Retribution for Israel’s Sin
1Israel is a [a]luxuriant vine;
He produces fruit for himself.
The more his fruit,
The more altars he made;
The [b]richer his land,
The better [c]he made the sacred pillars.
2 Their heart is [d]faithless;
Now they must bear their guilt.
[e]The Lord will break down their altars
And destroy their sacred pillars.
3 Surely now they will say, “We have no king,
For we do not revere the Lord.
As for the king, what can he do for us?”
4 They speak mere words,
[f]With worthless oaths they make covenants;
And judgment sprouts like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field.
5 The inhabitants of Samaria will fear
For the [g]calf of Beth-aven.
Indeed, its people will mourn for it,
And its idolatrous priests [h]will cry out over it,
Over its glory, since it has departed from it.
6 The thing itself will be carried to Assyria
As tribute to [i]King Jareb;
Ephraim will [j]be seized with shame
And Israel will be ashamed of its own counsel.
7 Samaria will be cut off with her king
Like a stick on the surface of the water.
8 Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed;
Thorn and thistle will grow on their altars;
Then they will say to the mountains,
“Cover us!” And to the hills, “Fall on us!”
9 From the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel;
There they stand!
Will not the battle against the sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah?
10 When it is My desire, I will [k]chastise them;
And the peoples will be gathered against them
When they are bound for their double guilt.
11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh,
But I will come over her fair neck with a yoke;
I will harness Ephraim,
Judah will plow, Jacob will harrow for himself.
12 Sow with a view to righteousness,
Reap in accordance with [l]kindness;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord
Until He comes to [m]rain righteousness on you.
13 You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice,
You have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your way, in your numerous warriors,
14 Therefore a tumult will arise among your people,
And all your fortresses will be destroyed,
As Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle,
When mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.
15 Thus it will be done to you at Bethel because of your great wickedness.
At dawn the king of Israel will be completely cut off.