Hosea 10
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Yisrael was a luxuriant vine which put forth fruit freely: as his fruit increased he increased his altars; the more goodly his land was the more goodly were his pillars.

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

א  גֶּפֶן בּוֹקֵק יִשְׂרָאֵל פְּרִי יְשַׁוֶּה לּוֹ כְּרֹב לְפִרְיוֹ הִרְבָּה לַמִּזְבְּחוֹת כְּטוֹב לְאַרְצוֹ הֵיטִיבוּ מַצֵּבוֹת.

10:1  Israel was a luxuriant vine

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

Comment

2  Their heart is divided; now shall they bear their guilt; He will break down their altars He will spoil their pillars.

ב  חָלַק לִבָּם עַתָּה יֶאְשָׁמוּ הוּא יַעֲרֹף מִזְבְּחוֹתָם יְשֹׁדֵד מַצֵּבוֹתָם.

3  Surely now shall they say: ‘We have no king; for we feared not Hashem; and the king what can he do for us?’

ג  כִּי עַתָּה יֹאמְרוּ אֵין מֶלֶךְ לָנוּ כִּי לֹא יָרֵאנוּ אֶת יְהוָה וְהַמֶּלֶךְ מַה יַּעֲשֶׂה לָּנוּ.

4  They speak words they swear falsely they make covenants; thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.

ד  דִּבְּרוּ דְבָרִים אָלוֹת שָׁוְא כָּרֹת בְּרִית וּפָרַח כָּרֹאשׁ מִשְׁפָּט עַל תַּלְמֵי שָׂדָי.

5  The inhabitants of Shomron shall be in dread for the calves of Beit Aven; for the people thereof shall mourn over it and the Kohanim thereof shall tremble for it for its glory because it is departed from it.

ה  לְעֶגְלוֹת בֵּית אָוֶן יָגוּרוּ שְׁכַן שֹׁמְרוֹן כִּי אָבַל עָלָיו עַמּוֹ וּכְמָרָיו עָלָיו יָגִילוּ עַל כְּבוֹדוֹ כִּי גָלָה מִמֶּנּוּ.

6  It also shall be carried unto Ashur for a present to King Contentious; Efraim shall receive shame and Yisrael shall be ashamed of his own counsel.

ו  גַּם אוֹתוֹ לְאַשּׁוּר יוּבָל מִנְחָה לְמֶלֶךְ יָרֵב בָּשְׁנָה אֶפְרַיִם יִקָּח וְיֵבוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵעֲצָתוֹ.

7  As for Shomron her king is cut off as foam upon the water.

ז  נִדְמֶה שֹׁמְרוֹן מַלְכָּהּ כְּקֶצֶף עַל פְּנֵי מָיִם.

8  The high places also of Aven shall be destroyed even the sin of Yisrael. The thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains: ‘Cover us’ and to the hills: ‘Fall on us.’

ח  וְנִשְׁמְדוּ בָּמוֹת אָוֶן חַטַּאת יִשְׂרָאֵל קוֹץ וְדַרְדַּר יַעֲלֶה עַל מִזְבְּחוֹתָם וְאָמְרוּ לֶהָרִים כַּסּוּנוּ וְלַגְּבָעוֹת נִפְלוּ עָלֵינוּ.

9  From the days of Givah thou hast sinned O Yisrael; there they stood; no battle was to overtake them in Givah nor the children of arrogancy.

ט  מִימֵי הַגִּבְעָה חָטָאתָ יִשְׂרָאֵל שָׁם עָמָדוּ לֹא תַשִּׂיגֵם בַּגִּבְעָה מִלְחָמָה עַל בְּנֵי עַלְוָה.

10  When it is My desire I will chastise them; and the peoples shall be gathered against them when they are yoked to their two rings.

י  בְּאַוָּתִי וְאֶסֳּרֵם וְאֻסְּפוּ עֲלֵיהֶם עַמִּים בְּאָסְרָם לִשְׁתֵּי עינתם (עוֹנוֹתָם).

11  And Efraim is a heifer well broken that loveth to thresh and I have passed over upon her fair neck; I will make Efraim to ride Yehudah shall plow Yaakov shall break his clods.

יא  וְאֶפְרַיִם עֶגְלָה מְלֻמָּדָה אֹהַבְתִּי לָדוּשׁ וַאֲנִי עָבַרְתִּי עַל טוּב צַוָּארָהּ אַרְכִּיב אֶפְרַיִם יַחֲרוֹשׁ יְהוּדָה יְשַׂדֶּד לוֹ יַעֲקֹב.

12  Sow to yourselves according to righteousness reap according to mercy break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek Hashem till He come and cause righteousness to rain upon you.

יב  זִרְעוּ לָכֶם לִצְדָקָה קִצְרוּ לְפִי חֶסֶד נִירוּ לָכֶם נִיר וְעֵת לִדְרוֹשׁ אֶת יְהוָה עַד יָבוֹא וְיֹרֶה צֶדֶק לָכֶם.

13  Ye have plowed wickedness ye have reaped iniquity ye have eaten the fruit of lies; for thou didst trust in thy way in the multitude of thy mighty men.

יג  חֲרַשְׁתֶּם רֶשַׁע עַוְלָתָה קְצַרְתֶּם אֲכַלְתֶּם פְּרִי כָחַשׁ כִּי בָטַחְתָּ בְדַרְכְּךָ בְּרֹב גִּבּוֹרֶיךָ.

14  Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy hosts and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled as Shalman spoiled Beth-arbel in the day of battle; the mother was dashed in pieces with her children.

יד  וְקָאם שָׁאוֹן בְּעַמֶּךָ וְכָל מִבְצָרֶיךָ יוּשַּׁד כְּשֹׁד שַׁלְמַן בֵּית אַרְבֵאל בְּיוֹם מִלְחָמָה אֵם עַל בָּנִים רֻטָּשָׁה.

15  So hath Beit El done unto you because of your great wickedness; at daybreak is the king of Yisrael utterly cut off.

טו  כָּכָה עָשָׂה לָכֶם בֵּית אֵל מִפְּנֵי רָעַת רָעַתְכֶם בַּשַּׁחַר נִדְמֹה נִדְמָה מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל.

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Hosea 10