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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 9


1 Rejoice not, O Israel, exult not like the nations! For you have been unfaithful to your God, loving a harlot's hire upon every threshing floor.


Threshing floor and wine press shall not nourish them, the new wine shall fail them.


They shall not dwell in the LORD'S land; Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and in Assyria they shall eat unclean food.


2 They shall not pour libations of wine to the LORD, or proffer their sacrifices before him. Theirs will be like mourners' bread, that makes unclean all who eat of it; Such food as they have shall be for themselves; it cannot enter the house of the LORD.


3 What will you do on the festival day, the day of the LORD'S feast?


When they go from the ruins, Egypt shall gather them in, Memphis shall bury them. Weeds shall overgrow their silver treasures, and thorns invade their tents.


They have come, the days of punishment! they have come, the days of recompense! Let Israel know it! "The prophet is a fool, the man of the spirit is mad!" Because your iniquity is great, great, too, is your hostility.


A prophet is Ephraim's watchman with God, yet a fowler's snare is on all his ways, hostility in the house of his God.


4 They have sunk to the depths of corruption, as in the days of Gibeah; He shall remember their iniquity and punish their sins.


5 Like grapes in the desert, I found Israel; Like the first fruits of the fig tree in its prime, I considered your fathers. When they came to Baal-peor and consecrated themselves to the Shame, they became as abhorrent as the thing they loved.


The glory of Ephraim flies away like a bird: no birth, no carrying in the womb, no conception. Were they to bear children, I would slay the darlings of their womb.


Even though they bring up their children, I will make them childless, till not one is left. Woe to them when I turn away from them!


Ephraim, as I saw, was like Tyre, planted in a beauteous spot; But Ephraim shall bring out his children to the slayer.


6 Give them, O LORD! give them what? Give them an unfruitful womb, and dry breasts!


7 All their wickedness is in Gilgal; yes, there they incurred my hatred. Because of their wicked deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no longer; all their princes are rebels.


Ephraim is stricken, their root is dried up; they shall bear no fruit.


My God will disown them because they have not listened to him; they shall be wanderers among the nations.



1 [1-2] Upon every threshing floor: an allusion to harvest festivals in honor of Baal, to whom the Israelites had attributed the fertility of the land; cf Hosea 2:7.

2 [4] Mourners' bread: bread eaten at funeral rites; cf Deut 26:13-14. Contact with a corpse made a person ritually unclean, together with everything he touched. Such bread could not be offered to the Lord.

3 [5] The LORD'S feast: doubtless the autumn feast of Booths, the most important of the Israelite public celebrations; cf Lev 23:34.

4 [9] The days of Gibeah: a reference to the outrage committed at Gibeah in the days of the Judges ( Judges 19:22-30).

5 [10] At Baal-peor ( Numbers 25:1-5) the Israelites consecrated themselves to Baal, here called the Shame.

6 [14] An unfruitful womb: this appears to be a reversal of the ancient blessing of Joseph contained in Genesis 49:25-26 in which the increase, hence fruitfulness, promised to the patriarch is even signified by the name of his son Ephraim, on whose descendants the prophet now invokes the curse of extinction.

7 [15] Gilgal: see note on Hosea 4:15.

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