7
1When I heal Israel,
Israel’s sin will go away,
and so will Samaria’s evil.
“They cheat a lot!
Thieves break into houses,
and robbers are in the streets.
2It never enters their minds
that I remember all their evil deeds.
The bad things they do are all around them;
they are right in front of me.
Israel’s Evil Kings
3“They make the king happy with their wickedness;
their rulers are glad with their lies.
4But all of them are traitors.
They are like an oven heated by a baker.
While he mixes the dough,
he does not need to stir up the fire.
5The kings get so drunk they get sick every day.
The rulers become crazy with wine;
they make agreements with those who do not know the true God.
6They burn like an oven;
their hearts burn inside them.
All night long their anger is low,
but when morning comes, it becomes a roaring fire.
7All these people are as hot as an oven;
they burn up their rulers.
All their kings fall,
and no one calls on me.
Israel and the Other Nations
8“Israel mixes with other nations;
he is like a pancake cooked only on one side.
9Foreign nations have eaten up his strength,
but he doesn’t know it.
Israel is weak and feeble, like an old man,
but he doesn’t know it.
10Israel’s pride will cause their defeat;
they will not turn back to the Lord their God
or look to him for help in all this.
11Israel has become like a pigeon—
easy to fool and stupid.
First they call to Egypt for help.
Then they run to Assyria.
12When they go, I will catch them in a net,
I will bring them down like birds from the sky;
I will punish them countless times for their evil.
13How terrible for them because they left me!
They will be destroyed, because they turned against me.
I want to save them,
but they have spoken lies against me.
14They do not call to me from their hearts.
They just lie on their beds and cry.
They come together to ask for grain and new wine,
but they really turn away from me.
15Though I trained them and gave them strength,
they have made evil plans against me.
16They did not turn to the Most High God.
They are like a loose bow that can’t shoot.
Because their leaders brag about their strength,
they will be killed with swords,
and the people in Egypt
will laugh at them.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.