1 How prosperous Israel is—
a luxuriant vine loaded with fruit.
But the richer the people get,
the more pagan altars they build.
The more bountiful their harvests,
the more beautiful their sacred pillars.
they are guilty and must be punished.
The Lord will break down their altars
and smash their sacred pillars.
because we didn’t fear the Lord.
But even if we had a king,
what could he do for us anyway?”
and make covenants they don’t intend to keep.
So injustice springs up among them
like poisonous weeds in a farmer’s field.
for their calf idol at Beth-aven,*
and they mourn for it.
Though its priests rejoice over it,
its glory will be stripped away.*
a gift to the great king there.
Ephraim will be ridiculed and Israel will be shamed,
because its people have trusted in this idol.
they will float away like driftwood on an ocean wave.
8 And the pagan shrines of Aven,* the place of Israel’s sin, will crumble.
Thorns and thistles will grow up around their altars.
They will beg the mountains, “Bury us!”
and plead with the hills, “Fall on us!”
there has been only sin and more sin!
You have made no progress whatsoever.
Was it not right that the wicked men of Gibeah were attacked?
I will attack you, too.
I will call out the armies of the nations
to punish you for your multiplied sins.
11 “Israel* is like a trained heifer treading out the grain—
an easy job she loves.
But I will put a heavy yoke on her tender neck.
I will force Judah to pull the plow
and Israel* to break up the hard ground.
and you will harvest a crop of love.
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,
for now is the time to seek the Lord,
that he may come
and shower righteousness upon you.’
and harvested a thriving crop of sins.
You have eaten the fruit of lies—
trusting in your military might,
believing that great armies
could make your nation safe.
will rise among your people.
All your fortifications will fall,
just as when Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel.
Even mothers and children
were dashed to death there.
because of your great wickedness.
When the day of judgment dawns,
the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.
About New Living Translation
The Holy Bible, New Living Translation provides a wonderful balance of readability and authority. It is easy to understand, poetically beautiful, powerful, and emotive. At the same time, due to the careful work of ninety leading Bible scholars, it is accurate to the original Greek and Hebrew text. The New Living Translation makes the Bible accessible, useful, and enjoyable for every situation. The easy-to-read, clear text is perfect for comparative study of difficult passages.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.