Hosea 12

1Ephraim is wasting its time—Israel “chases the wind” all day long. The people tell more and more lies. They steal more and more. They have made agreements with Assyria, and they are carrying their olive oil to Egypt. 2˻The Lord says,˼ “I have an argument against Israel. Jacob must be punished for the things he did. He must be punished for the bad things he did. 3Jacob was still in his mother’s body, and he had already started tricking his brother. Jacob was a strong young man. And at that time, he fought with God. 4Jacob wrestled with God’s angel and won. He cried and asked for a favor. That happened at Bethel. At that place, he spoke with us. 5Yes, Yahweh is the God of the armies. His name is Yahweh ˻(the Lord)˼. 6So come back to your God. Be loyal to him. Do the right thing! Always trust your God! 7“Jacob is a real businessman. He even cheats his friend! Even his scales lie. 8Ephraim said, 'I am rich! I have found true riches! No person will learn about my crimes. No person will learn about my sins.’ 9“But I have been the Lord your God since ˻the time you were in˼ the land of Egypt. I will make you live in tents—like during the time of the Tent of Meeting. 10I spoke to the prophets. I gave them many visions. I gave the prophets many ways to teach my lessons to you. 11But the people in Gilead have sinned. There are many terrible idols in that place. The people offer sacrifices to bulls at Gilgal. Those people have many altars. There are rows and rows of altars—like the rows of dirt in a plowed field. 12“Jacob ran away to the land of Aram. In that place, Israel worked for a wife. He kept sheep to get another wife. 13But the Lord used a prophet and brought Israel out of Egypt. The Lord used a prophet and kept Israel safe. 14But Ephraim caused the Lord to be very angry. Ephraim killed many people. So he will be punished for his crimes. His master ˻(the Lord)˼ will make him bear his shame.”

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