1Whenever I would heal Israel, I am confronted by the guilt of Ephraim and the evil-doings of Samaria;for deceit is their principle of behaviour; the thief breaks into the house, marauders raid in the open; 2and they never pause to consider that I remember al their wicked deeds; and now their own deeds hemthem in and stare me in the face. 3They amuse the king with their wickedness and the chief men with their lies. 4They are al adulterers, hot as an oven which the baker need not stoke from the time he has kneadedthe dough until it rises. 5At the holiday for our king, the ministers become inflamed with wine, while he accepts the homage ofpeople 6who laugh at him. Their hearts are like an oven as they plot, all night their passion slumbers, then in themorning it bursts into flame; 7yes, al of them as hot as ovens, they consume their rulers. All their kings have fal en thus, not one ofthem has ever cal ed on me. 8Ephraim mixes with the nations. Ephraim is a half-baked cake. 9Foreigners have eaten his strength away but he is unconscious of it; even his hair is turning grey but heis unconscious of it. 10(Israel's arrogance is his own accuser; but they do not come back to Yahweh their God or seek him,despite al this.) 11Ephraim is like a silly, witless pigeon cal ing on Egypt, turning to Assyria. 12Wherever they turn, I shal spread my net over them, I shal bring them down like the birds of the sky, Ishall punish them for their perversity. 13Woe to them for having fled from me! Ruin seize them for having wronged me! I have rescued themagain and again and they have only told lies about me. 14Theirs is no heartfelt cry to me when they lament on their beds; when they gash themselves over thegrain and new wine, they are stil rebelling against me. 15Though I supported and gave strength to their arms, they plan how to hurt me. 16They turn to what does not exist, they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders wil fal by the swordbecause of their arrogant talk; how they wil be laughed at in Egypt!
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