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10 Israel was a spreading vine;d

he brought forth fruit for himself.

As his fruit increased,

he built more altars;e

as his land prospered,f

he adorned his sacred stones.g

Their heart is deceitful,h

and now they must bear their guilt.i

The Lord will demolish their altarsj

and destroy their sacred stones.k

Then they will say, “We have no king

because we did not revere the Lord.

But even if we had a king,

what could he do for us?”

They make many promises,

take false oathsl

and make agreements;m

therefore lawsuits spring up

like poisonous weedsn in a plowed field.

The people who live in Samaria fear

for the calf-idolo of Beth Aven.a p

Its people will mourn over it,

and so will its idolatrous priests,q

those who had rejoiced over its splendor,

because it is taken from them into exile.r

It will be carried to Assyrias

as tributet for the great king.u

Ephraim will be disgraced;v

Israel will be ashamedw of its foreign alliances.

Samaria’s king will be destroyed,x

swept away like a twig on the surface of the waters.

The high placesy of wickednessb z will be destroyed—

it is the sin of Israel.

Thornsa and thistles will grow up

and cover their altars.b

Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!”c

and to the hills, “Fall on us!”d

“Since the days of Gibeah,e you have sinned,f Israel,

and there you have remained.c

Will not war again overtake

the evildoers in Gibeah?

10 When I please, I will punishg them;

nations will be gathered against them

to put them in bonds for their double sin.

11 Ephraim is a trained heifer

that loves to thresh;

so I will put a yokeh

on her fair neck.

I will drive Ephraim,

Judah must plow,

and Jacob must break up the ground.

12 Sowi righteousnessj for yourselves,

reap the fruit of unfailing love,

and break up your unplowed ground;k

for it is time to seekl the Lord,

until he comes

and showers his righteousnessm on you.

13 But you have planted wickedness,

you have reaped evil,n

you have eaten the fruit of deception.o

Because you have depended on your own strength

and on your many warriors,p

14 the roar of battle will rise against your people,

so that all your fortresses will be devastatedq

as Shalmanr devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle,

when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.s

15 So will it happen to you, Bethel,

because your wickedness is great.

When that day dawns,

the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.t


About The New International Version

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