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The Book of the Prophet Oseas

(Hosea)

 

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Chapter 1

      This is the word of the Lord, that came unto Oseas the son of Beeri, in the days of Oseas, Joathan, Ahaz, and Jezekiah kings of Judah: and in time of Jeroboam the son of Joas king of Israell.
      First , when the Lord spake unto Oseas he said unto him: Go thy way, take an harlot to thy wife, and get children by her: for the land hath committed great whoredom against the Lord. So he went, and took Gomer the daughter of Deblaim: which conceived, and brought forth a son. And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Iesrael, for I will shortly avenge the blood of Iesrael upon the house of Jehu, and will bring the kingdom of the house of Israell to and end. Then will I break the bow of Israell in the valley of Iesrael.
      She conceived again, and bare a daughter. And he said unto him: Call her name Loruhamah ( that is, not obtaining mercy ) for I will not pity the house of Israell, but forget them, and put them clean out of remembrance. Nevertheless I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them even through the Lord their God. But I will not deliver them through any bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen.
      Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said he: call his name *Loamy. for why? ye are not my people, therefore I will not be yours. And though the number of the children of Israell be as the sand of the sea, which neither be measured nor told: yet in the place where it is said unto them, Ye be not my people: even there shall it be thus reported of them: they be the children of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together again, and chose themselves one head, and then depart out of the land: for great shall be the day of Israel.

 

*Loamy *(not my people: Heb)

 

 

 

Chapter 2

      Tell your brethren, that they are my people: and your sister, that they have obtained mercy. As for your mother, ye shall chide with her, and reprove her: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband, unless she put away her whoredoms out of my sight, and adulteries from her breasts. If no I strip her naked, and set her, even as she came into the world: yee I shall lately he waste, and make her like a wilderness, and slay her for thirst. I shall have no pity also upon her children, for they be the children of fornication.
      Their mother hath broken her wedlock, and she that bare them, is come into confusion. For she said: I will go after my lovers, that give me my water and bread, my wool and flax, mine oil and my drink. But I will hedge her way with thorns, and stop it, that she shall not find her footsteps: and she though she run after her lovers, yet she shall not get them: she shall seek them, but not find them. Then shall she say: I will go turn again to my first husband, for at that time was I better at ease, then now. But this would she not know, where as I yet gave her corn, wine, and oil, silver and gold, which she hanged upon Baall.
      Wherefore now will I go take my corn and wine in their season, and set again my wool and my flax, which I gave her to cover her shame. And now will I discover her foolishness, even in the sight of her lovers, and no man shall deliver her out of my hands. Moreover I will take away all her mirth, her holy days, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts: I will destroy her vineyards and fig trees, though she sayeth: lo, here are my rewards, that my lovers have given me. I will make it a wood, and the wild beasts shall eat it up. I will punish her the days of Baall, wherein she censed him, decking him with her earrings and chains: when she followed her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord.
      Wherefore behold, I will call her again bring her into a wilderness, and speak friendly unto her: there will I give her, her vineyards again, yee and the valley of *Achor to show her hope and comfort. Then shall she sing there as in the time of her youth, and like as in the day when she came out of the land of Egypt. Then ( saith the Lord she shall say unto me: O my husband, and shalt call me no more Baali: for I will take away those names of Baall from her mouth, yee she shall never remember their names any more. Then will I make a covenant with them, with the wild beasts, with the fowls of the air, and with everything that creepeth upon the earth.
      As for the bow, sword and battle, I will destroy such out of the land, and will make them to sleep safely. Thus I will marry thee unto mine own self forevermore: yee even to myself will I marry thee, in righteousness, in equity, in lovingkindness, and mercy. In faith also will I marry thee, unto myself, and thou shalt know the Lord. At the same time will I show myself friendly and gracious unto the heavens, sayeth the Lord: and the heavens shall help the earth, and the earth shall help the corn, wine, and the oil, and they shall help Iesrael. I will sow them upon the earth, for a seed to mine own self, and will have mercy upon her, that was without mercy. And to them which were not my people, I will say: Thou art my people. And he shall say: thou art my God.

