Punishment of Idolatry
1Israel is a luxuriant vine whose fruit matches its growth. The more abundant his fruit, the more altars he built; The more productive his land, the more sacred pillars* he set up. 2Their heart is false, now they pay for their guilt; God shall break down their altars and destroy their sacred pillars. 3If they would say, “We have no king”— Since they do not fear the LORD, what can the king do for them? 4Nothing but make promises, swear false oaths, and make alliances, While justice grows wild like wormwood* in a plowed field! 5The inhabitants of Samaria fear for the calf of Beth‐aven;* The people mourn for it and its priests wail over it, because the glory has departed from it. 6It too shall be carried to Assyria, as an offering to the great king. Ephraim shall be taken into captivity, Israel be shamed by his schemes.
7The king of Samaria shall disappear, like foam upon the waters. 8The high places of Aven shall be destroyed, the sin of Israel; thorns and thistles shall overgrow their altars. Then they shall cry out to the mountains, “Cover us!” and to the hills, “Fall upon us!” l Is 2, 19; Lk 23, 30; Rv 6, 16 .
9Since the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel. There they took their stand; war was not to reach them in Gibeah. m Jgs 20, 1 . 10Against the wanton people I came and I chastised them; n Jer 4, 3 . I gathered troops against them when I chastised them for their two crimes.*
Time To Seek the Lord
11Ephraim was a trained heifer, willing to thresh; I myself laid a yoke upon her fair neck; Ephraim was to be harnessed, Judah was to plow, Jacob was to break his furrows: 12Sow for yourselves justice, reap the fruit of piety; Break up for yourselves a new field, for it is time to seek the LORD till he come and rain down justice upon you.” o Is 45, 8 . 13But you have cultivated wickedness, reaped perversity, and eaten the fruit of falsehood.
Because you have trusted in your chariots, and in your many warriors, 14Turmoil shall break out among your tribes and all your fortresses shall be ravaged As Salman ravaged Beth‐arbel* in time of war, smashing mothers and their children. p Jgs 8, 10ff . 15So shall it be done to you, Bethel, because of your utter wickedness: At dawn the king of Israel shall perish utterly.