Hosea 7
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  when I would heal Yisrael then is the iniquity of Efraim uncovered and the wickedness of Shomron for they commit falsehood; and the thief entereth in and the troop of robbers maketh a raid without.

א  כְּרָפְאִי לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וְנִגְלָה עֲו‍ֹן אֶפְרַיִם וְרָעוֹת שֹׁמְרוֹן כִּי פָעֲלוּ שָׁקֶר וְגַנָּב יָבוֹא פָּשַׁט גְּדוּד בַּחוּץ.

2  And let them not say to their heart I remember all their wickedness; now their own doings have beset them about they are before My face.

ב  וּבַל יֹאמְרוּ לִלְבָבָם כָּל רָעָתָם זָכָרְתִּי עַתָּה סְבָבוּם מַעַלְלֵיהֶם נֶגֶד פָּנַי הָיוּ.

3  They make the king glad with their wickedness and the princes with their lies.

ג  בְּרָעָתָם יְשַׂמְּחוּ מֶלֶךְ וּבְכַחֲשֵׁיהֶם שָׂרִים.

4  They are all adulterers as an oven heated by the baker who ceaseth to stir from the kneading of the dough until it be leavened.

ד  כֻּלָּם מְנָאֲפִים כְּמוֹ תַנּוּר בֹּעֵרָה מֵאֹפֶה יִשְׁבּוֹת מֵעִיר מִלּוּשׁ בָּצֵק עַד חֻמְצָתוֹ.

5  On the day of our king the princes make him sick with the heat of wine he stretcheth out his hand with scorners.

ה  יוֹם מַלְכֵּנוּ הֶחֱלוּ שָׂרִים חֲמַת מִיָּיִן מָשַׁךְ יָדוֹ אֶת לֹצְצִים.

6  For they have made ready their heart like an oven while they lie in wait; their baker sleepeth all the night in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire.

ו  כִּי קֵרְבוּ כַתַּנּוּר לִבָּם בְּאָרְבָּם כָּל הַלַּיְלָה יָשֵׁן אֹפֵהֶם בֹּקֶר הוּא בֹעֵר כְּאֵשׁ לֶהָבָה.

7  They are all hot as an oven and devour their judges; all their kings are fallen there is none among them that calleth unto Me.

ku-LAM yay-KHA-mu ka-ta-NUR v’-a-kh’-LU et sho-f’-tay-HEM kol mal-khay-HEM na-FA-lu ayn ko-RAY va-HEM ay-LAI

ז  כֻּלָּם יֵחַמּוּ כַּתַּנּוּר וְאָכְלוּ אֶת שֹׁפְטֵיהֶם כָּל מַלְכֵיהֶם נָפָלוּ אֵין קֹרֵא בָהֶם אֵלָי.

7:7  There is none among them that calleth unto Me

In its final years, the Northern Kingdom suffers from political instability, with four kings assassinated in less than fifteen years (746-732 BCE). Chapter 7 describes how the dishonest princes and nobles constantly conspire against their leaders, devouring their judges and killing their kings. Indeed, of the Northern Kingdom’s 17 rulers, only 8 died naturally. Hosea criticizes this, but adds poignantly that in the efforts to establish a lasting kingship, no one thought to call upon the Lord, the only king whose protection is guaranteed and everlasting.

Comment

8  Efraim he mixeth himself with the peoples; Efraim is become a cake not turned.

ח  אֶפְרַיִם בָּעַמִּים הוּא יִתְבּוֹלָל אֶפְרַיִם הָיָה עֻגָה בְּלִי הֲפוּכָה.

9  Strangers have devoured his strength and he knoweth it not; yea gray hairs are here and there upon him and he knoweth it not.

ט  אָכְלוּ זָרִים כֹּחוֹ וְהוּא לֹא יָדָע גַּם שֵׂיבָה זָרְקָה בּוֹ וְהוּא לֹא יָדָע.

10  And the pride of Yisrael testifieth to his face; but they have not returned unto Hashem their God nor sought Him for all this.

י  וְעָנָה גְאוֹן יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּפָנָיו וְלֹא שָׁבוּ אֶל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְלֹא בִקְשֻׁהוּ בְּכָל זֹאת.

11  And Efraim is become like a silly dove without understanding; they call unto Mitzrayim they go to Ashur.

יא  וַיְהִי אֶפְרַיִם כְּיוֹנָה פוֹתָה אֵין לֵב מִצְרַיִם קָרָאוּ אַשּׁוּר הָלָכוּ.

12  Even as they go I will spread My net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them as their congregation hath been made to hear.

יב  כַּאֲשֶׁר יֵלֵכוּ אֶפְרוֹשׂ עֲלֵיהֶם רִשְׁתִּי כְּעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם אוֹרִידֵם אַיְסִירֵם כְּשֵׁמַע לַעֲדָתָם.

13  Woe unto them! for they have strayed from Me; Destruction unto them! for they have transgressed against Me; Shall I then redeem them seeing they have spoken lies against Me?

יג  אוֹי לָהֶם כִּי נָדְדוּ מִמֶּנִּי שֹׁד לָהֶם כִּי פָשְׁעוּ בִי וְאָנֹכִי אֶפְדֵּם וְהֵמָּה דִּבְּרוּ עָלַי כְּזָבִים.

14  And they have not cried unto Me with their heart though they wail upon their beds; they assemble themselves for corn and wine they rebel against Me.

יד  וְלֹא זָעֲקוּ אֵלַי בְּלִבָּם כִּי יְיֵלִילוּ עַל מִשְׁכְּבוֹתָם עַל דָּגָן וְתִירוֹשׁ יִתְגּוֹרָרוּ יָסוּרוּ בִי.

15  Though I have trained and strengthened their arms yet do they devise evil against Me.

טו  וַאֲנִי יִסַּרְתִּי חִזַּקְתִּי זְרוֹעֹתָם וְאֵלַי יְחַשְּׁבוּ רָע.

16  They return but not upwards; they are become like a deceitful bow; their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue; this shall be their derision in the land of Mitzrayim.

טז  יָשׁוּבוּ לֹא עָל הָיוּ כְּקֶשֶׁת רְמִיָּה יִפְּלוּ בַחֶרֶב שָׂרֵיהֶם מִזַּעַם לְשׁוֹנָם זוֹ לַעְגָּם בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם.

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Hosea 7