The Lord will punish Israel
1 People of Israel, do not shout with joy,
as the people of other nations do at their festivals.
You have not been faithful to me, your God.
Like a prostitute, you sell yourselves to foreign gods
that you worship on the threshing floors.
2 But the threshing floors will not provide enough grain to feed the people.
The winepresses will not give them enough new wine.
3 The Israelites will not remain in the Lord's land.
They will have to return to Egypt.
In Assyria, they will have to eat food that is unclean.
4 They will not pour out wine as an offering to the Lord.
Their sacrifices will not please him.
Instead, their offerings will be like food that people eat at a funeral.
Anyone who eats it becomes unclean.
They may eat the food to feed themselves,
but they cannot offer it to the Lord in his temple.
5 So what will you do on your festival days?
You will no longer be able to worship the Lord properly.
6 Listen! Perhaps some Israelites will escape when Assyria's army attacks.
But then Egypt's army will take hold of them.
They will die in Memphis and people will bury them there.
9:6Memphis was a city in Egypt.
Weeds will grow all over their valuable silver things.
Thorn bushes will grow in their homes.
7 The time for Israel's punishment has arrived!
The Lord must now pay them back for their sins.
The Israelites will soon know about it!
You do many sins and you hate the Lord.
Because of that, you say that his prophets are fools.
You think that his messengers are crazy.
8 God has sent his prophet to warn the people of Ephraim.
9:8Perhaps Hosea is talking about himself as the prophet that God has sent to warn his people. Ephraim is another name for Israel, the northern kingdom.
But wherever he goes, people try to stop him.
They speak angry words against him, even in the temple of his God.
9 The Israelites do very wicked things,
like the terrible sins that they did at Gibeah.
9:9Gibeah is where very bad things happened. See Judges 19-20.
God will not forget the wicked things that they have done.
He will surely punish them for their sins.