Hosea Warns against Idolatry
4 The evil that the people have done keeps them from returning to their God. Idolatry has a powerful hold on them, and they do not acknowledge the Lord. 5 The arrogance of the people of Israel cries out against them. Their sins make them stumble and fall, and the people of Judah fall with them. 6 They take their sheep and cattle to offer as sacrifices to the Lord, but it does them no good. They cannot find him, for he has left them. 7 They have been unfaithful to the Lord; their children do not belong to him. So now they and their lands will soon be destroyed.
War between Judah and Israel
8 Blow the war trumpets in Gibeah! Sound the alarm in Ramah! Raise the war cry at Bethaven![b] Into battle, men of Benjamin! 9 The day of punishment is coming, and Israel will be ruined. People of Israel, this will surely happen!
10 The Lord says, “I am angry because the leaders of Judah have invaded Israel and stolen land from her. So I will pour out punishment on them like a flood. 11 Israel is suffering oppression; she has lost land that was rightfully hers, because she insisted on going for help to those who had none to give.[c] 12 I will bring destruction on Israel and ruin on the people of Judah.
13 “When Israel saw how sick she was and when Judah saw her own wounds, then Israel went to Assyria to ask the great emperor for help, but he could not cure them or heal their wounds. 14 I will attack the people of Israel and Judah like a lion. I myself will tear them to pieces and then leave them. When I drag them off, no one will be able to save them.
15 “I will abandon my people until they have suffered enough for their sins and come looking for me. Perhaps in their suffering they will try to find me.”
- Hosea 5:2 Probable text a deep pit at Acacia City; Hebrew unclear.
- Hosea 5:8 This name means “house of evil” or “house of idolatry” and in this passage refers to the city of Bethel, a name which means “house of God.” See also 10.8.
- Hosea 5:11 Probable text those who had none to give; Hebrew command.