The more they multiplied [in numbers and increased in power], the more they sinned against Me;
I will change their glory into shame.
They (the priests) feed on the sin offering of My people
And set their heart on their wickedness.
And it shall be: like people, like priest [both are wicked and both will be judged];
So I will punish them for their ways
And repay them for their deeds.
They will eat, but not have enough;
They will play the prostitute, but not increase [their descendants],
Because they have stopped giving heed to the LORD.
Prostitution, wine, and new wine take away the mind and the [spiritual] understanding.
My people consult their [lifeless] wooden idol, and their [diviner’s] wand gives them oracles.
For a spirit of prostitution has led them astray [morally and spiritually],
And they have played the prostitute, withdrawing themselves from their God.
They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains
And burn incense on the hills,
Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,
Because the shade is pleasant there.
Therefore your daughters play the prostitute
And your brides commit adultery.
I will not punish your daughters when they play the prostitute
Or your brides when they commit adultery,
For the men themselves slip away with prostitutes,
And they offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes [who give their bodies in honor of the idol].
So the people without understanding [stumble and fall and] come to ruin.
Though you, Israel, play the prostitute [by worshiping idols],
Do not let Judah become guilty [of the same thing];
And do not go to Gilgal [where idols are worshiped],
Or go up to Beth-aven (House of Wickedness),
Nor swear [oaths in idolatrous worship, saying],
“As the LORD lives!”
For Israel is stubborn,
Like a stubborn heifer.
Can the LORD now pasture them
Like a lamb in a large field?
Ephraim is joined to idols,
So let him alone [to suffer the consequences].
When their liquor is gone [and their drinking parties are over],
They habitually go to play the prostitute;
Ephraim’s rulers continue to dearly love shame [more than her glory which is the LORD, Israel’s God].
The wind [of God’s relentless wrath] has wrapped up Israel in its wings,
And [in captivity] they will be ashamed because of their sacrifices [to calves, to sun, to moon, to stars, and to pagan gods].