1"Sound the alarm on the ram's horn. The enemy swoops down on the LORD's temple like an eagle. The people of Israel have rejected my promise and rebelled against my teachings.2They cry out to me, 'We acknowledge you as our God.'3However, they have rejected what is good. The enemy will persecute them.4"They chose their own kings, kings I didn't approve. They chose their own princes, princes I didn't know. They chose to make idols with their own silver and gold. Because of this, they will be destroyed.5Get rid of your calf-shaped idol, Samaria. My anger burns against these people. How long will they remain unclean? 6Samaria's calf-shaped idol was made in Israel. Skilled workers made it. It is not a god. It will be smashed to pieces.7"The people of Israel plant the wind, but they harvest a storm. A field of grain that doesn't ripen will never produce any grain. Even if it did produce grain, foreigners would eat it all.8Israel will be swallowed up. It has already mixed in with the other nations. It has become worthless.9"The people of Israel went to Assyria. They were like wild donkeys wandering off alone. The people of Ephraim sold themselves to their lovers.10Even though they sold themselves among the nations, I will gather them now. They will suffer for a while under the burdens of kings and princes.11"The more altars that the people of Ephraim build to make offerings to pay for their sins, the more places they have for sinning.12I have written many things for them in my teachings, but they consider these things strange and foreign.13They offer sacrifices to me and eat the meat of sacrifices, but I, the LORD, do not accept these sacrifices. Now I will remember their wickedness and punish them because of their sins. They will go back to Egypt.14The people of Israel have built palaces, and they have forgotten their maker. The people of Judah have built many fortified cities. I will send a fire on their cities and burn down their palaces."
1Israel, don't rejoice. Don't celebrate as other nations do. You have been unfaithful to your God. You have sold sex on every threshing floor. 2There won't be enough grain to feed people. There won't be enough wine to go around.3The people of Ephraim won't stay in the LORD's land. They will return to Egypt, and they will eat unclean food in Assyria.4They won't pour wine offerings to the LORD, and their sacrifices won't please him. Their sacrifices will be like the food that mourners eat. All who eat this food will be unclean. Their food will only satisfy their hunger. It will not be brought [as an offering] to the LORD's temple.5What will they do on the day of an appointed festival or on the LORD's festival days?6Even if they escape without being destroyed, Egypt will capture them and Memphis will bury them. Weeds will grow over their silver treasures. Thorns will grow over their tents.7The time for them to be punished will come. The time for them to pay for their sins will come. [When this happens,] Israel will know it. [They think that] prophets are fools and that spiritual people are crazy. They have sinned a lot, and they are very hostile.8Prophets are God's watchmen over Ephraim. Yet, traps are set on every prophet's path, and people are hostile in the temple of their God.9People have deeply corrupted themselves as they once did at Gibeah. God will remember their wickedness and punish them because of their sins.10[The LORD said,] "When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert. When I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first figs of the harvest. But they went to Baal Peor and worshiped shameful idols. They became as disgusting as the things they worshiped.11"Ephraim's glory will fly away like a bird. There will be no more pregnancies, births, or babies.12Even if they bring up children, I will take those children away before they grow up. Yes, how horrible it will be for them when I leave them.13I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place. But the people of Ephraim will bring out their children to be killed."14LORD, give them what they deserve. Make the women miscarry, or else make them unable to nurse their babies.15"All Ephraim's wickedness began in Gilgal; I hated the people there. I will force them out of my temple because of their wickedness, and I won't love them anymore. All their officials are rebellious.16"The people of Ephraim are like sick plants. Their roots are dried up. They have no fruit. Even if they were to have children, I would kill their dear children."17My God will reject them because they refused to listen to him. They will wander among the nations.
1The 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].2They are hypocrites. Now they must take their punishment. God will tear down their altars and destroy their stone markers.3So 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."4They 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.5Those 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.6The 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.7The king of Samaria will be carried away like a piece of wood on water.8The illegal worship sites of Aven will be destroyed. Israel sins there. Thorns and weeds will grow over those altars. People will say to the mountains, "Cover us!" and to the hills, "Fall on us!"9Israel, you have sinned ever since the incident at Gibeah. You never change. War will overtake the wicked people in Gibeah.10"I will punish them when I'm ready. Armies will gather to attack them. They will be punished for their many sins.11"Ephraim is like a trained calf that loves to thresh grain. I will put a yoke on its beautiful neck. I will harness Ephraim. Judah must plow. Jacob must break up the ground.12"Break new ground. Plant righteousness, and harvest the fruit that your loyalty will produce for me." It's time to seek the LORD! When he comes, he will rain righteousness on you.13You have planted wickedness and harvested evil. You have eaten the fruit that your lies produced. You have trusted your own power and your many warriors.14So your army will hear the noise of battle. All your fortresses will be destroyed like the time Shalman destroyed Beth Arbel in battle. Mothers and their children were smashed to death.15This is what will happen to you, Bethel, because you have done many wicked things. At daybreak, the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.
