10 You were a healthy vine covered with grapes. But the more grapes you grew, the more altars you built; the better off you became, the better shrines you set up for pagan gods. 2 You are deceitful and disloyal. So you will pay for your sins, because the Lord will destroy your altars and images.
3 “We don’t have a king,” you will say. “We don’t fear the Lord. And what good are kings?” 4 Israel, you break treaties and don’t keep promises; you turn justice into poisonous weeds where healthy plants should grow.[a]
5 All who live in Samaria tremble with concern for the idols[b] at sinful Bethel.[c] The idol there was the pride of the priests, but it has been put to shame; now everyone will cry. 6 It will be taken to Assyria and given to the great king. Then Israel will be disgraced for worshiping that idol.
7 Like a twig in a stream, the king of Samaria will be swept away. 8 The altars at sinful Bethel will be destroyed for causing Israel to sin; they will be grown over with thorns and thistles. Then everyone will beg the mountains and hills to cover and protect them.
The Lord Promises To Punish Israel
9 Israel, you have never stopped sinning[d] since that time at Gibeah.[e] That’s why you will be attacked at Gibeah.[f] 10 Your sins have doubled, and you are rebellious. Now I have decided to send nations to attack and put you in chains.
11 Once you were obedient like a calf that loved to thresh grain. But I will put a harness on your powerful neck; you and Judah must plow and cultivate the ground. 12 Plow your fields, scatter seeds of justice, and harvest faithfulness. Worship me, the Lord, and I will send my saving power down like rain. 13 You have planted evil, harvested injustice, and eaten the fruit of your lies. You trusted your own strength and your powerful forces. 14 So war will break out, and your fortresses will be destroyed. Your enemies will do to you what Shalman[g] did to the people of Beth-Arbel— mothers and their children will be beaten to death against rocks. 15 Bethel, this will be your fate because of your evil. Israel, at dawn your king will be killed.
10.4you turn. . . grow: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
10.5idols: The Hebrew text has “calves,” referring to the idols made in the shape of calves.
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