Hosea 14
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Shomron shall bear her guilt for she hath rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword; their infants shall be dashed in pieces and their women with child shall be ripped up.

א  תֶּאְשַׁם שֹׁמְרוֹן כִּי מָרְתָה בֵּאלֹהֶיהָ בַּחֶרֶב יִפֹּלוּ עֹלְלֵיהֶם יְרֻטָּשׁוּ וְהָרִיּוֹתָיו יְבֻקָּעוּ.

2  Return O Yisrael unto Hashem thy God; for thou hast stumbled in thine iniquity.

SHU-vah yis-ra-AYL ad a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha kee kha-SHAL-ta ba-a-vo-NE-kha

ב  שׁוּבָה יִשְׂרָאֵל עַד יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כִּי כָשַׁלְתָּ בַּעֲו‍ֹנֶךָ.

14:2  Return, O Israel, unto the LORD your God

Hosea concludes his prophecy with a direct cry to Israel to repent and return to the Lord. The Hebrew word for return, ‘shuv’ (שוב), appears 25 times in this short book. Hosea holds out hope that if the people wholeheartedly repent and return, the upcoming devastation can still be avoided. But two things must occur. First, the people must recognize that their sinfulness has led to their predicament, as he says “you have stumbled in your iniquity.” More importantly, the commentators note that Hosea uses the word ‘ad,’ which means “unto” the Lord, instead of ‘el’ which means towards. For repentance to work, it cannot be a fleeting fancy or merely a turning in the direction of the Lord. Rather, the people must embrace a sincere commitment to renew the relationship with God and return all the way “unto” the Lord.

Comment

3  Take with you words and return unto Hashem; say unto Him: ‘Forgive all iniquity and accept that which is good; so will we render for bullocks the offering of our lips.

ג  קְחוּ עִמָּכֶם דְּבָרִים וְשׁוּבוּ אֶל יְהוָה אִמְרוּ אֵלָיו כָּל תִּשָּׂא עָו‍ֹן וְקַח טוֹב וּנְשַׁלְּמָה פָרִים שְׂפָתֵינוּ.

4  Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses; neither will we call any more the work of our hands our gods; for in Thee the fatherless findeth mercy.’

ד  אַשּׁוּר לֹא יוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ עַל סוּס לֹא נִרְכָּב וְלֹא נֹאמַר עוֹד אֱלֹהֵינוּ לְמַעֲשֵׂה יָדֵינוּ אֲשֶׁר בְּךָ יְרֻחַם יָתוֹם.

5  I will heal their backsliding I will love them freely; for Mine anger is turned away from him.

ה  אֶרְפָּא מְשׁוּבָתָם אֹהֲבֵם נְדָבָה כִּי שָׁב אַפִּי מִמֶּנּוּ.

6  I will be as the dew unto Yisrael; he shall blossom as the lily and cast forth his roots as Levanon.

ו  אֶהְיֶה כַטַּל לְיִשְׂרָאֵל יִפְרַח כַּשּׁוֹשַׁנָּה וְיַךְ שָׁרָשָׁיו כַּלְּבָנוֹן.

7  His branches shall spread and his beauty shall be as the olive-tree and his fragrance as Levanon.

ז  יֵלְכוּ יֹנְקוֹתָיו וִיהִי כַזַּיִת הוֹדוֹ וְרֵיחַ לוֹ כַּלְּבָנוֹן.

8  They that dwell under his shadow shall again make corn to grow and shall blossom as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Levanon.

ח  יָשֻׁבוּ יֹשְׁבֵי בְצִלּוֹ יְחַיּוּ דָגָן וְיִפְרְחוּ כַגָּפֶן זִכְרוֹ כְּיֵין לְבָנוֹן.

9  Efraim [shall say]: ‘What have I to do any more with idols?’ As for Me I respond and look on him; I am like a leafy cypress-tree; from Me is thy fruit found.

ט  אֶפְרַיִם מַה לִּי עוֹד לָעֲצַבִּים אֲנִי עָנִיתִי וַאֲשׁוּרֶנּוּ אֲנִי כִּבְרוֹשׁ רַעֲנָן מִמֶּנִּי פֶּרְיְךָ נִמְצָא.

10  Whoso is wise let him understand these things whoso is prudent let him know them. For the ways of Hashem are right and the just do walk in them; but transgressors do stumble therein.

י  מִי חָכָם וְיָבֵן אֵלֶּה נָבוֹן וְיֵדָעֵם כִּי יְשָׁרִים דַּרְכֵי יְהוָה וְצַדִּקִים יֵלְכוּ בָם וּפֹשְׁעִים יִכָּשְׁלוּ בָם.

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Hosea 13
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Hosea 14