I will heal Israel!
Then people will know that Ephraim sinned.
They will know about Samaria’s* lies.
They will know about the thieves who come and go in that town.
They don’t believe that I will remember their crimes.
The bad things they did are all around.
I can see their sins clearly.
Their evil makes their king happy.
Their false gods please their leaders.
A baker presses dough to make bread.
He puts the bread in the oven.
He does not make the fire hotter
while the bread is rising.
But the people of Israel are not like that.
They are always making their fire hotter.
On Our King’s Day, the leaders get so drunk that they get sick.
They become crazy with wine
and make agreements with people who laugh at God.
The people make their secret plans.
Their hearts burn with excitement like an oven.
Their excitement burns all night,
and in the morning it is like a hot fire.
They are all like hot ovens.
They destroyed their rulers.
All their kings fell.
Not one of them called to me for help.
Israel and the Nations
Ephraim mixes with the nations.
Ephraim is like a cake that was not cooked on both sides.
Strangers destroy Ephraim’s strength,
but Ephraim does not know it.
Gray hairs are also sprinkled on Ephraim,
but Ephraim does not know it.
10 Ephraim’s pride speaks against him.
The people had many troubles,
but they still didn’t go back to the LORD their God.
They didn’t look to him for help.
11 So Ephraim has become like a silly dove without understanding.
The people called to Egypt for help.
They went to Assyria for help.
12 They go to those countries for help,
but I will trap them.
I will throw my net over them,
and I will bring them down like the birds of the sky.
I will punish them for their agreements.
13 It will be very bad for those who left me.
They refused to obey me, so they will be destroyed.
I saved them,
but they speak lies against me.
14 They never call to me from their hearts.
Yes, they cry on their beds.
And they cut themselves when they ask for grain and new wine.
But in their hearts, they have turned away from me.
15 I trained them and made their arms strong,
but they made evil plans against me.
16 Like a boomerang, they changed directions,
but they did not come back to me.§
Their leaders bragged about their strength,
but they will be killed with swords.
And the people in Egypt
will laugh at them.
* 7:1 Samaria The capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel. 7:9 Gray hairs This word might describe something that was put on the food when people cooked, something that looked like gray hairs. 7:12 for their agreements Or “for the report of their treaties.” § 7:16 They changed … to me Or “They turned, but not upward” or “They turned to the ‘no-gods.’ ” That is, the statues people worshiped as gods.