Hosea 12
Contemporary English Version

1All day long Israel chases

wind from the desert;

deceit and violence

are found everywhere.

Treaties are made with Assyria;

olive oil is taken to Egypt.

Israel and Judah Condemned

2The Lord also brings charges

against the people of Judah,

the descendants of Jacob.

He will punish them

for what they have done.

3 Even before Jacob was born,

he cheated his brother,+

and when he grew up,

he fought against God.+

4 At Bethel, Jacob wrestled

with an angel and won;

then with tears in his eyes,

he asked for a blessing,

and God spoke to us+ there.

5God's name is the Lord,

the Lord God All-Powerful.

6So return to your God.

Patiently trust him,

and show love and justice.

7Israel, you enjoy cheating

and taking advantage

of others.

8You say to yourself, “I'm rich!

I earned it all on my own,

without committing a sin.”+

The Lord Is Still the God of Israel

9 Israel, I, the Lord,

am still your God,

just as I have been

since the time

you were in Egypt.

Now I will force you

to live in tents once again,

as you did in the desert.+

10I spoke to the prophets—

often I spoke in visions.

And so, I will send my prophets

with messages of doom.

11Gilead is terribly sinful

and will end up ruined.

Bulls are sacrificed in Gilgal

on altars made of stones,

but those stones will be scattered

in every field.

12 Jacob+ escaped to Syria+

where he tended sheep

to earn himself a wife.

13 I sent the prophet Moses

to lead Israel from Egypt

and to keep them safe.

14Israel, I will make you pay

for your violent crimes

and for insulting me.


12.3 Jacob … cheated … brother: In Hebrew “Jacob” sounds like “cheat” and also like “heel.” Jacob grabbed his twin brother Esau by the heel at the time of their birth (see Genesis 25.26). Later he cheated him out of his rights and blessings as the first-born son (see Genesis 25.29-34; 27.1-40).
12.3 fought against God: See Genesis 32.22-32.
12.4 us: Hebrew; two ancient translations “him.”
12.8 without … sin: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
12.9 as … desert: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. This probably refers to the 40 years of wandering through the desert after leaving Egypt, though it could refer to the “tents” (or “shelters”) in which the Israelites lived during the Festival of Shelters (see 9.5,6).
12.12 Jacob: His name was later changed to Israel (see Genesis 32.28), and he became the ancestor of the nation by that name.
12.12 Syria: The Hebrew text has “Aram,” probably referring to northern Syria in the region of Haran.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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