Hosea 12

12 Ephraim herds and feeds on the wind and pursues the [parching] east wind; every day he increases lies and violence, and a covenant is made with Assyria and oil is carried to Egypt.(A)

2 The Lord has also a controversy (a pleading contention) with Judah, and will punish Jacob by visiting upon him according to his ways; according to his doings will He recompense him.

3 He took his brother by the heel in [their mother’s] womb, and in the strength [of his manhood] he contended and had power with God.(B)

4 Yes, he had power over the [a]Angel [of the Lord] and prevailed; he wept and sought His favor. He met Him in Bethel, and there [God] spoke with [him and through him with] us—(C)

5 Even the Lord the God of hosts, the name of Him [Who spoke with Jacob] is the Lord.

6 Therefore return to your God! Hold fast to love and mercy, to righteousness and justice, and wait [expectantly] for your God continually!

7 Canaan [Israel—whose ideals have sunk to those of Canaan] is a trader; the balances of deceit are in his hand; he loves to oppress and defraud.

8 Ephraim has said, Ah, but I have become rich; I have gained for myself wealth. All my profits shall bring on me no iniquity that would be sin. [But all his profits will never offset nor suffice to expiate the guilt which he has incurred.](D)

9 But I [Who] am the Lord your God from [when you became a nation in] the land of Egypt will yet make you to dwell in tents, as in the days of the appointed and solemn Feast [of Tabernacles].(E)

10 I have also spoken to [you by] the prophets, and I have multiplied visions [for you] and [have appealed to you] through parables acted out by the prophets.

11 If Gilead is given over to idolatry, they shall come to nought and be mere waste; if they [insult God by] sacrificing bullocks in Gilgal [on heathen altars], their altars shall be like heaps in the furrows of the fields.

12 Jacob fled into the open country of Aram or Padan-aram, and [there] Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he herded sheep.(F)

13 And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was [Israel] preserved.

14 Ephraim has provoked most bitter anger; therefore shall his blood [guilt] be left upon him, and his disgrace and reproach shall his Lord return upon him.


  1. Hosea 12:4 See footnotes on Gen. 16:7 and Gen. 32:28.

Cross references

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

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