1 "When I was healing Israel, Ephraim's sin was uncovered, along with Samaria's wickedness. While they craft lying schemes, the thief invades, and the gang of thieves plunders outside. 2 It never occurs to them that I remember all their sin. Now their actions have caught up with them, and they have my attention.
3 They please the king with their evil, and the princes with their dishonesty. 4 All of them are adulterers they burn like an oven prepared by the baker, who has ceased stoking it until the dough is leavened. 5 "On the king's festival day the princes got drunk from wine, so the king joined the mockers. 6 For they have stirred up themselves like an oven as they lie in ambush. Their baker sleeps through the night; in the morning, the oven will be blazing like a fire. 7 They all burn like an oven; they have consumed their judges; all their kings have fallen not even one of them calls on me.
8 "Ephraim compromises with the nations; he's a half-baked cake. 9 Foreigners have consumed his strength, and he hasn't noticed. Furthermore, his head is sprinkled with gray hair, but he doesn't realize it. 10 Israel's arrogance testifies against him; but they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him in all of this.
11 "Ephraim is also like a silly dove, lacking sense: They call out to Egypt, and turn toward Assyria. 12 When they go, I'll cast my net over them. I'll bring them down, as one shoots birds in the sky. I'll chasten them, as the assembly has already heard.
13 Woe to them because they have run away from me. Ruin to them because they have sinned against me. Even though I redeemed them, they spread lies against me. 14 They will not cry to me from their heart instead, they wail on their beds. They gather together to eat and drink, turning away from me. 15 "Though I have taught them and strengthened their arms, nevertheless they plot evil against me. 16 They return but not to the Most High. They are like a defective weapon. Their princes will fall by the sword because of their raging tongue, and they will be a laughingstock in the land of Egypt."