 

*Achor= troublesome times Hebrew

 

 

 

Chapter 3

      Then said the Lord to me: Go yet thy way and vow an adulteress woman, whom thy neighbor loveth, as the Lord doth the children of Israell: how be it they have respect to strange gods, and love the wine cans. So I get her for fifteen silverlings, and for an homer and an half of barley, and said unto her: Thou shalt bide with me a long season, but see that thou not play the harlot, and take thou meddle with none other man, and then will I keep myself for thee.
      Thus the children of Israel shall sit a great while without king and prince, without offering and alter, without priest and revelation. But afterward shall the children of Israel convert, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king: and in the latter days they shall worship the Lord, and his loving kindness.

 

 

 

Chapter 4

      Hear the word of the Lord, O ye children of Israel: For the Lord must punish them, that dwell in the land. And why? There is no faithfulness, there is no mercy, there is no knowledge of God in the land: but swearing, lying, manslaughter, theft, and *advoutry have gotten the overhand, and one bloodgileinesse follow another. Therefore shall the land be in a miserable cause, and they that dwell therein, shall mourn. The beasts in the field, the fowls in the air, and the fishes in the sea shall die. Yet is there none, I will chasten nor reprove another. The priests which should reform other men, are become like the people.
      Therefore stumblest thou in the daytime and the prophet with them the night. I will bring thy mother to silence, and why? my people perish, because they have no knowledge. Seeing then that thou hast refused understanding, therefore I will refuse thee also: for that thou shalt no more be my priest. And for so much as thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. The more they increased in the multitude, the more they sinned against me, therefore will I change their honor into shame. They eat up the sins of my people, and courage them in their wickedness. Thus the priest has become like the people. Wherefore I will punish them for their wicked ways, and reward them according to their own imaginations. They shall eat, and not have enough: they have *used whoredom, therefore they shall not prosper: and why ?they have forsaken the Lord, and not regarded him.
       Whoredom, wine and drunkenness take the heart away. My people ask counsel at their stocks, their staff must tell them. For an whorish mind hath deceived them, so that they commit fornication against their God. They make sacrifices upon the high mountains, and burn their incense upon the hills, yee among the oaks, groves and bushes, for their are good shadows. Therefore your daughters have become harlots, and your spouses have broken their wedlock, I will not punish your daughters for being defiled, and your brides that became whores: seeing the fathers themselves have meddled with harlots, and offered with unthirftiness: but the people that will not understand must be punished.
      Though thou Israel are disposed to play the harlot, yet shouldest thou not have offended, O Juda: thou shouldest not have run to Galgala, nor gone up to Bethhaven, nor have sworn, the Lord liveth. For Israel is gone back like a wanton cow. The Lord shall make her feed, as the lamb that goeth astray. And whereas Ephraim is become a partaker of Idols, well, let him go. Their drunkenness has put them back, and brought them to whoredom. Their rulers love rewards, bring ( sayeth they ) to their own shame. A wind shall take hold of their feathers, and they shall be confounded in their offerings.

 

*advoutry: prefix "a" meaning not or without, devout: devotion; plain hearted to God, being devoted to something or some one else. see James 2 for adultery.
*used whoredom=/ or fornication in all the prophets, means to take another God then the true God and / to serve images or to believe in them MN

 

 

 