1"When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt.2The more I called them, the farther they went away. They sacrificed to other gods--the Baals, and they burned incense to idols.3I was the one who taught the people of Ephraim to walk. I took them by the hand. But they didn't realize that I had healed them.4I led them with cords of human kindness, with ropes of love. I removed the yokes from their necks. I bent down and fed them.5"They will not return to Egypt. Instead, Assyria will rule them because they have refused to return to me.6War will sweep through their cities, demolish their city gates, and put an end to their plans.7My people are determined to turn away from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will not pardon them.8"How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboim? I have changed my mind. I am deeply moved.9I will not act on my burning anger. I will not destroy Ephraim again. I am God, not a human. I am the Holy One among you, and I will not come to you in anger.10"My people will follow me when I roar like a lion. When I roar, my children will come trembling from the west.11They will come trembling like birds from Egypt and like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their own homes," declares the LORD. 12"Ephraim surrounds me with lies. The nation of Israel surrounds me with deceit." Judah rebels against God, against the Holy One who is faithful.
1The people of Ephraim try to catch the wind and try to chase the east wind all day. They are very violent and destructive. They make treaties with Assyria and take olive oil to Egypt.2The LORD brings charges against Judah and punishes Jacob because of the way their people act. He will pay them back for what they have done.3Their ancestor Jacob held on to his brother's heel while the two of them were in their mother's womb. When Jacob became a man, he struggled with God.4He struggled with the Messenger and won. Jacob cried and pleaded with him. Jacob found him at Bethel, and he talked with him there.5The LORD is the God of Armies. The LORD is the name by which he is remembered.6Return to your God. Be loyal and fair, and always wait with hope for your God.7[The LORD says,] "The merchants use dishonest scales. They love to cheat people.8The people of Ephraim say, 'We're rich. We've made a fortune. With all this wealth, no one will find us guilty of any sin.'9I am the LORD your God. I brought you out of Egypt. I will make you live in tents again as you did during your appointed festivals.10I spoke to the prophets and gave them many visions. I taught lessons through the prophets." 11The people of Gilead are evil. They are worthless. They sacrifice bulls in Gilgal. But their altars will become like piles of rubble beside a plowed field.12Jacob fled to the country of Syria. Israel worked to get a wife; he took care of sheep to pay for her.13The LORD used a prophet to bring the people of Israel out of Egypt. He used a prophet to take care of them.14The people of Ephraim made the LORD bitter. He will hold them guilty of murder. The Lord will pay them back for their insults.
1When the tribe of Ephraim spoke, people trembled. The people of Ephraim were important in Israel. Then they became guilty of worshiping Baal, so they must die.2They keep on sinning more and more. They make idols from silver for themselves. These idols are skillfully made. All of them are the work of craftsmen. People say this about the Israelites: "They offer human sacrifices and kiss calf-shaped idols."3That is why they will be like fog in the morning and like morning dew that disappears quickly. They will be like straw blown away from threshing floors. They will be like smoke rising from chimneys.4"I am the LORD your God. I brought you out of Egypt. You have known no god besides me. There is no savior except me.5I took care of you in the desert, in a dry land.6When I fed you, you were full. When you were full, you became arrogant. That is why you forgot me.7So I will be like a lion. Like a leopard I will wait by the road to ambush you.8Like a bear that has lost her cubs, I will attack you. I will rip you open. Like a lion I will devour you. Like a wild animal I will tear you apart.9You are destroying yourself, Israel. You are against me, your helper.10"Where, now, is your king, the one who is supposed to save you? Where in all your cities are your judges? You said, 'Give us kings and officials!'11I gave you a king when I was angry, and I took him away when I was furious.12"Ephraim's wickedness is on record. The record of the people's sins is safely stored away.13They have the opportunity to live again, but they are not smart enough to take it. They are like a baby who is about to be born but won't come out of its mother's womb.14"I want to free them from the power of the grave. I want to reclaim them from death. Death, I want to be a plague to you. Grave, I want to destroy you. I won't even think of changing my plans."15The people of Ephraim have become important among their relatives. However, the LORD's scorching wind will come from the east. It will blow out of the desert. Then their springs will run dry, and their wells will dry up. The wind will destroy every precious thing in their storehouses. 16The people of Samaria are guilty as charged because they rebelled against their God. They will be killed in war, their children will be smashed to death, and their pregnant women will be ripped open.
1Israel, return to the LORD your God. You have stumbled because of your sins.2Return to the LORD, and say these things to him: "Forgive all our sins, and kindly receive us. Then we'll praise you with our lips.3Assyria cannot save us. We won't ride on horses anymore. We will never again say that the things our hands have made are our gods. You love orphans."4[The LORD says,] "I will cure them of their unfaithfulness. I will love them freely. I will no longer be angry with them.5I will be like dew to the people of Israel. They will blossom like flowers. They will be firmly rooted like cedars from Lebanon.6They will be like growing branches. They will be beautiful like olive trees. They will be fragrant like cedars from Lebanon.7They will live again in God's shadow. They will grow like grain. They will blossom like grapevines. They will be as famous as the wines from Lebanon.8"The people of Ephraim will have nothing more to do with idols. I will answer them and take care of them. I am like a growing pine tree. Their fruit comes from me."9Wise people will understand these things. A person with insight will recognize them. The LORD's ways are right. Righteous people live by them. Rebellious people stumble over them.