Hosea

Hosea 1

1. The word of the Lord that came to Hosea ben-Beeri in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam ben-Joash, King of Israel.

2. When the Lord first spoke by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go! Take for yourself a wife of prostitution and children of prostitution because this land truly commits prostitution in not following Jehovah.”

3. So, he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

4. And the Lord said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in a little while, I will visit the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and I will bring the kingdom of the house of Israel to an end.

5.And on that day, I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”

6. And she conceived again and bore a daughter. And He said to him, “Call her name, No-Mercy, because I will no longer show mercy to the house of Israel, but I will carry them away.

7.Yet, to the house of Judah will I show mercy, and I will save them by Jehovah their God. I will not save them by the bow or by the sword, or by war, or with horses and horsemen.”

8. Then, after she weaned No-Mercy, she conceived and bore a son.

9. And He said, “Call his name, ‘Not-My-People’, for you are not my people, and I will not be your God.

10.Yet, the number of the sons of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered, and it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said to them, ‘You are the sons of the living God.’

11.Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint for themselves one head. And they will come up from the earth, for great is the day of Jezreel.”

Hosea 2

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1. “Say to your brothers, ‘My people!’ and to your sisters, ‘Mercy!’

2.Plead! Plead with your mother, for she is not my wife and I am not her husband, that she put her prostitution away from her, and her adulteries from between her breasts,

3.Otherwise, I will strip her naked and expose her as in the day of her birth. And I will make her like the wilderness, and lay her waste like a desert, and I will kill her with thirst.

4.And I will have no compassion for her sons because they are the sons of prostitution.

5.For their mother goes whoring; she who conceived them behaves shamefully. She says, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’

6.Therefore, behold, I will hedge your path with thorns, and I will wall her up with stones so that she cannot find her paths.

7.And she will pursue her lovers, but she will not catch them, and she will seek them, but she will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband because it was better for me then than now.’

8.And she did not know that I gave her the grain, and the wine, and the oil, or that I multiplied silver to her, and the gold they used for Baal.

9.Therefore, I will turn, and I will take my grain in its time and my wine in its season, and I will take back my wool and my flax, given to cover her nakedness.

10.But I will now expose her private parts to the eyes of her lovers, and no man will deliver her from my hand.

11.And I will put an end to all her rejoicing — her pilgrim feasts, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, even all her appointed times.

12.And I will lay waste her vine and her fig tree, about which she said, ‘They are my wages which my lovers have given to me.’ But I will turn them into a thicket, and the beast of the field will consume them.

13.And I will visit upon her the days of the Baals when she burned incense to them and adorned herself with her nose-ring and her jewelry, and went after her lovers and forgot me, says Jehovah.

14. “Therefore, behold, I will entice her, and bring her to the wilderness, and speak to her heart.

15.And I will give to her there her vineyards and the valley of Achor for a door of hope. And there she will respond as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.”

16. “And it shall come to pass in that day, says Jehovah, you will call me, ‘My husband,’ and no more call me, ‘My Baal.’

17.And I will take away the name of the Baals from her mouth, and they will no longer be remembered by their name.

18.And in that day, I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the birds of the sky and things that creep on the ground. And I will banish the bow and the sword and war from the land and make them lie down in safety.

19.And I will betroth you to me forever. Yea, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in compassions.

20.I will betroth you to me in faithfulness, and you will come to know Jehovah.”

21. “And it shall come to pass in that day that I will answer, says Jehovah. I will answer the heavens, and they will answer the earth.

22.And the earth will answer the grain, and the wine, and the oil, and they will hear Jezreel.

23.For I will sow her to me in the land. And I will show mercy to No-Mercy, and I will say to Not-My-People, ‘You are my people.’ And he will say, ‘You are my God!’ ”

Hosea 3

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1. And the Lord said to me, “Go again! Love a woman beloved by her husband, but an adulteress, the way Jehovah loves the children of Israel, and yet, they look to other gods and are lovers of cakes of raisins.[1]

2. So, I bought her for me for fifteen pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley.

3. And I said to her, “You shall dwell with me many days. You shall not play the harlot or be with a man. So will I also be toward you.”

4. For the children of Israel will live many days without a king or a prince, without sacrifice, without a pillar, and without an ephod or teraphim.

5. Afterward, the children of Israel will repent and seek Jehovah their God and David their King. Yea, in the latter days, they will come in fear to the Lord and to His Good One.

