1 WHEN I would heal Israel, then Ephraim's guilt is uncovered, and the wickedness of Samaria; how they practice falsehood, and the thief enters and the troop of bandits ravage and raid without.
2 But they do not consider and say to their minds and hearts that I [earnestly] remember all their wickedness. Now their own doings surround and entangle them; they are before My face.
3 They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.
4 They are all [idolatrous] adulterers; their passion smolders like heat of an oven when the baker ceases to stir the fire from the kneading of the dough until it is leavened.
5 On the [special] day of our king the princes made themselves and him sick with the heat of wine; [the king] stretched out his hand with scoffers and lawless men.
6 For they have made ready their heart, and their mind burns [with intrigue] like an oven while they lie in wait. Their anger smolders all night; in the morning it blazes forth as a flaming fire.
7 They are all hot as an oven and devour their judges; all their kings are fallen; there is none among them who calls to Me.
8 Ephraim mixes himself among the peoples [courting the favor of first one country, then another]; Ephraim is a cake not turned.
9 Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knows it not; yes, gray hairs are sprinkled here and there upon him, and he does not know it.
10 And the pride of Israel testifies against him and to his face. But they do not return to the Lord their God, nor seek nor inquire of nor require Him in spite of all this.
11 Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart or understanding; they call to Egypt; they go to Assyria.
12 As they go, I will spread My net over them; I will bring them down like birds of the heavens. I will chastise them according to the announcement [or prediction made] to their congregation [in the Scriptures]. [Lev. 26:14-39.]
13 Woe to them, for they have wandered from Me! Destruction to them, because they have rebelled and trespassed against Me! Though I would redeem them, yet they have spoken lies against Me.
14 They do not cry to Me from their heart, but they wail upon their beds; they gash and distress and assemble themselves [in mourning] for grain and new wine; they rebel against Me.
15 Although I have chastened them and trained and strengthened their arms, yet they think and devise evil against Me.
16 They turn back, shift, or change, but not upwards [to the Most High]. They are like a deceitful bow; their princes shall fall by the sword for the insolence and rage of their tongue. This shall be [cause for] their derision and scorning in the land of Egypt.