The people of Israel are like vines that used to produce fruit. The more fruit they produced, the more altars they built. The more their land produced, the more stone markers they set up [to honor other gods].
They are hypocrites. Now they must take their punishment. God will tear down their altars and destroy their stone markers.
So they'll say, "We have no king because we didn't fear the LORD. Even if we had a king, he couldn't do anything for us."
They say many things. They lie when they take oaths, and they make promises they don't intend to keep. That's why lawsuits spring up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of a field.
Those who live in Samaria fear the calf-shaped idol at Beth Aven. The people will mourn over it. The priests will cry loudly because its glory will be taken away into captivity.
The thing itself will be carried to Assyria as a present to the great king. Ephraim will be disgraced. Israel will be ashamed because of its plans.