Hosea 4

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1. Hear the word of the Lord, children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land because there is no truth, or faithfulness, or knowledge of God in the land.

2. Imprecating, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery have broken out, with bloodshed touching bloodshed.

3. Therefore, the land will mourn, and everyone living in it will grow feeble, along with the beast of the field and the bird of the air. And even the fish of the sea will be taken away.

4. Yet, let no one strive, and let no one reprove another, for my quarrel is with you, O priest.

5. You will stumble by day, and by night, the prophet will also stumble with you, and I will destroy your mother.

6. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from being a priest to me. Inasmuch as you have forgotten the law of your God, I, even I, will forget your children!

7. As much as they increased, so they sinned against me; their honor will I change into shame.

8. They are feeding on the sin of my people, and they lift up their soul to their sin.

9. And it will be, like people, like priest. For I will visit upon him his ways, and I will return his doings to him,

10.and they will eat but not be satisfied; they will go whoring but not increase, for they have stopped heeding the Lord.

11. Whoredom, wine, and new wine take away the heart.

12. My people seek advice from their tree, and their rod reveals things to them. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and from under their God they’ve gone whoring.

13. They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains and burn incense on the hills, under oaks, and poplars, and terebinths because of their pleasant shade. Therefore, your daughters shall commit whoredom and your brides shall commit adultery.

14. I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom nor your brides when they commit adultery. For the men go away with harlots, and they sacrifice with temple-prostitutes. The people who do not understand shall be cast out.

15. Though you are playing the harlot, O Israel, let not Judah offend. Oh, do not come to Gilgal, nor go up to Beth-aven![2] And do not swear, “As Jehovah lives.”

16. For Israel is stubborn, like a stubborn cow. The Lord will shepherd them now as a lamb in a wide open place.

17. Ephraim is joined to idols. Leave him alone.

18. Their wine is sour. They go whoring continually. Her rulers, with shame, love, “Give!”

19. A spirit has wrapped her up in its wings, but they shall be ashamed of their sacrifices.

Hosea 5

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1. Hear this, O priests! Pay attention, O house of Israel! And let the house of the king give ear! The judgment is for you! For you have been a snare at Mizpah and a net spread out on Tabor,

2.for the transgressors have gone deep in slaughtering sacrifices, though I have been a chastiser of them all.

3. I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from me. Truly now, Ephraim, you have committed fornication. Israel is defiled.

4. Their deeds will not allow them to return to their God, for the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they do not know the Lord.

5. The pride of Israel testifies on his face, and Israel and Ephraim are tripped up by their iniquity; Judah also stumbles with them.

6. With their flocks and their herds, they will go to seek the Lord, but they will not find Him. He has withdrawn from them.

7. They have dealt treacherously with the Lord, for they have given birth to strange children. Now, a new moon will devour them with their portions.

8. Let them blow a shofar in Gibeah, a trumpet in Ramah! Let them cry out at Beth-aven, “After you, O Benjamin!”

9. Ephraim shall be a ruin in the day of punishment; among the tribes of Israel have I made known what is assured.

10. The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark. I will pour out my fury upon them like water.

11. Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, because he was willing to obey the command.

12. Therefore, I will be like a moth to Ephraim and like rottenness to the house of Judah.

13. When Ephraim saw his disease, and Judah his wound, then Ephraim went to Assyria and sent to King Jareb, but he could not heal nor cure your wound.

14. For I am like a lion to Ephraim and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, yes I! I will tear in pieces and depart; I will carry off, and there will be no rescuer.

15. I will leave. I will return to my place until they admit their guilt and seek my face. In their distress, they will seek me earnestly.

Hosea 6

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1. Come, and let us return to the Lord, for He has torn, but He will heal us. He has stricken, but He will bind us up.

2. After two days, He will bring us to life again. On the third day, He will raise us up, and we will live in His presence.

3. Then, let us know Him! Let us press on to know the Lord! His coming forth is as certain as the dawn. Yea, He will come to us like the rain, like the latter rain and early rain to the land.[3]

4. O Ephraim, what shall I do with you? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your faithfulness is like the morning mist, and like dew, vanishing quickly.

5. Therefore, I have hewed them in pieces through the prophets; I have killed them with the words of my mouth, and your judgments have been like the light coming forth.

6. For I desired mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

7. But they, like Adam, transgressed the covenant. There they were unfaithful to me.

8. Gilead is a city of evildoers, tracked with blood.

9. And as bands of robbers wait for a man, so the priestly band murders on the road to Shechem in that they commit adultery.

