7 “I wanted to forgive Israel, but her sins were far too great—no one can even live in Samaria without being a liar, thief, and bandit!
2 “Her people never seem to recognize that I am watching them. Their sinful deeds give them away on every side; I see them all. 3 The king is glad about their wickedness; the princes laugh about their lies. 4 They are all adulterers; as a baker’s oven is constantly aflame—except after he kneads the dough and waits for it to rise again—so are these people constantly aflame with lust.
5 “On the king’s birthday, the princes get him drunk; he makes a fool of himself and drinks with those who mock him. 6 Their hearts blaze like a furnace with intrigue. Their plot smolders through the night, and in the morning it flames forth like raging fire.
7 “They kill their kings one after another,[a] and no one cries out to me for help.
8 “My people mingle with the heathen, picking up their evil ways; thus they become as good-for-nothing as a half-baked cake!
9 “Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength, but they don’t know it. Ephraim’s hair is turning gray, and he doesn’t even realize how weak and old he is. 10 His pride in other gods has openly condemned him; yet he doesn’t return to his God, nor even try to find him.
11 “Ephraim is a silly, witless dove, calling to Egypt, flying to Assyria. 12 But as she flies, I throw my net over her and bring her down like a bird from the sky; I will punish her for all her evil ways.
13 “Woe to my people for deserting me; let them perish, for they have sinned against me. I wanted to redeem them but their hard hearts would not accept the truth. 14 They lie there sleepless with anxiety but won’t ask my help. Instead, they worship heathen gods, asking them for crops and for prosperity.
15 “I have helped them and made them strong, yet now they turn against me.
16 “They look everywhere except to heaven, to the Most High God. They are like a crooked bow that always misses targets; their leaders will perish by the sword of the enemy for their insolence to me. And all Egypt will laugh at them.
- Hosea 7:7 They kill their kings one after another. Three Israelite kings were assassinated during Hosea’s lifetime—Zechariah, Shallum, and Pekahiah.