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Hosea 9:11-17

Context
The Fertility Worshipers Will Become Infertile

9:11 Ephraim will be like a bird;

what they value 1  will fly away.

They will not bear children –

they will not enjoy pregnancy –

they will not even conceive! 2 

9:12 Even if they raise their children,

I will take away every last one of them. 3 

Woe to them!

For I will turn away from them.

9:13 Just as lion cubs are born predators, 4 

so Ephraim will bear his sons for slaughter.

9:14 Give them, O Lord

what will you give them?

Give them wombs that miscarry,

and breasts that cannot nurse! 5 

9:15 Because of all their evil in Gilgal,

I hate them there.

On account of their evil deeds,

I will drive them out of my land. 6 

I will no longer love them;

all their rulers are rebels.

9:16 Ephraim will be struck down 7 

their root will be dried up;

they will not yield any fruit.

Even if they do bear children,

I will kill their precious offspring.

9:17 My God will reject them,

for they have not obeyed him;

so they will be fugitives among the nations.

1 tn Heb “their glory” (so NASB); TEV “Israel’s greateness.”

2 tn Heb “no childbearing, no pregnancy, no conception.” The preposition מִן (min) prefixed to the three parallel nouns functions in a privative sense, indicating deprivation (BDB 583 s.v. מִן 7).

3 tn Heb “I will bereave them from a man”; NRSV “I will bereave them until no one is left.”

4 tc The MT is corrupt in 9:13. The BHS editors suggest emending the text to follow the LXX reading. See D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 5:250-51.

5 tn Heb “breasts that shrivel up dry”; cf. KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV “dry breasts.”

6 tn Heb “out of my house” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); TEV, NCV, NLT “my land.”

7 tn Or perhaps, following the plant metaphor, “will be blighted” (NIV similar).



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