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Hosea: Chapter 4

The prophet shows their numerous sins, and the judgments consequent upon them, 1-19.

1 Hear the word of the LORD, children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

2 "By swearing, lying, killing, stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood touches blood.

3 Therefore, the land shall mourn, and everyone who dwells in it shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the birds of heaven. Even the fish of the sea shall also be taken away.

4 Yet let no man contend, nor reprove another, for your people are as those who contend with the priest.

5 Therefore, you shall fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with you in the night, and I will destroy your mother.

6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, so that you shall be no priest to me. Seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.

7 As they were increased, so they sinned against me; therefore, I will change their glory into shame.

8 They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.

9 And it shall be, as the people, so shall be the priest. And I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their doings.

10 For they shall eat, and not have enough. They shall be guilty of lewdness, and shall not increase, because they have ceased to take heed to the LORD.

11 Lewdness, wine, and new wine take away the heart.

12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declares to them, for the spirit of lewdness has caused them to err, and they have gone astray from under their God.

13 They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks, poplars, and elms, because their shade is agreeable. Therefore, your daughters shall be guilty of lewdness, and your spouses shall commit adultery.

14 I will not punish your daughters when they are guilty of lewdness, nor your spouses when they commit adultery, for they themselves are separated with prostitutes, and they sacrifice with harlots. Therefore, the people who do not understand shall fall.

15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot, yet do not let Judah offend, and do not come to Gilgal, neither go up to Beth-aven, nor swear, 'The LORD lives.'

16 For Israel slides back as a backsliding heifer. Now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.

17 Ephraim is joined to idols. Leave him alone.

18 Their drink is sour. They have been guilty of lewd deeds continually. Her rulers have thoroughly loved shame.

19 The wind has bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices."