Hosea 10 (Taipo Bible Marathon Day 488)

Hosea 10New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 10

Destruction of Idolatrous Cultic Objects

Israel is a luxuriant vine
    whose fruit matches its growth.
The more abundant his fruit,
    the more altars he built;
The more productive his land,
    the more sacred pillars[a] he set up.
Their heart is false!
    Now they will pay for their guilt:
God will break down their altars
    and destroy their sacred pillars.
For now they will say,
    “We have no king![b]
Since we do not fear the Lord,
    the king—what could he do for us?”
They make promises,
    swear false oaths, and make covenants,
While lawsuits sprout
    like poisonous weeds[c] in the furrows of a field!

The inhabitants of Samaria are afraid
    for the calf of Beth-aven;[d]
Its people mourn for it
    and its idolatrous priests wail over it,
    —over its glory which has departed from it.
It too will be carried to Assyria,
    as an offering to the great king.[e]
Ephraim will be put to shame,
    Israel will be shamed by his schemes.

Samaria and her king will disappear,
    like a twig upon the waters.
The high places of Aven[f] will be destroyed,
    the sin of Israel;
    thorns and thistles will overgrow their altars.
Then they will cry out to the mountains, “Cover us!”
    and to the hills, “Fall upon us!”

War Because of Israel’s Wickedness

Since the days of Gibeah
    you have sinned, Israel.
There they took their stand;
    will war not reach them in Gibeah?
Against a perverse people
10     I came and I chastised them;
Peoples will be gathered against them
    when I bind them to their two crimes.[g]
11 Ephraim was a trained heifer,
    that loved to thresh;
I myself laid a yoke
    upon her beautiful neck;
I will make Ephraim break ground, Judah must plow,
    Jacob must harrow for himself:
12 “Sow for yourselves justice,
    reap the reward of loyalty;
Break up for yourselves a new field,
    for it is time to seek the Lord,
    till he comes and rains justice upon you.”
13 But you have plowed wickedness,
    reaped perversity,
    and eaten the fruit of falsehood.
Because you have trusted in your own power,
    and in your many warriors,
14 The clamor of war shall break out among your people
    and all your fortresses shall be ravaged
As Salman ravaged Beth-arbel[h] on the day of war,
    smashing mothers along with their children.
15 So it will be done to you, Bethel,
    because of your utter wickedness:
At dawn[i] the king of Israel
    will utterly disappear.


  1. 10:1 Sacred pillars: see note on 3:4.
  2. 10:3 No king: the instability of the monarchy (7:3–7) and its vassalage to foreign kings (7:8–16) render the monarchy ineffective. The kings do the opposite of what they are supposed to do (10:4).
  3. 10:4 Lawsuits…like poisonous weeds: the administration of justice, which should have been the mainstay of the people, has in corrupt hands become another instrument of oppression; cf. Am 6:12.
  4. 10:5 The calf of Beth-aven: see note on 4:15.
  5. 10:6 The great king: a title used by the Assyrian kings. See also note on 5:13.
  6. 10:8 Aven: wickedness, first of all at Bethel (v. 5), but also at all the high places.
  7. 10:10 Two crimes: the allusion is not clear; a possible reference is the outrage described in Jgs 19.
  8. 10:14 As Salman ravaged Beth-arbel: perhaps Salamanu, king of Moab, mentioned in an inscription of Tiglath-pileser III, after an invasion in Gilead (Transjordan), where there was a Beth-arbel, close to present Irbid.
  9. 10:15 At dawn: normally the moment of God’s victory over Israel’s enemies, and thus his salvation (Is 17:14; Ps 46:6). Here it is a reversal of this expectation.

Hosea 9 (Taipo Bible Marathon Day 488)

Hosea 9New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 9

From Days of Celebration to Days of Punishment

Do not rejoice, Israel,
    do not exult like the nations!
For you have prostituted yourself, abandoning your God,
    loving a prostitute’s fee
    upon every threshing floor.[a]
Threshing floor and wine press will not nourish them,
    the new wine will fail them.

