12 Ephraim continually feeds on the wind;
he chases the east wind all day;
he multiplies lies and violence.
They make treaties 1 with Assyria,
and send olive oil as tribute 2 to Egypt.
2 The Lord also has a covenant lawsuit 3 against Judah;
he will punish Jacob according to his ways
and repay him according to his deeds.
3 In the womb he attacked his brother;
in his manly vigor he struggled 4 with God.
4 He struggled 5 with an angel and prevailed;
he wept and begged for his favor.
He found God 6 at Bethel, 7
and there he spoke with him! 8
5 As for the Lord God Almighty,
the Lord is the name by which he is remembered! 9
6 But you must return 10 to your God,
by maintaining love and justice,
and by waiting 11 for your God to return to you. 12
7 The businessmen love to cheat; 13
they use dishonest scales. 14
8 Ephraim boasts, 15 “I am very rich!
I have become wealthy! 16
In all that I have done to gain my wealth, 17
no one can accuse me of any offense 18 that is actually sinful.” 19
9 “I am the Lord your God 20 who brought you 21 out of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again as in the days of old. 22
10 I spoke to the prophets;
I myself revealed many visions; 23
I spoke in parables 24 through 25 the prophets.”
11 Is there idolatry 26 in Gilead? 27
Certainly its inhabitants 28 will come to nothing! 29
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?
Surely their altars will be like stones heaped up on a plowed field!
12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram,
then Israel worked 30 to acquire a wife;
he tended sheep to pay for her.
13 The Lord brought Israel out of Egypt by a prophet,
and due to a prophet 31 Israel 32 was preserved alive. 33
14 But Ephraim bitterly 34 provoked him to anger;
so he will hold him accountable for the blood he has shed, 35
his Lord 36 will repay him for the contempt he has shown. 37
13 When Ephraim 1 spoke, 2 there was terror; 3
he was exalted 4 in Israel,
but he became guilty by worshiping Baal and died.
2 Even now they persist in sin! 5
They make metal images for themselves,
idols that they skillfully fashion 6 from their own silver;
all of them are nothing but the work of craftsmen!
There is a saying about them: 7
“Those who sacrifice 8 to the calf idol are calf kissers!” 9
3 Therefore they will disappear like 10 the morning mist, 11
like early morning dew that evaporates, 12
like chaff that is blown away 13 from a threshing floor,
like smoke that disappears through an open window.
4 But I am the Lord your God,
who brought you out of Egypt.
Therefore, you must not acknowledge any God but me;
except me there is no Savior.
5 I cared 14 for you in the wilderness,
in the dry desert where no water was. 15
6 When they were fed, 16 they became satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud; 17
as a result, they forgot me!
7 So 18 I will pounce on them like a lion; 19
like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
8 I will attack them like a bear robbed of her cubs –
I will rip open their chests.
I will devour them there like a lion –
like a wild animal would tear them apart.
9 I will destroy you, 20 O Israel!
Who 21 is there to help you?
10 Where 22 then is your king,
that he may save you in all your cities?
Where are 23 your rulers for whom you asked, saying,
“Give me a king and princes”?
11 I granted 24 you a king in my anger,
and I will take him away in my wrath!
12 The punishment 25 of Ephraim has been decreed; 26
his punishment is being stored up for the future.
13 The labor pains of a woman will overtake him,
but the baby will lack wisdom;
when the time arrives,
he will not come out of the womb!
14 Will I deliver them from the power of Sheol? No, I will not! 27
Will I redeem them from death? No, I will not!
O Death, bring on your plagues! 28
O Sheol, bring on your destruction! 29
My eyes will not show any compassion! 30
15 Even though he flourishes like a reed plant, 31
a scorching east wind will come,
a wind from the Lord rising up from the desert.
As a result, his spring will dry up; 32
his well will become dry.
That wind 33 will spoil all his delightful foods
in the containers in his storehouse.
16 34 Samaria will be held guilty, 35
because she rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword,
their infants will be dashed to the ground –
their 36 pregnant women will be ripped open.
14 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for your sin has been your downfall! 1
2 Return to the Lord and repent! 2
Say to him: “Completely 3 forgive our iniquity;
accept 4 our penitential prayer, 5
that we may offer the praise of our lips as sacrificial bulls. 6
3 Assyria cannot save us;
we will not ride warhorses.
We will never again say, ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made.
For only you will show compassion to Orphan Israel!” 7
4 “I will heal their waywardness 8
and love them freely, 9
for my anger will turn 10 away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily,
he will send down his roots like a cedar of 11 Lebanon.
6 His young shoots will grow;
his splendor will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will reside again 12 in his shade;
they will plant and harvest grain in abundance. 13
They will blossom like a vine,
and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.
8 O Ephraim, I do not want to have anything to do 14 with idols anymore!
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like 15 a luxuriant cypress tree; 16
your fruitfulness comes from me! 17
9 Who is wise?
Let him discern 18 these things!
Who is discerning?
Let him understand them!
For the ways of the Lord are right;
the godly walk in them,
but in them the rebellious stumble.