The Lord has sent a message against Jacob's people. He will punish Israel.
All of the people will know about it. Ephraim's people and those who live in Samaria will know about it. Their hearts are very proud. They say,
"The brick buildings have fallen down. But we will rebuild them with blocks of stone. The fig trees have been chopped down. But we'll plant cedar trees in place of them."
In spite of that, the LORD has made Rezin's enemies stronger. He has stirred up Assyria to fight against Israel.
Arameans from the east have opened their mouths and swallowed Israel up. So have Philistines from the west. Even then, the LORD is still angry. His hand is still raised against them.
But his people have not returned to the One who struck them down. They haven't turned for help to the LORD who rules over all.
So he will cut off from Israel heads and tails alike. In a single day he will cut off palm branches and tall grass alike. The palm branches are the people who rule over others. The tall grass is the people who bow down to them.
The elders and important leaders are the heads. The prophets who teach lies are the tails.
Those who guide the people of Israel are leading them down the wrong path. So those who follow them aren't on the right road.
The Lord will not be pleased with the young men. He won't take pity on widows and on children whose fathers have died. All of them are ungodly and evil. They say sinful things with their mouths. Even then, the LORD is still angry. His hand is still raised against them.
What is evil burns like a fire. It burns up bushes and thorns. It sets the forest on fire. It sends up a huge column of smoke.
The LORD rules over all. When he gets angry, he will burn up the land. The people will die. Men will eat their brothers.
People will eat up everything they can find on their right. But they'll still be hungry. They will eat everything they can find on their left. But they won't be satisfied. So they will eat the dead bodies of their children.
That's what Manasseh's people will do to Ephraim. And that's what Ephraim's people will do to Manasseh. Together they will turn against Judah. Even then, the LORD is still angry. His hand is still raised against them.