Israel Is Punished
1Israel is a luxuriant vine;#Or “ravaged vine”
he yields fruit for himself.
The more his fruit increased,
the more he made numerous altars.
The more his land prospered,
the more he#Hebrew “they” improved#Or “made beautiful” his stone pillars.
2Their heart is false;
now they must bear their guilt.
He himself#That is, “Yahweh himself” will break down their altars;
he will destroy their stone pillars.
3For now they will say,
“We have no king;
indeed, we did not fear Yahweh,
and what can a king do for us?”
4They utter words of vain oaths
when making covenants,#Literally “cutting covenant”
and judgment blossoms like a poisonous plant
on the furrows of the field.
5The inhabitants#Hebrew “inhabitant” of Samaria tremble
for the calf#Hebrew “calves” of Beth-aven.
Indeed, his people will mourn for it,
and his idolatrous priests will wail#Or “rejoice” over it—
over its glory because it has departed from it.
6It will also be brought to Assyria,
as tribute to the great king.#See 5:13; some translate literally “King Jareb”
Ephraim will obtain disgrace
and Israel will be ashamed from his advice.#Or “counsel”
7Samaria will be destroyed;
her king is like a chip on the surface of the water.
8The high places of Aven,
the sin of Israel, will be destroyed.
Thorn and thistle will grow
on their altars.
They will say to the mountains, “Cover us,”
and to the hills, “Fall on us.”
9From the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel;
there they have remained.#Literally “they stood”
Will not war in Gibeah overtake them
against the children of evil?
10In my desire#The LXX translates “I will come” I will punish them;
nations will be gathered against them
when they are punished for their double iniquities.#So Qere; Masoretic Hebrew text (Kethib) “their two eyes”
11Ephraim was a trained heifer,
that loved to thresh grain,
and I myself spared#Literally “passed over”
the fairness of her neck;
I will make Ephraim break the ground,
Judah will plow,
Jacob must till for himself.
12Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap loyal love.#Literally “reap according to loyal love”
Break up for yourself fallow ground;
it is time to seek Yahweh
so he will come and rain
righteousness upon you.
13You have plowed wickedness,
you have reaped injustice,
you have eaten the fruit of lies,#Hebrew “lie”
because you have trusted in your strength,
in the multitude of your warriors.
14The tumult of war will rise up against your people,
and all your fortresses will be destroyed,
as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel;
on the day of war
mothers were dashed to pieces with their children.#Or “upon their children”
15So it will be done to you, O Bethel,
because of the evil of your wickedness;
at dawn, the king of Israel
will be utterly destroyed.