Ephraim’s Idolatry

When Ephraim [a]spoke, there was trembling.

He exalted himself in Israel,

But through Baal he incurred guilt and died.

And now they sin more and more,

And make for themselves cast metal images,

Idols [b]skillfully made from their silver,

All of them the work of craftsmen.

They say of them, “Let the [c]people who sacrifice kiss the calves!”

Therefore they will be like the morning cloud

And like dew which [d]soon disappears,

Like chaff which is blown away from the threshing floor,

And like smoke from a chimney.

Yet I have been the Lord your God

Since the land of Egypt;

And you were not to know any god except Me,

For there is no savior besides Me.

I [e]cared for you in the wilderness,

In the land of drought.

As they had their pasture, they became satisfied,

And as they became satisfied, their heart became proud;

Therefore they forgot Me.

So I will be like a lion to them;

Like a leopard I will [f]lie in wait by the wayside.

I will confront them like a bear deprived of her cubs,

And I will tear open [g]their chests;

I will also devour them there like a lioness,

As a wild animal would tear them to pieces.

[h]It is to your own destruction, Israel,

That you are against Me, against your help.

10 Where then is your king,

That he might save you in all your cities;

And your judges, to whom you said,

“Give me a king and princes”?

11 I gave you a king in My anger,

And took him away in My wrath.

12 The guilt of Ephraim is wrapped up;

His sin is stored up.

13 The pains of childbirth come on him;

He is not a wise son,

For [i]it is not the time that he should delay at the opening of the womb.

14 Shall I ransom them from the [j]power of Sheol?

Shall I redeem them from death?

Death, where are your [k]thorns?

Sheol, where is your sting?

Compassion will be hidden from My sight.

15 Though he flourishes among the [l]reeds,

An east wind will come,

The wind of the Lord coming up from the wilderness;

And his fountain will become dry

And his spring will dry up;

It will plunder his treasury of every precious article.

16 [m]Samaria will pay the penalty for her guilt,

Because she has rebelled against her God.

They will fall by the sword,

Their children will be [n]slaughtered,

And their pregnant women will be ripped open.


  1. Hosea 13:1 Or spoke with trembling, he exalted
  2. Hosea 13:2 Or according to their skill
  3. Hosea 13:2 Lit sacrificers of; or among mankind
  4. Hosea 13:3 Lit goes away early
  5. Hosea 13:5 Or knew
  6. Hosea 13:7 Or watch
  7. Hosea 13:8 Lit the enclosure of their heart
  8. Hosea 13:9 Lit It has destroyed you
  9. Hosea 13:13 Lit it is the time that he should not remain at the opening of children
  10. Hosea 13:14 Lit hand
  11. Hosea 13:14 Or stings
  12. Hosea 13:15 Another reading is brothers
  13. Hosea 13:16 Ch 14:1 in Heb
  14. Hosea 13:16 Lit shattered