Hosea 1
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1  The word of Hashem that came unto Hoshea the son of B’eri in the days of Uzziahu Yotam Achaz and Chizkiyahu kings of Yehudah and in the days of Yerovam the son of Yoash king of Yisrael.

א  דְּבַר יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר הָיָה אֶל הוֹשֵׁעַ בֶּן בְּאֵרִי בִּימֵי עֻזִּיָּה יוֹתָם אָחָז יְחִזְקִיָּה מַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה וּבִימֵי יָרָבְעָם בֶּן יוֹאָשׁ מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל.

2  When Hashem spoke at first with Hoshea Hashem said unto Hoshea: ‘Go take unto thee a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry; for the land doth commit great harlotry departing from Hashem.’

ב  תְּחִלַּת דִּבֶּר יְהוָה בְּהוֹשֵׁעַ וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל הוֹשֵׁעַ לֵךְ קַח לְךָ אֵשֶׁת זְנוּנִים וְיַלְדֵי זְנוּנִים כִּי זָנֹה תִזְנֶה הָאָרֶץ מֵאַחֲרֵי יְהוָה.

3  So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived and bore him a son.

ג  וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיִּקַּח אֶת גֹּמֶר בַּת דִּבְלָיִם וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד לוֹ בֵּן.

4  And Hashem said unto him: ‘Call his name Yizrael; for yet a little while and I will visit the blood of Yizrael upon the house of Yehu and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Yisrael.

va-YO-mer a-do-NAI ay-LAV k’-RA sh’-MO yiz-r’-EL kee od m’-AT u-fa-kad-TEE et d’-MAY yiz-r’-EL al bayt yay-HU v’-hish-ba-TEE mam-l’-KHUT bayt yis-ra-AYL

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלָיו קְרָא שְׁמוֹ יִזְרְעֶאל כִּי עוֹד מְעַט וּפָקַדְתִּי אֶת דְּמֵי יִזְרְעֶאל עַל בֵּית יֵהוּא וְהִשְׁבַּתִּי מַמְלְכוּת בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל.

1:4  I will visit the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu

Hosea describes how the nation’s present troubles stem from the manner in which the ruling dynasty of the Kingdom of Israel, the house of Jehu, achieved power. The Jezreel valley runs through the northern hills of Israel, from Megiddo to Beth-shean, and was one of the major highways in antiquity. The ancient city of Jezreel, located on the western edge of the Gilboa mountain, overlooked the valley and was a very important city for the Northern Kingdom of Israel. It was strategically located, affording great military advantage, and the nearby Jezreel spring provided ample water for the city as well as travellers. It was there where the coup d’état, in which Jehu overthrows the idolatrous house of Ahab, took place. Though originally supported by the prophet Elisha, the takeover became exceedingly violent and bloodthirsty, and Hosea promises that Jehu will be punished accordingly. Hosea reminds us that even when accompanied with good intentions, power and authority can easily corrupt.

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5  And it shall come to pass at that day that I will break the bow of Yisrael in the valley of Yizrael.’

ה  וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וְשָׁבַרְתִּי אֶת קֶשֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּעֵמֶק יִזְרְעֶאל.

6  And she conceived again and bore a daughter. And He said unto him: ‘Call her name Lo-ruhamah; for I will no more have compassion upon the house of Yisrael that I should in any wise pardon them.

ו  וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בַּת וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ קְרָא שְׁמָהּ לֹא רֻחָמָה כִּי לֹא אוֹסִיף עוֹד אֲרַחֵם אֶת בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי נָשֹׂא אֶשָּׂא לָהֶם.

7  But I will have compassion upon the house of Yehudah and will save them by Hashem their God and will not save them by bow nor by sword nor by battle nor by horses nor by horsemen.’

ז  וְאֶת בֵּית יְהוּדָה אֲרַחֵם וְהוֹשַׁעְתִּים בַּיהוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְלֹא אוֹשִׁיעֵם בְּקֶשֶׁת וּבְחֶרֶב וּבְמִלְחָמָה בְּסוּסִים וּבְפָרָשִׁים.

8  Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah she conceived and bore a son.

ח  וַתִּגְמֹל אֶת לֹא רֻחָמָה וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן.

9  And He said: ‘Call his name Lo-ammi; for ye are not My people and I will not be yours.’

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר קְרָא שְׁמוֹ לֹא עַמִּי כִּי אַתֶּם לֹא עַמִּי וְאָנֹכִי לֹא אֶהְיֶה לָכֶם.

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Hosea 2

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Hosea 1