12 ·What Israel does is as useless as chasing [L Ephraim feeds on] the wind; he chases the east wind all day [Eccl. 1:14, 17; 2:11, 17, 26]. They ·tell more and more lies and do more and more violence [multiply lies and violence]. They make ·agreements [a covenant/treaty] with Assyria, and they send ·a gift of olive oil [L oil] to Egypt [C as tribute or to gain support]. 2 The Lord also has ·some things [a case/lawsuit; or a dispute; 4:1] against Judah. He will punish ·Israel [L Jacob] for what they have done; he will ·give [repay] them ·what they deserve [according to their deeds]. 3 ·Their ancestor Jacob [L He] ·held on to his brother’s heel [or struggled with/supplanted his brother] ·while the two of them were being born [L in the womb; Gen. 25:19–26]. ·When he grew to be a man [L In his strength/manhood], he ·wrestled [struggled] with God. 4 When Jacob ·wrestled [struggled] with the angel and ·won [prevailed], he ·cried [wept] and ·asked for his blessing [pleaded for/sought his favor; Gen. 32:22–32]. Later, ·God met with him [he found him] at Bethel and spoke with him there [Gen. 35:1]. 5 It was the Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]; the Lord is his ·great [memorial; memorable] name. 6 You must return to your God; ·love him, do what is just [or act with love and justice], and always ·trust in him as [wait for] your God. 7 The merchants use dishonest scales; they like to ·cheat people [oppress]. 8 ·Israel [L Ephraim; 4:17] said, “I am rich! I ·am someone with power [have made my fortune]!” ·All their money will do them no good because of the sins they have done [or “With all the wealth I’ve gained, no one can accuse me of sin”; C either self-vindication (continuing the quotation), or the prophet’s pronouncement of guilt].
9 “But I am the Lord your God, ·who brought you [or ever since you came] out of Egypt. I will make you live in tents again as you used to do on ·worship days [the appointed festivals; C the feast of tabernacles, which commemorated the wilderness wanderings]. 10 I spoke to the prophets and gave them many visions; through them, I ·taught my lessons [spoke in parables; or spoke oracles of doom] to you.”
11 ·The people of Gilead are evil [or Is Gilead wicked? or In Gilead there was idolatry], they ·are worth nothing [are worthless; or will come to nothing]. ·People [or Do they…?] sacrifice bulls at Gilgal [4:15]. But their altars will become like piles of stone in a plowed field. 12 ·Your ancestor Jacob [L Jacob] fled to ·northwest Mesopotamia [L Aram; Gen. 28:5] where he ·worked [served; C his uncle Laban] to get a wife [C Rachel (and Leah); Gen. 29:20, 28]; he tended sheep to pay for her. 13 Later the Lord used a prophet [C Moses; Deut. 18:15] to bring ·Jacob’s descendants [L Israel] out of Egypt; he used a prophet to ·take care of [tend; preserve; guard] the Israelites. 14 But ·the Israelites [L Ephraim; 4:17] ·made the Lord angry [bitterly provoked the Lord]; So the Lord ·will make them pay for the blood they have shed [L leave on him the guilt of his bloodshed] and for the ·disgraceful things they have done [or contempt they have shown].
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