Hosea 9:1-9

God will tell the people in Israel what they must do

1 People in Israel, do not be happy at special times as the people in foreign countries do!

9:1Israel's people were happy at these special times. But they were happy for the wrong reasons. They thought that God was the god, Baal. They thought that God should bless the grain. They wanted God to do things in the same way as the god, Baal. Also, prostitutes visited the floors where people worked with the grain. Men stayed there at night so that nobody would rob anything.

You were like a prostitute and you left your God.

You are like a prostitute because men pay her to have sex.

She loves the money that they give to her.

And you loved all the grain that people gave to you.

So you have worshipped false gods on the floors where people work with grain.

2 But soon you will not have enough grain or wine.

There will be no more wine.

3 Israel's people will not stay in the Lord's land.

They will have to return to Egypt.

In Assyria, they will have to eat food that you should not eat.

4 Israel's people will not be able to offer wine to the Lord.

Their sacrifices will not make God happy.

People eat special bread when other people die. Their sacrifices will be like that bread.

Whoever eats that bread will not be holy.

This food will be only for themselves.

It will not come into the temple of the Lord.

5 Israel's people will not be able to enjoy special days.

9:5Maybe the ‘special days’ were in the autumn. This was when people brought in the plants from the fields.

Those are the special days when people remember God.

6 Perhaps Assyria will not destroy them.

But Egypt will take hold of the people.

Then people in Memphis will bury them.

9:6Memphis was a city in Egypt.

Weeds will grow over their valuable silver things.

Thorn bushes will grow in their homes.

7 The time for me to judge them is now!

Very soon I must punish them!

Israel's people will soon know it!

You say that God's prophets are fools.

You think that his messengers are crazy.

Because you are so bad, you have become enemies of God.

8 But the prophet is really God's messenger to make sure that Israel's people know things.

But people try to say bad things about me in the places where I go.

And people do not like a prophet in the house of God.

9 They have done some very bad sins.

They were like the sins that Israel's people did at Gibeah.

9:9Gibeah is where very bad things happened. See Judges 19; 20.

God will remember their very bad sins.

He will punish them for their sins.