God’s Controversy with Israel
1Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel,
For the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.
2There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery.
They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed.
3Therefore the land mourns,
And everyone who lives in it languishes
Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky,
And also the fish of the sea disappear.
4Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof;
For your people are like those who contend with the priest.
5So you will stumble by day,
And the prophet also will stumble with you by night;
And I will destroy your mother.
6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being My priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.
7The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me;
I will change their glory into shame.
8They feed on the sin of My people
And direct their desire toward their iniquity.
9And it will be, like people, like priest;
So I will punish them for their ways
And repay them for their deeds.
10They will eat, but not have enough;
They will play the harlot, but not increase,
Because they have stopped giving heed to the Lord.
11Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding.
12My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them;
For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray,
And they have played the harlot, departing from their God.
13They offer sacrifices on the tops of the mountains
And burn incense on the hills,
Under oak, poplar and terebinth,
Because their shade is pleasant.
Therefore your daughters play the harlot
And your brides commit adultery.
14I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot
Or your brides when they commit adultery,
For the men themselves go apart with harlots
And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes;
So the people without understanding are ruined.
15Though you, Israel, play the harlot,
Do not let Judah become guilty;
Also do not go to Gilgal,
Or go up to Beth-aven
And take the oath:
“As the Lord lives!”
16Since Israel is stubborn
Like a stubborn heifer,
Can the Lord now pasture them
Like a lamb in a large field?
17Ephraim is joined to idols;
Let him alone.
18Their liquor gone,
They play the harlot continually;
Their rulers dearly love shame.
19The wind wraps them in its wings,
And they will be ashamed because of their sacrifices.