1When I would heal Israel,
the iniquity of Ephraim is revealed,
and the evil deeds of Samaria;
for they deal falsely;
the thief breaks in,
and the bandits raid outside.
2But they do not consider
that I remember all their evil.
Now their deeds surround them;
they are before my face.
3By their evil they make the king glad,
and the princes by their treachery.
4They are all adulterers;
they are like a heated oven
whose baker ceases to stir the fire,
from the kneading of the dough
until it is leavened.
5On the day of our king, the princes
became sick with the heat of wine;
he stretched out his hand with mockers.
6For with hearts like an oven they approach their intrigue;
all night their anger smolders;
in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
7All of them are hot as an oven,
and they devour their rulers.
All their kings have fallen,
and none of them calls upon me.
8Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples;
Ephraim is a cake not turned.
9Strangers devour his strength,
and he knows it not;
gray hairs are sprinkled upon him,
and he knows it not.
10The pride of Israel testifies to his face;1
yet they do not return to the Lord their God,
nor seek him, for all this.
11Ephraim is like a dove,
silly and without sense,
calling to Egypt, going to Assyria.
12As they go, I will spread over them my net;
I will bring them down like birds of the heavens;
I will discipline them according to the report made to their congregation.
13Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!
Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me!
I would redeem them,
but they speak lies against me.
14They do not cry to me from the heart,
but they wail upon their beds;
for grain and wine they gash themselves;
they rebel against me.
15Although I trained and strengthened their arms,
yet they devise evil against me.
16They return, but not upward;2
they are like a treacherous bow;
their princes shall fall by the sword
because of the insolence of their tongue.
This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.