1 An emptied vine is Israel; how should he bring forth fruit for himself? the more numerous was his fruit the more he increased the altars; the more prosperous was his land, the more they made goodly statues.
2 Their heart is divided; now shall they bear their guilt: this will break down their altars, will devastate their statues.
3 For now will they say, We have no king; because we fear not the Lord: and the kingwhat can he do for us?
4 They have spoken vain words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: therefore springeth up the punishment as poison in the furrows of the field.
5 For the calves of Bethaven are terrified the inhabitants of Samaria: yea, the people thereof mourn over them, and also its false priests that before rejoiced over them, for its glory, because it is departed from it.
6 Also this shall be carried unto Assyria for a present to the contentious king: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed because of his own counsel.
7 As for Samaria, her king shall vanish like the foam upon the surface of the water.
8 And destroyed shall be the highplaces of Aven, the cause of the sin of Israel; the thorn and the thistle shall grow upon their altars: and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall upon us.
9 More than in the days of Gibah hast thou sinned, O Israel! there they stood; and the battle in Gibah against the children of wickedness did not overtake them.
10 But now after my desire will I chastise them: and the people shall be gathered against them, when they harness them for labor in their two furrows.
11 And Ephraim is as a welltaught heifer that loveth to tread out the corn; and I passed over her fair neck: now will I make Ephraim draw the wagon, Judah shall plough, and Jacob shall harrow the field for the enemy.
12 Sow then for yourselves after righteousness, that you may reap the fruit of kindness; cultivate your fallow field; for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness down for you.
13 But ye have ploughed wickedness, iniquity have ye reaped, ye have eaten the fruit of lies; because thou didst trust in thy own way, in the multitude of thy mighty men:
14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be wasted, as Shalman devastated Betharbel on the day of battle, when the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children.
15 The like of this doth Bethel procure unto you because of your great wickedness: in the early morning shall utterly pass away the king of Israel.