2 The Lord also has a dispute with Judah, And will punish Jacob according to his ways; He will repay him according to his deeds. 3 In the womb he took his brother by the heel, And in his maturity he contended with God. 4 Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed; He wept and sought His favor. He found Him at Bethel And there He spoke with us, 5 Even the Lord, the God of hosts, The Lord is His [a]name. 6 Therefore, return to your God, Observe [b]kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually. 7 A [c]merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress. 8 And Ephraim said, “Surely I have become rich, I have found wealth for myself; In all my labors they will find in me No iniquity, which would be sin.” 9 But I have been the Lord your God since the land of Egypt; I will make you live in tents again, As in the days of the appointed festival. 10 I have also spoken to the prophets, And I [d]gave numerous visions, And through the prophets I gave parables. 11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? Surely they are worthless. In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls, Yes, their altars are like the stone heaps Beside the furrows of the field.
12 Now Jacob fled to the [e]land of Aram, And Israel worked for a wife, And for a wife he kept sheep. 13 But by a prophet the Lord brought Israel from Egypt, And by a prophet he was kept. 14 Ephraim has provoked to bitter anger; So his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him And bring back his reproach to him.
13 When Ephraim [f]spoke, there was trembling. He exalted himself in Israel, But through Baal he [g]did wrong and died. 2 And now they sin more and more, And make for themselves molten images, Idols [h]skillfully made from their silver, All of them the work of craftsmen. They say of them, “Let the [i]men who sacrifice kiss the calves!” 3 Therefore they will be like the morning cloud And like dew which [j]soon disappears, Like chaff which is blown away from the threshing floor And like smoke from a [k]chimney.
4 Yet I have been the Lord your God Since the land of Egypt; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me. 5 I [l]cared for you in the wilderness, In the land of drought. 6 As they had their pasture, they became satisfied, And being satisfied, their heart became proud; Therefore they forgot Me. 7 So I will be like a lion to them; Like a leopard I will [m]lie in wait by the wayside. 8 I will encounter them like a bear robbed of her cubs, And I will tear open [n]their chests; There I will also devour them like a lioness, As a wild beast would tear them.
9 It is your destruction, O Israel, [o]That you areagainst Me, against your help. 10 Where now is your king That he may save you in all your cities, And your judges of whom you [p]requested, “Give me a king and princes”? 11 I gave you a king in My anger And took him away in My wrath.
12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; His sin is stored up. 13 The pains of childbirth come upon him; He is not a wise son, For [q]it is not the time that he should delay at the opening of the womb. 14 Shall I ransom them from the [r]power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion will be hidden from My sight.
15 Though he flourishes among the [s]reeds, An east wind will come, The wind of the Lord coming up from the wilderness; And his fountain will become dry And his spring will be dried up; It will plunder his treasury of every precious article. 16 [t]Samaria will be held guilty, For she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword, Their little ones will be dashed in pieces, And their pregnant women will be ripped open.
Israel’s Future Blessing
14 [u]Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, For you have stumbled [v]because of your iniquity. 2 Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity And [w]receive us graciously, That we may present [x]the fruit of our lips. 3 “Assyria will not save us, We will not ride on horses; Nor will we say again, ‘Our god,’ To the work of our hands; For in You the [y]orphan finds mercy.”
4 I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, And he will [z]take root like the cedars ofLebanon. 6 His shoots will [aa]sprout, And his [ab]beauty will be like the olive tree And his fragrance like the cedars ofLebanon. 7 Those who live in his shadow Will [ac]again raise grain, And they will blossom like the vine. His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after [ad]you. I am like a luxuriant cypress; From Me comes your fruit.
9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.
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