Retribution for Israel's Sin
1Israel [is] an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.
2Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.
3For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us?
4They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
5The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof [that] rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it.
6It shall be also carried unto Assyria [for] a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.
7[As for] Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water.
8The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.
9O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.
10[It is] in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows.
11And Ephraim [is as] an heifer [that is] taught, [and] loveth to tread out [the corn]; but I passed over upon her fair neck: I will make Ephraim to ride; Judah shall plow, [and] Jacob shall break his clods.
12Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
13Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.
14Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon [her] children.
15So shall Bethel do unto you because of your great wickedness: in a morning shall the king of Israel utterly be cut off.