New International Version

Hosea 12

1[a]Ephraim feeds on the wind;
    he pursues the east wind all day
    and multiplies lies and violence.
He makes a treaty with Assyria
    and sends olive oil to Egypt.
The Lord has a charge to bring against Judah;
    he will punish Jacob[b] according to his ways
    and repay him according to his deeds.
In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel;
    as a man he struggled with God.
He struggled with the angel and overcame him;
    he wept and begged for his favor.
He found him at Bethel
    and talked with him there—
the Lord God Almighty,
    the Lord is his name!
But you must return to your God;
    maintain love and justice,
    and wait for your God always.

The merchant uses dishonest scales
    and loves to defraud.
Ephraim boasts,
    “I am very rich; I have become wealthy.
With all my wealth they will not find in me
    any iniquity or sin.”

“I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
    as in the days of your appointed festivals.
10 I spoke to the prophets,
    gave them many visions
    and told parables through them.”

11 Is Gilead wicked?
    Its people are worthless!
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?
    Their altars will be like piles of stones
    on a plowed field.
12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram[c];
    Israel served to get a wife,
    and to pay for her he tended sheep.
13 The Lord used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,
    by a prophet he cared for him.
14 But Ephraim has aroused his bitter anger;
    his Lord will leave on him the guilt of his bloodshed
    and will repay him for his contempt.

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 12:1 In Hebrew texts 12:1-14 is numbered 12:2-15.
  2. Hosea 12:2 Jacob means he grasps the heel, a Hebrew idiom for he takes advantage of or he deceives.
  3. Hosea 12:12 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia

New Living Translation

Hosea 12

1[a]The people of Israel[b] feed on the wind;
    they chase after the east wind all day long.
They pile up lies and violence;
    they are making an alliance with Assyria
    while sending olive oil to buy support from Egypt.

Now the Lord is bringing charges against Judah.
    He is about to punish Jacob[c] for all his deceitful ways,
    and pay him back for all he has done.
Even in the womb,
    Jacob struggled with his brother;
when he became a man,
    he even fought with God.
Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won.
    He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him.
There at Bethel he met God face to face,
    and God spoke to him[d]
the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies,
    the Lord is his name!
So now, come back to your God.
    Act with love and justice,
    and always depend on him.

But no, the people are like crafty merchants
    selling from dishonest scales—
    they love to cheat.
Israel boasts, “I am rich!
    I’ve made a fortune all by myself!
No one has caught me cheating!
    My record is spotless!”

“But I am the Lord your God,
    who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.
And I will make you live in tents again,
    as you do each year at the Festival of Shelters.[e]
10 I sent my prophets to warn you
    with many visions and parables.”

11 But the people of Gilead are worthless
    because of their idol worship.
And in Gilgal, too, they sacrifice bulls;
    their altars are lined up like the heaps of stone
    along the edges of a plowed field.
12 Jacob fled to the land of Aram,
    and there he[f] earned a wife by tending sheep.
13 Then by a prophet
    the Lord brought Jacob’s descendants[g] out of Egypt;
and by that prophet
    they were protected.
14 But the people of Israel
    have bitterly provoked the Lord,
so their Lord will now sentence them to death
    in payment for their sins.

Footnotes

  1. 12:1a Verses 12:1-14 are numbered 12:2-15 in Hebrew text.
  2. 12:1b Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 12:8, 14.
  3. 12:2 Jacob sounds like the Hebrew word for “deceiver.”
  4. 12:4 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads to us.
  5. 12:9 Hebrew as in the days of your appointed feast.
  6. 12:12 Hebrew Israel. See note on 10:11b.
  7. 12:13 Hebrew brought Israel. See note on 10:11b.