Despite All the Signs, Israel Ignores God

1-2 “Every time I gave Israel a fresh start,
    wiped the slate clean and got them going again,
Ephraim soon filled the slate with new sins,
    the treachery of Samaria written out in bold print.
Two-faced and double-tongued,
    they steal you blind, pick you clean.
It never crosses their mind
    that I keep account of their every crime.
They’re mud-spattered head to toe with the residue of sin.
    I see who they are and what they’ve done.

3-7 “They entertain the king with their evil circus,
    delight the princes with their acrobatic lies.
They’re a bunch of overheated adulterers,
    like an oven that holds its heat
From the kneading of the dough
    to the rising of the bread.
On the royal holiday the princes get drunk
    on wine and the frenzy of the mocking mob.
They’re like wood stoves,
    red-hot with lust.
Through the night their passion is banked;
    in the morning it blazes up, flames hungrily licking.
Murderous and volcanic,
    they incinerate their rulers.
Their kings fall one by one,
    and no one pays any attention to me.

8-10 “Ephraim mingles with the pagans, dissipating himself.
    Ephraim is half-baked.
Strangers suck him dry
    but he doesn’t even notice.
His hair has turned gray—
    he doesn’t notice.
Bloated by arrogance, big as a house,
    Israel’s a public disgrace.
Israel lumbers along oblivious to God,
    despite all the signs, ignoring God.

11-16 “Ephraim is bird-brained,
    mindless, clueless,
First chirping after Egypt,
    then fluttering after Assyria.
I’ll throw my net over them. I’ll clip their wings.
    I’ll teach them to mind me!
Doom! They’ve run away from home.
    Now they’re really in trouble! They’ve defied me.
And I’m supposed to help them
    while they feed me a line of lies?
Instead of crying out to me in heartfelt prayer,
    they whoop it up in bed with their whores,
Gash themselves bloody in their sex-and-religion orgies,
    but turn their backs on me.
I’m the one who gave them good minds and healthy bodies,
    and how am I repaid? With evil scheming!
They turn, but not to me—
    turn here, then there, like a weather vane.
Their rulers will be cut down, murdered—
    just deserts for their mocking blasphemies.
And the final sentence?
    Ridicule in the court of world opinion.”

whenever I would heal Israel,
the sins of Ephraim are exposed
    and the crimes of Samaria revealed.(A)
They practice deceit,(B)
    thieves break into houses,(C)
    bandits rob in the streets;(D)
but they do not realize
    that I remember(E) all their evil deeds.(F)
Their sins engulf them;(G)
    they are always before me.

“They delight the king with their wickedness,
    the princes with their lies.(H)
They are all adulterers,(I)
    burning like an oven
whose fire the baker need not stir
    from the kneading of the dough till it rises.
On the day of the festival of our king
    the princes become inflamed with wine,(J)
    and he joins hands with the mockers.(K)
Their hearts are like an oven;(L)
    they approach him with intrigue.
Their passion smolders all night;
    in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
All of them are hot as an oven;
    they devour their rulers.
All their kings fall,(M)
    and none of them calls(N) on me.

“Ephraim mixes(O) with the nations;
    Ephraim is a flat loaf not turned over.
Foreigners sap his strength,(P)
    but he does not realize it.
His hair is sprinkled with gray,
    but he does not notice.
10 Israel’s arrogance testifies against him,(Q)
    but despite all this
he does not return(R) to the Lord his God
    or search(S) for him.

11 “Ephraim is like a dove,(T)
    easily deceived and senseless—
now calling to Egypt,(U)
    now turning to Assyria.(V)
12 When they go, I will throw my net(W) over them;
    I will pull them down like the birds in the sky.
When I hear them flocking together,
    I will catch them.
13 Woe(X) to them,
    because they have strayed(Y) from me!
Destruction to them,
    because they have rebelled against me!
I long to redeem them
    but they speak about me(Z) falsely.(AA)
14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts(AB)
    but wail on their beds.
They slash themselves,[a] appealing to their gods
    for grain and new wine,(AC)
    but they turn away from me.(AD)
15 I trained(AE) them and strengthened their arms,
    but they plot evil(AF) against me.
16 They do not turn to the Most High;(AG)
    they are like a faulty bow.(AH)
Their leaders will fall by the sword
    because of their insolent(AI) words.
For this they will be ridiculed(AJ)
    in the land of Egypt.(AK)

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 7:14 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts They gather together

Bible Gateway Sponsors