Hosea 13

The Lord is angry with Israel

1 In past times, when the leaders of Israel spoke, the people were afraid.

13:1Ephraim was the Israelite kingdom in the north. Judah was the Israelite kingdom in the south.

The people respected their leaders.

But the people became guilty when they worshipped Baal.

Because of that, they died.

2 Now the Israelites continue to do more and more sins.

They use metal to make idols for themselves.

They use clever skills to make idols from silver.

All their idols are only things that people have made themselves.

People offer sacrifices to the image of a calf.

They say, ‘Kiss the calf!’

3 So those people will soon disappear!

They will quickly disappear like mist or dew in the morning.

They will be like chaff that the wind blows away from a threshing floor.

They will be like smoke that disappears out of an open window.

13:3Mist is like a cloud near the ground. It makes small drops of water on the ground, called dew. These usually come early in the morning and they do not stay for a long time. Chaff and smoke also quickly disappear.

4 The Lord says,

‘I am the Lord your God.

I brought you out from Egypt.

You must not serve any other God.

No one else can save you except me.

5 I took care of you in the wilderness,

where it was very hot and dry.

6 I gave food to my people, so that they were not hungry.

But when they had enough to eat, they became proud.

As a result, they forgot about me.

13:6God gave the Israelites everything that they needed in the wilderness. See Exodus 16. It was God who fed them and gave them water. But they turned away from him.

7 So I will attack them like a lion.

I will be like a leopard that waits beside the road.

It is ready to catch anything that goes that way.

8 I will attack them like an angry bear that has lost her children.

I will tear them into pieces.

I will eat them like a hungry lion.

I will attack them and kill them, like a wild animal.

9 I will destroy you, Israel.

There will be nobody to help you.

10 What has happened to your king?

He cannot save you!

Where are your rulers?

You asked me to give you rulers like the other nations have.

You said, “Give us a king and rulers.”

11 I was angry, but I agreed to give you a king.

Now I am even more angry and I will take your king away!

12 I have a record of Ephraim's sin.

Ephraim's people will certainly receive their punishment.

13 They will be in pain like a woman who is giving birth.

Her child is foolish. He refuses to be born!

14 Will I save these people from the power of death?

Will I rescue them from their graves?

Death, what diseases can you bring?

What can you do to hurt my people?

13:14Hosea says that God will bring trouble and death to his people because of their sins. Paul uses these words in 1 Corinthians 15:55. Because of Jesus' death, Paul says that the power of death can no longer hurt believers.

I will not be kind to my people and forgive them.’

15 Among the other nations, Israel has been successful.

It has been like a plant that grows well.

But now the Lord will send trouble.

It will be like a strong east wind that comes from the desert.

Israel's wells and springs of water will become dry.

All the valuable things that Israel has stored will disappear.

16 Samaria's people are guilty and they will receive their punishment.

13:16Samaria was another name for the northern kingdom, Israel. It was the capital city of Israel.

They have turned against their God.

They will die in war.

Cruel enemies will kill their young children.

Soldiers will cut open their pregnant women.