10. Within the house of Israel, I have seen a horrible thing: the whoredom of Ephraim. Israel is defiled.

11. Moreover, O Judah, He has appointed a harvest for you when I return the captivity of my people.

Hosea 7

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1. When I would have healed Israel, then the sin of Ephraim was exposed, along with the wickedness of Samaria, for they practice deception, and the thief comes in, and the robbers raid outside.

2. But they do not think in their heart that I remember all their wickedness. Their own doings have now hemmed them in. They are before my face.

3. By their wickedness, they gladden the king, and with their lies, princes.

4. They are all adulterers; they are like an oven, heated by a baker, who stops getting up after kneading the dough until it is leavened.

5. By day, they made our king and rulers sick, inflamed with wine. He reached out his hand to scorners.

6. For they have prepared their hearts, as with the oven, while they lie in wait. Their baker sleeps through the night. In the morning, it is burning like a flame of fire.

7. They are all hot, as with the oven, and they devour their judges. All their kings have fallen. There is no one among them calling on me.

8. Ephraim has mingled himself with the nations; Ephraim is an unturned cake.

9. Strangers consume his strength, but he does not know it; yea, gray hair is showing up on him, but he doesn’t know it.

10. The pride of Israel shows on his face, but they do not return to the Lord their God, nor seek Him in all this.

11. And Ephraim is like Jonah[4], silly, without understanding, calling out to Egypt, going to Assyria.

12. When they go, I will spread out my net over them. I will bring them down like birds of the sky. I will chasten them, as a testimony to their congregation.

13. Woe to them, for they have fled from me! Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me — yes, I who would rescue them — and yet they speak lies about me!

14. They have not cried out to me in their heart even when they howled on their beds. They assemble themselves for bread and new wine; they reject me.

15. Though I trained and strengthened their arms, they devise evil against me.

16. They repent, but not to the One on high. They are like a deceitful bow. Their princes will fall by the sword because of the insolence of their tongue. This will be to their disgrace in the land of Egypt.

Hosea 8

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1. Set a shofar to your mouth! He will come like an eagle against the house of the Lord because they have transgressed my covenant and rebelled against my law.

2. Ah, Israel! They will cry out to me, “My God, we know you!”

3. Israel has rejected what is good. An enemy will pursue him.

4. They set up kings, but not by me. They make princes whom I do not know. Their silver and their gold produce idols for them, so that it might be cut off.[5]

5. Your calf, O Samaria, has cast you off! My anger burns against them. How long will they not attain to purity?

6. For it came from Israel; an artisan made it, and it is not a god. The calf of Samaria shall be broken into pieces.

7. For they are sowing wind, and they will reap a tempest! The standing grain has no heads. It will produce no flour. If by chance it produces, strangers will devour it.

8. Israel is devoured; now are they among the nations like a vessel in which is no delight.

9. They have gone up to Assyria, a wild ass, alone by himself. Ephraim has hired lovers.

10. Yea, though they have hired lovers from the nations, I will now gather them, and they be in anguish a little because of the burden of the king of rulers.

11. When Ephraim multiplied altars on which to sin, they became for him altars for sinning.

12. I wrote the great things of my law for him, but they are regarded as strange.

13. They sacrifice and eat flesh as sacrifices of my offerings, but the Lord does not accept them. Now will He will remember their guilt and visit their sins. They will return to Egypt.

14. Israel has forgotten his Maker and builds churches, and Judah has multiplied fortified cities. But I will send a fire upon his cities, and it will consume their fortresses.

Hosea 9

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1. O Israel, do not rejoice for joy like the nations, for you have gone whoring from your God. At every threshing floor, you love the wages of a harlot.

2. Threshing floor and winepress will not provide for them, and the new wine will fail in her.

3. They will not remain in the land of the Lord, but Ephraim will return to Egypt, and in Assyria will they eat what is unclean.

4. They do not pour out wine to the Lord, and their sacrifices do not please Him; it is for them like the bread of sinners. All who eat of it defile themselves, for their bread is for their own appetite. It should not come into the house of the Lord.

5. What will you do on the appointed meeting day and on the Lord’s feast day?

6. For, behold, they are gone because of destruction. Egypt will gather them and Memphis will bury them. Nettles will inherit their treasures of silver; thorns will be in their tents.

7. The days of vengeance have come; the days of retribution have come. Israel shall know. The prophet is a fool; the spiritual man is mad because of the magnitude of your sin and your great hatred.

