They do not cry out to Me from their heart When they wail on their beds [in unbelieving despair]; For the sake of grain and new wine they assemble themselves [as if worshiping Baal]; They rebel against Me.
They do not ·call [cry out] to me from their hearts. They just lie on their beds and ·cry [wail]. They ·come together [assemble themselves; or gash/slash themselves; C a ritual practiced by pagan Canaanite priests (Deut. 14:1; 1 Kin. 18:28; Jer. 16:6)] to ask for grain and new wine, but they really ·turn away from [rebel against] me.
“Ephraim is bird-brained, mindless, clueless, First chirping after Egypt, then fluttering after Assyria. I’ll throw my net over them. I’ll clip their wings. I’ll teach them to mind me! Doom! They’ve run away from home. Now they’re really in trouble! They’ve defied me. And I’m supposed to help them while they feed me a line of lies? Instead of crying out to me in heartfelt prayer, they whoop it up in bed with their whores, Gash themselves bloody in their sex-and-religion orgies, but turn their backs on me. I’m the one who gave them good minds and healthy bodies, and how am I repaid? With evil scheming! They turn, but not to me— turn here, then there, like a weather vane. Their rulers will be cut down, murdered— just deserts for their mocking blasphemies. And the final sentence? Ridicule in the court of world opinion.”
And they cried not to me in their heart, but yelled in their beds. They chewed cud on wheat, and wine, and they went away from me. (And they did not cry to me in their hearts, but wailed upon their beds. They gashed, or wounded, themselves for corn, and for wine, and they went away from me.)
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