In my anger I gave you kings, and in my fury I took them away.
"The sins of Ephraim have been collected and stored away for punishment.
The people have been offered new birth, but they are like a child who resists being born. How stubborn they are! How foolish!
Should I ransom them from the grave? Should I redeem them from death? O death, bring forth your terrors! O grave, bring forth your plagues! For I will not relent!
Ephraim was the most fruitful of all his brothers, but the east wind -- a blast from the LORD -- will arise in the desert. It will blow hard against the people of Ephraim, drying up their land. All their flowing springs and wells will disappear. Every precious thing they have will be plundered and carried away.
The people of Samaria must bear the consequences of their guilt because they rebelled against their God. They will be killed by an invading army, their little ones dashed to death against the ground, their pregnant women ripped open by swords."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)