Hosea 10:9-15

The Lord promises to punish Israel

9 The Lord says,

‘People of Israel, you have continued to do bad things,

since the time that you were at Gibeah.

10:9Hosea writes again about what he said in 9:9. Israel's people sinned very badly at the time of Gibeah. They were not able to stop doing this sin.

When the people did evil things at Gibeah,

war destroyed them as a result.

10 When I decide that the time is right,

I will punish the Israelites.

Because of their many sins,

I will bring other nations to attack them.

Their enemies will tie them up with chains.

11 Ephraim was like a cow that I had taught to stamp on grain.

10:11Farmers used cows to stamp on grain, so that the seeds of grain became separate from the chaff.

She loved to work for me.

But now I will make her do hard work!

I will put a heavy yoke on her beautiful neck.

Judah will also have to plough the ground.

Jacob's descendants must work to dig up the hard ground.

10:11Jacob's descendants were the people of Israel. God changed Jacob's name to ‘Israel’.

12 Be like a farmer who plants good seed.

Plant things that are good and right.

Then your harvest will be faithful love.

Plough the hard ground and prepare it for the Lord to bless you.

It is time for you to turn back to the Lord.

Then he will bless you with good things,

like rain that falls on the ground!

13 But instead, you have planted evil things.

So your harvest is terrible trouble.

The food that you eat comes from your lies.

You trusted in your own strength to save you.

You thought that your strong army would keep you safe.

14 So you will soon hear the noise of war.

Enemies will destroy all your strong buildings.

It will be like the time that King Shalman's army destroyed Beth Arbel.

10:14We do not know what happened at Beth-Arbel.

In that battle, cruel soldiers killed mothers together with their children.

15 The same thing will happen to you, people of Bethel,

because of the wicked things that you have done.

10:15Bethel means ‘House of God’ so here it may mean all the people of Israel.

When the day of your punishment arrives,

the king of Israel will surely die.’