when I am ready to heal Isra'el, the crimes of Efrayim confront me, along with the wickedness of Shomron. For they keep practicing deceit; thieves break in, bands of robbers raid outside.
They never say to themselves that I remember all their evil. Now their own deeds surround them; they are right in front of me.
They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the leaders with their lies.
They are all adulterers, like an oven heated by the baker, who doesn't stoke the fire from kneading time till the dough has risen.
"On their king's special day the leaders inflame him with wine, and he joins hands with scorners,
who ready themselves like an oven while they wait for their chance. Their baker sleeps through the night; then in the morning it bursts into flame.
They are all as hot as an oven, and they devour their judges. All their kings have fallen; not one of them calls out to me.
"Efrayim mixes himself with the peoples, Efrayim has become a half-baked cake.
Foreigners have eaten up his strength, but he doesn't know it; yes, gray hairs appear on him here and there, but he doesn't know it.
The pride of Isra'el testifies in his face, but in spite of all this they haven't returned to ADONAI their God or sought him.
Efrayim behaves like a silly, foolish dove - going to Egypt, then to Ashur for help.
Even as they go, I will spread my net over them; I will bring them down like birds from the sky; I will discipline them, as their assembly was told.
Woe to them! for they have strayed from me. Destruction to them! for they have wronged me. Am I supposed to redeem them, when they have spoken lies against me?
They have not cried out to me from their hearts, even though they wail on their beds. They assemble themselves for grain and wine, yet turn away from me.
It was I who trained and strengthened their arms, yet they plot evil against me.
They return, but not upward; they are like an unreliable bow. Their leaders will die by the sword because of their angry talk. They will become a laughingstock in the land of Egypt.