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Israel Is Judged for Its Sin

Do not be happy, O Israel! Do not be glad like the nations! For you have sinned like a woman who sells the use of her body, turning away from your God. You have loved selling yourselves on every grain-floor. The grain-floor and the place where the grapes are crushed will not feed them. And they will not have enough new wine. They will not stay in the Lord’s land, but Ephraim will return to Egypt. And in Assyria they will eat unclean food. They will not pour out drink gifts of wine to the Lord. Their gifts of worship will not please Him. Their bread will be like the bread of those in sorrow. Everyone who eats it will be unclean, for their bread will be for themselves alone. It will not come into the house of the Lord. What will you do on the days set to have a special supper for the Lord? When trouble comes and the people try to get away, Egypt will gather them up. Memphis will bury them. Their riches of silver will be grown over by weeds, and thorns will be in their tents.

The days of punishment have come, the days when the people must pay for their sins. Let Israel know this. The man who tells what will happen in the future is a fool. The man who is led by the spirit is crazy. This is because of all your sin and anger. Ephraim was meant to be a watchman who would speak for God. Yet there is a net in all his ways, and only anger in the house of his God. They have gone deep into sin, as in the days of Gibeah. The Lord will remember their wrong-doing, and will punish their sins.

10 “I found Israel like grapes in the desert. I saw your fathers like the first-fruit on the fig tree in its first year. But they came to Baal-peor and gave themselves to that false god of shame. They became as sinful as the thing they loved. 11 Ephraim’s greatness will fly away like a bird. There will be no more children born to them, and they will not be able to have children. 12 Even if they raise children, I will take them away and not leave anyone alive. It will be bad for them when I leave them! 13 I have seen Ephraim planted in a good field like Tyre. But Ephraim will lead his children out to be killed.” 14 O Lord, what will You give them? Give them children who die before they are born, and make them not able to nurse their babies.

15 “Because of all their sin at Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of the sinful things they did, I will drive them out of My house. I will not love them any more. All their leaders would not obey Me. 16 Ephraim is destroyed. Their root is dried up and they will give no fruit. Even if they give birth, I will kill the children they love.” 17 My God will send them away because they have not listened to Him. And they will travel from nation to nation.