The Rebuke of Israel's Idolatry
8 1 “Put the trumpet to your lips!
Something like an eagle is over Yahweh’s house,
because they have broken my covenant,
and rebelled against my law. 2 They cry to me, ‘My God, we Israel acknowledge you!’ 3 Israel has cast off that which is good.
The enemy will pursue him. 4 They have set up kings, but not by me.
They have made princes, and I didn’t approve.
Of their silver and their gold they have made themselves idols,
that they may be cut off. 5 Let Samaria throw out his calf idol!
My anger burns against them!
How long will it be until they are capable of purity? 6 For this is even from Israel!
The workman made it, and it is no God;
indeed, the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. 7 For they sow the wind,
and they will reap the whirlwind.
He has no standing grain.
The stalk will yield no head.
If it does yield, strangers will swallow it up.
8 Israel is swallowed up.
Now they are among the nations like a worthless thing. 9 For they have gone up to Assyria,
like a wild donkey wandering alone.
Ephraim has hired lovers for himself. 10 But although they sold themselves among the nations,
I will now gather them;
and they begin to waste away because of the oppression of the king of mighty ones. 11 Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning,
they became for him altars for sinning. 12 I wrote for him the many things of my law;
but they were regarded as a strange thing. 13 As for the sacrifices of my offerings,
they sacrifice flesh and eat it;
But Yahweh doesn’t accept them.
Now he will remember their iniquity,
and punish 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 his cities,
and it will devour its fortresses.”
The Punishment for Israel's Persistent Unfaithfulness
9 1 Don’t rejoice, Israel, to jubilation like the nations;
for you were unfaithful to your God.
You love the wages of a prostitute at every grain threshing floor. 2 The threshing floor and the winepress won’t feed them,
and the new wine will fail her. 3 They won’t dwell in Yahweh’s land;
but Ephraim will return to Egypt,
and they will eat unclean food in Assyria. 4 They won’t pour out wine offerings to Yahweh,
neither will they be pleasing to him.
Their sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners;
all who eat of it will be polluted;
for their bread will be for their appetite.
It will not come into the house of Yahweh. 5 What will you do in the day of solemn assembly,
and in the day of the feast of Yahweh? 6 For, behold, they have gone away from destruction.
Egypt will gather them up.
Memphis will bury them.
Nettles will possess their pleasant things of silver.
Thorns will be in their tents.
7 The days of visitation have come.
The days of reckoning have come.
Israel will consider the prophet to be a fool,
and the man who is inspired to be insane,
because of the abundance of your sins,
and because your hostility is great. 8 A prophet watches over Ephraim with my God.
A fowler’s snare is on all of his paths,
and hostility in the house of his God. 9 They have deeply corrupted themselves,
as in the days of Gibeah.
He will remember their iniquity.
He will punish them for their sins. 10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness.
I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at its first season;
but they came to Baal Peor, and consecrated themselves to the shameful thing,
and became abominable like that which they loved.
11 As for Ephraim, their glory will fly away like a bird.
There will be no birth, none with child, and no conception. 12 Though they bring up their children,
yet I will bereave them, so that not a man shall be left.
Indeed, woe also to them when I depart from them! 13 I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place;
but Ephraim will bring out his children to the murderer. 14 Give them—Yahweh what will you give?
Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. 15 “All their wickedness is in Gilgal;
for there I hated them.
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 struck.
Their root has dried up.
They will bear no fruit.
Even though they bring forth, yet I will kill the beloved ones of their womb.” 17 My God will cast them away, because they did not listen to him;
and they will be wanderers among the nations.
10 1 Israel is a luxuriant vine that puts forth his fruit.
According to the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars.
As their land has prospered, they have adorned their sacred stones. 2 Their heart is divided.
Now they will be found guilty.
He will demolish their altars.
He will destroy their sacred stones. 3 Surely now they will say, “We have no king; for we don’t fear Yahweh;
and the king, what can he do for us?” 4 They make promises, swearing falsely in making covenants.
Therefore judgment springs up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field. 5 The inhabitants of Samaria will be in terror for the calves of Beth Aven;
for its people will mourn over it,
Along with its priests who rejoiced over it,
for its glory, because it has departed from it. 6 It also will be carried to Assyria for a present to a great king.
Ephraim will receive shame,
and Israel will be ashamed of his own counsel. 7 Samaria and her king float away,
like a twig on the water. 8 The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed.
The thorn and the thistle will come up on their altars.
They will tell the mountains, “Cover us!” and the hills, “Fall on us!”
9 “Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah.
There they remained.
The battle against the children of iniquity doesn’t overtake them in Gibeah. 10 When it is my desire, I will chastise them;
and the nations will be gathered against them,
when they are bound to their two transgressions. 11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh;
so I will put a yoke on her beautiful neck.
I will set a rider on Ephraim.
Judah will plow.
Jacob will break his clods. 12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness,
reap according to kindness.
Break up your fallow ground;
for it is time to seek Yahweh,
until he comes and rains righteousness on you. 13 You have plowed wickedness.
You have reaped iniquity.
You have eaten the fruit of lies,
for you trusted in your way, in the multitude of your mighty men. 14 Therefore a battle roar will arise among your people,
and all your fortresses will be destroyed,
as Shalman destroyed Beth Arbel in the day of battle.
The mother was dashed in pieces with her children. 15 So Bethel will do to you because of your great wickedness.
At daybreak the king of Israel will be destroyed.
God Yearns for His Wayward People
11 1 “When Israel was a child, then I loved him,
and called my son out of Egypt. 2 They called to them, so they went from them.
They sacrificed to the Baals,
and burned incense to engraved images. 3 Yet I taught Ephraim to walk.
