God’s Reasons for Punishing Israel
1 Listen to this message that the Lord has spoken against you, Israelites, against the entire clan that I brought from the land of Egypt:
2 I have known only you out of all the clans of the earth; therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities. 3 Can two walk together without agreeing to meet? 4 Does a lion roar in the forest when it has no prey? Does a young lion growl from its lair unless it has captured [something]? 5 Does a bird land in a trap on the ground if there is no bait for it? Does a trap spring from the ground when it has caught nothing? 6 If a ram's horn is blown in a city, aren't people afraid? If a disaster occurs in a city, hasn't the Lord done it? 7 Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing His counsel to His servants the prophets. 8 A lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who will not prophesy?
9 Proclaim on the citadels in Ashdod and on the citadels in the land of Egypt: Assemble on the mountains of Samaria and see the great turmoil in the city and the acts of oppression within it. 10 The people are incapable of doing right- the Lord's declaration- those who store up violence and destruction in their citadels.
11 Therefore, the Lord God says: An enemy will surround the land; he will destroy your strongholds and plunder your citadels.
12 The Lord says: As the shepherd snatches two legs or a piece of an ear from the lion's mouth, so the Israelites who live in Samaria will be rescued with [only] the corner of a bed or the cushion of a couch.
13 Listen and testify against the house of Jacob- [this is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the declaration of the Lord God , the God of Hosts. 14 I will punish the altars of Bethel on the day I punish Israel for its crimes; the horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. 15 I will demolish the winter house and the summer house; the houses [inlaid with] ivory will be destroyed, and the great houses will come to an end- the Lord's declaration.