When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling and terror. He exalted himself [above the other tribes] in Israel; But through [the worship of] Baal he became guilty and died [spiritually, and then came ruin, sealing Israel’s doom as a nation].
When Ephraim spoke with trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended and became guilty in Baal worship, he died [spiritually, and then outward ruin came also, sealing Israel’s doom as a nation].
·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].
God once let loose against Ephraim a terrifying sentence against Israel: Caught and convicted in the lewd sex-worship of Baal—they died! And now they’re back in the sin business again, manufacturing god-images they can use, Religion customized to taste. Professionals see to it: Anything you want in a god you can get. Can you believe it? They sacrifice live babies to these dead gods— kill living babies and kiss golden calves! And now there’s nothing left to these people: hollow men, desiccated women, Like scraps of paper blown down the street, like smoke in a gusty wind.
For Ephraim spake, hideousness assailed Israel; and he trespassed in Baal, and was dead. (For when the people of Ephraim spoke, fear, or terror, assailed the other Israelites; and they trespassed by worshipping Baal, and many died.)
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