12 Israel is chasing the wind, yes, shepherding a whirlwind—a dangerous game![a] For she has given gifts to Egypt and Assyria to get their help, and in return she gets their worthless promises.
2 But the Lord is bringing a lawsuit against Judah. Jacob will be justly punished for his ways. 3 When he was born, he struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God. 4 Yes, he wrestled with the Angel and prevailed. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. He met God there at Bethel face-to-face. God spoke to him— 5 the Lord, the God of heaven’s armies—Jehovah is his name.
6 Oh, come back to God. Live by the principles of love and justice, and always be expecting much from him, your God.
7 But no, my people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales—they love to cheat. 8 Ephraim boasts, “I am so rich! I have gotten it all by myself!” But riches can’t make up for sin.
9 “I am the same Lord, the same God, who delivered you from slavery in Egypt, and I am the one who will consign you to living in tents again, as you do each year at the Tabernacle Feast. 10 I sent my prophets to warn you with many a vision and many a parable and dream.”
11 But the sins of Gilgal flourish just the same. Row on row of altars—like furrows in a field—are used for sacrifices to your idols. And Gilead, too, is full of fools[b] who worship idols. 12 Jacob fled to Syria and earned a wife by tending sheep. 13 Then the Lord led his people out of Egypt by a prophet, who guided and protected them. 14 But Ephraim has bitterly provoked the Lord. The Lord will sentence him to death as payment for his sins.