1 »When I want to heal my people Israel and make them prosperous again, all I can see is their wickedness and the evil deeds of Samaria. They cheat one another. They break into houses and steal. They actually rob people in the streets.
2 »It never enters their hearts that I will remember all this evil. But their sins surround them, and I cannot avoid seeing them.
3 »They make kings happy with the wicked things they do. They make officials happy with the lies they tell.
4 »They all commit adultery. They are like a heated oven, an oven so hot that a baker does not have to fan its flames when he makes bread.
5 »On the day of the king's celebration, the officials become drunk from the heat of wine, and the king joins mockers.
6 »They become hot inside like an oven while they lie in ambush. All night long their anger smolders, but in the morning it burns like a raging fire.
7 »They are all as hot as an oven. They consume their rulers like a fire. All their kings die in battle, and none of them calls to me.
8 »Ephraim mixes with other nations. Ephraim, you are like a half-baked loaf of bread.
9 »Foreigners are using up your strength, but you do not realize it. You have become a gray-haired, old man, but you do not realize it.
10 »Israel, your arrogance testifies against you. Even after all this, you do not return to Jehovah your God or look to him for help.
11 »Ephraim, you are like a simpleminded, senseless dove. You call to Egypt and run to Assyria for help.
12 »When you go, I will spread my net over you. I will snatch you out of the air like a bird. I will punish you for all the evil things you have done.
13 »Woe to them, for they have strayed from me! Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against me.
14 »And they do not cry to me from their heart when they wail on their beds. For the sake of grain and new wine they assemble, but they turn away from me.
15 »Although I trained disciplined and strengthened their arms mightpower, yet they devise evil against me.
16 »They do not turn upward to God. They are like a loose bow. Their princes will fall by the sword because of the insolence of their tongue. This will be their derision in the land of Egypt.«