Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt. The Lord a will break down their altars, and destroy their pillars.
For now they will say: "We have no king, for we do not fear the Lord, and a king—what could he do for us?"
They utter mere words; with empty oaths they make covenants; so litigation springs up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field.
The inhabitants of Samaria tremble for the calf b of Beth-aven. Its people shall mourn for it, and its idolatrous priests shall wail c over it, over its glory that has departed from it.
The thing itself shall be carried to Assyria as tribute to the great king. d Ephraim shall be put to shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol. e7
Samaria's king shall perish like a chip on the face of the waters.
The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed. Thorn and thistle shall grow up on their altars. They shall say to the mountains, Cover us, and to the hills, Fall on us.
Since the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel; there they have continued. Shall not war overtake them in Gibeah?
I will come f against the wayward people to punish them; and nations shall be gathered against them when they are punished g for their double iniquity.
Ephraim was a trained heifer that loved to thresh, and I spared her fair neck; but I will make Ephraim break the ground; Judah must plow; Jacob must harrow for himself.
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)