"Sound the alarm on the ram's horn. The enemy swoops down on the LORD's temple like an eagle. The people of Israel have rejected my promise and rebelled against my teachings.
They cry out to me, 'We acknowledge you as our God.'
However, they have rejected what is good. The enemy will persecute them.
"They chose their own kings, kings I didn't approve. They chose their own princes, princes I didn't know. They chose to make idols with their own silver and gold. Because of this, they will be destroyed.
Get rid of your calf-shaped idol, Samaria. My anger burns against these people. How long will they remain unclean?
Samaria's calf-shaped idol was made in Israel. Skilled workers made it. It is not a god. It will be smashed to pieces.
"The people of Israel plant the wind, but they harvest a storm. A field of grain that doesn't ripen will never produce any grain. Even if it did produce grain, foreigners would eat it all.
Israel will be swallowed up. It has already mixed in with the other nations. It has become worthless.
"The people of Israel went to Assyria. They were like wild donkeys wandering off alone. The people of Ephraim sold themselves to their lovers.
Even though they sold themselves among the nations, I will gather them now. They will suffer for a while under the burdens of kings and princes.
"The more altars that the people of Ephraim build to make offerings to pay for their sins, the more places they have for sinning.
I have written many things for them in my teachings, but they consider these things strange and foreign.
They offer sacrifices to me and eat the meat of sacrifices, but I, the LORD, do not accept these sacrifices. Now I will remember their wickedness and punish them because of their sins. They will go back to Egypt.
The people of Israel have built palaces, and they have forgotten their maker. The people of Judah have built many fortified cities. I will send a fire on their cities and burn down their palaces."