They will not dwell in the Lord’s land;
    Ephraim will return to Egypt,
    and in Assyria they will eat unclean food.
They will not pour libations of wine to the Lord,
    and their sacrifices will not please him.
Their bread will be like mourners’ bread,[b]
    that makes unclean all who eat of it;
Their food will be for their own appetites;
    it cannot enter the house of the Lord.

What will you do on the festival day,
    the day of the Lord’s feast?[c]
[d]When they flee from the devastation,
    Egypt will gather them, Memphis will bury them.
Weeds will overgrow their silver treasures,
    and thorns, 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.
[e]The watchman of Ephraim, the people of my God, is the prophet;
    yet a fowler’s snare is on all his ways,
    hostility in the house of his God.
They have sunk to the depths of corruption,
    as in the days of Gibeah;[f]
God will remember their iniquity
    and punish their sins.

From Former Glory to a History of Corruption

10 Like grapes in the desert,
    I found Israel;
Like the first fruits of the fig tree, its first to ripen,
    I looked on your ancestors.
But when they came to Baal-peor[g]
    and consecrated themselves to the Shameful One,
    they became as abhorrent as the thing they loved.
11 Ephraim is like a bird:
    their glory flies away—
    no birth, no pregnancy, no conception.
12 Even though they bring up their children,
    I will make them childless, until no one is left.
Indeed, woe to them
    when I turn away from them!
13 Ephraim, as I saw, was a tree
    planted in a meadow;
But now Ephraim will bring out
    his children to the slaughterer!
14 Give them, Lord!
    give them what?
Give them a miscarrying womb,
    and dry breasts!
15 All their misfortune began in Gilgal;[h]
    yes, there I rejected them.
Because of their wicked deeds
    I will drive them out of my house.
I will love them no longer;
    all their princes are rebels.
16 [i]Ephraim is stricken,
    their root is dried up;
    they will bear no fruit.
Were they to bear children,
    I would slay the beloved of their womb.
17 My God will disown them
    because they have not listened to him;
    they will be wanderers among the nations.


  1. 9:1 Threshing floor: an allusion to harvest festivals in honor of Baal, to whom the Israelites had attributed the fertility of the land; cf. 2:7.
  2. 9:4 Mourners’ bread: bread eaten at funeral rites (Dt 26:14). The presence of a corpse also made all food prepared in that house unclean (Jer 16:5–7).
  3. 9:5 The Lord’s feast: probably the important autumn feast of Booths, the most important of the Israelite public celebrations (Lv 23:34).
  4. 9:6 Instead of gathering for celebration (v. 5), they will be gathered for death. Memphis: known for the monumental pyramid tombs. Silver treasures: the silver statues of Baal (8:4).
  5. 9:8 Prophets, like Hosea himself, are called to be sentinels for Israel, warning Israel of God’s coming wrath (see Ez 3:17; 33:7), but often meet rejection.
  6. 9:9 The days of Gibeah: the precise allusion is not clear. Perhaps it is a reference to the outrage committed at Gibeah in the days of the judges (Jgs 19–21), or to questions surrounding Saul’s kingship at Gibeah (1 Sm 10:26; 14:2; 22:6).
  7. 9:10 Baal-peor: where the Israelites consecrated themselves for the first time to Baal (Nm 25; see note on Hos 5:1–2). Baal is here called the Shameful One.
  8. 9:15 Gilgal: possibly a reference to Saul’s disobedience to Samuel (1 Sm 13:7–14; 15), or to the idolatry practiced in that place (see note on Hos 4:15).
  9. 9:16 Wordplay on the Hebrew word for “fruit” (peri) and Ephraim (see note on 8:9). The whole passage (vv. 10–17) presents a reversal of Ephraim’s name (Gn 41:52). He will have no fruit, a condition which will result in extinction.

Hosea 8 (Taipo Bible Marathon Day 487)

Hosea 8New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 8

Corruption of Cult, Domestic and Foreign Politics

Put the trumpet to your lips!
    One like an eagle[a] is over the house of the Lord!
Because they have violated my covenant,
    and rebelled against my law,
They cry out to me,
    “My God! We know you!”
But Israel has rejected what is good;
    the enemy[b] shall pursue him.

