Hosea 12

Ephraim Reminded

12 Ephraim feeds on the [emptiness of the] wind
And [continually] pursues the [parching] east wind [which brings destruction];
Every day he multiplies lies and violence.
Further, he makes a covenant with Assyria
And (olive) oil is carried to Egypt [to seek alliances].(A)
The Lord also has a dispute [a legal complaint and an indictment] with Judah,
And He will punish Jacob in accordance with his ways;
He will repay him in accordance with his deeds.
In their mother’s womb he took his brother by the heel,
And in his maturity he contended with God.(B)
He wrestled with the angel and prevailed;
He wept [in repentance] and sought His favor.
He met Him at Bethel
And there God spoke with [him and through him with] us—(C)
Even the Lord, the God of hosts,
The name of Him [who spoke with Jacob] is the Lord.
Therefore, return [in repentance] to your God,
Observe and highly regard kindness and justice,
And wait [expectantly] for your God continually.
A merchant, in whose hand are false and fraudulent balances;
He loves to oppress and exploit.
Ephraim said, “I have indeed become rich [and powerful as a nation];
I have found wealth for myself.
In all my labors they will not find in me
Any wickedness that would be sin.”(D)
But I have been the Lord your God since [you became a nation in] the land of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
As in the days of the appointed and solemn [a]festival.(E)
I have also spoken to [you through] the prophets,
And I gave [them] many visions [to make My will known],
And through the prophets I gave parables [to appeal to your sense of right and wrong].
Is there wickedness (idolatry) in Gilead?
Surely the people there are worthless.
In Gilgal [they defy Me when] they sacrifice bulls,
Yes, [after My judgment] their [pagan] altars are like the stone heaps
In the furrows of the fields.

Now Jacob (Israel) fled into the open country of Aram (Paddan-aram),(F)
And [there] Israel (Jacob) worked and served for a wife,
And for a wife he kept sheep.(G)
And by a prophet (Moses) the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt,
And by a prophet Israel was preserved.
Ephraim has provoked most bitter anger;
So his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him [invoking punishment]
And bring back to him his shame and dishonor.


  1. Hosea 12:9 I.e. the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles).

Cross references

  1. Hosea 12:1 : Is 30:6, 7
  2. Hosea 12:3 : Gen 25:26; 27:36
  3. Hosea 12:4 : Gen 28:12-19; 32:28; 35:1-15
  4. Hosea 12:8 : Rev 3:17
  5. Hosea 12:9 : Lev 23:39-43
  6. Hosea 12:12 : Gen 28:2, 5
  7. Hosea 12:12 : Gen 29:18-20; 30:31; 31:38-41

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