December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 Hear this, O priests, Pay attention, O house of Israel, O household of the king, give ear! It is you who are called to judgment. For you have become a snare at Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.
- In their perversity they have sunk into wickedness, and I am rejected by them all.
- I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from me; Now Ephraim has played the harlot, Israel is defiled.
- Their deeds do not allow them to return to their God; For the spirit of harlotry is in them, and they do not recognize the LORD.
- The arrogance of Israel bears witness against him; Ephraim stumbles in his guilt, and Judah stumbles with them.
- With their flocks and their herds they shall go to seek the LORD, but they shall not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them.
- They have been untrue to the LORD, for they have begotten illegitimate children; Now shall the new moon devour them together with their fields.
- 2 3 Blow the horn in Gibeah, the trumpet in Ramah! Sound the alarm in Beth-aven: "Look behind you, O Benjamin!"
- Ephraim shall become a waste on the day of chastisement: Against the tribes of Israel I announce what is sure to be.
- 4 The princes of Judah have become like those that move a boundary line; Upon them I will pour out my wrath like water.
- 5 Is Ephraim maltreated, his rights violated? No, he has willingly gone after filth!
- 6 I am like a moth for Ephraim, like maggots for the house of Judah.
- 7 When Ephraim saw his infirmity, and Judah his sore, Ephraim went to Assyria, and Judah sent to the great king. But he cannot heal you nor take away your sore.
- For I am like a lion to Ephraim, like a young lion to the house of Judah; It is I who rend the prey and depart, I carry it away and no one can save it from me.
- 8 I will go back to my place until they pay for their guilt and seek my presence.
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1  Mizpah: probably the Mizpah in Transjordan is meant; cf Joshua 11:8. Tabor: the mountain that dominates the valley of Jezreel.
2 [8-14] This passage refers to the Syro-Ephraimite war of 735-734 B.C., when a coalition of Arameans and Israelites attempted to dethrone the king of Judah. Judah repulsed the attempt with the aid of Assyria, and the latter devastated both Aram and Israel; cf 2 Kings 16:5-9. Hosea condemns both Israel and Judah for the war.
3  A vision of invasion, from Gibeah and Ramah in northern Judah, into Israel.
4  Like those that move a boundary line: comparison of the invaders to a classic case of social injustice; cf Deut 19:14; 27:17; Proverb 23:10-11.
5  Gone after filth: by allying himself with Aram.
6  Moth . . . maggots: internal corruption will work the Lord's punishment on both Israel and Judah.
7  Ephraim went . . . the great king: in 738 B.C. the Israelite King Manahem had to pay tribute to the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III, whose vassal he became (2 Kings 15:19-20). Under the threat of the Syro-Ephraimite invasion King Ahaz of Judah also submitted himself and his country to Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 16:7-9). "The great king" was the title used by the Assyrian kings.
8  The Lord withdraws himself from Israel, hoping for its repentance.
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