Judgment on Ephraim and Jerusalem
28 Ah, the proud crown of ythe drunkards of Ephraim,
and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome with wine!
2 Behold, the Lord has zone who is mighty and strong;
like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
like aa storm of mighty, overflowing waters,
he casts down to the earth with his hand.
3 bThe proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim
will be trodden underfoot;
4 cand the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
which is on the head of the rich valley,
when someone sees it, he swallows it
as soon as it is in his hand.
and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,
6 and fa spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
and gstrength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
7 hThese also reel with wine
and istagger with strong drink;
the priest and jthe prophet reel with strong drink,
they are swallowed by3 wine,
they stagger with strong drink,
they reel in vision,
they stumble in giving judgment.
8 For all tables are full of filthy vomit,
with no space left.
9 k“To whom will he teach knowledge,
and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from the milk,
those taken from the breast?
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little.”
11 lFor by people of strange lips
and with a foreign tongue
the Lord will speak to this people,
12 to whom he has said,
m“This is rest;
give rest to the weary;
and this is repose”;
yet they would not hear.
13 And the word of the Lord will be to them
precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
line upon line, line upon line,
here a little, there a little,
nthat they may go, and fall backward,
and be broken, and snared, and taken.
A Cornerstone in Zion
14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you oscoffers,
who rule this people in Jerusalem!
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
and with Sheol we have an agreement,
when the poverwhelming whip passes through
it will not come to us,
for we have made qlies our refuge,
and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;
16 therefore thus says the Lord God,
a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
17 And I will make justice tthe line,
and righteousness tthe plumb line;
and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”
18 Then uyour covenant with death will be annulled,
and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through,
you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it passes through it will take you;
vfor morning by morning it will pass through,
by day and by night;
and it will be wsheer terror to understand the message.
20 For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on,
and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
21 For the Lord will rise up xas on Mount Perazim;
to do his deed—strange is his deed!
and to work his work—alien is his work!
22 Now therefore do not ascoff,
lest your bonds be made strong;
for I have heard ba decree of destruction
from the Lord God of hosts against the whole land.
23 Give ear, and hear my voice;
give attention, and hear my speech.
24 Does he who plows for sowing plow continually?
Does he continually open and harrow his ground?
25 cWhen he has leveled its surface,
does he not scatter dill, sow cumin,
and put in wheat in rows
and barley in its proper place,
and emmer5 as the border?
26 dFor he is rightly instructed;
his God teaches him.
27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin,
but dill is beaten out with a stick,
and cumin with a rod.
28 Does one crush grain for bread?
No, he does not thresh it forever;6
when he drives his cart wheel over it
with his horses, he does not crush it.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
he is ewonderful in counsel
and excellent in wisdom.
The Wickedness of Judah
for the Lord has spoken:
but they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox jknows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does jnot know,
my people do not understand.”
4 Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
koffspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the Lord,
they are utterly nestranged.
5 Why will you still be ostruck down?
Why will you pcontinue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
6 qFrom the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and raw wounds;
they are rnot pressed out or bound up
or softened with oil.
7 sYour country lies desolate;
your cities are burned with fire;
in your very presence
foreigners devour your land;
it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
8 And tthe daughter of Zion is left
like a ubooth in a vineyard,
like a lodge in a cucumber field,
like a besieged city.
9 vIf the Lord of hosts
had not left us wa few survivors,
we should have been like xSodom,
and become like xGomorrah.
10 Hear the word of the Lord,
Give ear to the teaching2 of our God,
you people of zGomorrah!
11 a“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
12 “When you come to bappear before me,
who has required of you
this trampling of my courts?
13 Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
14 Your cnew moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you gspread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
heven though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
iyour hands are full of blood.
16 jWash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
kcease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
mbring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as owhite as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
19 pIf you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword;
qfor the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
5 Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria, and for three years he besieged it.
The Fall of Israel
6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria acaptured Samaria, band he carried the Israelites away to Assyria cand placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of dGozan, and in the cities of ethe Medes.
Exile Because of Idolatry
7 And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, fwho had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods 8 gand walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, hand in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced. 9 And the people of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, ifrom watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set up for themselves jpillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger, 12 and they served idols, kof which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this.” 13 Yet the Lord lwarned Israel and Judah mby every prophet nand every seer, saying, o“Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”
14 But they would not listen, pbut were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 15 They despised his statutes qand his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after rfalse idols sand became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the tLord had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of utwo calves; and they vmade an Asherah and wworshiped all the host of heaven and served xBaal. 17 yAnd they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings1 and used zdivination and aomens and bsold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but cthe tribe of Judah only.
19 dJudah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. 20 And the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them eand gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight.
21 fWhen he had torn Israel from the house of David, gthey made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord hand made them commit great sin. 22 The people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did. They did not depart from them, 23 until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, ias he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. jSo Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.
Assyria Resettles Samaria
24 kAnd the king of Assyria brought people from lBabylon, Cuthah, mAvva, nHamath, and oSepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the people of Israel. And they took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 25 And at the beginning of their dwelling there, they did not fear the Lord. Therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 26 So the king of Assyria was told, “The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land.” 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, “Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there, and let him2 go and dwell there and teach them the law of the god of the land.” 28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in pBethel and taught them how they should fear the Lord.
29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them qin the shrines of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived. 30 The men of rBabylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites sburned their children in the fire to tAdrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of uSepharvaim. 32 vThey also feared the Lord wand appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of xthe high places. 33 So they feared the Lord but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.
34 To this day they do according to the former manner. They do not fear the Lord, and they do not follow the statutes or the rules or the law or the commandment that the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, ywhom he named Israel. 35 The Lord made a covenant with them and commanded them, z“You shall not fear other gods aor bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, 36 but byou shall fear the Lord, cwho brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and dwith an outstretched arm. You shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. 37 And the statutes and the rules and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, eyou shall always be careful to do. zYou shall not fear other gods, 38 and fyou shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. zYou shall not fear other gods, 39 but byou shall fear the Lord your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” 40 However, they would not listen, but they did according to their former manner.
41 gSo these nations feared the Lord and also served their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children’s children—as their fathers did, so they do to this day.
9 In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, xShalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it, 10 and at the end of three years he took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 The king of Assyria carried the Israelites away to Assyria and put them in yHalah, and on the yHabor, ythe river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened nor obeyed.