4 Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, For the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no [a]faithfulness or [b]kindness Or knowledge of God in the land. 2 There isswearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed [c]follows bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land mourns, And everyone who lives in it languishes Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, And also the fish of the sea [d]disappear.
4 Yet let no one [e]find fault, and let none offer reproof; For your people are like those who contend with the priest. 5 So you will stumble by day, And the prophet also will stumble with you by night; And I will destroy your mother. 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
7 The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame. 8 They feed on the [f]sin of My people And direct their desire toward their iniquity. 9 And it will be, like people, like priest; So I will punish them for their ways And repay them for their deeds. 10 They will eat, but not have enough; They will play the harlot, but not increase, Because they have [g]stopped giving heed to the Lord.
11 Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the [h]understanding. 12 My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing[i]from their God. 13 They offer sacrifices on the tops of the mountains And [j]burn incense on the hills, Under oak, poplar and terebinth, Because their shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters play the harlot And your [k]brides commit adultery. 14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot Or your [l]brides when they commit adultery, For the men themselves go apart with harlots And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes; So the people without understanding are [m]ruined.
15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot, Do not let Judah become guilty; Also do not go to Gilgal, Or go up to Beth-aven And take the oath: “As the Lord lives!” 16 Since Israel is stubborn Like a stubborn heifer, [n]Can the Lord now pasture them Like a lamb in a large field? 17 Ephraim is joined to idols; Let him alone. 18 Their liquor gone, They play the harlot continually; Their [o]rulers dearly love shame. 19 The wind wraps them in its wings, And they will be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
The People’s Apostasy Rebuked
5 Hear this, O priests! Give heed, O house of Israel! Listen, O house of the king! For the judgment applies to you, For you have been a snare at Mizpah And a net spread out on Tabor. 2 The revolters have [p]gone deep in depravity, But I will chastise all of them. 3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from Me; For now, O Ephraim, you have played the harlot, Israel has defiled itself. 4 Their deeds will not allow them To return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, And they do not know the Lord. 5 Moreover, the pride of Israel testifies against him, And Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also has stumbled with them. 6 They will go with their flocks and herds To seek the Lord, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn from them. 7 They have dealt treacherously against the Lord, For they have borne [q]illegitimate children. Now the new moon will devour them with their [r]land.
8 Blow the horn in Gibeah, The trumpet in Ramah. Sound an alarm at Beth-aven: “Behind you, Benjamin!” 9 Ephraim will become a desolation in the day of rebuke; Among the tribes of Israel I declare what is sure. 10 The princes of Judah have become like those who move a boundary; On them I will pour out My wrath like water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, Because he was determined to [s]follow man’s command. 12 Therefore I am like a moth to Ephraim And like rottenness to the house of Judah. 13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, And Judah his [t]wound, Then Ephraim went to Assyria And sent to [u]King Jareb. But he is unable to heal you, Or to cure you of your [v]wound. 14 For I will belike a lion to Ephraim And like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear to pieces and go away, I will carry away, and there will be none to deliver. 15 I will go away and return to My place Until they [w]acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.
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