1Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased, 2the 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: 3"We have no king, for we do not fear the LORD; and a king--what could he do for us?"
They utter 4mere words; with empty oaths they make covenants; so 5judgment springs up like poisonous weeds 6in the furrows of the field.
The inhabitants of Samaria tremble for 7the calf of 8Beth-aven. Its people mourn for it, and so do its idolatrous priests-- those who rejoiced over it and 9over its glory-- for it has departed from them.
10The thing itself shall be carried to Assyria as tribute to 11the great king. Ephraim shall be put to shame, and Israel shall be ashamed 12of his idol.
13Samaria's king shall perish like a twig on the face of the waters.
The high places of 14Aven, 15the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed. 16Thorn and thistle shall grow up on their altars, and 17they shall say to the mountains, "Cover us," and to the hills, "Fall on us."
From 18the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel; there they have continued. Shall not the war against the unjust overtake them in Gibeah?
19When I please, 20I will discipline them, and nations shall be gathered against them when they are bound up for 21their double iniquity.
Ephraim was a trained calf that 22loved to thresh, and I spared her fair neck; but I will put 23Ephraim to the yoke; 24Judah must plow; Jacob must harrow for himself.
25Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; 26break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and 27rain righteousness upon you.
28You have plowed iniquity; you have reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your warriors,
therefore 29the tumult of war shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed, as 30Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle; 31mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.
Thus it shall be done to you, O 32Bethel, because of your great evil. At dawn 33the king of Israel shall be utterly cut off.