1 O Israel, do not rejoice jubilantly like the nations, for you are unfaithful to your God. You love to receive a prostitute's wages on all the floors where you thresh your grain. 2 Threshing floors and wine vats will not feed the people, and new wine only deceives them. 3 They will not remain in the Lord's land. Ephraim will return to Egypt; they will eat ritually unclean food in Assyria.
4 They will not pour out drink offerings of wine to the Lord; they will not please him with their sacrifices. Their sacrifices will be like bread eaten while in mourning; all those who eat them will make themselves ritually unclean. For their bread will be only to satisfy their appetite; it will not come into the temple of the Lord. 5 So what will you do on the festival day, on the festival days of the Lord? 6 Look! Even if they flee from the destruction, Egypt will take hold of them, and Memphis will bury them. The weeds will inherit the silver they treasure -- thorn bushes will occupy their homes.
7 The prophet is considered a fool -- the inspired man is viewed as a madman -- because of the multitude of your sins and your intense animosity. 8 The prophet is a watchman over Ephraim on behalf of God, yet traps are laid for him along all of his paths; animosity rages against him in the land of his God. 9 They have sunk deep into corruption as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their wrongdoing. He will repay them for their sins.
10 When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the wilderness. I viewed your ancestors like an early fig on a fig tree in its first season. Then they came to Baal-Peor and they dedicated themselves to shame -- they became as detestable as what they loved. 11 Ephraim will be like a bird; what they value will fly away. They will not bear children -- they will not enjoy pregnancy -- they will not even conceive! 12 Even if they raise their children, I will take away every last one of them. Woe to them! For I will turn away from them. 13 Just as lion cubs are born predators, so Ephraim will bear his sons for slaughter. 14 Give them, O Lord -- what will you give them? Give them wombs that miscarry, and breasts that cannot nurse!
15 Because of all their evil in Gilgal, I hate them there. On account of their evil deeds, I will drive them out of my land. I will no longer love them; all their rulers are rebels. 16 Ephraim will be struck down -- their root will be dried up; they will not yield any fruit. Even if they do bear children, I will kill their precious offspring. 17 My God will reject them, for they have not obeyed him; so they will be fugitives among the nations.