as I, the Lord, love the Israelites, even though they have turned to other gods and love to eat raisin cakes.”
2 So I bought her for 23 ounces of silver and 10 bushels of barley. 3 Then I told her, “You must wait for me a long time. Don’t be a prostitute or offer yourself to any man. I will wait for you.”
4 In the same way, the Israelites will wait a long time without kings or officials, without sacrifices or sacred stones, and without ephods or family idols. 5 After that, the Israelites will turn and look to the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord for his blessings in the last days.