1Israel is a fertile vine that puts forth fruit for himself. The more his fruit increased the more altars he built. As his land did better he better adorned his standing-stones.
2Their heart is divided; now they will be found guilty. He will demolish their altars. He will destroy their standing-stones.
3For now they will say, “We have no king because we do not fear Yahweh; and a king, what could he do for us?”
4They speak mere words, swearing falsely while cutting covenants. Therefore lawsuits spring up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of a field.
5The inhabitants of Samaria will be afraid for the calves of Beth-aven. Indeed, its people will mourn over it, and so will its priests who rejoiced over it and over its glory, because it will be taken from them into exile.
6It too will be carried to Assyria for a present to a great king. Ephraim will be put to shame, and Israel will be ashamed of his own counsel.
7Samaria and her king float away like a twig on the water.
8Also, the shrines of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed. The thorn and the thistle will come up on their altars. They will tell the mountains, “Cover us!” and the hills, “Fall on us!”
9Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah. There they stand! Will not the battle against the sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah?
10When it is my desire, I will chastise them, and the nations will be gathered against them when they are bound up for their two transgressions.
11Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh; so I will put a yoke on her beautiful neck. I will set a rider on Ephraim; Judah will plow; Jacob will break his clods.
12Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to kindness. Break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek Yahweh, until he comes and rains righteousness on you.
13You have plowed wickedness. You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, for you trusted in your way, in the multitude of your mighty men.
14Therefore a battle roar will arise among your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel in the day of battle. The mother was dashed in pieces with her children.
15Thus it will be done to you, Bethel, because of your great wickedness. At daybreak the king of Israel will be destroyed.