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.’

Israel's people do not know that other people will kill them

8 ‘Israel's people mix themselves with people from other countries.

Israel is like a cake that someone did not cook on both sides.

7:8Hosea continues to use the example of an oven. At this time, Assyria became more powerful. So, Israel's people needed other countries to help them. They went to Egypt, to Damascus in Syria and to Philistia. They did not want to hope in God.

9 People in Israel mix themselves with foreign people.

Israel's people do not know that this makes my people weaker.

Israel is like an old man with grey hair.

He does not know how old and weak he is now.

10 Israel's people think that they are very important.

This is something that makes me angry with them.

The people had many troubles.

But even then they did not return to the Lord their God.

The people did not look to him for help.

11 Ephraim is like a silly dove.

7:11God says that Israel's people are like doves. Doves are silly birds. It was easy for other countries to fight against Israel.

He does not understand anything.

The people wanted Egypt to help them.

Then they asked Assyria for help.

12 When they do that, I will throw my net over them.

I will catch them like birds as they go by.

I will tell them about the bad things that they have done.

And I will punish them.

13 It will be very bad for them.

They have left me. They refused to obey me.

So they will die.

I wanted to redeem them.

But they do not say true things about me.

14 They do not pray to me from deep inside themselves.

But they cry on their beds.

7:14Perhaps the ‘beds’ were part of a meal. The meal was part of a sacrifice when the Israelites rested near the altar. (See Isaiah 57:7; Amos 2:8.) And then they cried and they cut themselves.

When they pray for grain and wine, they cut themselves.

They have left me.

15 I taught them and I made them strong.

But they have decided to do very bad things against me.

16 They have returned to false gods.

They are like a weapon that does not work.

Their leaders think that they are very important.

They will die quickly.

Then the people in Egypt will think that they are silly.’