The Rebuke of Israel's Idolatry
8 1 Put the trumpet to your lips ! Like an eagle the enemy comes against the house of the Lord , Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law . 2 They cry out to Me, "My God , we of Israel know You!" 3 Israel has rejected the good ; The enemy will pursue him. 4 They have set up kings , but not by Me; They have appointed princes , but I did not know it. With their silver and gold they have made idols for themselves, That they might be cut off . 5 He has rejected your calf , O Samaria , saying, "My anger burns against them!" How long will they be incapable e of innocence ? 6 For from Israel is even this ! A craftsman made it, so it is not God ; Surely the calf of Samaria will be broken to pieces . 7 For they sow the wind And they reap the whirlwind . The standing grain has no heads ; It yields no grain . Should it yield , strangers would swallow it up.
8 Israel is swallowed up; They are now among the nations Like a vessel in which no one delights . 9 For they have gone up to Assyria , Like a wild donkey all alone ; Ephraim has hired lovers . 10 Even though they hire allies among the nations , Now I will gather them up; And they will begin to diminish Because of the burden of the king of princes . 11 Since Ephraim has multiplied altars for sin , They have become altars of sinning for him. 12 Though I wrote for him ten thousand precepts of My law , They are regarded as a strange thing . 13 As for My sacrificial gifts , They sacrifice the flesh and eat it, But the Lord has taken no delight in them. Now He will remember their iniquity , And punish them for their sins ; They will return to Egypt . 14 For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces ; And Judah has multiplied fortified cities , But I will send a fire on its cities that it may consume its palatial dwellings .
The Punishment for Israel's Persistent Unfaithfulness
9 1 Do not rejoice , O Israel , with exultation like the nations ! For you have played the harlot , forsaking e your God . You have loved harlots' earnings on every threshing floor . 2 Threshing floor and wine press will not feed them, And the new wine will fail them. 3 They will not remain in the Lord'S land , But Ephraim will return to Egypt , And in Assyria they will eat unclean food. 4 They will not pour out drink offerings of wine to the Lord , Their sacrifices will not please Him. Their bread will be like mourners' bread ; All who eat of it will be defiled , For their bread will be for themselves alone; It will not enter the house of the Lord . 5 What will you do on the day of the appointed festival And on the day of the feast of the Lord ? 6 For behold , they will go because of destruction ; Egypt will gather them up, Memphis will bury them. Weeds will take over their treasures of silver ; Thorns will be in their tents .
7 The days of punishment have come , The days of retribution have come ; Let Israel know this! The prophet is a fool , The inspired man is demented , Because of the grossness of your iniquity , And because your hostility is so great . 8 Ephraim was a watchman with my God , a prophet ; Yet the snare of a bird catcher is in all his ways , And there is only hostility in the house of his God . 9 They have gone deep in depravity As in the days of Gibeah ; He will remember their iniquity , He will punish their sins . 10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness ; I saw your forefathers as the earliest fruit on the fig tree in its first season. But they came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame , And they became as detestable as that which they loved .
11 As for Ephraim , their glory will fly away like a bird - No birth , no pregnancy and no conception ! 12 Though e they bring up their children , Yet I will bereave them until not a man is left. Yes , woe to them indeed when I depart from them! 13 Ephraim , as I have seen , Is planted in a pleasant meadow like Tyre ; But Ephraim will bring out his children for slaughter . 14 Give them, O Lord -what will You give ? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts . 15 All their evil is at Gilgal ; Indeed , I came to hate them there ! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house ! I will love them no more ; All their princes are rebels . 16 Ephraim is stricken , their root is dried up, They will bear no fruit . Even though they bear children, I will slay the precious ones of their womb . 17 My God will cast them away Because they have not listened to Him; And they will be wanderers among the nations .
10 1 Israel is a luxuriant vine ; He produces fruit for himself. The more his fruit , The more altars he made ; The richer his land , The better he made the sacred pillars . 2 Their heart is faithless ; Now they must bear their guilt . The Lord will break down their altars And destroy their sacred pillars . 3 Surely now they will say , "We have no king , For we do not revere the Lord . As for the king , what can he do for us?" 4 They speak mere words , With worthless oaths they make covenants ; And judgment sprouts like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field . 5 The inhabitants of Samaria will fear For the calf of Beth-aven . Indeed , its people will mourn for it, And its idolatrous priests will cry out over it, Over its glory , since it has departed from it. 6 The thing itself will be carried to Assyria As tribute to King Jareb ; Ephraim will be seized with shame And Israel will be ashamed of its own counsel . 7 Samaria will be cut off with her king Like a stick on the surface of the water . 8 Also the high places of Aven , the sin of Israel , will be destroyed ; Thorn and thistle will grow on their altars ; Then they will say to the mountains , "Cover us!" And to the hills , "Fall on us!"
9 From the days of Gibeah you have sinned , O Israel ; There they stand ! Will not the battle against the sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah ? 10 When it is My desire , I will chastise them; And the peoples will be gathered against them When they are bound for their double guilt . 11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh , But I will come over her fair neck with a yoke; I will harness Ephraim , Judah will plow , Jacob will harrow for himself. 12 Sow with a view to righteousness , Reap in accordance with kindness ; Break up your fallow ground , For it is time to seek the Lord Until He comes to rain righteousness on you. 13 You have plowed wickedness , you have reaped injustice , You have eaten the fruit of lies . Because you have trusted in your way , in your numerous warriors , 14 Therefore a tumult will arise among your people , And all your fortresses will be destroyed , As Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle , When mothers were dashed in pieces with their children . 15 Thus it will be done to you at Bethel because e of your great wickedness . At dawn the king of Israel will be completely cut off .
God Yearns for His Wayward People
11 1 When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son . 2 The more they called them, The more they went from them; They kept sacrificing to the Baals And burning incense to idols . 3 Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk , I took them in My arms ; But they did not know that I healed them. 4 I led them with cords of a man , with bonds of love , And I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws ; And I bent down and fed them. 5 They will not return to the land of Egypt ; But Assyria -he will be their king Because they refused to return to Me. 6 The sword will whirl against their cities , And will demolish their gate bars And consume them because of their counsels . 7 So My people are bent on turning from Me. Though they call them to the One on high , None at all exalts Him.
8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim ? How can I surrender you, O Israel ? How can I make you like Admah ? How can I treat you like Zeboiim ? My heart is turned over within Me, All My compassions are kindled . 9 I will not execute My fierce anger ; I will not destroy Ephraim again . For I am God and not man , the Holy One in your midst , And I will not come in wrath . 10 They will walk after the Lord , He will roar like a lion ; Indeed He will roar And His sons will come trembling from the west . 11 They will come trembling like birds from Egypt And like doves from the land of Assyria ; And I will settle them in their houses , declares the Lord . 12 Ephraim surrounds Me with lies And the house of Israel with deceit ; Judah is also unruly against God , Even against the Holy One who is faithful .
Ephraim Rebuked for Falsehood and Oppression
12 1 Ephraim feeds on wind , And pursues the east wind continually e ; He multiplies lies and violence . Moreover, he makes a covenant with Assyria , And oil is carried to Egypt . 2 The Lord also has a dispute with Judah , And will punish Jacob according to his ways ; He will repay him according to his deeds . 3 In the womb he took his brother by the heel , And in his maturity he contended with God . 4 Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed ; He wept and sought His favor . He found Him at Bethel And there He spoke with us, 5 Even the Lord , the God of hosts , The Lord is His name . 6 Therefore, return to your God , Observe kindness and justice , And wait for your God continually .
7 A merchant , in whose hands are false balances , He loves to oppress . 8 And Ephraim said , "Surely I have become rich , I have found wealth for myself; In all my labors they will find in me No iniquity , which would be sin ." 9 But I have been the Lord your God since the land of Egypt ; I will make you live in tents again , As in the days of the appointed festival . 10 I have also spoken to the prophets , And I gave numerous visions , And through the prophets I gave parables . 11 Is there iniquity in Gilead ? Surely they are worthless . In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls , Yes , their altars are like the stone heaps Beside the furrows of the field . 12 Now Jacob fled to the land of Aram , And Israel worked for a wife , And for a wife he kept sheep. 13 But by a prophet the Lord brought Israel from Egypt , And by a prophet he was kept . 14 Ephraim has provoked to bitter anger ; So his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him And bring back his reproach to him.
The Utter Destruction of Ephraim Foretold
13 1 When Ephraim spoke , there was trembling . He exalted himself in Israel , But through Baal he did wrong and died . 2 And now they sin more and more , And make for themselves molten images , Idols skillfully made from their silver , All of them the work of craftsmen . They say of them, "Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves !" 3 Therefore they will be like the morning cloud And like dew which soon disappears , Like chaff which is blown away from the threshing floor And like smoke from a chimney . 4 Yet I have been the Lord your God Since the land of Egypt ; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me.
5 I cared for you in the wilderness , In the land of drought . 6 As they had their pasture , they became satisfied , And being satisfied , their heart became proud ; Therefore e they forgot Me. 7 So I will be like a lion to them; Like a leopard I will lie in wait by the wayside . 8 I will encounter them like a bear robbed of her cubs , And I will tear open their chests e ; There I will also devour them like a lioness , As a wild beast would tear them.
9 It is your destruction , O Israel , That you are against Me, against your help . 10 Where now is your king That he may save you in all your cities , And your judges of whom you requested , "Give me a king and princes "? 11 I gave you a king in My anger And took him away in My wrath . 12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; His sin is stored up. 13 The pains of childbirth come upon him; He is not a wise son , For it is not the time that he should delay at the opening e of the womb . 14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol ? Shall I redeem them from death ? O Death , where are your thorns ? O Sheol , where is your sting ? Compassion will be hidden from My sight . 15 Though he flourishes among the reeds , An east wind will come , The wind of the Lord coming up from the wilderness ; And his fountain will become dry And his spring will be dried up; It will plunder his treasury of every precious article . 16 Samaria will be held guilty , For she has rebelled against her God . They will fall by the sword , Their little ones will be dashed in pieces , And their pregnant women will be ripped open .
Israel Entreated to Return to the LORD
14 1 Return , O Israel , to the Lord your God , For you have stumbled because of your iniquity . 2 Take words with you and return to the Lord . Say to Him, " Take away all iniquity And receive us graciously , That we may present the fruit of our lips . 3 "Assyria will not save us, We will not ride on horses ; Nor will we say again , ' Our god ,' To the work of our hands ; For in You the orphan finds mercy ."
4 I will heal their apostasy , I will love them freely , For My anger has turned away from them. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel ; He will blossom like the lily , And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon . 6 His shoots will sprout , And his beauty will be like the olive tree And his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon . 7 Those who live in his shadow Will again raise grain , And they will blossom like the vine . His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon .
8 O Ephraim , what more have I to do with idols ? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like a luxuriant cypress ; From Me comes your fruit . 9 Whoever is wise , let him understand these things ; Whoever is discerning , let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right , And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.