1and to heal its wounds.
But then I see the crimes
in Israel#7.1 Israel: See the note at 4.17. Samaria was the capital city of Israel. and Samaria.
Everyone is deceitful;
robbers roam the streets.
2No one realizes
that I have seen their sins
surround them like a flood.
3The king and his officials
take great pleasure
in their sin and deceit.
4Everyone burns with desire—
they are like coals in an oven,
ready to burst into flames.
5On the day their king
was crowned,
his officials got him drunk,
and he joined
in their foolishness.#7.5 foolishness: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 5.
6Their anger is a fire
that smoulders all night,
then flares up at dawn.
7They are flames
destroying their leaders.
And their kings are powerless;
none of them trust me.
8The people of Israel#7.8 Israel: Hebrew “Ephraim” (see the note at 4.17).
have mixed with foreigners;
they are a thin piece of bread
scorched on one side.
9They don't seem to realize
how weak and feeble they are;
their hair has turned grey,
while foreigners rule.
10I am the Lord, their God,
but in all their troubles
their pride keeps them
from returning to me.
Israel refused to trust the Lord
No help from foreign nations
The Lord said:
11Israel#7.11 Israel: Hebrew “Ephraim” (see the note at 4.17). is a senseless bird,
fluttering back and forth
between Egypt and Assyria.
12But I will catch them in a net
as hunters trap birds;
I threatened to punish them,
and indeed I will.#7.12 I threatened … will: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
13Trouble and destruction
will be their reward
for rejecting me.
I would have rescued them,
but they told me lies.
14They don't really pray to me;
they just howl in their beds.
They have rejected me for Baal
and slashed themselves,#7.14 slashed themselves: One ancient translation and some Hebrew manuscripts; other Hebrew manuscripts “gather together”. Slashing themselves was one way of worshipping Baal (see 1 Kings 18.28).
in the hope that Baal
will bless their crops.
15I taught them what they know,
and I made them strong.
Now they plot against me
16and refuse to obey.#7.16 and … obey: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
They are more useless
than a crooked arrow.
Their leaders will die in war
for saying foolish things.
Egyptians will laugh at them.
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