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.
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