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Chapter 4

4:1 Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel! for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

4:2 Swearing and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery! they break all bounds, and blood toucheth blood.

4:3 Therefore doth the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein doth languish, with the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also are taken away.

4:4 Yet let no man strive, neither let any man reprove; for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.

4:5 Therefore shalt thou stumble in the day, and the prophet also shall stumble with thee in the night; and I will destroy thy mother.

4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me; seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children.

4:7 The more they were increased, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame.

4:8 They feed on the sin of My people, and set their heart on their iniquity.

4:9 And it is like people, like priest; and I will punish him for his ways, and will recompense him his doings.

4:10 And they shall eat, and not have enough, they shall commit harlotry, and shall not increase; because they have left off to take heed to the Lord.

4:11 Harlotry, wine, and new wine take away the heart.

4:12 My people ask counsel at their stock, and their staff declareth unto them; for the spirit of harlotry hath caused them to err, and they have gone astray from under their God.

4:13 They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and offer upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and terebinths, because the shadow thereof is good; therefore your daughters commit harlotry, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.

4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery; for they themselves consort with lewd women, and they sacrifice with harlots; and the people that is without understanding is distraught.

4:15 Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah become guilty; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Beth-aven, nor swear: 'As the Lord liveth.'

4:16 For Israel is stubborn like a stubborn heifer; now shall the Lord feed them as a lamb in a large place?

4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone.

4:18 When their carouse is over, they take to harlotry; her rulers deeply love dishonour.

4:19 The wind hath bound her up in her skirts; and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.

Next: Hosea 5