1 Israel, don't rejoice. Don't celebrate as other nations do. You have been unfaithful to your God. You have sold sex on every threshing floor. 2 There won't be enough grain to feed people. There won't be enough wine to go around. 3 The people of Ephraim won't stay in the LORD's land. They will return to Egypt, and they will eat unclean food in Assyria. 4 They won't pour wine offerings to the LORD, and their sacrifices won't please him. Their sacrifices will be like the food that mourners eat. All who eat this food will be unclean. Their food will only satisfy their hunger. It will not be brought [as an offering] to the LORD's temple. 5 What will they do on the day of an appointed festival or on the LORD's festival days? 6 Even if they escape without being destroyed, Egypt will capture them and Memphis will bury them. Weeds will grow over their silver treasures. Thorns will grow over their tents. 7 The time for them to be punished will come. The time for them to pay for their sins will come. [When this happens,] Israel will know it. [They think that] prophets are fools and that spiritual people are crazy. They have sinned a lot, and they are very hostile. 8 Prophets are God's watchmen over Ephraim. Yet, traps are set on every prophet's path, and people are hostile in the temple of their God. 9 People have deeply corrupted themselves as they once did at Gibeah. God will remember their wickedness and punish them because of their sins. 10 [The LORD said,] "When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert. When I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first figs of the harvest. But they went to Baal Peor and worshiped shameful idols. They became as disgusting as the things they worshiped. 11 "Ephraim's glory will fly away like a bird. There will be no more pregnancies, births, or babies. 12 Even if they bring up children, I will take those children away before they grow up. Yes, how horrible it will be for them when I leave them. 13 I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place. But the people of Ephraim will bring out their children to be killed." 14 LORD, give them what they deserve. Make the women miscarry, or else make them unable to nurse their babies. 15 "All Ephraim's wickedness began in Gilgal; I hated the people there. I will force them out of my temple because of their wickedness, and I won't love them anymore. All their officials are rebellious. 16 "The people of Ephraim are like sick plants. Their roots are dried up. They have no fruit. Even if they were to have children, I would kill their dear children." 17 My God will reject them because they refused to listen to him. They will wander among the nations.
1 The people of Israel are like vines that used to produce fruit. The more fruit they produced, the more altars they built. The more their land produced, the more stone markers they set up [to honor other gods]. 2 They are hypocrites. Now they must take their punishment. God will tear down their altars and destroy their stone markers. 3 So they'll say, "We have no king because we didn't fear the LORD. Even if we had a king, he couldn't do anything for us." 4 They say many things. They lie when they take oaths, and they make promises they don't intend to keep. That's why lawsuits spring up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of a field. 5 Those who live in Samaria fear the calf-shaped idol at Beth Aven. The people will mourn over it. The priests will cry loudly because its glory will be taken away into captivity. 6 The thing itself will be carried to Assyria as a present to the great king. Ephraim will be disgraced. Israel will be ashamed because of its plans. 7 The king of Samaria will be carried away like a piece of wood on water. 8 The illegal worship sites of Aven will be destroyed. Israel sins there. Thorns and weeds will grow over those altars. People will say to the mountains, "Cover us!" and to the hills, "Fall on us!" 9 Israel, you have sinned ever since the incident at Gibeah. You never change. War will overtake the wicked people in Gibeah. 10 "I will punish them when I'm ready. Armies will gather to attack them. They will be punished for their many sins. 11 "Ephraim is like a trained calf that loves to thresh grain. I will put a yoke on its beautiful neck. I will harness Ephraim. Judah must plow. Jacob must break up the ground. 12 "Break new ground. Plant righteousness, and harvest the fruit that your loyalty will produce for me." It's time to seek the LORD! When he comes, he will rain righteousness on you. 13 You have planted wickedness and harvested evil. You have eaten the fruit that your lies produced. You have trusted your own power and your many warriors. 14 So your army will hear the noise of battle. All your fortresses will be destroyed like the time Shalman destroyed Beth Arbel in battle. Mothers and their children were smashed to death. 15 This is what will happen to you, Bethel, because you have done many wicked things. At daybreak, the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.
1 "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt. 2 The more I called them, the farther they went away. They sacrificed to other gods--the Baals, and they burned incense to idols. 3 I was the one who taught the people of Ephraim to walk. I took them by the hand. But they didn't realize that I had healed them. 4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ropes of love. I removed the yokes from their necks. I bent down and fed them. 5 "They will not return to Egypt. Instead, Assyria will rule them because they have refused to return to me. 6 War will sweep through their cities, demolish their city gates, and put an end to their plans. 7 My people are determined to turn away from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will not pardon 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 treat you like Zeboim? I have changed my mind. I am deeply moved. 9 I will not act on my burning anger. I will not destroy Ephraim again. I am God, not a human. I am the Holy One among you, and I will not come to you in anger. 10 "My people will follow me when I roar like a lion. When I roar, my children will come trembling from the west. 11 They will come trembling like birds from Egypt and like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their own homes," declares the LORD. 12 "Ephraim surrounds me with lies. The nation of Israel surrounds me with deceit." Judah rebels against God, against the Holy One who is faithful.
1 "To the messenger of the church in Sardis, write: The one who has God's seven spirits and the seven stars says: I know what you have done. You are known for being alive, but you are dead. 2 Be alert, and strengthen the things that are left which are about to die. I have found that what you are doing has not been completed in the sight of my God. 3 So remember what you received and heard. Obey, and change the way you think and act. If you're not alert, I'll come like a thief. You don't know when I will come. 4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have kept their clothes clean. They will walk with me in white clothes because they deserve it. 5 Everyone who wins the victory this way will wear white clothes. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life. I will acknowledge them in the presence of my Father and his angels. 6 Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. 7 "To the messenger of the church in Philadelphia, write: The one who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens [a door] that no one can shut, and who shuts [a door] that no one can open, says: 8 I know what you have done. See, I have opened a door in front of you that no one can shut.You only have a little strength, but you have paid attention to my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are in Satan's synagogue come and bow at your feet and realize that I have loved you. They claim that they are Jewish, but they are lying. 10 Because you have obeyed my command to endure, I will keep you safe during the time of testing which is coming to the whole world to test those living on earth. 11 I am coming soon! Hold on to what you have so that no one takes your crown. 12 I will make everyone who wins the victory a pillar in the temple of my God. They will never leave it again. I will write on them the name of my God, the name of the city of my God (the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from my God), and my new name. 13 Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. 14 "To the messenger of the church in Laodicea, write: The amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the source of God's creation, says: 15 I know what you have done, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. 16 But since you are lukewarm and not hot or cold, I'm going to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, 'I'm rich. I'm wealthy. I don't need anything.' Yet, you do not realize that you are miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I advise you: Buy gold purified in fire from me so that you may be rich. Buy white clothes from me. Wear them so that you may keep your shameful, naked body from showing. Buy ointment to put on your eyes so that you may see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act. 20 Look, I'm standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I'll come in and we'll eat together. 21 I will allow everyone who wins the victory to sit with me on my throne, as I have won the victory and have sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches."