1When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling. He exalted himself in Israel, but when he became guilty through Baal, he died.
2And now they sin more and more, and have made cast metal images for themselves from their silver, even idols according to their own understanding, all of them the work of the craftsmen. People say about them, “Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves.”
3Therefore they will be like the morning mist, and like the dew that passes away early, like the chaff that is driven by the storm-wind from the threshing floor and like the smoke that goes out of the window.
4Yet I am Yahweh your God from the land of Egypt, and you will acknowledge no god but me, and besides me there is no savior.
5I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.
6According to their pasture, so were they filled. They were filled, and their heart was exalted, so they forgot me.
7Therefore I am like a lion to them. Like a leopard, I will lurk by the path.
8I will meet them like a bear that is robbed of her cubs, and will tear the covering of their heart. I will devour them there like a lioness. The wild animal will tear them.
9You are destroyed, Israel, because you are against me, against your help.
10Where is your king now, that he may save you in all your cities? And your judges, of whom you said, “Give me a king and officials?”
11I have given you a king in my anger, and have taken him away in my wrath.
12The guilt of Ephraim is stored up. His sin is stored up.
13The sorrows of a travailing woman will come on him. He is an unwise son; for when it is time, he does not come to the opening of the womb.
14I will ransom them from the power of Sheol. I will redeem them from death! Death, where are your plagues? Sheol, where is your destruction? Compassion will be hidden from my eyes.
15Though he is fruitful among his brothers, an east wind will come, the breath of Yahweh coming up from the wilderness; and his spring will become dry, and his fountain will be dried up. He will plunder the storehouse of treasure.
16Samaria will bear her guilt, for she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women will be ripped open.