5 “Listen to this, you priests and all of Israel’s leaders; listen, all you men of the royal family: You are doomed! For you have deluded the people with idols at Mizpah and Tabor 2 and dug a deep pit to trap them at Acacia. But never forget—I will settle up with all of you for what you’ve done.
3 “I have seen your evil deeds: Israel, you have left me as a prostitute leaves her husband; you are utterly defiled. 4 Your deeds won’t let you come to God again, for the spirit of adultery is deep within you, and you cannot know the Lord.
5 “The very arrogance of Israel testifies against her in my court. She will stumble under her load of guilt, and Judah, too, shall fall. 6 Then at last, they will come with their flocks and herds to sacrifice to God, but it will be too late—they will not find him. He has withdrawn from them and they are left alone.
7 “For they have betrayed the honor of the Lord, bearing children that aren’t his. Suddenly they and all their wealth will disappear. 8 Sound the alarm! Warn with trumpet blasts in Gibeah and Ramah, and on over to Beth-aven; tremble, land of Benjamin! 9 Hear this announcement, Israel: When your day of punishment comes, you will become a heap of rubble.
10 “The leaders of Judah have become the lowest sort of thieves.[a] Therefore, I will pour my anger down upon them like a waterfall, 11 and Ephraim will be crushed and broken by my sentence because she is determined to follow idols. 12 I will destroy her as a moth does wool; I will sap away the strength of Judah like dry rot.
13 “When Ephraim and Judah see how sick they are, Ephraim will turn to Assyria, to the great king there, but he can neither help nor cure.
14 “I will tear Ephraim and Judah as a lion rips apart its prey; I will carry them off and chase all rescuers away.
15 “I will abandon them and return to my home until they admit their guilt and look to me for help again, for as soon as trouble comes, they will search for me and say:
- Hosea 5:10 the lowest sort of thieves, literally, “as those who move a boundary marker”; see Deuteronomy 19:14; 27:17.