1 The Lord gave this message to Hosea son of Beeri during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash[a] was king of Israel.
Hosea’s Wife and Children
2 When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute,[b] so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”
3 So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son. 4 And the Lord said, “Name the child Jezreel, for I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel. In fact, I will bring an end to Israel’s independence. 5 I will break its military power in the Jezreel Valley.”
6 Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to Hosea, “Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah—‘Not loved’—for I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them. 7 But I will show love to the people of Judah. I will free them from their enemies—not with weapons and armies or horses and charioteers, but by my power as the Lord their God.”
8 After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son. 9 And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi—‘Not my people’—for Israel is not my people, and I am not their God.
10 [c]“Yet the time will come when Israel’s people will be like the sands of the seashore—too many to count! Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said, ‘You are children of the living God.’ 11 Then the people of Judah and Israel will unite together. They will choose one leader for themselves, and they will return from exile together. What a day that will be—the day of Jezreel[d]—when God will again plant his people in his land.
2 [e]“In that day you will call your brothers Ammi—‘My people.’ And you will call your sisters Ruhamah—‘The ones I love.’
Charges against an Unfaithful Wife
2 “But now bring charges against Israel—your mother—
for she is no longer my wife,
and I am no longer her husband.
Tell her to remove the prostitute’s makeup from her face
and the clothing that exposes her breasts.
3 Otherwise, I will strip her as naked
as she was on the day she was born.
I will leave her to die of thirst,
as in a dry and barren wilderness.
4 And I will not love her children,
for they were conceived in prostitution.
5 Their mother is a shameless prostitute
and became pregnant in a shameful way.
She said, ‘I’ll run after other lovers
and sell myself to them for food and water,
for clothing of wool and linen,
and for olive oil and drinks.’
6 “For this reason I will fence her in with thornbushes.
I will block her path with a wall
to make her lose her way.
7 When she runs after her lovers,
she won’t be able to catch them.
She will search for them
but not find them.
Then she will think,
‘I might as well return to my husband,
for I was better off with him than I am now.’
8 She doesn’t realize it was I who gave her everything she has—
the grain, the new wine, the olive oil;
I even gave her silver and gold.
But she gave all my gifts to Baal.
9 “But now I will take back the ripened grain and new wine
I generously provided each harvest season.
I will take away the wool and linen clothing
I gave her to cover her nakedness.
10 I will strip her naked in public,
while all her lovers look on.
No one will be able
to rescue her from my hands.
11 I will put an end to her annual festivals,
her new moon celebrations, and her Sabbath days—
all her appointed festivals.
12 I will destroy her grapevines and fig trees,
things she claims her lovers gave her.
I will let them grow into tangled thickets,
where only wild animals will eat the fruit.
13 I will punish her for all those times
when she burned incense to her images of Baal,
when she put on her earrings and jewels
and went out to look for her lovers
but forgot all about me,”
says the Lord.
The Lord’s Love for Unfaithful Israel
14 “But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.
15 I will return her vineyards to her
and transform the Valley of Trouble[f] into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
as she did long ago when she was young,
when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
16 When that day comes,” says the Lord,
“you will call me ‘my husband’
instead of ‘my master.’[g]
17 O Israel, I will wipe the many names of Baal from your lips,
and you will never mention them again.
18 On that day I will make a covenant
with all the wild animals and the birds of the sky
and the animals that scurry along the ground
so they will not harm you.
I will remove all weapons of war from the land,
all swords and bows,
so you can live unafraid
in peace and safety.
19 I will make you my wife forever,
showing you righteousness and justice,
unfailing love and compassion.
20 I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
and you will finally know me as the Lord.
21 “In that day, I will answer,”
says the Lord.
“I will answer the sky as it pleads for clouds.
And the sky will answer the earth with rain.
22 Then the earth will answer the thirsty cries
of the grain, the grapevines, and the olive trees.
And they in turn will answer,
23 At that time I will plant a crop of Israelites
and raise them for myself.
I will show love
to those I called ‘Not loved.’[h]
And to those I called ‘Not my people,’[i]
I will say, ‘Now you are my people.’
And they will reply, ‘You are our God!’”
Hosea’s Wife Is Redeemed
3 Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she[j] commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.[k]”
2 So I bought her back for fifteen pieces of silver[l] and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine.[m] 3 Then I said to her, “You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution. During this time, you will not have sexual relations with anyone, not even with me.[n]”
4 This shows that Israel will go a long time without a king or prince, and without sacrifices, sacred pillars, priests,[o] or even idols! 5 But afterward the people will return and devote themselves to the Lord their God and to David’s descendant, their king.In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness.
1:1 Hebrew Joash, a variant spelling of Jehoash.
1:2 Or a promiscuous woman.
1:10 Verses 1:10-11 are numbered 2:1-2 in Hebrew text.
1:11 Jezreel means “God plants.”
2:1 Verses 2:1-23 are numbered 2:3-25 in Hebrew text.
2:15 Hebrew valley of Achor.
2:16 Hebrew ‘my baal.’
2:23a Hebrew Lo-ruhamah; see 1:6.
2:23b Hebrew Lo-ammi; see 1:9.
3:1a Or Go and love a woman who.
3:1b Hebrew love their raisin cakes.
3:2a Hebrew 15 [shekels] of silver, about 6 ounces or 171 grams in weight.
3:2b As in Greek version, which reads a homer of barley and a wineskin full of wine; Hebrew reads a homer [5 bushels or 220 liters] of barley and a lethek [2.5 bushels or 110 liters] of barley.
3:3 Or and I will live with you.
3:4 Hebrew ephod, the vest worn by the priest.
3:5 Hebrew to David their king.
23 While dining with a ruler,
pay attention to what is put before you.
2 If you are a big eater,
put a knife to your throat;
3 don’t desire all the delicacies,
for he might be trying to trick you.
4 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.
Be wise enough to know when to quit.
5 In the blink of an eye wealth disappears,
for it will sprout wings
and fly away like an eagle.
6 Don’t eat with people who are stingy;
don’t desire their delicacies.
7 They are always thinking about how much it costs.[a]
“Eat and drink,” they say, but they don’t mean it.
8 You will throw up what little you’ve eaten,
and your compliments will be wasted.
9 Don’t waste your breath on fools,
for they will despise the wisest advice.
23:7 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
1 This letter is from John, the elder.[a]
I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth.
2 Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 Some of the traveling teachers[b] recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 4 I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.
Caring for the Lord’s Workers
5 Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord,[c] and they accept nothing from people who are not believers.[d] 8 So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.
9 I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. 10 When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church.
11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.[e]
12 Everyone speaks highly of Demetrius, as does the truth itself. We ourselves can say the same for him, and you know we speak the truth.
13 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to write it with pen and ink. 14 For I hope to see you soon, and then we will talk face to face.
15 [f]Peace be with you.
Your friends here send you their greetings. Please give my personal greetings to each of our friends there.
1 Greek From the elder.
3 Greek the brothers; also in verses 5 and 10.
7a Greek They went out on behalf of the Name.
7b Greek from Gentiles.
11 Greek they have not seen God.
15 Some English translations combine verses 14 and 15 into verse 14.
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of Solomon.
1 Unless the Lord builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
2 It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones.
3 Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
4 Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
5 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.