5 Hear this, you priests!
Pay attention, you Israelites! 1
Listen closely, 2 O king! 3
For judgment is about to overtake you! 4
For you were like a trap 5 to Mizpah, 6
like a net 7 spread out to catch Tabor. 8
2 Those who revolt are knee-deep in slaughter, 9
but I will discipline them all. 10
3 I know Ephraim all too well; 11
the evil of 12 Israel is not hidden from me.
For you have engaged in prostitution, O Ephraim;
Israel has defiled itself. 13
4 Their wicked deeds do not allow them to return to their God;
because a spirit of idolatry 14 controls their heart, 15
and they do not acknowledge the Lord.
5 The arrogance of Israel testifies against it;
Israel and Ephraim will be overthrown 16 because 17 of their iniquity.
Even Judah will be brought down 18 with them.
6 Although they bring their flocks and herds 19
to seek 20 the favor of the Lord, 21
They will not find him –
he has withdrawn himself from them!
7 They have committed treason 22 against the Lord,
because they bore illegitimate children.
Soon 23 the new moon festival will devour them and their fields.
8 Blow the ram’s horn in Gibeah!
Sound the trumpet in Ramah!
Sound the alarm in Beth Aven! 24
Tremble in fear, 25 O Benjamin!
9 Ephraim will be ruined in the day of judgment! 26
What I am declaring 27 to the tribes of Israel will certainly take place! 28
10 The princes of Judah are like those who move boundary markers.
I will pour out my rage on them like a torrential flood! 29
11 Ephraim will be oppressed, 30 crushed 31 under judgment, 32
because he was determined to pursue worthless idols. 33
12 I will be like a moth to Ephraim,
like wood rot 34 to the house of Judah.
13 When Ephraim saw 35 his sickness
and Judah saw his wound,
then Ephraim turned 36 to Assyria,
and begged 37 its great king 38 for help.
But he will not be able to heal you!
He cannot cure your wound! 39
14 I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
like a young lion to the house of Judah.
I myself will tear them to pieces,
then I will carry them off, and no one will be able to rescue them!
15 Then I will return again to my lair
until they have suffered their punishment. 40
Then they will seek me; 41
in their distress they will earnestly seek me.
6 “Come on! Let’s return to the Lord!
He himself has torn us to pieces,
but he will heal us!
He has injured 1 us,
but he will bandage our wounds!
2 He will restore 2 us in a very short time; 3
he will heal us in a little while, 4
so that we may live in his presence.
3 So let us acknowledge him! 5
Let us seek 6 to acknowledge 7 the Lord!
He will come to our rescue as certainly as the appearance of the dawn,
as certainly as the winter rain comes,
as certainly as the spring rain that waters the land.”
4 What am I going to do with you, O Ephraim?
What am I going to do with you, O Judah?
For 8 your faithfulness is as fleeting as the morning mist; 9
it disappears as quickly as dawn’s dew! 10
5 Therefore, I will certainly cut 11 you into pieces at the hands of the prophets; 12
I will certainly kill you 13 in fulfillment of my oracles of judgment; 14
for 15 my judgment 16 will come forth like the light of the dawn. 17
6 For I delight in faithfulness, not simply in sacrifice;
I delight 18 in acknowledging God, not simply in whole burnt offerings. 19
7 At Adam 20 they broke 21 the covenant;
Oh how 22 they were unfaithful 23 to me!
8 Gilead is a city full of evildoers; 24
its streets are stained with bloody footprints! 25
9 The company of priests is like a gang of robbers,
lying in ambush to pounce on a victim.
They commit murder on the road to Shechem;
they have done heinous crimes!
10 I have seen a disgusting thing in the temple of Israel:
there Ephraim practices temple prostitution
and Judah defiles itself.
11 I have appointed a time to reap judgment 26 for you also, O Judah!
Whenever I want to restore the fortunes of my people, 27
7 whenever I want to heal Israel,
the sin of Ephraim is revealed,
and the evil deeds of Samaria are exposed.
For they do what is wrong;
thieves break into houses,
and gangs rob people out in the streets.
2 They do not realize 1
that I remember all of their wicked deeds.
Their evil deeds have now surrounded them;
their sinful deeds are always before me. 2
3 The royal advisers delight the king with their evil schemes,
the princes make him glad with their lies.
4 They are all like bakers, 3
they 4 are like a smoldering oven;
they are like a baker who does not stoke the fire
until the kneaded dough is ready for baking.
5 At the celebration 5 of their king, 6
his princes become inflamed 7 with wine;
they conspire 8 with evildoers.
6 They approach him, all the while plotting against him.
Their hearts are like an oven;
their anger smolders all night long,
but in the morning it bursts into a flaming fire.
7 All of them are blazing like an oven;
they devour their rulers.
All of their kings fall –
and none of them call on me!
8 Ephraim has mixed itself like flour 9 among the nations;
Ephraim is like a ruined cake of bread that is scorched on one side. 10
9 Foreigners are consuming what his strenuous labor produced, 11
but he does not recognize it!
His head is filled with gray hair,
but he does not realize it!
10 The arrogance of Israel testifies against him,
yet they refuse to return to the Lord their God!
In spite of all this they refuse to seek him!
11 Ephraim has been like a dove,
easily deceived and lacking discernment.
They called to Egypt for help;
they turned to Assyria for protection.
12 I will throw my bird net over them while they are flying,
I will bring them down like birds in the sky;
I will discipline them when I hear them flocking together.
13 Woe to them! For they have fled from me!
Destruction to them! For they have rebelled against me!
I want to deliver 12 them,
but they have lied to me.
14 They do not pray to me, 13
but howl in distress on their beds;
They slash themselves 14 for grain and new wine,
but turn away from me.
15 Although I trained and strengthened them, 15
they plot evil against me!
16 They turn to Baal; 16
they are like an unreliable bow.
Their leaders will fall by the sword
because their prayers to Baal 17 have made me angry.
So people will disdain them in the land of Egypt. 18