The Lord sent a word against Jacob; it fell upon Israel;
the people all knew it— Ephraim and the one who rules in Samaria. But with a proud and arrogant heart they said,
"Bricks have fallen, but let's rebuild with stones. Sycamores were cut down, but let's replace them with cedars."
So the LORD raised up their foes against them,a and stirred up their enemies—
Aram from the east and the Philistines from the west— and they devoured Israel with an open mouth. Even then God's anger didn't turn away; God's hand was still extended.
But the people didn't turn to the one who struck them. They didn't seek the LORD of heavenly forces.
So the LORD cut off head and tail, palm branch and reed from Israel in one day.
(Elders and celebrities are the head; prophets who teach lies are the tail.)
But this people's leaders were misleading, and those being led were confused.
So the Lord showed their youth no pity, and showed their orphans and widows no mercy; for everyone was godless and evil; every mouth spoke nonsense. Even then God's anger didn't turn away; God's hand was still extended.
Wickedness burned like fire, devouring thorn and thistle. It kindled the thickets of the forest; they swirled in rising smoke.
The land was scorched by the rage of the LORD of heavenly forces; the people were like fuel for the fire. Not one person pitied another:
they consumed on the right, but remained hungry; devoured on the left, and weren't satisfied. They devoured the flesh of their own children.b21
Manasseh devoured Ephraim and Ephraim Manasseh; together they turned against Judah. Even then God's anger didn't turn away; God's hand was still extended.