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Hosea: 4

The LORD's accusation against Israel.  Hs.4.1-19

1Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel;
for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land.
There is no faithfulness or kindness,
and no knowledge of God in the land;
2there is swearing, lying, killing, stealing, and committing adultery;
they break all bounds and murder follows murder.
3Therefore the land mourns,
and all who dwell in it languish,
and also the beasts of the field,
and the birds of the air;
and even the fish of the sea are taken away.

4Yet let no one contend,
and let none accuse,
for with you is my contention, O priest.
5You shall stumble by day,
the prophet also shall stumble with you by night;
and I will destroy your mother.
6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

7The more they increased,
the more they sinned against me;
I will change their glory into shame.
8They feed on the sin of my people;
they are greedy for their iniquity.
9And it shall be like people, like priest;
I will punish them for their ways,
and requite them for their deeds.
10They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
they shall play the harlot, but not multiply;
because they have forsaken the LORD
to cherish harlotry.

11Wine and new wine
take away the understanding.
12My people inquire of a thing of wood,
and their staff gives them oracles.
For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray,
and they have left their God to play the harlot.
13They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains,
and make offerings upon the hills,
under oak, poplar, and terebinth,
because their shade is good.
Therefore your daughters play the harlot,
and your brides commit adultery.
14I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot,
nor your brides when they commit adultery;
for the men themselves go aside with harlots,
and sacrifice with cult prostitutes,
and a people without understanding shall come to ruin.

15Though you play the harlot, O Israel,
let not Judah become guilty.
Enter not into Gilgal,
nor go up to Beth-a'ven,
and swear not, "As the LORD lives."
16Like a stubborn heifer,
Israel is stubborn;
can the LORD now feed them
like a lamb in a broad pasture?

17E'phraim is joined to idols,
let him alone.
18A band of drunkards, they give themselves to harlotry;
they love shame more than their glory.
19A wind has wrapped them in its wings,
and they shall be ashamed because of their alters.


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Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971], Apocrypha, copyright 1957; The Third and Fourth Books of the Maccabees and Psalm 151, copyright 1977, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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