Chapter 5

      Ye priests: hear this, take heed, O thou household of Israel: give a ear, O thou kingly house: for this punishment will come upon you, that are become a snare unto Mizphah, and a spread net unto Thabbr. They kill sacrifices by heaps, to beguile the people therewith: therefore I will punish them all. I know Ephraim well enough, and Israell is not hid from me: for Ephraim has become an harlot: and Israel is defiled. They are not minded to turn unto their God, for they have an whorish heart so that they can not know the Lord.
      But the pride of Israel will be rewarded him in his face, yee both Israel and Ephraim shall fall for their wickedness, and Judah with them also. They shall come with their sheep and bullocks to seek the Lord, but they shall not find him, for he is gone from them. As for the Lord, they have refused him, and brought up bastard children: a moth therefore shall devour them with their portions. Blow with the *shawmes at Gabea, and with the trumpet in Ramah, cry out at Bethaven upon the farside of Benjamin. In that time of the plague shall Ephraim be laid waste, therefore did I faithfully warn the tribes of Israel. Yet are the princes of Juda become like them, that remove the landmarks, therefore will I pour out my wrath upon them like water. Ephraim is oppressed, and can have no right of law: for why? they follow the doctrines of men. Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Juda as a caterpillar.
      When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his disease: Ephraim went to Assur, and sent unto king Jareb: yet could he not help you, nor ease you of your pain. For I am unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a lions whelp to the house of Judah. Even I, I will spoil them, and go my way. I will take them with me, and no man shall rescue them. I will go, and return to my place, till they wax faint, and seek me.

 

*shawmes ( cornet )

 

 

 

Chapter 6

      In their adversity they shall seek me, and say: come, let us turn again to the Lord: for he hath smitten us, and he shall heal us: He hath wounded us, and he shall bind us up again: after two days he shall quicken us, in the third day he shall raise us up, so that we shall live in his sight. Then we shall have understanding, and endeavor ourselves to know the Lord. He shall go forth as the spring of the day, and come unto us as the evening and morning rain upon the earth.
      O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, how shall I entreat thee? seeing your love is like a morning cloud, and like a dew that goeth early away. Therefore have I cut down the prophets, and let them be slain for my words sake: so that thy punishment shall come to light. For I have pleasure in loving kindness, and not in offering: yee in the knowledge of God, more then in burnt sacrifice. But even like as Adam did so have they broken my covenant, and set me at naught. Galaad is a city of wicked doers, of malicious people and bloodshedders. The multitude of priests is like a heap of thieves, murderers and bloodthirsty: for they have wrought abomination. Horrible things have I seen in the house of Israel, there playeth Ephraim the harlot, and Israell is defiled: but Judah shall have an harvest for himself, when I return the captivity of my people.

 

 

 

Chapter 7

      When I undertake to make Israel whole, then the ungraciousness of Ephraim and the wickedness of Samaria cometh to light: then they go about with lies. At home, they be thieves: and without they fall to robbing. They consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness. they go about with their own intentions, but I see them well enough. They make the king and the princes, to have pleasure in their wickedness and lies. All these burn in *advoutry, as it were an oven that the baker heateth, when he hath left kneading, till the dough be leavened. Even so goeth it this day with our kings and princes, for they begin to be wood drunken through wine: they use familiarity with such as deceive them. They with the imagination of their heart are like an oven, their sleep is all night like the sleep of a baker, in the morning is he as hot as the flame of fire: they are altogether as hot as an oven.
      They have devoured their own judges, all their kings are fallen: yet there is none of them that calleth upon me. Therefore must Ephraim be mixed among the Heathen. Ephraim is become like a cake, that no man turneth: Strangers have devoured his strength, yet he regardeth it not: he waxeth full of gray hairs, yet will he not know it: And the pride of Israel is cast down before their face, yee will they not return to the Lord their God, nor seek him for all this.
      Ephraim is like a dove, that is beguiled, and hath no heart. Now call they upon the Egyptians, now go they to the Assyrians: but while they be going here and there, I shall spread my net over them, and draw them down as the fowls of the air: and according as they have been warned, so will I punish them, for they have forsaken me. They must be destroyed, for they have set me at nought. I am he that have redeemed them, and yet they dissemble with me. They call not upon me with their hearts, but lie howling on their beds. Where as they come together, it is but for meat and drink, and me will they not obey. I have taught them, and defended their army, yet do they imagine mischief against me. They turn themselves, but not a right, and are become as a broken bow. Their princes shall be slain with the sword, for the malice of their tongues, such blasphemes have they learned in the land of Egypt.

 

*advoutry: prefix "a" meaning not or without, devout: devotion; plain hearted to God, being devoted to something or some one else. see James 2 for adultery.