[c]They made kings, but not by my authority;
    they established princes, but without my knowledge.
With their silver and gold
    they made idols for themselves,
    to their own destruction.
He has rejected your calf,[d] Samaria!
    My wrath is kindled against them;
How long will they be incapable of innocence
    in Israel?
An artisan made it,
    it is no god at all.
The calf of Samaria
    will be dashed to pieces.

When they sow the wind,
    they will reap the whirlwind;
The stalk of grain that forms no head
    can yield no flour;
Even if it could,
    strangers would swallow it.
Israel is swallowed up;
    now they are among the nations,
    like a useless vessel.
For they went up to Assyria—[e]
    a wild ass off on its own—
    Ephraim bargained for lovers.
10 Even though they bargain with the nations,
    I will now gather them[f] together;
They will soon succumb
    under the burden of king and princes.

11 [g]When Ephraim made many altars to expiate sin,
    they became altars for sinning.
12 Though I write for him my many instructions,
    they are considered like a stranger’s.
13 They love sacrifice,
    they sacrifice meat and eat it,
    but the Lord is not pleased with them.
Now he will remember their guilt
    and punish their sins;
    they shall return to Egypt.[h]
14 Israel has forgotten his maker
    and has built palaces.
Judah, too, has fortified many cities,
    but I will send fire upon his cities,
    to devour their strongholds.


  1. 8:1 Eagle: perhaps an image for Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria, who overran the land of Israel in 733 B.C. (Jer 48:40; 49:22; Ez 17:3).
  2. 8:3 Enemy: Assyria.
  3. 8:4 Hosea is not against the monarchy, but against the conspiracies at the royal court (see note on 7:3–7). The king should be chosen by God (1 Kgs 19:15–16).
  4. 8:5 Calf: a cultic object introduced by Jeroboam I after the separation of the Northern Kingdom from the Southern Kingdom (1 Kgs 12:26–30; cf. Ex 32).
  5. 8:9 They went up to Assyria: a reference to the politics of appealing to Assyria (cf. 5:13;7:11). There is a play on the Hebrew word for “wild ass” (pere) and “Ephraim.”
  6. 8:10 I will now gather them: for judgment and for deportation.
  7. 8:11 The altars had become places of self-serving worship (cf. v. 13).
  8. 8:13 Return to Egypt: to punish their violation of the covenant they will experience a reversal of the exodus.

Hosea 7 (Taipo Bible Marathon Day 487)

Hosea 7New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 7

When I would have restored the fortunes of my people,
    when I would have healed Israel,
The guilt of Ephraim was revealed,
    the wickedness of Samaria:
    They practiced falsehood.
Thieves break in,
    bandits roam outside.
Yet they do not call to mind
    that I remember all their wickedness.
Now their crimes surround them,
    present to my sight.

Israel’s Domestic Politics[a]

With their wickedness they make the king rejoice,
    the princes too, with their treacherous deeds.
They are all adulterers,[b]
    like a blazing oven,
Which the baker quits stoking,
    after the dough’s kneading until its rising.
On the day of our king,
    they made the princes sick with poisoned wine;
    he extended his hand to the scoffers.
For they draw near in ambush
    with their hearts like an oven.
All the night their anger sleeps;
    in the morning it flares like a blazing fire.
They are all heated like ovens,
    and consume their rulers.
All their kings have fallen;
    none of them calls upon me.

Israel’s Foreign Politics

Ephraim is mixed with the nations,[c]
    Ephraim is an unturned cake.
Strangers have consumed his strength,
    but he does not know it;
Gray hairs are strewn on his head,
    but he takes no notice of it.
10 The arrogance of Israel bears witness against him;
    yet they do not return to the Lord, their God,
    nor seek him, despite all this.
11 Ephraim is like a dove,
    silly and senseless;
They call upon Egypt,
    they go to Assyria.
12 When they go I will spread my net around them,
    like birds in the air I will bring them down.
    I will chastise them when I hear of their assembly.
13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!
    Ruin to them, for they have rebelled against me!
Though I wished to redeem them,
    they spoke lies against me.
14 They have not cried to me from their hearts
    when they wailed upon their beds;
For wheat and wine they lacerated themselves;[d]
    they rebelled against me.
15 Though I trained and strengthened their arms,
    yet they devised evil against me.
16 They have again become useless,
    they have been like a treacherous bow.
Their princes shall fall by the sword
    because of the insolence of their tongues;
    thus they shall be mocked in the land of Egypt.