8. The watchman of Ephraim was with my God. The prophet is a fowler’s snare in all his ways. Hatred is in the house of his god.

9. They have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their transgression, and He will punish their sins.

10. I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first-fruit on a fig tree in its first season. As for them, they went to Baal-Peor and consecrated themselves to that shameful thing, and they became detestable, like the thing they loved.

11. Ephraim’s glory will fly away like a bird, without birth, without the womb, and without conception.

12. Even if they bring up their sons, I will bereave them of men. Woe to them when I depart from them!

13. Ephraim, just as I saw Tyre, is planted in a meadow, but Ephraim will bring his sons out to the executioner.

14. Give it to them! O Lord, what will you give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dried up breasts.

15. Their every evil is in Gilgal because there I hated them for the wickedness of their deeds. I will drive them away from my house. I will no longer love them. All their princes are apostates.

16. Ephraim is smitten. Their root is dried up; they will bear no fruit. Even though they give birth, I will kill the cherished fruit of their womb.

17. My God will reject them because they did not listen to Him, and they will be wanderers among the nations.

Hosea 10

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1. Israel is an empty vine; he produces fruit to himself. The more abundant his fruit, the more abundantly he gives to the altars. The more prosperous his land, the more the sacred pillars prosper.

2. Their heart is divided, and now they will bear their guilt. He will break down their altars. He will destroy their pillars.

3. For they now say, “We have no king. We do not fear the Lord. And the king, what can he do for us?”

4. They speak words by which to swear falsely when making a covenant; therefore, judgment will spring up like a poisonous weed in the furrows of the field.

5. The inhabitants of Samaria are in awe of the calves of Beth-aven, for its people mourn for it and its idolatrous priests rejoice for it, for its glory, but they will go into exile because of it.

6. It will surely be brought to Assyria as a gift for King Jareb. Ephraim will receive shame, and Israel will be ashamed of his own counsel.

7. Samaria will cease to exist; her king will be like foam on the surface of the water,

8.and the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed. Thornbush and thistle will climb up on their altars, and they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!” and to the hills, “Fall on us!”

9. O Israel, you have sinned since the days of Gibeah! There, they made their stand so that the battle against the unrighteous children in Gibeah would not overtake them.

10. When I please, then will I chasten them, and nations will be gathered against them when I bind them for their two iniquities[6].

11. For Ephraim is a trained cow that loves to crush the grain, but I will put a yoke on her fine neck. I will make Ephraim pull, and Judah will plow. Jacob will break up his clods.

12. Sow righteousness for yourselves; reap mercy. Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes and rains righteousness upon you.

13. You have plowed wickedness. You have reaped unrighteousness. You have eaten the fruit of lies because you trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your valiant men.

14. And a tumult will arise among your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel in the day of battle; mother was smashed to pieces with her children.

15. Thus has Bethel done to you because of your great evil. At dawn, the king of Israel shall be utterly cut off.

Hosea 11

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1. When Israel was a youth, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt.

2. The more they[7] called them, the more they went away from them. They sacrificed to Baals and burned incense to idols.

3. Yet, it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, leading them by their arms, but they did not know that I had healed them.

4. I led them with cords of a man, with ropes of love, but I was to them like those who lift up the yoke onto their jaws, though I had bent down to feed them.

5. He will not return to the land of Egypt, but Assyria; he will be his king because they refuse to repent.

6. And the sword will flash against his cities, and destroy his idle talkers, and devour them because of their counsels.

7. My people are addicted to apostasy from me, and though they call to the Most High together, He will not exalt them.

8. How can I give you up, O Ephraim, or hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah, or treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned within me. My repentings are kindled together.

9. I will not act on my burning anger. I will not turn back to destroy Ephraim because I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst. I will not come in anger.

10. They will follow the Lord. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, then the children will come trembling from the west.

11. They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt, and like a dove from the land of Assyria, and I will cause them to dwell in their homes, says Jehovah.

12. Ephraim surrounds me with lying, and the house of Israel with treachery, but Judah still rules with God and is established, with help from the holy ones.

Hosea 12

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1. Ephraim grazes on wind and pursues the east wind all day. He multiplies falsehood and violence. They make a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried to Egypt.

2. And the Lord has a dispute with Judah, too, and there will be a visitation upon Jacob according to his ways. According to his deeds, He will recompense him.

