Call to Return

The first person under Jeroboam II to face the masses courageously and accuse them of their sins and predict harsh punishment was the prophet Hosea.

"Hear ye the word of the L-rd," exclaimed he, "ye children of Israel. For G‑d has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of G‑d in the land. There is false swearing and lying and killing and stealing and committing adultery... blood follows upon blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and everyone in it perish."

Having predicted the fearful day of retribution, the prophet made a moving appeal for a return to G‑d and for complete faith in Him. The prophet then promised a glorious future for Israel: "Return, O Israel, unto G‑d, your L-rd; for you have stumbled through your iniquity. Take with you words of penitence; come back to G‑d and tell him: 'Pardon all our iniquity and accept our return to good... Assyria shall not help us; upon horses we will not ride; and we will no more say to the work of our hands, You are gods; for in You alone the fatherless obtains mercy!--Therefore will I heal the consequences of their backsliding; I will love them freely, for my anger is turned away from them. I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall bloom as the lily; and he shall strike his roots as the forest of the Lebanon... Then shall return those who sat under his shade; they shall revive as corn and bloom as the vine; his glory shall be as that of the wine of the Lebanon."