Hosea 10

1Yisrael is a ravaged vine 1 And its fruit is like it. When his fruit was plentiful, He made altars aplenty; When his land was bountiful, Cult pillars abounded.

GE-fen bo-KAYK yis-ra-AYL p'-REE y'-sha-veh LO k'-ROV l'-fir-YO hir-BAH la-miz-b'-KHOT k'-TOV l'-ar-TZO hay-TEE-vu ma-tzay-VOT

אגֶּפֶן בּוֹקֵק יִשְׂרָאֵל פְּרִי יְשַׁוֶּה־לּוֹ כְּרֹב לְפִרְיוֹ הִרְבָּה לַמִּזְבְּחוֹת כְּטוֹב לְאַרְצוֹ הֵיטִיבוּ מַצֵּבוֹת׃

 10:1  Yisrael is a ravaged vine

Grapes on a vine in Shtula, Israel

Throughout the Bible, Israel is compared to a grapevine (see, for example, Isaiah 5). Hoshea uses this metaphor to describe how as Israel prospered, they lavished even more money on their idolatries, shedding their relationship with God like an overburdened vine casts off its grapes. The Hebrew word for ‘ravaged,’ bokek (בוקק), is a play on words, and means both ‘to empty’ and to ‘lay waste’ (see Isaiah 24:1, Nahum 2:3), and also ‘luxuriant.’ Though originally prosperous, the people use their wealth inappropriately, which leads to exile of the people and to the land becoming empty and barren.

2Now that his boughs are broken up, He feels his guilt; He himself pulls apart his altars, Smashes his pillars.

בחָלַק לִבָּם עַתָּה יֶאְשָׁמוּ הוּא יַעֲרֹף מִזְבְּחוֹתָם יְשֹׁדֵד מַצֵּבוֹתָם׃

3Truly, now they say, “We have no king; For, since we do not fear Hashem, What can a king do to us?”

גכִּי עַתָּה יֹאמְרוּ אֵין מֶלֶךְ לָנוּ כִּי לֹא יָרֵאנוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה וְהַמֶּלֶךְ מַה־יַּעֲשֶׂה־לָּנוּ׃

4So they conclude agreements and make covenants With false oaths, And justice degenerates into poison weeds, Breaking out on the furrows of the fields.

דדִּבְּרוּ דְבָרִים אָלוֹת שָׁוְא כָּרֹת בְּרִית וּפָרַח כָּרֹאשׁ מִשְׁפָּט עַל תַּלְמֵי שָׂדָי׃

5The inhabitants of Shomron fear For the calf of Beit Aven; Indeed, its people and priestlings, Whose joy it once was, Mourn over it for the glory That is departed from it.

הלְעֶגְלוֹת בֵּית אָוֶן יָגוּרוּ שְׁכַן שֹׁמְרוֹן כִּי־אָבַל עָלָיו עַמּוֹ וּכְמָרָיו עָלָיו יָגִילוּ עַל־כְּבוֹדוֹ כִּי־גָלָה מִמֶּנּוּ׃

6It too shall be brought to Assyria As tribute to a patron king; Efraim shall be chagrined, Yisrael shall be dismayed Because of his plans.

וגַּם־אוֹתוֹ לְאַשּׁוּר יוּבָל מִנְחָה לְמֶלֶךְ יָרֵב בָּשְׁנָה אֶפְרַיִם יִקָּח וְיֵבוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעֲצָתוֹ׃

7Shomron's monarchy is vanishing Like foam upon water,

זנִדְמֶה שֹׁמְרוֹן מַלְכָּהּ כְּקֶצֶף עַל־פְּנֵי־מָיִם׃

8Ruined shall be the shrines of [Beth-]aven, That sin of Yisrael. Thorns and thistles Shall grow on their altars. They shall call to the mountains, “Bury us!” To the hills, “Fall on us!”

חוְנִשְׁמְדוּ בָּמוֹת אָוֶן חַטַּאת יִשְׂרָאֵל קוֹץ וְדַרְדַּר יַעֲלֶה עַל־מִזְבְּחוֹתָם וְאָמְרוּ לֶהָרִים כַּסּוּנוּ וְלַגְּבָעוֹת נִפְלוּ עָלֵינוּ׃

9You have sinned more, O Yisrael, Than in the days of Giva. There they stand [as] at Giva! Shall they not be overtaken By a war upon scoundrels

טמִימֵי הַגִּבְעָה חָטָאתָ יִשְׂרָאֵל שָׁם עָמָדוּ לֹא־תַשִּׂיגֵם בַּגִּבְעָה מִלְחָמָה עַל־בְּנֵי עַלְוָה׃

10As peoples gather against them? When I chose [them], I broke them in, Harnessing them for two furrows.

יבְּאַוָּתִי וְאֶסֳּרֵם וְאֻסְּפוּ עֲלֵיהֶם עַמִּים בְּאָסְרָם לִשְׁתֵּי עינתם [עוֹנֹתָם׃]

11Efraim became a trained heifer, But preferred to thresh; I placed a yoke Upon her sleek neck. I will make Efraim do advance plowing; Yehuda shall do [main] plowing! Yaakov shall do final plowing!

יאוְאֶפְרַיִם עֶגְלָה מְלֻמָּדָה אֹהַבְתִּי לָדוּשׁ וַאֲנִי עָבַרְתִּי עַל־טוּב צַוָּארָהּ אַרְכִּיב אֶפְרַיִם יַחֲרוֹשׁ יְהוּדָה יְשַׂדֶּד־לוֹ יַעֲקֹב׃

12“Sow righteousness for yourselves; Reap the fruits of goodness; Break for yourselves betimes fresh ground Of seeking Hashem, So that you may obtain a teacher of righteousness.”

יבזִרְעוּ לָכֶם לִצְדָקָה קִצְרוּ לְפִי־חֶסֶד נִירוּ לָכֶם נִיר וְעֵת לִדְרוֹשׁ אֶת־יְהֹוָה עַד־יָבוֹא וְיֹרֶה צֶדֶק לָכֶם׃

13You have plowed wickedness, You have reaped iniquity— [And] you shall eat the fruits of treachery— Because you relied on your way, On your host of warriors.

יגחֲרַשְׁתֶּם־רֶשַׁע עַוְלָתָה קְצַרְתֶּם אֲכַלְתֶּם פְּרִי־כָחַשׁ כִּי־בָטַחְתָּ בְדַרְכְּךָ בְּרֹב גִּבּוֹרֶיךָ׃

14But the din of war shall arise in your own people, And all your fortresses shall be ravaged As Beth-arbel was ravaged by Shalman On a day of battle, When mothers and babes were dashed to death together.

ידוְקָאם שָׁאוֹן בְּעַמֶּךָ וְכָל־מִבְצָרֶיךָ יוּשַּׁד כְּשֹׁד שַׁלְמַן בֵּית אַרְבֵאל בְּיוֹם מִלְחָמָה אֵם עַל־בָּנִים רֻטָּשָׁה׃

15This is what Beit El has done to you For your horrible wickedness: At dawn shall Yisrael's monarchy Utterly perish.

טוכָּכָה עָשָׂה לָכֶם בֵּית־אֵל מִפְּנֵי רָעַת רָעַתְכֶם בַּשַּׁחַר נִדְמֹה נִדְמָה מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