Hosea 2
Contemporary English Version

1So let your brothers be called “My People” and your sisters be called “Shown Mercy.”+

The Lord Promises To Punish Israel

2Accuse! Accuse your mother!

She is no longer my wife,

and now I, the Lord,

am not her husband.

Beg her to give up prostitution

and stop being unfaithful,+

3or I will strip her naked

like the day she was born.

I will make her barren

like a desert,

and she will die of thirst.

4You children are the result

of her unfaithfulness,

and I'll show you no pity.

5Your mother was unfaithful.

She was disgraceful and said,

“I'll run after my lovers.

Everything comes from them—

my food and drink,

my linen and wool,

my olive oil and wine.”

6I, the Lord, will build

a fence of thorns

to block her path.

7She will run after her lovers,

but not catch them;

she will search,

but not find them.

Then she will say, “I'll return

to my first husband.

Life was better then.”

8She didn't know that her grain,

wine, and olive oil

were gifts from me,

as were the gold and silver

she used in worshiping Baal.+

9So I'll hold back the harvest

of grain and grapes.

I'll take back

my wool and my linen

that cover her body.

10Then I'll strip her naked

in the sight of her lovers.+

No one can rescue her.

11I'll stop Israel's celebrations—

no more New Moon Festivals,

Sabbaths, or other feasts.

12She said, “My lovers gave me

vineyards and fig trees

as payment+ for sex.”

Now I, the Lord, will ruin

her vineyards and fig trees;

they will become clumps of weeds

eaten by wild animals.

13I'll punish her for the days

she worshiped Baal

and burned incense to him.

I'll punish her for the times

she forgot about me

and wore jewelry and rings

to attract her lovers.

I, the Lord, have spoken!

The Lord Will Help Israel

14Israel, I, the Lord,

will lure you into the desert

and speak gently to you.

15 I will return your vineyards,

and then Trouble Valley+

will become Hopeful Valley.

You will say “Yes” to me

as you did in your youth,

when leaving Egypt.

16I promise from that day on, you will call me your husband instead of your master.+ 17I will no longer even let you mention the names of those pagan gods that you called “Master.” 18And I will agree to let you live in peace—you will no longer be attacked by wild animals and birds or by weapons of war. 19I will accept you as my wife forever, and instead of a bride price+ I will give you justice, fairness, love, kindness, 20and faithfulness. Then you will truly know who I am.

21I will command the sky to send rain on the earth, 22and it will produce grain, grapes, and olives in Jezreel Valley. 23 I will scatter the seeds and show mercy to Lo-Ruhamah.+ I will say to Lo-Ammi,+ “You are my people,” and they will answer, “You are our God.”


2.1 My People … Shown Mercy: In Hebrew “My People” is “Ammi” and “Shown Mercy” is “Ruhamah” (see Lo-Ruhamah in 1.6 and Lo-Ammi in 1.9).
2.2 prostitution … unfaithful: See the note at 1.2.
2.8 Baal: A Canaanite god of fertility.
2.10 I'll strip … lovers: Or “I'll show her lovers how disgusting she is.”
2.12 fig trees … payment: Hosea uses an unusual word for “fig tree,” which is spelled something like the word for “payment.”
2.15 Trouble Valley: Or “Achor Valley.” The exact location of the valley is unknown, but in Hebrew “Achor” sounds like “Achan,” who brought trouble on Israel by disobeying the Lord (see Joshua 7.24-26).
2.16 husband … master: In Hebrew the word “master” is the same as the name of the god Baal. But the Lord promises that his people will have a deep personal relationship with him (like a devoted wife and husband) rather than merely a legal tie (like a wife and her “master”).
2.19 bride price: It was the custom for the husband to pay his wife's parents a bride price. Instead of money, the Lord will give much better benefits to Israel.
2.23 Lo-Ruhamah: See the note at 1.6.
2.23 Lo-Ammi: See the note at 1.9.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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