3. In the womb, he grasped his brother by the heel, and by his strength, he contended with God.

4. He contended with an angel and overcame. He wept and made supplication to him. He found him in Bethel, and there He spoke with us,

5.even the Lord, God of hosts. “Jehovah” is His memorial.

6. And you, by your God, will return. Keep mercy and judgment, and wait on your God continually.

7. He is a merchant in whose hand are fraudulent scales. He loves to oppress.

8. Yet, Ephraim has said, “I am certainly rich. I have found wealth for myself. In all my acquisitions, they will not find in me an offense that would be sin.”

9. But I, the Lord your God since the land of Egypt, will cause you to dwell in tents again, as in the days of the tabernacle.

10. And I spoke through the prophets, and I multiplied visions, and I used parables by the hand of the prophets.

11. Since Gilead does iniquity, they are altogether worthless. At Gilgal, they sacrifice bulls. Also, their altars are like heaps of stone in the furrows of the field.

12. Yet, Jacob fled to the field of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife, he kept watch.

13. And by a prophet, the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt, and by a prophet, he was kept.

14. Ephraim vexed Him bitterly. Therefore, He will leave his blood-guiltiness upon him, and his Master will recompense him for his contempt.

Hosea 13

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1. When Ephraim spoke trembling, he was exalted in Israel, but he offended with Baal, and died.

2. And now they increase sin and make for themselves molten images from their silver, idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of craftsmen. To them, they say, “You who sacrifice humans, kiss the calves!”

3. Therefore, they will be like the morning mist and the early dew that goes away, like chaff blown from the threshing-floor by a storm, and like smoke out of a chimney.

4. But I have been Jehovah your God from the land of Egypt, and you do not know a God besides me; yea, there is no Savior except me.

5. I knew you in the wilderness, in a parched land;

6.yet, with their pasturage, they were satisfied. They were satisfied, but their heart became lifted up, and they forgot me.

7. Therefore will I be like a lion to them; like a leopard beside the path will I watch for them.

8. I will meet them like a bear robbed of her cubs and tear open their chest, and I will devour them there like a lion. A beast of the field will tear them to pieces.

9. He has destroyed you, O Israel, because your help was in me.

10. Where now is your king that will save you in any of your cities? Or your judges, to whom you said, “Give me a king and princes”?

11. I gave you a king in my anger, and I took him away in my wrath.

12. The guilt of Ephraim is bound up; his iniquity is stored up.

13. Labor pains will come upon him; he is an unwise son because he was not steadfast in the time of opportunity.

14. I will ransom them from the power of Sheol; I will redeem them from death. Death! Where are your plagues? Where is your sting, O Sheol? Pity shall be hidden from my eyes.

15. Though he is fruitful among his brothers, an east wind from the Lord will come, arising from the wilderness, and his spring will be ashamed, and his fountain will be dried up. It will rob the storehouse of every desirable vessel.

16. Samaria will be condemned because she rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword. Their little ones will be dashed in pieces, and his pregnant women will be ripped open.

Hosea 14

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1. Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have fallen in your iniquity!

2. Take with you words and return to the Lord. Say to him, “Completely take away iniquity, and receive us for good, and we will render the bullocks of our lips.

3.Asshur will not save us. We will not ride on a horse, and we will no longer call the work of our hands our God, for in you, the fatherless find compassion.”

4. I will heal their apostasy. I will love them freely because my anger will have turned away from him.

5. I will be like the dew for Israel. He will flourish like the lily and put out his roots like Lebanon.

6. His shoots will spread out, and his splendor will be like the olive, and his scent, like Lebanon.

7. They will return and dwell in my shadow. They will have life like grain and shoot like the vine, his memorial will be like the wine of Lebanon.

8. O Ephraim, what are idols at all to me? I have heard, and I will watch over him. I am like a green cypress. Your fruit is obtained from me.

9. Who is wise, and will come to understand these things? Who has understanding, and will come to know them? For the ways of the Lord are upright, and the righteous walk in them, but those who rebel will stumble at them.


Footnotes

[1] Raisin-cakes were apparently used to stimulate desire (cp. Song of Solomon 2:5a).

[2] Literally, “house of worthlessness”, a name God gives to Bethel at this time in Israel’s history.

[3] Or, “as the latter rain waters the land.”

[4] Or, “like a dove”.

[5] Or, “With their silver and gold, they make themselves idols so that they might be cut off.”

[6] Or, “eyes”.

[7] Probably referring to the prophets whom God sent to Israel.

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