"Ephraim is bird-brained, mindless, clueless, First chirping after Egypt, then fluttering after Assyria.
I'll throw my net over them. I'll clip their wings. I'll teach them to mind me!
Doom! They've run away from home. Now they're really in trouble! They've defied me. And I'm supposed to help them while they feed me a line of lies?
Instead of crying out to me in heartfelt prayer, they whoop it up in bed with their whores, Gash themselves bloody in their sex-and-religion orgies, but turn their backs on me.
I'm the one who gave them good minds and healthy bodies, and how am I repaid? With evil scheming!
They turn, but not to me - turn here, then there, like a weather vane. Their rulers will be cut down, murdered - just deserts for their mocking blasphemies. And the final sentence? Ridicule in the court of world opinion.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)