I took them by his arms;
but they didn’t know that I healed them. 4 I drew them with cords of a man, with ties of love;
and I was to them like those who lift up the yoke on their necks;
and I bent down to him and I fed him. 5 “They won’t return into the land of Egypt;
but the Assyrian will be their king,
because they refused to repent. 6 The sword will fall on their cities,
and will destroy the bars of their gates,
and will put an end to their plans. 7 My people are determined to turn from me.
Though they call to the Most High,
he certainly won’t exalt them.
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboiim?
My heart is turned within me,
my compassion is aroused. 9 I will not execute the fierceness of my anger.
I will not return to destroy Ephraim:
for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of you;
and I will not come in wrath. 10 They will walk after Yahweh,
who will roar like a lion;
for he will roar, and the children will come trembling from the west. 11 They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt,
and like a dove out of the land of Assyria;
and I will settle them in their houses,” says Yahweh. 12 Ephraim surrounds me with falsehood,
and the house of Israel with deceit.
Judah still strays from God,
and is unfaithful to the Holy One.
Ephraim Rebuked for Falsehood and Oppression
12 1 Ephraim feeds on wind,
and chases the east wind.
He continually multiplies lies and desolation.
They make a covenant with Assyria,
and oil is carried into Egypt. 2 Yahweh also has a controversy with Judah,
and will punish Jacob according to his ways;
according to his deeds he will repay him. 3 In the womb he took his brother by the heel;
and in his manhood he contended with God. 4 Indeed, he struggled with the angel, and prevailed;
he wept, and made supplication to him.
He found him at Bethel, and there he spoke with us, 5 even Yahweh, the God of Armies;
Yahweh is his name of renown! 6 Therefore turn to your God.
Keep kindness and justice,
and wait continually for your God.
7 A merchant has dishonest scales in his hand.
He loves to defraud. 8 Ephraim said, “Surely I have become rich,
I have found myself wealth.
In all my wealth they won’t find in me any iniquity that is sin.” 9 “But I am Yahweh your God from the land of Egypt.
I will yet again make you dwell in tents,
as in the days of the solemn feast. 10 I have also spoken to the prophets,
and I have multiplied visions;
and by the ministry of the prophets I have used parables. 11 If Gilead is wicked,
surely they are worthless.
In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls.
Indeed, their altars are like heaps in the furrows of the field. 12 Jacob fled into the country of Aram,
and Israel served to get a wife,
and for a wife he tended flocks and herds. 13 By a prophet Yahweh brought Israel up out of Egypt,
and by a prophet he was preserved. 14 Ephraim has bitterly provoked anger.
Therefore his blood will be left on him,
and his Lord will repay his contempt.
The Utter Destruction of Ephraim Foretold
13 1 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling.
He exalted himself in Israel,
but when he became guilty in Baal, he died. 2 Now they sin more and more,
and have made themselves molten images of their silver,
even idols according to their own understanding,
all of them the work of the craftsmen.
They say of them, ‘They offer human sacrifice and kiss the calves.’ 3 Therefore they will be like the morning mist,
and like the dew that passes away early,
like the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the threshing floor,
and like the smoke out of the chimney. 4 “Yet I am Yahweh your God from the land of Egypt;
and you shall acknowledge no god but me,
and besides me there is no savior.
5 I knew you in the wilderness,
in the land of great drought. 6 According to their pasture, so were they filled;
they were filled, and their heart was exalted.
Therefore they have forgotten me. 7 Therefore I am like a lion to them.
Like a leopard, I will lurk by the path. 8 I will meet them like a bear that is bereaved of her cubs,
and will tear the covering of their heart.
There I will devour them like a lioness.
The wild animal will tear them.
9 You are destroyed, Israel, because you are against me,
against your help. 10 Where is your king now, that he may save you in all your cities?
And your judges, of whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes?’ 11 I have given you a king in my anger,
and have taken him away in my wrath. 12 The guilt of Ephraim is stored up.
His sin is stored up. 13 The sorrows of a travailing woman will come on him.
He is an unwise son;
for when it is time, he doesn’t come to the opening of the womb. 14 I will ransom them from the power of Sheol.
I will redeem them from death!
Death, where are your plagues?
Sheol, where is your destruction?
“Compassion will be hidden from my eyes. 15 Though he is fruitful among his brothers, an east wind will come,
the breath of Yahweh coming up from the wilderness;
and his spring will become dry,
and his fountain will be dried up.
He will plunder the storehouse of treasure. 16 Samaria will bear her guilt;
for she has rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword.
Their infants will be dashed in pieces,
and their pregnant women will be ripped open.”
Israel Entreated to Return to the LORD
14 1 Israel, return to Yahweh your God;
for you have fallen because of your sin. 2 Take words with you, and return to Yahweh.
Tell him, “Forgive all our sins,
and accept that which is good:
so we offer our lips like bulls. 3 Assyria can’t save us.
We won’t ride on horses;
neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, ‘Our gods!’
for in you the fatherless finds mercy.”
4 “I will heal their waywardness.
I will love them freely;
for my anger is turned away from him. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel.
He will blossom like the lily,
and send down his roots like Lebanon. 6 His branches will spread,
and his beauty will be like the olive tree,
and his fragrance like Lebanon. 7 Men will dwell in his shade.
They will revive like the grain,
and blossom like the vine.
Their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim, what have I to do any more with idols?
I answer, and will take care of him.
I am like a green fir tree;
from me your fruit is found.” 9 Who is wise, that he may understand these things?
Who is prudent, that he may know them?
For the ways of Yahweh are right,
and the righteous walk in them;
But the rebellious stumble in them.