1 EPHRAIM HERDS and feeds on the wind and pursues the [parching] east wind; every day he increases lies and violence, and a covenant is made with Assyria and oil is carried to Egypt. [Isa. 30:6, 7.]
2 The Lord has also a controversy (a pleading contention) with Judah, and will punish Jacob by visiting upon him according to his ways; according to his doings will He recompense him.
3 He took his brother by the heel in [their mother's] womb, and in the strength [of his manhood] he contended and had power with God. [Gen. 25:26; 27:36.]
4 Yes, he had power over the Angel [of the Lord] and prevailed; he wept and sought His favor. He met Him in Bethel, and there [God] spoke with [him and through him with] us–[Gen. 28:12-19; 32:28; Gen. 35:1-15.]
5 Even the Lord the God of hosts, the name of Him [Who spoke with Jacob] is the Lord.
6 Therefore return to your God! Hold fast to love and mercy, to righteousness and justice, and wait [expectantly] for your God continually!
7 Canaan [Israel–whose ideals have sunk to those of Canaan] is a trader; the balances of deceit are in his hand; he loves to oppress and defraud.
8 Ephraim has said, Ah, but I have become rich; I have gained for myself wealth. All my profits shall bring on me no iniquity that would be sin. [But all his profits will never offset nor suffice to expiate the guilt which he has incurred.] [Rev. 3:17.]
9 But I [Who] am the Lord your God from [when you became a nation in] the land of Egypt will yet make you to dwell in tents, as in the days of the appointed and solemn Feast [of Tabernacles]. [Lev. 23:39-43.]
10 I have also spoken to [you by] the prophets, and I have multiplied visions [for you] and [have appealed to you] through parables acted out by the prophets.
11 If Gilead is given over to idolatry, they shall come to nought and be mere waste; if they [insult God by] sacrificing bullocks in Gilgal [on heathen altars], their altars shall be like heaps in the furrows of the fields.
12 Jacob fled into the open country of Aram or Padan-aram, and [there] Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he herded sheep. [Gen. 29:18-20; 30:31; 31:38-41.]
13 And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was [Israel] preserved.
14 Ephraim has provoked most bitter anger; therefore shall his blood [guilt] be left upon him, and his disgrace and reproach shall his Lord return upon him.