1 ‘Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people, whenever I would heal Israel, the sins of Ephraim are exposed and the crimes of Samaria revealed. They practice deceit, thieves break into houses, bandits rob in the streets;
2 but they do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds. Their sins engulf them; they are always before me.
3 ‘They delight the king with their wickedness, the princes with their lies.
4 They are all adulterers, burning like an oven whose fire the baker need not stir from the kneading of the dough till it rises.
5 On the day of the festival of our king the princes become inflamed with wine, and he joins hands with the mockers.
6 Their hearts are like an oven; they approach him with intrigue. Their passion smolders all night; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
7 All of them are hot as an oven; they devour their rulers. All their kings fall, and none of them calls on me.
8 ‘Ephraim mixes with the nations; Ephraim is a flat cake not turned over.
9 Foreigners sap his strength, but he does not realize it. His hair is sprinkled with gray, but he does not notice.
10 Israel’s arrogance testifies against him, but despite all this he does not return to the LORD his God or search for him.
11 ‘Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless– now calling to Egypt, now turning to Assyria.
12 When they go, I will throw my net over them; I will pull them down like birds of the air. When I hear them flocking together, I will catch them.
13 Woe to them, because they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, because they have rebelled against me! I long to redeem them but they speak lies against me.
14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail upon their beds. They gather together for grain and new wine but turn away from me.
15 I trained them and strengthened them, but they plot evil against me.
16 They do not turn to the Most High; they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of their insolent words. For this they will be ridiculed in the land of Egypt.