December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, the house of Israel, with deceit; Judah is still rebellious against God, against the Holy One, who is faithful.
- 1 Ephraim chases the wind, ever pursuing the gale. His lies and falsehoods are many: he comes to terms with Assyria, and carries oil to Egypt.
- 2 The LORD has a grievance against Israel: he shall punish Jacob for his conduct, for his deeds he shall repay him.
- In the womb he supplanted his brother, and as a man he contended with God;
- He contended with the angel and triumphed, entreating him with tears. At Bethel he met God and there he spoke with him:
- The LORD, the God of hosts, the LORD is his name!
- You shall return by the help of your God, if you remain loyal and do right and always hope in your God.
- A merchant who holds a false balance, who loves to defraud!
- Though Ephraim says, "How rich I have become; I have made a fortune!" All his gain shall not suffice him for the guilt of his sin.
- I am the LORD, your God, since the land of Egypt; I will again have you live in tents, as in that appointed time.
- I granted many visions and spoke to the prophets, through whom I set forth examples.
- In Gilead is falsehood, they have come to nought, in Gilgal they sacrifice to bullocks; Their altars are like heaps of stones in the furrows of the field.
- When Jacob fled to the land of Aram, he served for a wife; for a wife Israel tended sheep.
- 3 By a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet they were protected.
- Ephraim has exasperated his lord; therefore he shall cast his blood-guilt upon him and repay him for his outrage.
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1  He comes . . . Egypt: allusion to the commercial and military pacts with the great powers, consistently condemned by the prophets as derogatory of the Lord's claim on his people.
2 [3-7] Contemporary Israel and the Israel represented by its ancestor Jacob (Israel) are here alternated, a splendid example of the Hebrew concept of "corporate personality" or easy transition from the individual to the community of which he is part. Hosea recalls the history of Jacob as it now appears in Genesis, but with some differences of detail and order.
3  A prophet: Moses.
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