12 What Israel does is as useless as chasing the wind, as dangerous as being in a windstorm. They tell more and more lies and do more and more violence. They make agreements with Assyria, and they send a gift of olive oil to Egypt. 2 The Lord also has some things against Judah. He will punish Israel for what they have done. He will give them what they deserve. 3 Their ancestor Jacob held on to his brother’s heel while the two of them were being born. When Jacob grew to be a man, he wrestled with God. 4 He wrestled with the angel and won. Jacob cried and asked for his blessing. Later, God met with him at Bethel and spoke with him there. 5 He is the Lord God of heaven’s armies. He wants to be remembered as the Lord. 6 Like Jacob you must return to him. You must be loyal and true to him. You must do what is honest and just. You must always trust in him as your God.
7 The merchants use dishonest scales. They like to cheat people. 8 The people of Israel brag that they are rich. They think that because they are rich no one will learn about their sins.
9 “But I am the Lord your God. I brought you out of Egypt. I will make you live in tents again as you used to do in the desert. 10 I spoke to the prophets and gave them many visions. Through them, I taught my lessons to you.”
11 The people of Gilead are evil. They are worth nothing. People sacrifice bulls at Gilgal. But their altars will become like piles of stone in a plowed field. 12 Your ancestor Jacob fled to Northwest Mesopotamia. There he worked to get a wife. He tended sheep to pay for her. 13 Later the Lord used a prophet to bring Jacob’s descendants out of Egypt. The Lord used a prophet to take care of the Israelites. 14 But the Israelites made the Lord angry. They killed other people. They deserve to die for their crimes. The Lord will make them pay for the disgraceful things they have done.
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