 

 

 

Chapter 8

      Set the trumpet to thy mouth. and blow: get thee swiftly (as an eagle) into the house of the Lord: for they have broken my covenant, and transgressed my law. Israel can say unto me: thou art my God. we know thee: but he hath refused the thing that is good, therefore shall the enemy follow upon him. They have ordained kings, but not through me: they have made princes, and I must not know of it. Of their silver and their gold have they made them images, to bring themselves destruction. Thy calf, O Samaria, shall be taken away for my wrothfull indignation is gone forth against thee. How long will it be, or they can be cleansed? For the calf came from Israel, the workman made it therefore can it be no God, but even to the spiders web shall the calf of Samaria be turned. They have sown wind, therefore shall they reap a storm.
      Their seed shall bare no corn, there shall no meal be made of their increase: though they reap, yet shall strangers devour it up. Israel shall perish, the Gentiles shall entreat him as a foul vessel. Since they went up to the Assyrians, they are become like a wild ass in the desert.
      Ephraim giveth rewards to get lovers. Therefore are they scattered among the Heathen, There will I gather them up. They shall soon be weary of the burden of the king and princes. Ephraim hath made many altars to do wickedness, therefore shall the altars to his sin. Though I show then my law never so much, they count it as strange doctrine. Where as they do sacrifice, offering the flesh and eating it: The Lord will have no pleasure therein: but will remember their wickednesses, and punish their sins. Israel turneth again into Egypt, they have forgotten him that made them, they build churches, and Juda maketh many strong cities: therefore will I send a fire into their cities, and it shall consume their places.

 

 

 

Chapter 9

      Do not triumph, O Israel make no boasting more then the Heathen, for thou hast committed *advoutry against thy God: strange rewards hast thou loved, more than all thy corn floors. Therefore shall they no more enjoy the corn floors and winepresses, and their sweet wine shall fail in them. They will not dwell in the Lords land, but Ephraim turneth again into Egypt, and eateth unclean things among the Assyrians. They pour out no wine for a drink offering unto the Lord, neither give they him their slain offerings: but they be unto them as mourners meats, wherein all they that eat them, are defiled. For the bread that they have such lust unto, shall not come into the house of the Lord. What will ye do then in the solemn days, and in the feast of the Lord? Lo, they shall get them away for the destruction? Egypt shall receive them, and Noph shall bury them.
      The nettles shall overgrow their pleasant goods, and burrs shall be in their tabernacles. Be ye sure ( O Israel ) the time of visitation is come, the days of recompensing are at hand. As for the prophet, ye hold him for a fool: and him that is rich in spirit, for a mad man: so great is your wickedness and malice. Ephraim hath made himself a watchman of my God, a prophet that is become a snare to do hurt in every street, an abomination in the house of his God. They be gone too far, like as they did afore time at Gabaa. Therefore their wickedness shall be remembered, and their sins punished.
      I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness, and saw their fathers as the first figs in the top of the fig tree. But they are gone to Baal Peor, and ruin. away from me to that shameful Idol, and are become as abominable as their lovers. Ephraim*, flyeth like a bird, so shall their glory also: In so much, that they shall neither beget, conceive nor bare children. And though they bring up any, yet will I make them childless among men. Yee woe shall come to them, when I depart from them. Ephraim ( as me think ) is planted in wickedness, like Tyrus, but now must she bring her own children forth to the manslayer.
      O' Lord thou shalt give them: what shalt thou give them? give them an unfruitful womb and dry breasts. All their wickedness is done in Gilgall, there do I abhor them. For the ungraciousness of their own inventions, I will drive them out of mine house. I will love them no more, for all their princes are unfaithful. Ephraim is hewn down, their root is dried up, for they shall bring no more fruit: yee and though they bring forth any, yet will I slay even the best beloved fruit of their body. My God shall cast them away, for they have not been obedient unto him, therefore shall they go astray among the Heathen.

