The Lord’s Relentless Judgment on Israel
13 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;
bhe was exalted in Israel,
but he incurred guilt cthrough Baal and died.
2 And now they sin more and more,
and dmake for themselves metal images,
idols skillfully made of their silver,
eall of them the work of craftsmen.
It is said of them,
“Those who offer human sacrifice fkiss calves!”
3 Therefore they shall be glike the morning mist
or glike the dew that goes early away,
hlike the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor
or ilike smoke from a window.
4 But jI am the Lord your God
from the land of Egypt;
kyou know no God but me,
and lbesides me there is no savior.
5 mIt was I who knew you in the wilderness,
in the land of drought;
othey were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
otherefore they forgot me.
7 So pI am to them like a lion;
qlike a leopard I will lurk beside the way.
8 I will fall upon them rlike a bear robbed of her cubs;
I will tear open their breast,
and there I will devour them like a lion,
sas a wild beast would rip them open.
9 He destroys2 you, O Israel,
for you are against me, against tyour helper.
10 uWhere now is your king, to save you in all your cities?
Where are all your rulers—
those of whom vyou said,
“Give me a king and princes”?
11 wI gave you a king in my anger,
and xI took him away in my wrath.
12 The iniquity of Ephraim is ybound up;
his sin is ykept in store.
13 zThe pangs of childbirth come for him,
but he is an unwise son,
for at the right time he does not present himself
aat the opening of the womb.
14 bI shall ransom them from the power of Sheol;
eCompassion is hidden from my eyes.
15 Though fhe may flourish among his brothers,
gthe east wind, the wind of the Lord, shall come,
rising from the wilderness,
hand his fountain shall dry up;
his spring shall be parched;
it shall strip ihis treasury
of every precious thing.
because kshe has rebelled against her God;
they shall fall by the sword;
ltheir little ones shall be dashed in pieces,
and their mpregnant women ripped open.
A Plea to Return to the Lord
14 nReturn, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for oyou have stumbled because of your iniquity.
2 Take with you words
and return to the Lord;
say to him,
“Take away all iniquity;
accept pwhat is good,
and we will pay with bulls
3 rAssyria shall not save us;
swe will not ride on horses;
and twe will say no more, ‘Our God,’
to the work of our hands.
uIn you the orphan finds mercy.”
4 I vwill heal their apostasy;
wI will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
5 xI will be like the dew to Israel;
yhe shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees zof Lebanon;
6 his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be alike the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
they shall flourish like the grain;
they shall blossom like the vine;
their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 O cEphraim, what have I to do with idols?
It is I who answer and look after you.7
I am like an evergreen cypress;
dfrom me comes your fruit.
9 eWhoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the Lord are right,
and fthe upright walk in them,
fbut transgressors stumble in them.
I Will Bless the Lord
26 qVindicate me, O Lord,
for I have rwalked in my integrity,
and I have strusted in the Lord without wavering.
2 tProve me, O Lord, and try me;
3 For your vsteadfast love is before my eyes,
nor do I consort with hypocrites.
5 I zhate the assembly of evildoers,
and I will not sit with the wicked.
6 I awash my hands in innocence
and go around your altar, O Lord,
7 proclaiming thanksgiving aloud,
and telling all your bwondrous deeds.
8 O Lord, I clove the habitation of your house
and the place where your glory dwells.
9 dDo not sweep my soul away with sinners,
nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
10 in whose hands are evil devices,
and whose right hands are full of ebribes.
11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on flevel ground;
in gthe great assembly I will bless the Lord.