1“When Efrayim spoke, there was trembling;
he was a power in Isra’el.
But when he incurred guilt through Ba‘al,
2So now they keep adding sin to sin,
casting images from their silver;
idols they invent for themselves,
all of them the work of craftsmen.
‘Sacrifice to them,’ they say.
Men give kisses to calves!
3Therefore they will be like a morning cloud,
like the dew that disappears early,
like chaff blown by wind from the threshing-floor,
or like smoke that goes out the window.
4Still, I am Adonai your God,
from the land of Egypt;
and you don’t know any God but me
or, other than me, any Savior.
5I knew you in the desert,
in a land of terrible drought.
6When they were fed, they were satisfied;
when satisfied, they became proud.
Therefore they forgot me.
7So now I have become like a lion to them;
like a leopard I will lurk by the road;
8I will meet them like a bear
whose cubs have been taken away.
I will tear their hearts from their bodies.
I will devour them there like a lion,
like a wild animal ripping them up.
9It is your destruction, Isra’el,
although your help is in me.
10So now, where is your king,
to save you in all your cities?
Where are your judges, of whom you said,
‘Give me a king and leaders’?
11I gave you a king in my anger;
and in my fury I took him away.
12“Efrayim’s guilt has been wrapped up,
his sin is stored away.
13The pain of being born will come to him;
but he is an unwise son.
The time has come; and he shouldn’t delay,
there at the mouth of the womb.
14Should I ransom them from the power of Sh’ol?
Should I redeem them from death?
Where are your plagues, death;
where is your destruction, Sh’ol?
My eyes are closed to compassion.
15For though he flourishes among the reeds,
an east wind will come, a wind from Adonai,
blowing up from the desert.
Then his water source will dry up,
then his spring will fail —
it will plunder his treasury,
removing every precious thing.”