 

*advoutry: prefix "a" meaning not or without, devout: devotion; plain hearted to God, being devoted to something or some one else. see James 2 for adultery

 

 

 

Chapter 10

      Israell was a goodly vine, but he brought forth unprofitable fruit: yee the more fruit he had the more alters he made: the more good I did to their land, the more friendship they showed to their Images. Their heart is divided, therefore they will be destroyed. The Lord shall break down their Images, he shall destroy their altars. Then shall say: we have no king, for why? we have not feared the Lord. And what shall then the king do to us? They commune together, and swear vain oaths: they be confederate together, therefore groweth their punishment, as the weeds in the furrows of the land.
      They that dwell in Samaria have worshiped the calf of Bethaven: therefore shall the people mourn over them, yee and the priests also, that in their wealthiness rejoiced with them: and why? it shall pass away from them. It shall be brought to the Assyrian for a present unto king Jareb. Ephraim shall receive full punishment: Israel shall be confounded for his own imaginations, Samaria with his king shall vanish away, as the scum in the water. The high places of Aven, where Israel do sin, shall be cast down: thistles and thorns shall grow upon their alters. then they shall say to the mountains: cover us, and to the hills: fall upon us.
      O Israel, thou hast sinned as Gabaa did afore time, where they remained: should not the battle then come upon the wicked children, as well as upon the Gabaonites? I will chasten them, even after mine own desire, the people shall be gathered together over them, when I punish them for their great wickedness. Ephraim was unto me, as a cow that is used to go to the plow, therefore I loved him, and fell upon his fair neck. I drove Ephraim, Juda plowed, and Jacob played the husbandman: that they might sow unto righteousness, and reap the fruits of well doing: that they might plow up their fresh land and seek the Lord, till he came, and learned them righteousness.
      But now they have plowed them wickedness, therefore shall they reap sin, and eat the fruit of lies. Seeing thou puttest thy confidence in thine own ways, and leanest to the multitude of thy worthies: there shall grow a sedition among thy people. All thy strong cities shall be laid waste, even as Salmana was destroyed with his families, through him that was avenged of Abel, in the day of battle where the mother perished with the children . Even so shall it go with you ( O Bethel ) because of your malicious wickedness. Like as the morning goeth away, so shall the king of Israel pass.

 

 

 

Chapter 11

      When Israel was young, I loved him: and called him my son out of Egypt. But the more they were called, the more they went back, offering to Idols, and censing Images. I learned Ephraim to go, and bare them in mine arms, but they regarded not me, that would have helped them. I led them with cords of friendship, and with bands of love. I was even he, that laid the yoke upon their necks. I gave them their fodder myself, that they should not go again into Egypt. And now is Assur their king: for they would not turn unto me. Therefore shall the sword begin in their cities, the store that they have laid up, shall be destroyed and eaten: and that because of their own imaginations. My people have no lust to turn to unto me, their prophets lay the yoke upon them, but they ease them not of their burden.
      What great things have I given thee, O Ephraim? how faithfully have I defended thee, O Israel? have I dealt with thee as Adam? or have I entreated thee like Seboim? No, my heart is otherwise minded. Yee my mercy is to fervent: therefore have I not turned me to destroy Ephraim in my wrothful displeasure. For I am God, and no man, I am even that holy one in the midst of thee, though I am not within the city.
      The Lord roareth like a lion, that they might follow him: yee as a lion roareth he, that they may be afraid like the children of the sea: that they may be scattered away from Egypt, as men scare birds: and frayed away ( as doves use to be ) from the Assirians land: and that because I would have them tarry at home, sayeth the Lord. But Ephraim goeth about me with lies, and the house of Israel dissembleth. Only Juda holdeth him with God, and with the true holy things.

