Hosea 9

The Coming Exile

1Israel, do not rejoice jubilantly as the nations do,

for you have acted promiscuously, leaving your God.

You love the wages of a prostitute

on every grain-threshing floor.

2Threshing floor and wine vat will not sustain them,

and the new wine will fail them.

3They will not stay in the land of the Lord.

Instead, Ephraim will return to Egypt,

and they will eat unclean food in Assyria.

4They will not pour out

their wine offerings to the Lord,

and their sacrifices will not please him.

Their food will be like the bread of mourners;

all who eat it become defiled.

For their bread will be for their appetites alone;

it will not enter the house of the Lord.

5What will you do on a festival day,

on the day of the Lord’s feast?

6For even if they flee from devastation,

Egypt will gather them, and Memphis will bury them.

Thistles will take possession of their precious silver;

thorns will invade their tents.

7The days of punishment have come;

the days of retribution have come.

Let Israel recognize it!

The prophet is a fool,

and the inspired man is insane,

because of the magnitude

of your iniquity and hostility.

8Ephraim’s watchman is with my God.

Yet the prophet encounters a bird trap

on all his pathways.

Hostility is in the house of his God!

9They have deeply corrupted themselves

as in the days of Gibeah.

He will remember their iniquity;

he will punish their sins.

Ephraim Bereaved of Offspring

10I discovered Israel

like grapes in the wilderness.

I saw your ancestors

like the first fruit of the fig tree in its first season.

But they went to Baal-peor,

consecrated themselves to Shame,

and became abhorrent,

like the thing they loved.

11Ephraim’s glory will fly away like a bird:

no birth, no pregnancy, no conception.

12Even if they raise children,

I will bereave them of each one.

Yes, woe to them when I depart from them!

13I have seen Ephraim like Tyre,

planted in a meadow,

so Ephraim will bring out his children

to the executioner.

14Give them, Lord —

What should you give?

Give them a womb that miscarries

and breasts that are dry!

15All their evil appears at Gilgal,

for there I began to hate them.

I will drive them from my house

because of their evil, wicked actions.

I will no longer love them;

all their leaders are rebellious.

16Ephraim is struck down;

their roots are withered;

they cannot bear fruit.

Even if they bear children,

I will kill the precious offspring of their wombs.

17My God will reject them

because they have not listened to him;

they will become wanderers among the nations.