1: Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you, because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor. 2: And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all. 3: I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled. 4: They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD. 5: And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them. 6: They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them. 7: They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions. 8: Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Beth-aven, after thee, O Benjamin. 9: Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. 10: The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water. 11: Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment. 12: Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. 13: When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound. 14: For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. 15: I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
1: Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 2: After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 3: Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. 4: O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. 5: Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. 6: For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 7: But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. 8: Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood. 9: And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness. 10: I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled. 11: Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.
This chapter is a strong rebuke to Israel. The Lord charges them with grievous sins. It’s difficult to know exactly what these things mean but it seems that they have set snares to catch the unwary and they slaughter the innocent. The Lord sees all their wickedness and sexual immorality. When judgment comes they will seek the Lord and not find him because it will not be in sincerity, yet eventually they will seek the Lord with a whole heart. Then Hosea records the call of Israel to the Lord, but unfortunately its just words - it lacks real repentance. They say, the Lord will heal us, but it is presumptuous. Their troops are robbers and their priests are full of murder and they are full of gross indecency. The Lord said, l have seen a thing of horror in the house of the Lord sexual immorality in the house of the Lord.