  1. 7:3–7 This passage perhaps refers to a conspiracy at the royal court. Between the death of Jeroboam II (743 B.C.) and the fall of Samaria (722/721), nearly all the kings were murdered (2 Kgs 15:10, 14, 25, 30).
  2. 7:4 Adulterers: the unfaithful nobles who kill the king. Their passion is compared to the fire of the oven. The point of the metaphor is that, like this oven whose fire is always ready to blaze up again, the conspirators are always ready for rebellion.
  3. 7:8 Is mixed with the nations: the people reject exclusive allegiance to the Lord, and they now try to find their salvation in alliances with foreign nations. An unturned cake: burnt on one side, but not baked at all on the other, and thus worthless.
  4. 7:14 Lacerated themselves: a ritual to obtain a good harvest from Baal (2:7–10; 1 Kgs 18:28; Jer 16:6; 41:5). This practice was forbidden (Lv 19:28; Dt 14:1).

Hosea 6 (Taipo Bible Marathon Day 486)

Hosea 6New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 6

    “Come, let us return to the Lord,
For it is he who has torn, but he will heal us;
    he has struck down, but he will bind our wounds.
He will revive us after two days;
    on the third day[a] he will raise us up,
    to live in his presence.
Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord;
    as certain as the dawn is his coming.
He will come to us like the rain,
    like spring rain that waters the earth.”

What can I do with you, Ephraim?
    What can I do with you, Judah?
Your loyalty is like morning mist,
    like the dew that disappears early.
For this reason I struck them down through the prophets,
    I killed them by the words of my mouth;[b]
    my judgment shines forth like the light.
For it is loyalty that I desire, not sacrifice,
    and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Further Crimes of Israel

But they, at Adam,[c] violated the covenant;
    there they betrayed me.

Gilead[d] is a city of evildoers,
    tracked with blood.
Like brigands lying in wait
    is the band of priests.
They murder on the road to Shechem,[e]
    indeed they commit a monstrous crime.
10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing:
    there is found Ephraim’s prostitution,
    Israel is defiled.
11 For you also, Judah,
    a harvest[f] has been appointed!


  1. 6:2 After two days; on the third day: presumptuous Israel expects that soon God will renew them (cf. Ez 37).
  2. 6:5 The word of God proclaimed by the prophets is effective, it accomplished what it promised: punishment.
  3. 6:7 At Adam: the violation of the covenant at Adam is mentioned nowhere else in the Bible. The place Adam, the location of which is unknown, may be referred to in Jos 3:16.
  4. 6:8 Gilead: city in Transjordan (Gn 31:46–48; 2 Kgs 15:25).
  5. 6:9 Shechem: an important ancient religious and political center (Jos 24).
  6. 6:11 Harvest: God’s judgment, when Judah will reap what it has sown.

Hosea 5 (Taipo Bible Marathon Day 486)

Hosea 5New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

Guilt of the Religious and Political Leaders

Hear this, priests,
    Pay attention, house of Israel,
Household of the king, give ear!
    For you are responsible for judgment.[a]
But you have been a snare at Mizpah,[b]
    a net spread upon Tabor,
a pit dug deep in Shittim.
    Now I will discipline them all.

I know Ephraim,
    and Israel is not hidden from me:
Now, Ephraim, you have practiced prostitution,
    Israel is defiled.
Their deeds do not allow them
    to return to their God;
For the spirit of prostitution is in them,
    and they do not know the Lord.

The arrogance of Israel bears witness against him;
    Israel and Ephraim stumble because of their iniquity,
    and Judah stumbles with them.
With their flocks and herds they will go
    to seek the Lord, but will not find him;
    he has withdrawn from them.
They have betrayed the Lord,
    for they have borne illegitimate children;
Now the new moon[c] will devour them
    together with their fields.

