Hosea 9

Ephraim Punished

1Do not rejoice, O Israel, with exultation as do the [pagan] peoples,
For you have played the prostitute, turning away from your God.
You have loved prostitutes’ earnings on every threshing floor [attributing the harvest to the Baals instead of to God].
2The threshing floor and the wine press will no longer feed them,
And the new wine will fail them [because they failed to honor the God who provides].
3They will not remain in the land of the LORD,
But Ephraim will return to [another] Egypt [in bondage]
And they will eat [ceremonially] unclean food in Assyria.
4They will not pour out drink offerings of wine to the LORD;
Their sacrifices will not please Him.
Their bread will be like mourners’ bread [eaten at funerals];
All who eat it will be [ceremonially] unclean,
For their bread will be for themselves;
It will not enter the house of the LORD [to be consecrated].
5What will you do on the day of the appointed festival
And on the day of the feast of the LORD [when you are in exile]?
6For behold, they will go away because of devastation and destruction;
Egypt will gather them up, Memphis will bury them.
Weeds will take over their treasures of silver;
Thorns will grow in their tents.
7The days of punishment have come;
The days of retribution are at hand;
Let Israel know this!
The prophet is [considered] a fool;
The man [of God] who is inspired is [treated as if] demented,
Because of the abundance of your wickedness and guilt,
And because your deep antagonism [toward God and the prophets] is so great.
8Ephraim was a watchman with my God, a [true] prophet [to warn the nation];
But the snare of a bird catcher was laid in all his paths.
And there is only deep hostility in the house of his God (the land of Israel).
9They have deeply corrupted (perverted) themselves
As in the days of Gibeah.
The LORD will remember their wickedness and guilt;
He will punish their sins.
10I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness [an unexpected and refreshing delight];
I saw your fathers (ancestors) as the first ripe fruit on the fig tree in its first season,
But they came to Baal-peor and consecrated themselves to shamefulness [the worship of Baal],
And [because of their spiritual and physical adultery] they became as detestable and loathsome as the thing they loved.
11As for Ephraim, their glory will fly away like a bird;
No birth, no pregnancy, and [because of their impurity] no conception.
12Even though they bring up their children,
Yet I will bereave them until not one is left.
Indeed, woe (judgment is coming) to them when I look away and withdraw [My blessing] from them!
13Ephraim, as I have seen,
Is planted in a pleasant [and prosperous] meadow like Tyre;
But Ephraim will bring out his children to the executioner [for slaughter].
14Give them [the punishment they deserve], O LORD! What will You give?
Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
15All their wickedness [says the LORD] is focused in Gilgal;
Indeed, I came to hate them there!
Because of the wickedness of their [idolatrous] practices
I will drive them out of My house (the land of Israel)!
I will love them no longer;
All their princes are rebels.
16Ephraim is stricken, their root is dried up,
They will bear no fruit.
Even though they give birth,
I will slay the precious children of their womb.
17My God will reject them and cast them away
Because they did not listen to Him;
And they will be wanderers (fugitives) among the nations.