1When I would heal Israel,
the evil acts of Ephraim are exposed,
and the wicked deeds of Samaria;
for they deceive and steal,
a thief breaks in;
a group of bandits raid outside.
2But they don’t consider within their hearts
that I remember all their wickedness.
Now their deeds show who they are,
right in front of my face.
3By their wickedness they make the king glad,
and give joy to the officials with their lies.
4They all act like adulterers;
they are like a heated oven,
whose baker doesn’t need to stoke the fire,
from the kneading of the dough until it is leavened.
5On the day of our king,
the officials became sick with the heat of wine;
he stretched out his hand to those who mocked him.
6They approach like a hot oven, their hearts burning.
Throughout the night, their anger smolders;
in the morning, it continues to burn like a flaming fire.
7All of them are hot as an oven;
they devour their rulers.
All their kings have fallen;
none of them call upon me.
8Ephraim mixes himself among the people;
Ephraim is like flatbread that is cooked on only one side.
9Strangers have eaten up his strength,
yet he doesn’t know it;
gray hairs are sprinkled here and there upon him,
yet he doesn’t know it.
10Israel’s pride is a witness against him;
yet they don’t return to the LORD their God,
or seek him because of all this.
Foolishness and God’s wrath
11Ephraim has become like a dove,
silly and without common sense;
they call upon Egypt; they go to Assyria.
12As they go, I will spread my net over them;
like birds in the sky, I will bring them down;
I will judge them according to the report made to their assembly.
13Doom to them, for they have strayed from me;
destruction will be their lot because they have rebelled against me.
I would redeem them,
but they speak lies against me.
14They don’t cry to me from the heart,
but they sob upon their beds;
they fight#Or cut themselves over grain and wine;
they resist me.
15It was I who gave them their strength,
yet they plot evil against me.
16They return, but not to the Most High;#Heb uncertain
they have become like a worthless bow;
their officials will fall by the sword
because of the rage of their tongues;
in Egypt they will make fun of them.#Or they will be scorned in the land of Egypt.