The Lord’s Relentless Judgment on Israel

13 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;

bhe was exalted in Israel,

but he incurred guilt cthrough Baal and died.

  And now they sin more and more,

and dmake for themselves metal images,

idols skillfully made of their silver,

eall of them the work of craftsmen.

It is said of them,

“Those who offer human sacrifice fkiss calves!”

  Therefore they shall be glike the morning mist

or glike the dew that goes early away,

hlike the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor

or ilike smoke from a window.

  But jI am the Lord your God

from the land of Egypt;

kyou know no God but me,

and lbesides me there is no savior.

  mIt was I who knew you in the wilderness,

in the land of drought;

  nbut when they had grazed,1 they became full,

othey were filled, and their heart was lifted up;

otherefore they forgot me.

  So pI am to them like a lion;

qlike a leopard I will lurk beside the way.

  I will fall upon them rlike a bear robbed of her cubs;

I will tear open their breast,

and there I will devour them like a lion,

sas a wild beast would rip them open.

  He destroys2 you, O Israel,

for you are against me, against tyour helper.

  10  uWhere now is your king, to save you in all your cities?

Where are all your rulers—

those of whom vyou said,

“Give me a king and princes”?

  11  wI gave you a king in my anger,

and xI took him away in my wrath.

  12  The iniquity of Ephraim is ybound up;

his sin is ykept in store.

  13  zThe pangs of childbirth come for him,

but he is an unwise son,

for at the right time he does not present himself

aat the opening of the womb.

  14  bShall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?

bShall I redeem them from Death?

cO dDeath, where are your plagues?

cO dSheol, where is your sting?

eCompassion is hidden from my eyes.

  15  Though fhe may flourish among his brothers,

gthe east wind, the wind of the Lord, shall come,

rising from the wilderness,

hand his fountain shall dry up;

his spring shall be parched;

it shall strip ihis treasury

of every precious thing.

  16  3 Samaria jshall bear her guilt,

because kshe has rebelled against her God;

they shall fall by the sword;

ltheir little ones shall be dashed in pieces,

and their mpregnant women ripped open.

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