1 When the tribe of Ephraim spoke,
the people shook with fear,
for that tribe was important in Israel.
But the people of Ephraim sinned by worshiping Baal
and thus sealed their destruction.
images shaped skillfully with human hands.
“Sacrifice to these,” they cry,
“and kiss the calf idols!”
like dew in the morning sun,
like chaff blown by the wind,
like smoke from a chimney.
ever since I brought you out of Egypt.
You must acknowledge no God but me,
for there is no other savior.
in that dry and thirsty land.
you became proud and forgot me.
like a leopard that lurks along the road.
I will tear out your heart.
I will devour you like a hungry lioness
and mangle you like a wild animal.
yes, by me, your only helper.
10 Now where is* your king?
Let him save you!
Where are all the leaders of the land,
the king and the officials you demanded of me?
and in my fury I took them away.
and his sin has been stored up for punishment.
like the pain of childbirth,
but they are like a child
who resists being born.
The moment of birth has arrived,
but they stay in the womb!
14 “Should I ransom them from the grave* ?
Should I redeem them from death?
O death, bring on your terrors!
O grave, bring on your plagues!*
For I will not take pity on them.
but the east wind—a blast from the Lord—
will arise in the desert.
All their flowing springs will run dry,
and all their wells will disappear.
Every precious thing they own
will be plundered and carried away.
16 * The people of Samaria
must bear the consequences of their guilt
because they rebelled against their God.
They will be killed by an invading army,
their little ones dashed to death against the ground,
their pregnant women ripped open by swords.”
About New Living Translation
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