1When I would heal Israel,
The sin (guilt) of Ephraim is uncovered,
And the wickedness of #Samaria became the capital city of the Kingdom of Israel (the ten northern tribes) during the reign of King Omri (see 1 Kin 16:24).Samaria,
Because they practice false dealing;
The thief enters,
Bandits ravage and raid outside.
2But they do not consider in their hearts (minds)
That I remember [always] all their wickedness.
Now their deeds surround and entangle them;
They are before My face.
3They make the king glad with their wickedness,
And the princes with their lies.
4They are all adulterers;
Like the heat of an oven
When the baker ceases to stir the fire, [their passion smolders]
From the kneading of the dough until it is leavened.
5On the [special] day of our king, the princes became sick with the heat of wine;
The king stretched out his hand [in association] with scoffers (lawless people).
6As they approach their plotting,
Their mind burns [with intrigue] like an oven [while they lie in wait].
Their anger smolders all night;
In the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
7They are all hot like an oven
And they consume their judges (rulers);
All their kings have fallen.
There is no one among them who calls to Me.
8Ephraim mixes himself with the [Gentile] nations [seeking favor with one country, then another];
Ephraim is a cake not turned [worthless; ready to be thrown away].
9Strangers have devoured his strength,
Yet he does not know it;
Gray hairs are sprinkled on him,
Yet he does not know.
10Though the pride of Israel testifies against him,
Yet they do not return [in repentance] to the Lord their God,
Nor seek nor search for nor desire Him [as essential] in spite of all this.
11Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without heart or good sense;
They call to Egypt [for help], they go to Assyria.
12When they go, I will spread My net over them;
I will bring them down like birds of the heavens [into Assyrian captivity].
I will chastise them in accordance with the proclamation (prophecy) to their congregation.
13Woe (judgment is coming) to them, for they have wandered away from Me!
Devastation is theirs, because they have rebelled and trespassed against Me!
I would redeem them, but they speak lies against Me.
14They do not cry out to Me from their heart
When they wail on their beds [in unbelieving despair];
For the sake of grain and new wine they #Or with Greek and many ancient mss gash themselves.assemble themselves [as if worshiping Baal];
They rebel against Me.
15Although I trained and strengthened their arms [for victory over their enemies],
Yet they devise evil against Me.
16They turn, but they do not turn upward to the Most High.
They are like a poorly crafted bow [that misses the mark];
Their princes shall fall by the sword
Because of the insolence of their tongue.
This will be cause for their mockery and disdain in the land of Egypt.