1The people of Ephraim look to others for help.
It’s like chasing the wind.
The wind they keep chasing
is hot and dry.
They tell more and more lies.
They are always hurting others.
They make a peace treaty with Assyria.
They send olive oil to Egypt to get help.
2The Lord is bringing charges against Judah.
He will punish Jacob’s people
because of how they act.
He’ll pay them back
for the evil things they’ve done.
3Even before Jacob was born,
he was holding on to his brother’s heel.
When he became a man,
he struggled with God.
4At Peniel he struggled with the angel and won.
Jacob wept and begged for his blessing.
God also met with him at Bethel.
He talked with him there.
5He is the Lord God who rules over all.
His name is the Lord.
6People of Jacob, you must return to your God.
You must hold on to love and do what is fair.
You must trust in your God always.
7You are like a trader who uses dishonest scales.
You love to cheat others.
8People of Ephraim, you brag,
“We are very rich.
We’ve become wealthy.
And no one can prove we sinned
to gain all this wealth.”
9The Lord says,
“I have been the Lord your God
ever since you came out of Egypt.
But I will make you live in tents again.
That is what you did when you celebrated
the Feast of Booths in the desert.
10I spoke to the prophets.
They saw many visions.
I gave you warnings through them.”
11The people of Gilead are evil!
They aren’t worth anything!
Gilgal’s people sacrifice bulls to other gods.
Their altars will become like piles of stones
on a plowed field.
12Jacob ran away to the country of Aram.
There Israel served Laban to get a wife.
He took care of sheep to pay for her.
13The prophet Moses brought Israel up from Egypt.
The Lord used him to take care of them.
14But Ephraim’s people have made the Lord very angry.
Their Lord will hold them accountable for the blood they’ve spilled.
He’ll pay them back for the shameful things they’ve done.