Hosea - 10

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1Israel was a luxuriant vine yielding plenty of fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built;the richer his land became, the richer he made the sacred pil ars. 2Theirs is a divided heart; now they wil have to pay for it. He himself will hack down their altars andwreck their sacred pil ars. 3Then they wil say, 'We have no king because we have not feared Yahweh, but what could the king dofor us?' 4Speeches are made, oaths sworn to no purpose, agreements concluded, and so-called justicespreads like a poisonous weed along the furrows of the fields! 5Samaria's citizens wil tremble for the calf of Beth-Aven; the people there wil mourn for it, so wil itsidol-priests, as they exult in its glory once it has been carried away! 6It wil be carried off to Assyria as tribute to the Great King. Ephraim will reap the shame, and Israelblush for his intentions. 7Samaria has had her day. Her king is like a straw drifting on the water. 8The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, wil be destroyed; thorns and thistles wil grow over theiraltars. Then they wil say to the mountains, 'Cover us!' and to the hil s, 'Fal on us!' 9Since the days of Gibeah, Israel, you have sinned. There they have taken their stand, and will not warovertake the guilty at Gibeah? 10I am coming to punish them; nations will muster against them to punish them for their two crimes. 11Ephraim is a wel -trained heifer that loves to tread the grain. But I have laid a yoke on her fine neck, Ishall put Ephraim into harness, Judah wil have to plough, Jacob must draw the harrow. 12Sow saving justice for yourselves, reap a harvest of faithful love; break up your fal ow ground: it istime to seek out Yahweh until he comes to rain saving justice down on you. 13You have ploughed wickedness, you have reaped iniquity, you have eaten the fruit of falsehood.Because you have trusted in your chariots, in your great numbers of warriors, 14turmoil is going to break out among your people, and al your fortresses will be laid waste. AsShalman laid Beth-Arbel waste on the day of battle, dashing mothers to pieces on their children, 15so it shal be done to you, Bethel, because of your great wickedness; at dawn, the king of Israel wilbe no more.
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