Israel’s Sin and Captivity

  1Israel empties his vine;
   He brings forth fruit for himself.
   According to the multitude of his fruit
   He has increased the altars;
   According to the bounty of his land
   They have embellished his sacred pillars.
   2Their heart is divided;
   Now they are held guilty.
   He will break down their altars;
   He will ruin their sacred pillars.
  3For now they say,
   “We have no king,
   Because we did not fear the Lord.
   And as for a king, what would he do for us?”
   4They have spoken words,
   Swearing falsely in making a covenant.
   Thus judgment springs up like hemlock in the furrows of the field.
  5The inhabitants of Samaria fear
   Because of the calf of Beth Aven.
   For its people mourn for it,
   And its priests shriek for it—
   Because its glory has departed from it.
   6The idol also shall be carried to Assyria
   As a present for King Jareb.
   Ephraim shall receive shame,
   And Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.
  7As for Samaria, her king is cut off
   Like a twig on the water.
   8Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel,
   Shall be destroyed.
   The thorn and thistle shall grow on their altars;
   They shall say to the mountains, “Cover us!”
   And to the hills, “Fall on us!”
  9“O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah;
   There they stood.
   The battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity
   Did not overtake them.
   10When it is My desire, I will chasten them.
   Peoples shall be gathered against them
   When I bind them for their two transgressions.
   11Ephraim isa trained heifer
   That loves to thresh grain;
   But I harnessed her fair neck,
   I will make Ephraim pull a plow.
   Judah shall plow;
   Jacob shall break his clods.”
  12Sow for yourselves righteousness;
   Reap in mercy;
   Break up your fallow ground,
   For it is time to seek the Lord,
   Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
  13You have plowed wickedness;
   You have reaped iniquity.
   You have eaten the fruit of lies,
   Because you trusted in your own way,
   In the multitude of your mighty men.
   14Therefore tumult shall arise among your people,
   And all your fortresses shall be plundered
   As Shalman plundered Beth Arbel in the day of battle—
   A mother dashed in pieces upon her children.
   15Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
   Because of your great wickedness.
   At dawn the king of Israel
   Shall be cut off utterly.