Political Upheavals[d]

Blow the ram’s horn in Gibeah,
    the trumpet in Ramah!
Sound the alarm in Beth-aven:
    “Look behind you, Benjamin!”[e]
Ephraim shall become a wasteland
    on the day of punishment:
Among the tribes of Israel
    I announce what is sure to be.
10 The princes of Judah have become
    like those who move a boundary line;[f]
Upon them I will pour out
    my wrath like water.
11 Ephraim is oppressed, crushed by judgment,
    for he has willingly gone after filth![g]
12 I am like a moth for Ephraim,
    like rot for the house of Judah.
13 When Ephraim saw his infirmity,
    and Judah his sore,
Ephraim went to Assyria,
    and sent to the great king.[h]
But he cannot heal you,
    nor take away your sore.
14 For I am like a lion to Ephraim,
    like a young lion to the house of Judah;
It is I who tear the prey and depart,
    I carry it away and no one can save it.

Insincere Conversion

15 I will go back to my place
    until they make reparation
    and seek my presence.
In their affliction, they shall look for me.


  1. 5:1 For you…judgment: possibly “for you are called to judgment.”
  2. 5:1–2 Mizpah: several places bear this name; the best known is in Benjamin (1 Sm 7:6,16; 10:17). Perhaps this is a wordplay on mishpat, “justice,” “judgment.” Tabor: the mountain that dominates the valley of Jezreel. Shittim: in Transjordan, where Israel committed its first act of idolatry with the Baal of Peor (9:10; cf. Nm 25). At these three places the leaders had misled the people by an idolatrous cult or by an abuse of justice.
  3. 5:7 New moon: normally a feast day of joy (2:13), but, because of infidelity, it will be a day of destruction.
  4. 5:8–14 This passage describes political and military conflict between Judah and Israel. Perhaps some allusion is made to the Syro-Ephraimite war of 735–734 B.C., when a coalition of Arameans and Israelites attempted to dethrone the king of Judah (2 Kgs 16:5;Is 7:1–9). Judah repulsed the attempt with the aid of Assyria, and the latter devastated both Aram and Israel.
  5. 5:8 A vision of invasion, from Gibeah and Ramah in northern Judah, into Israel.
  6. 5:10 Move a boundary line: invasion by Judah (v. 8) is compared to a case of social injustice (Dt 19:14; 27:17; Prv 23:10–11).
  7. 5:11 Filth: Ephraim’s reliance on foreign nations and their gods.
  8. 5:13 Ephraim went…king: in 738 the Israelite king Menahem had to pay tribute to the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III, whose vassal he became (2 Kgs 15:19–20). Under the threat of the Syro-Ephraimite invasion King Ahaz of Judah also submitted to Tiglath-pileser (2 Kgs 16:7–9). Great king: Heb. melek-yarev; may be a proper name: King Yarev, but unknown; or “the defender king”: irony about the great king of Assyria (see note on10:6).

Hosea 4 (Taipo Bible Marathon Day 485)

Hosea 4New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

II. Israel’s Guilt, Punishment, and Restoration

Chapter 4

Indictment of Israel[a]

Hear the word of the Lord, Israelites,
    for the Lord has a dispute
    with the inhabitants of the land:
There is no fidelity, no loyalty,
    no knowledge of God in the land.
Swearing, lying, murder,
    stealing and adultery break out;[b]
    bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land dries up,
    and everything that dwells in it languishes:
The beasts of the field,
    the birds of the air,
    and even the fish of the sea perish.

Guilt of Priest and of People

But let no one accuse, let no one rebuke;
    with you is my dispute, priest![c]
You will stumble in the day,
    and the prophet will stumble with you at night;
    I will make an end of your mother.[d]
My people are ruined for lack of knowledge!
    Since you have rejected knowledge,
    I will reject you from serving as my priest;
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
    I will also forget your children.

