The Lord’s Word Against Israel
4 ·People [L Sons; T Children] of Israel, ·listen to the Lord’s message [hear the word of the Lord].
The Lord has a ·charge [case; lawsuit; or dispute] to bring
against you who live in the land:
“·The people are not true, not loyal to God [L There is no truth/faithfulness, there is no mercy/lovingkindness],
nor do those who live in the land even know him [there is no knowledge of God in the land].
2 [L There is only] Cursing, lying, ·killing [murder], stealing and adultery are everywhere.
·One murder follows another [L They break out and blood touches blood].
3 Because of this the land ·dries up [or mourns],
and all its ·people [inhabitants] ·are dying [languish; waste away].
Even the ·wild animals [L beasts of the field] and the birds of the air
and the fish of the sea are ·dying [gathered; taken/swept away].
God’s Case Against the Priests
4 “·No one should [Let no one] ·accuse [bring a charge]
or ·blame [contend against] another person.
·Don’t blame the people, you priests,
when they quarrel with you [or For my case is against you, the priests].
5 You will ·be ruined [stumble] in the day,
and your prophets will ·be ruined [stumble] with you in the night.
I will also destroy your mother [C Israel].
6 My people ·will be [or are being] destroyed,
because they ·have no [lack] knowledge.
You have ·refused to learn [rejected knowledge; or failed to acknowledge me],
so I will ·refuse to let you be [reject you as] priests to me.
You have forgotten the ·teachings [law; C Hebrew: Torah] of your God,
so I will forget your children.
7 The more priests ·there are [increase],
the more they sin against me.
·I will take away their honor
and give them shame
[or They have exchanged the glory of God
for the shamefulness (of idols); Rom. 1:23].
8 Since the priests ·live off [L eat; feed on] the ·sin offerings [or sin] of the people,
they ·want the people to sin more and more [relish/long for their iniquity].
9 ·The priests are as wrong as the people [L And it will be: like people, like priest],
and I will punish them both for ·what they have done [their ways].
I will repay them for the ·wrong [L acts; deeds] they have done.
10 “They will eat
but not have enough;
they will ·have sexual relations with the prostitutes [or behave like prostitutes],
but they will not ·have children [or gain anything; L multiply; increase],
because they have ·left [deserted; abandoned] the Lord
to give themselves to 11 ·prostitution [immorality],
to old and new wine,
which take away ·their ability to understand [L the heart].
God’s Case Against the People
12 “My people ask wooden idols for ·advice [counsel];
they ask ·those sticks of wood [or divining rods/staffs] to advise them!
·Like prostitutes, they have chased after other gods [L A spirit/wind of prostitution leads/blows them astray]
·and have left [committing adultery against; being unfaithful to] their own God.
13 They make sacrifices on the tops of the mountains [C places of pagan worship].
They burn offerings on the hills,
under oaks, poplars, and ·other trees [terebinths],
because their shade is ·nice [pleasant].
So your daughters become prostitutes [C cultic prostitutes in pagan temples],
and your daughters-in-law are guilty of adultery.
14 “But I will not punish your daughters
for becoming prostitutes,
nor your daughters-in-law
for their sins of adultery.
I will not punish them,
because the men ·have sexual relations [go off] with prostitutes
and offer sacrifices with the ·temple [cult; shrine] prostitutes.
A ·foolish people [people without knowledge/discernment] will be ·ruined [destroyed].
15 “Israel, you ·act like a prostitute [or commit adultery],
but do not let Judah be guilty toward the Lord.
Don’t go to Gilgal [C a city where false worship was taking place]
or go up to Beth Aven [C “house of wickedness,” a derogatory name for Bethel, “house of God”].
Don’t ·make promises [swear],
saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives…’
16 The people of Israel are stubborn
like a stubborn ·young cow [heifer].
·Now the Lord will [or Should the Lord now…?] feed them
like lambs in ·the open country [a broad meadow].
17 ·The Israelites [L Ephraim; C the leading tribe of the northern kingdom of Israel] ·have chosen to worship [L is joined to] idols,
so leave ·them [L him] alone.
18 When they finish their drinking,
they ·completely [or constantly] ·give themselves to being prostitutes [engage in prostitution; or go off with prostitutes];
·they [or their rulers; L their shields] love these ·disgraceful [shameful] ways.
19 They will be ·swept away as if by [wrapped up in] a whirlwind,
and their sacrifices will bring them only shame.