1When Ephraim used to speak, all trembled; he was a power in Israel; but once he had incurred guiltwith Baal, he died. 2And now they compound their sins by casting images for themselves out of their silver, idols of theirown invention, the work of craftsmen, al of it! 'Sacrifice to them,' they say! Men bestow kisses to calves! 3That is why they will be like morning mist, like the dew that quickly disappears, like the chaff whirledfrom the threshing-floor, like smoke escaping through the window. 4But I have been Yahweh your God since your days in Egypt when you knew no god but me, since youhad no one else to save you. 5I cared for you in the desert, in the land of dreadful drought. 6I pastured them, and they were satisfied; once satisfied, their hearts grew proud, and therefore theyforgot me. 7So now I shal be like a lion to them, like a leopard I shall lurk beside the road, 8like a bear robbed of her cubs I shal meet them and rend the membrane of their heart, and there likea lioness I shall eat them, like a wild beast tear them to shreds. 9Israel, you have destroyed yourself though in me lies your help. 10Your king, where is he now, to save you, or the governors in al your cities? - whom you oncepleaded for, saying, 'Give me a king and princes!' 11In my anger I gave you a king and in my wrath I have taken him away. 12Ephraim's guilt is packed away, his sin is locked up. 13Pangs as of childbirth overtake him, and a stupid child he is; his time is due, but he does not leavethe womb. 14Shall I save them from the clutches of Sheol? Shal I buy them back from Death? Where are yourplagues, Death? Where are your scourges, Sheol? Compassion wil be banished from my sight! 15Though Ephraim bears more fruit than his brothers, the wind from the East wil come, Yahweh'sbreath blowing up from the desert to dry his spring, to dry up his fountain, to strip his treasury of everything worthhaving.
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