No One Is Faithful
4 1-3 Attention all Israelites! God’s Message!
God indicts the whole population:
“No one is faithful. No one loves.
No one knows the first thing about God.
All this cussing and lying and killing, theft and loose sex,
sheer anarchy, one murder after another!
And because of all this, the very land itself weeps
and everything in it is grief-stricken—
animals in the fields and birds on the wing,
even the fish in the sea are listless, lifeless.
4-10 “But don’t look for someone to blame.
No finger pointing!
You, priest, are the one in the dock.
You stumble around in broad daylight,
And then the prophets take over and stumble all night.
Your mother is as bad as you.
My people are ruined
because they don’t know what’s right or true.
Because you’ve turned your back on knowledge,
I’ve turned my back on you priests.
Because you refuse to recognize the revelation of God,
I’m no longer recognizing your children.
The more priests, the more sin.
They traded in their glory for shame.
They pig out on my people’s sins.
They can’t wait for the latest in evil.
The result: You can’t tell the people from the priests,
the priests from the people.
I’m on my way to make them both pay
and take the consequences of the bad lives they’ve lived.
They’ll eat and be as hungry as ever,
have sex and get no satisfaction.
They walked out on me, their God,
for a life of rutting with whores.
They Make a Picnic Out of Religion
11-14 “Wine and whiskey
leave my people in a stupor.
They ask questions of a dead tree,
expect answers from a sturdy walking stick.
Drunk on sex, they can’t find their way home.
They’ve replaced their God with their genitals.
They worship on the tops of mountains,
make a picnic out of religion.
Under the oaks and elms on the hills
they stretch out and take it easy.
Before you know it, your daughters are whores
and the wives of your sons are sleeping around.
But I’m not going after your whoring daughters
or the adulterous wives of your sons.
It’s the men who pick up the whores that I’m after,
the men who worship at the holy whorehouses—
a stupid people, ruined by whores!
15-19 “You’ve ruined your own life, Israel—
but don’t drag Judah down with you!
Don’t go to the sex shrine at Gilgal,
don’t go to that sin city Bethel,
Don’t go around saying ‘God bless you’ and not mean it,
taking God’s name in vain.
Israel is stubborn as a mule.
How can God lead him like a lamb to open pasture?
Ephraim is addicted to idols.
Let him go.
When the beer runs out,
it’s sex, sex, and more sex.
Bold and sordid debauchery—
how they love it!
The whirlwind has them in its clutches.
Their sex-worship leaves them finally impotent.”
New International Version
The Charge Against Israel
4 Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites,
because the Lord has a charge(A) to bring
against you who live in the land:(B)
“There is no faithfulness,(C) no love,
no acknowledgment(D) of God in the land.(E)
2 There is only cursing,[a] lying(F) and murder,(G)
stealing(H) and adultery;(I)
they break all bounds,
and bloodshed follows bloodshed.(J)
3 Because of this the land dries up,(K)
and all who live in it waste away;(L)
the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
and the fish in the sea are swept away.(M)
4 “But let no one bring a charge,
let no one accuse another,
for your people are like those
who bring charges against a priest.(N)
5 You stumble(O) day and night,
and the prophets stumble with you.
So I will destroy your mother(P)—
6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.(Q)
“Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law(R) of your God,
I also will ignore your children.
7 The more priests there were,
the more they sinned against me;
they exchanged their glorious God[b](S) for something disgraceful.(T)
8 They feed on the sins of my people
and relish their wickedness.(U)
9 And it will be: Like people, like priests.(V)
I will punish both of them for their ways
and repay them for their deeds.(W)
10 “They will eat but not have enough;(X)
they will engage in prostitution(Y) but not flourish,
because they have deserted(Z) the Lord
to give themselves 11 to prostitution;(AA)
old wine(AB) and new wine
take away their understanding.(AC)
12 My people consult a wooden idol,(AD)
and a diviner’s rod speaks to them.(AE)
A spirit of prostitution(AF) leads them astray;(AG)
they are unfaithful(AH) to their God.
13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops
and burn offerings on the hills,
under oak,(AI) poplar and terebinth,
where the shade is pleasant.(AJ)
Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution(AK)
and your daughters-in-law to adultery.(AL)
14 “I will not punish your daughters
when they turn to prostitution,
nor your daughters-in-law
when they commit adultery,
because the men themselves consort with harlots(AM)
and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes(AN)—
a people without understanding(AO) will come to ruin!(AP)
15 “Though you, Israel, commit adultery,
do not let Judah become guilty.
“Do not go to Gilgal;(AQ)
do not go up to Beth Aven.[c](AR)
And do not swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’(AS)
16 The Israelites are stubborn,(AT)
like a stubborn heifer.(AU)
How then can the Lord pasture them
like lambs(AV) in a meadow?
17 Ephraim is joined to idols;
leave him alone!
18 Even when their drinks are gone,
they continue their prostitution;
their rulers dearly love shameful ways.
19 A whirlwind(AW) will sweep them away,
and their sacrifices will bring them shame.(AX)