Relentless Judgment on Israel

  1When Ephraim spoke, trembling,
   He exalted himself in Israel;
   But when he offended through Baal worship, he died.
   2Now they sin more and more,
   And have made for themselves molded images,
   Idols of their silver, according to their skill;
   All of it is the work of craftsmen.
   They say of them,
   “Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!”
   3Therefore they shall be like the morning cloud
   And like the early dew that passes away,
   Like chaff blown off from a threshing floor
   And like smoke from a chimney.
  4“Yet I am the Lord your God
   Ever since the land of Egypt,
   And you shall know no God but Me;
   For there is no savior besides Me.
   5I knew you in the wilderness,
   In the land of great drought.
   6When they had pasture, they were filled;
   They were filled and their heart was exalted;
   Therefore they forgot Me.
  7“So I will be to them like a lion;
   Like a leopard by the road I will lurk;
   8I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs;
   I will tear open their rib cage,
   And there I will devour them like a lion.
   The wild beast shall tear them.
  9“O Israel, you are destroyed,
   But your help is from Me.
   10I will be your King;
   Where is any other,
   That he may save you in all your cities?
   And your judges to whom you said,
   ‘Give me a king and princes’?
   11I gave you a king in My anger,
   And took him away in My wrath.
  12“The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up;
   His sin is stored up.
   13The sorrows of a woman in childbirth shall come upon him.
   He is an unwise son,
   For he should not stay long where children are born.
  14“I will ransom them from the power of the grave;
   I will redeem them from death.
   O Death, I will be your plagues!
   O Grave, I will be your destruction!
   Pity is hidden from My eyes.”
  15Though he is fruitful among his brethren,
   An east wind shall come;
   The wind of the Lord shall come up from the wilderness.
   Then his spring shall become dry,
   And his fountain shall be dried up.
   He shall plunder the treasury of every desirable prize.
   16Samaria is held guilty,
   For she has rebelled against her God.
   They shall fall by the sword,
   Their infants shall be dashed in pieces,
   And their women with child ripped open.