The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against me,
    I will change their glory[e] into shame.
They feed on the sin of my people,
    and are greedy for their iniquity.[f]
Like people, like priest:
    I will punish them for their ways,
    and repay them for their deeds.
10 They will eat but not be satisfied,
    they will promote prostitution[g] but not increase,
Because they have abandoned the Lord,
    devoting themselves
11     to prostitution.
Aged wine and new wine
    take away understanding.
12 My people consult their piece of wood,[h]
    and their wand makes pronouncements for them,
For the spirit of prostitution has led them astray;
    they prostitute themselves, forsaking their God.
13 On the mountaintops they offer sacrifice
    and on the hills they burn incense,
Beneath oak and poplar and terebinth,
    because of their pleasant shade.[i]
Therefore your daughters prostitute themselves,
    and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters for their prostitution,
    nor your daughters-in-law for their adultery,
Because the men themselves consort with prostitutes,
    and with temple women[j] they offer sacrifice!
Thus a people without understanding comes to ruin.

15 Though you prostitute yourself, Israel,
    do not let Judah become guilty!
Do not come to Gilgal,[k]
    do not go up to Beth-aven,
    do not swear, “As the Lord lives!”
16 For like a stubborn cow,
    Israel is stubborn;
Will the Lord now pasture them,
    like lambs in a broad meadow?
17 Ephraim[l] is bound to idols,
    let him alone!
18 [m]When their drinking is over,
    they give themselves to prostitution;
    they love shame more than their honor.
19 A wind[n] has bound them up in its wings;
    they shall be ashamed because of their altars.


  1. 4:1–3 The introduction to the oracles (chaps. 4–11) which begin with “Hear the word of the Lord” (4:1) and end with “oracle of the Lord” (11:11).
  2. 4:2 Similar to the decalogue (Ex 20:1–17; cf. Jer 7:9).
  3. 4:4–6 Hosea is particularly severe with the priests in the Northern Kingdom who had led the way in the general apostasy from God’s law. The prophets here associated with the priests (v. 5) were doubtless cult prophets; cf. Jer 2:8; 4:9–10; 6:13–14; 23:9–40.
  4. 4:5 Your mother: the one who gave life to the priest, understood here as an extension of the punishment to his whole family (Am 7:17), or “mother” taken as a metaphor for the community of Israel, of which the priest is a member (Hos 2:4).
  5. 4:7 Their glory: possibly connoting “their children.” See 9:11: Is 22:24. Or “Glory” may refer to the Lord in contrast to Ba’al. The Hebrew word for shame, bosheth, is often substituted for Ba’al in biblical names. See Ishbaal (Heb. Ishbosheth, 2 Sm 2:8, 10, 12,15) and Meribaal (Heb. Mephibosheth, 2 Sm 9:6, 10–13).
  6. 4:8 The priest receives part of the sacrifice (Lv 6:19; 7:7).
  7. 4:10–11 Prostitution: often a synonym for idolatry. The covenant bond was symbolized as the relationship between husband and wife (see chaps. 1–2). Thus, abandoning the Lord for a foreign god was called prostitution or adultery.
  8. 4:12 Piece of wood: a derogatory term for an idol. Wand: a sacred wooden object, perhaps some kind of staff, used for divination.
  9. 4:13 The shrines on the “high places” typically had an altar, a grove of trees, and a stone pillar representing a god (Dt 12:2; Jer 2:20).
  10. 4:14 Temple women: plural of Heb. qedesha; the exact import of the term is disputed. See notes on Gn 38:21 and Dt 23:18–19.
  11. 4:15 Gilgal: close to Jericho (Jos 4:19–20; 5:2–9). Beth-aven: (lit., “house of iniquity”) Hosea’s derogatory term for the sanctuary of Bethel (lit., “house of God”), the major shrine of the Northern Kingdom (10:5, 8; cf. Am 5:5). As the Lord lives: a legitimate oath formula (1 Sm 26:10, 16), but unacceptable here because Israel is guilty of religious syncretism and the idolatrous worship of other gods.
  12. 4:17 Ephraim: the name of one of the sons of Joseph, son of Jacob (Gn 41:52), also used to designate one of the tribes living in the heartland of the Northern Kingdom. Hosea often uses the name Ephraim to refer to the whole Northern Kingdom of Israel. During the latter part of his ministry, after the Assyrians occupied Galilee, Ephraim was all that remained of Israel.
  13. 4:18 Cf. v. 11.
  14. 4:19 A wind: (Heb. ruah), a metaphor for Israel’s addiction to the Baal cult, which is nothing but wind, a “spirit (ruah) of prostitution” (v. 12).