12 The people of Ephraim look to others for help. It’s like chasing the wind. The wind they keep chasing is hot and dry. They tell more and more lies. They are always hurting others. They make a peace treaty with Assyria. They send olive oil to Egypt to get help. 2 The Lord is bringing charges against Judah. He will punish Jacob’s people because of how they act. He’ll pay them back for the evil things they’ve done. 3 Even before Jacob was born, he was holding on to his brother’s heel. When he became a man, he struggled with God. 4 At Peniel he struggled with the angel and won. Jacob wept and begged for his blessing. God also met with him at Bethel. He talked with him there. 5 He is the Lord God who rules over all. His name is the Lord. 6 People of Jacob, you must return to your God. You must hold on to love and do what is fair. You must trust in your God always.
7 You are like a trader who uses dishonest scales. You love to cheat others. 8 People of Ephraim, you brag, “We are very rich. We’ve become wealthy. And no one can prove we sinned to gain all this wealth.”
9 The Lord says,
“I have been the Lord your God ever since you came out of Egypt. But I will make you live in tents again. That is what you did when you celebrated the Feast of Booths in the desert. 10 I spoke to the prophets. They saw many visions. I gave you warnings through them.”
11 The people of Gilead are evil! They aren’t worth anything! Gilgal’s people sacrifice bulls to other gods. Their altars will become like piles of stones on a plowed field. 12 Jacob ran away to the country of Aram. There Israel served Laban to get a wife. He took care of sheep to pay for her. 13 The prophet Moses brought Israel up from Egypt. The Lord used him to take care of them. 14 But Ephraim’s people have made the Lord very angry. Their Lord will hold them accountable for the blood they’ve spilled. He’ll pay them back for the shameful things they’ve done.
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