The people of Israel are like vines that used to produce fruit. The more fruit they produced, the more altars they built. The more their land produced, the more stone markers they set up to honor other gods. 2 They are hypocrites. Now they must take their punishment. God will tear down their altars and destroy their stone markers. 3 So they’ll say, “We have no king because we didn’t fear the Lord. Even if we had a king, he couldn’t do anything for us.” 4 They say many things. They lie when they take oaths, and they make promises they don’t intend to keep. That’s why lawsuits spring up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of a field.
5 Those who live in Samaria fear the calf-shaped idol at Beth Aven. The people will mourn over it. The priests will cry loudly because its glory will be taken away into captivity. 6 The thing itself will be carried to Assyria as a present to the great king.[a] Ephraim will be disgraced. Israel will be ashamed because of its plans. 7 The king of Samaria will be carried away like a piece of wood on water. 8 The illegal worship sites of Aven will be destroyed. Israel sins there. Thorns and weeds will grow over those altars. People will say to the mountains, “Cover us!” and to the hills, “Fall on us!” 9 Israel, you have sinned ever since the incident at Gibeah. You never change. War will overtake the wicked people in Gibeah. 10 “I will punish them when I’m ready. Armies will gather to attack them. They will be punished for their many sins.
Israel Is Like a Cow That Threshed Grain
11 “Ephraim is like a trained calf that loves to thresh[b] grain. I will put a yoke[c] on its beautiful neck. I will harness Ephraim. Judah must plow. Jacob must break up the ground.
12 “Break new ground. Plant righteousness, and harvest the fruit that your loyalty will produce for me.”
It’s time to seek the Lord! When he comes, he will rain righteousness on you. 13 You have planted wickedness and harvested evil. You have eaten the fruit that your lies produced. You have trusted your own power and your many warriors. 14 So your army will hear the noise of battle. All your fortresses will be destroyed like the time Shalman destroyed Beth Arbel in battle. Mothers and their children were smashed to death. 15 This is what will happen to you, Bethel, because you have done many wicked things. At daybreak, the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the New Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!