13 ·People used to fear the tribe of Ephraim [L When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling]; they were ·important people [L exalted] in Israel. But they sinned by worshiping Baal, ·so they must die [L and died]. 2 But they still keep on sinning more and more. They make ·idols of their silver [metal images], idols that are ·cleverly [skillfully] made, the work of a craftsman. ·Yet the people of Israel say to each other [or It is said of them], “·Kiss those calf idols and sacrifice to them [or Those who sacrifice to the calf idol are calf kissers!; or They offer human sacrifices and kiss calf-idols].” 3 So those people will be like the morning mist; they will disappear like the morning dew. They will be like chaff ·blown [that swirls away] from the threshing floor, like smoke going out a window.
4 “I, the Lord, have been your God since you were in the land of Egypt. You ·should have known no [must not acknowledge any] other God except me [Ex. 20:3]. ·I am the only one who saves [L There is no savior but me]. 5 I ·cared for them [L knew you] in the ·desert [wilderness] ·where it was hot and dry [in the land of drought]. 6 I gave them ·food [pasture], and they became full and satisfied. But then they became too proud and forgot me. 7 That is why I will be like a lion to them, like a leopard ·waiting [lurking] by the ·road [path]. 8 I will ·attack [meet them] like a bear robbed of her cubs, ripping their ·bodies [chest] open. I will devour them like a lion and tear them apart like a wild animal.
9 “Israel, I will destroy you. ·Who will be your helper then [or …because you are against me, your helper]? 10 ·What good [L Where] is your king? Can he save you in any of your towns? ·What good are [L Where are] your leaders about whom you said, ‘Give us a king and leaders’? 11 So I gave you a king, but only in anger, and I took him away in my ·great anger [wrath]. 12 The ·sins [guilt; iniquity] of Israel are ·on record [bound up in a scroll], stored away, waiting for punishment. 13 The pain of birth will come for him, but he is like a ·foolish [senseless; unwise] baby who won’t come out of its mother’s womb. 14 Will I save them from ·the place of the dead [the power of the grave; L the hand of Sheol]? Will I ·rescue [redeem] them from death? ·Where are [or Bring on…!] your plagues, death? ·Where is [or Bring on…!] your ·pain [destruction], ·place of death [O grave]? ·I will show them no mercy [L Pity/compassion is hidden from my eyes]. 15 ·Israel is doing well among the nations [L He is fruitful among his brothers], but the Lord will send a wind from the east, coming from the ·desert [wilderness], that will dry up his springs and wells of water. He will ·destroy [plunder] from their treasure houses ·everything of value [every precious/desirable thing]. 16 ·The nation of Israel [L Samaria; 10:5] will ·be ruined [or bear its guilt], because it ·fought [rebelled] against God. ·The people of Israel will die in war [L They will fall by the sword]; their ·children [infants; little ones] will be ·torn to [dashed in] pieces, and their pregnant women will be ripped open.”
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