 

 

 

Chapter 12

      Ephraim leapeth the air, and followeth after the wind: he is ever increasing lies and destruction. They be confederate with the Assyrians, their oil is carried into Egypt. The Lord hath a court to hold with Judah, and will punish Jacob: After their own ways and according to their own intentions, shall he recompense them. He took his brother by the heel, when he was yet in his mothers womb: and in his strength he wrestled with God. He strove with the angel, and got the victory: so that he prayed and desired him. He found him at Bethel, and there he talked with us;
      The Lord God of hosts, even the Lord him self remembered him: Then turn to thy God, keep mercy and equity, and hope still in thy God. But the merchant hath a false weight in his hand, he hath a pleasure to occupy extortion. Ephraim thinkest thus: Tush, I am rich, I have good enough: In all my works shall not one fault be found, that I have offended. Yet I am the Lord thy God, even as when I brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and set thee in thy tents, and as in the high feast days.
      I have spoken through the prophets, and showed diverse visions, and declared myself by the ministration of the prophets. But at Galaad is the abomination, they are fallen to vanity. At Galgall they have slain oxen: and as many heaps of stones as they had in their land furrows, so many alters have they made. Jacob fled into the land of Syria, and Israell served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep.
      By a prophet the Lord brought them out of Egypt, and by a prophet he preserved them. But Ephraim provoked him to displeasure through his abominations; therefore shall his blood be poured upon himself, and the Lord his God shall reward him his blasphemes.

 

 

 

Chapter 13

      The abomination of Ephraim is come also into Israel. He is gone back to Baal, therefore must he die. And now they sin more and more: of their silver, they make them molten Images, like the idols of the Heathen, and yet all is nothing but the works of the craftsmen. Not withstanding they preach of the same: who so will kiss the calves, offereth to men. Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the dew that early passeth away, and like as the dust that the wind taketh away from the floor, and as smoke that goeth out of the chimney.
      I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: that thou shouldest know no God but me only, and that thou shouldest have no Savior but only me. I took diligent heed of thee in the wilderness, that dry land. But when they were well fed and had enough, they waxed proud, and forgot me. Therefore I will be unto them as a lion, and as a leopard in the way of the Assirians. I will come upon them as a bear, that is robbed of her whelps, and I will break that stubborn heart of theirs. There will I devour them as a lion: yee the wild beast shall tear them.
      O Israel, thou doest but destroyed thyself, In me only is thy help. Where are thy kings now, that shouldest help thee in all thy cities? Yee and thy judges, of whom thou sayest: give me a king and princes? well, I gave thee a king in my wrath, and in my displeasure will I take him from thee again. The wickedness of Ephraim is bound together, and his sin lieth hid. Therefore shall sorrows come upon him, as upon a woman that travaileth. An indiscrete son is he: for he considereth not, that he should not have been able to have endured the time of his birth, had I not defended him from the grave, and delivered him from death.
      O death, I will be thy death: O hell, I will be thy sting. Yet can I see no come forth, for when he is now the goodliest among the brethren, the East wind ( even the wind of the Lord ) shall come down from the wilderness, and dry up his conduits, and drink up his wells: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels.
      As for Samaria, they shall be made waste, and why? they are disobedient unto their God. They shall perish with the sword, their children shall be slain, and their women great with child shall be ripped up.

 

 

 

Chapter 14

      O Israel, turn thee now, unto the Lord thy God, for thou hast taken a great fall through thy wickedness. Take these words with you, when yee turn to the Lord, and say unto him: O forgive us all our sins, receive us graciously, and then will we offer thee bullocks of our lips unto thee. Assur shall be no more our helper, neither will we ride upon horses any more. As for the works of our hands, we will no more call upon them: for it is thou that art our God, thou showest ever mercy unto the fatherless.
      O ( if they would do this ) I should heal their sores: yee with all my heart would I love them: so that my wrath should clean be turned away from them: Yee I would be unto Israel as the dew, and he should grow as the lily, and his root should break out as Libanus. His branches should spread out abroad, and be as fair as the olive tree, and smell as Libanus. They that dwell under his shadow, should come again, and grow up as the corn, and flourish as the vine: he should have as good a name, as the wine Libanus.
      O Ephraim what have I to do with Idols any more? I will graciously hear him, and lead him forth. I will be unto thee as a green fir tree, upon me shalt thou find thy fruit Who so is wise, shall understand this: and he that is right instructed , will regard it. For the ways of the Lord are righteous such as be Godly will walk in them: As for the wicked, they will stumble therein.

 

 

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