Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased the more altars he built; as his country improved he improved his pillars.
Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt. The LORD will break down their altars, and destroy their pillars.
For now they will say: "We have no king, for we fear not the LORD, and a king, what could he do for us?"
They utter mere words; with empty oaths they make covenants; so judgment springs up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field.
The inhabitants of Sama'ria tremble for the calf of Beth-a'ven. Its people shall mourn for it, and its idolatrous priests shall wail over it, over its glory which has departed from it.
Yea, the thing itself shall be carried to Assyria, as tribute to the great king. E'phraim shall be put to shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol.
Sama'ria'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; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us, and to the hills, Fall upon us.
From the days of Gib'e-ah, you have sinned, O Israel; there they have continued. Shall not war overtake them in Gib'e-ah?
I will come against the wayward people to chastise them; and nations shall be gathered against them when they are chastised for their double iniquity.
E'phraim was a trained heifer that loved to thresh, and I spared her fair neck; but I will put E'phraim to the yoke, Judah must plow, Jacob must harrow for himself.
Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain salvation upon you.
You have plowed iniquity, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your chariots and in the multitude of your warriors,
therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth-ar'bel on the day of battle; mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.
Thus it shall be done to you, O house of Israel, because of your great wickedness. In the storm the king of Israel shall be utterly cut off.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the 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. (Revised Standard Version - Holy Bible)