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Hosea, chapter 9, New English Translation

Chapter 9

   Fertility Cult Festivals Have Intoxicated Israel
   1 O Israel, do not rejoice jubilantly like the nations, for you are unfaithful to your God. You love to receive a prostitute's wages on all the floors where you thresh your grain.
   2 Threshing floors and wine vats will not feed the people, and new wine only deceives them.
   Assyrian Exile Will Reverse the Egyptian Exodus
   3 They will not remain in the LORD's land. Ephraim will return to Egypt; they will eat ritually unclean food in Assyria.
   4 They will not pour out drink offerings of wine to the LORD; they will not please him with their sacrifices. Their sacrifices will be like bread eaten while in mourning; all those who eat them will make themselves ritually unclean. For their bread will be only to satisfy their appetite; it will not come into the temple of the LORD.
   5 So what will you do on the festival day, on the festival days of the LORD?
   No Escape for the Israelites This Time!
   6 Look! Even if they flee from the destruction, Egypt will take hold of them, and Memphis will bury them. The weeds will inherit the silver they treasure - thorn bushes will occupy their homes.
   Israel Rejects Hosea's Prophetic Exhortations
   7 The time of judgment is about to arrive! The time of retribution is imminent! Let Israel know! The prophet is considered a fool - the inspired man is viewed as a madman - because of the multitude of your sins and your intense animosity.
   8 The prophet is a watchman over Ephraim on behalf of God, yet traps are laid for him along all of his paths; animosity rages against him in the land of his God.
   The Best of Times, the Worst of Times
   9 They have sunk deep into corruption as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their wrongdoing. He will repay them for their sins.
   10 When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the wilderness. I viewed your ancestors like an early fig on a fig tree in its first season. Then they came to Baal-Peor and they dedicated themselves to shame - they became as detestable as what they loved.
   The Fertility Worshipers Will Become Infertile
   11 Ephraim will be like a bird; what they value will fly away. They will not bear children - they will not enjoy pregnancy - they will not even conceive!
   12 Even if they raise their children, I will take away every last one of them. Woe to them! For I will turn away from them.
   13 Just as lion cubs are born predators, so Ephraim will bear his sons for slaughter.
   14 Give them, O LORD - what will you give them? Give them wombs that miscarry, and breasts that cannot nurse!
   15 Because of all their evil in Gilgal, I hate them there. On account of their evil deeds, I will drive them out of my land. I will no longer love them; all their rulers are rebels.
   16 Ephraim will be struck down - their root will be dried up; they will not yield any fruit. Even if they do bear children, I will kill their precious offspring.
   17 My God will reject them, for they have not obeyed him; so they will be fugitives among the nations.

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