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The Charge Against Israel

4 Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites,

because the Lord has a chargeu to bring

against you who live in the land:v

“There is no faithfulness,w no love,

no acknowledgmentx of God in the land.y

There is only cursing,a lyingz and murder,a

stealingb and adultery;c

they break all bounds,

and bloodshed follows bloodshed.d

Because of this the land dries up,e

and all who live in it waste away;f

the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky

and the fish in the sea are swept away.g

“But let no one bring a charge,

let no one accuse another,

for your people are like those

who bring charges against a priest.h

You stumblei day and night,

and the prophets stumble with you.

So I will destroy your motherj

6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.k

“Because you have rejected knowledge,

I also reject you as my priests;

because you have ignored the lawl of your God,

I also will ignore your children.

The more priests there were,

the more they sinned against me;

they exchanged their glorious Godb m for something disgraceful.n

They feed on the sins of my people

and relish their wickedness.o

And it will be: Like people, like priests.p

I will punish both of them for their ways

and repay them for their deeds.q

10 “They will eat but not have enough;r

they will engage in prostitutions but not flourish,

because they have desertedt the Lord

to give themselves 11 to prostitution;u

old winev and new wine

take away their understanding.w

12 My people consult a wooden idol,x

and a diviner’s rod speaks to them.y

A spirit of prostitutionz leads them astray;a

they are unfaithfulb to their God.

13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops

and burn offerings on the hills,

under oak,c poplar and terebinth,

where the shade is pleasant.d

Therefore your daughters turn to prostitutione

and your daughters-in-law to adultery.f

14 “I will not punish your daughters

when they turn to prostitution,

nor your daughters-in-law

when they commit adultery,

because the men themselves consort with harlotsg

and sacrifice with shrine prostitutesh

a people without understandingi will come to ruin!j

15 “Though you, Israel, commit adultery,

do not let Judah become guilty.

“Do not go to Gilgal;k

do not go up to Beth Aven.c l

And do not swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’m

16 The Israelites are stubborn,n

like a stubborn heifer.o

How then can the Lord pasture them

like lambsp in a meadow?

17 Ephraim is joined to idols;

leave him alone!

18 Even when their drinks are gone,

they continue their prostitution;

their rulers dearly love shameful ways.

19 A whirlwindq will sweep them away,

and their sacrifices will bring them shame.r


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