Infidelity despite divine goodness
1When Ephraim spoke, there was excitement;
he was praised in Israel;
but he became guilty through Baal and died.
2And now they keep on sinning;
they have made metal images,
idols of silver,
as a result of their skill,
all of them the work of craftsmen.
"Sacrifice to these," they say.
People are kissing calves!
3Therefore, they will be like the morning mist,
like the dew that passes away early,
like husks that swirl from the threshing floor,
or like smoke from a window.
4Yet I have been the LORD your God
ever since the land of Egypt;
and you will know no other gods but me;
there is no savior besides me.
5I knew you in the wilderness,
in the land of no rain.
6When I fed them, they were satisfied;
and their hearts became proud;
therefore, they forgot me.
Consequences of infidelity
7So I will become like a lion to them;
like a leopard I will lurk beside the road.
8I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs,
and I will tear open the covering of their hearts.
I will devour them like a lion,
as a wild animal would eat them.
9I will destroy you, Israel;
for you didn’t realize that I could help you.
10Where is your king now,
so that he can save you?
Where in all your cities are your judges,
of whom you said,
"Give me a king and rulers"?
11I gave you a king in my anger,
and I took him away in my wrath.
12Ephraim’s wickedness is bound up;
his sin is kept in store.
13The pangs of a woman in childbirth come for him,
but he is not aware of the time to be born;
for at the proper time he doesn’t present himself
at the mouth of the womb.
14Will I ransom them from the power of the grave#Heb Sheol
Will I redeem them from death’s hold?
Death, where are your diseases?
Grave,#Heb Sheol where is your destruction?
Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
15Although he may flourish among rushes,
the east wind will come—
the breath of God
rising from the wilderness;
and his spring will dry up;
his fountain will be dried up.
It will strip his household
of every cherished possession.
16#14:1 in Heb Samaria will be desolate,
because she has rebelled against her God;
by the sword they will fall—
their babies will be dashed,
and their pregnant women ripped open.