Hosea 12 1 [a] The people of Israel[b] feed on the wind;
      they chase after the east wind all day long.
   They pile up lies and violence;
      they are making an alliance with Assyria
      while sending olive oil to buy support from Egypt.

 2 Now the Lord is bringing charges against Judah.
      He is about to punish Jacob[c] for all his deceitful ways,
      and pay him back for all he has done.
 3 Even in the womb,
      Jacob struggled with his brother;
   when he became a man,
      he even fought with God.
 4 Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won.
      He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him.
   There at Bethel he met God face to face,
      and God spoke to him[d]
 5 the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies,
      the Lord is his name!
 6 So now, come back to your God.
      Act with love and justice,
      and always depend on him.

  1. Hosea 12:1 Verses 12:1-14 are numbered 12:2-15 in Hebrew text.
  2. Hosea 12:1 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 12:8, 14.
  3. Hosea 12:2 Jacob sounds like the Hebrew word for “deceiver.”
  4. Hosea 12:4 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads to us.
  5. Hosea 12:9 Hebrew as in the days of your appointed feast.
  6. Hosea 12:12 Hebrew Israel. See note on 10:11b.
  7. Hosea 12:13 Hebrew brought Israel. See note on 10:11b.


Father, that is a simple command.  “Act with love and justice, and always depend on him.”  There is a lot there, yet it is so simple.  I am to live in love and justice – do the right thing – and let the rest up to You.  Help me remember this  and to live by it.    

 7 But no, the people are like crafty merchants
      selling from dishonest scales—
      they love to cheat.
 8 Israel boasts, “I am rich!
      I’ve made a fortune all by myself!
   No one has caught me cheating!
      My record is spotless!”

 9 “But I am the Lord your God,
      who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.
   And I will make you live in tents again,
      as you do each year at the Festival of Shelters.[e]
 10 I sent my prophets to warn you
      with many visions and parables.”

 11 But the people of Gilead are worthless
      because of their idol worship.
   And in Gilgal, too, they sacrifice bulls;
      their altars are lined up like the heaps of stone
      along the edges of a plowed field.
 12 Jacob fled to the land of Aram,
      and there he[f] earned a wife by tending sheep.
 13 Then by a prophet
      the Lord brought Jacob’s descendants[g] out of Egypt;
   and by that prophet
      they were protected.
 14 But the people of Israel
      have bitterly provoked the Lord,
   so their Lord will now sentence them to death
      in payment for their sins.