Hosea 6:1-7:7

The people do not obey the Lord

1 ‘Come. We should return to the Lord.

He attacked us in past times, but now he will bring us health.

He has given us pain, but now he will help us to become well again.

6:1Israel's people can hope in God. He will not forget them. God had to tell Israel's people that they were wrong. But he now chooses to say different words.

2 After two days, he will cause us to live again.

He will raise us up on the third day.

Then we can live near to him.

6:2The two or three days mean a time that God has decided about. He has chosen a time. It will be like a dead person who lives again.

3 We should try to know the Lord. We can be sure that he will come.

It will be like the sun when it rises at the beginning of the day.

He will come to us like the rain.

It will be like spring rain. It will bring water to the ground.’

4 ‘Israel's people, I do not know what I should do with you.

Judah's people, I do not know what I should do with you.

You soon stop loving me. You are like the morning cloud.

Your love is like the low cloud that goes away early in the morning.

5 That is why I have sent my prophets to you.

I wanted to cut you in pieces.

I wanted to kill you with words.

6:5The ‘words’ are the covenants. In Deuteronomy 33:9, the ‘word’ and the ‘covenant’ mean the same thing.

I will judge you. Then things will become clear.

6 I will judge you because I want you to love in the right way.

I do not want your sacrifices of animals.

I want my people to know me.

I do not want them to bring sacrifices.

7 But like Adam, the people did not obey the covenant.

6:7We do not know for sure what the name ‘Adam’ means. It might mean a city. It might mean that Israel's people have thought about the covenant like dirt.

They did not do in their country what they had promised to me.

8 Gilead is a city of men who do very bad things.

People have killed each other.

9 There are people who rob. They hide and they wait to attack someone.

In the same way, priests wait on the road to Shechem.

6:9Shechem was an important city. We do not know the event that Hosea was thinking about.

They attack people who pass by.

They have done very bad things.

10 Yes, I have seen many bad things in Israel.

Ephraim's people are like a prostitute.

This prostitute is very bad.

11 People in Judah, I have made a special time for you.

I will bring in the crops. At that time, I will tell you what you should do.

But I wanted very much to cause the good times again for my people!’ God says.

Hosea 7

1 ‘When I wanted to give health to my people, they did very many wrong things!

Samaria is full of people who do not say true things.

It is full of people who rob from houses.

They also rob people in the streets.

2 They do not know that I (God) will remember their sins.

The sins that they did are everywhere to see.

I can see these sins in a clear way.

7:2God sees everything. He remembers things for thousands of years (Psalm 105:8). When he looks at Israel's people, he sees their sins. He does not only see people.

3 The very bad things that they do make their king happy.

The very bad things that they do make their leaders happy too.

4 They are all bad and they do not obey me.

A baker takes flour to make bread.

He starts to cook the bread.

The bread rises. But the baker does not make the fire hotter.

Israel's people are like a baker who is always making his fire hotter.

7:4Hosea uses an example of a baker to say several things. Bakers were men who made bread in large ovens (places that people cook food in). The ovens were round. They had a large door on the top of them. The baker made a fire inside it. Then he shut the door. The bread then cooked for a long time. The leaders in Israel were like this bread. They became leaders because they were so angry.

5 On holidays for the king, the leaders drink too much wine.

The wine causes them to do things in a silly way.

The king has become a friend of bad people. Those people think that good things are silly.

6 The people decide to do secret things.

They are very angry. So they feel that their hearts are like an oven.

It is like the time when they were cooking bread.

During the night, they became angrier.

And in the morning, there was a fire.

7:6The leaders never stop thinking about very bad things. In the night, the oven became cool. But in the morning, someone made sure that the oven became hot again. The leaders of Israel are like the oven. It is only at night that they stop thinking about very bad things.

7 They were so angry that they killed their leaders.

They killed their kings.

All of their kings fell.

Nobody prays to me for help.’