1 Ephraim continually feeds on the wind;
he chases the east wind all day;
he multiplies lies and violence.
They make treaties with Assyria,
and send olive oil as tribute to Egypt.
2 The Lord also has a covenant lawsuit against Judah;
he will punish Jacob according to his ways
and repay him according to his deeds.
Israel Must Return to the God of Jacob
3 In the womb he attacked his brother;
in his manly vigour he struggled with God.
4 He struggled with an angel and prevailed;
he wept and begged for his favour.
He found God at Bethel,
and there he spoke with him!
5 As for the Lord God Almighty,
the Lord is the name by which he is remembered!
6 But you must return to your God,
by maintaining love and justice,
and by waiting for your God to return to you.
The Lord Refutes Israel’s False Claim of Innocence
7 The businessmen love to cheat;
they use dishonest scales.
8 Ephraim boasts, “I am very rich!
I have become wealthy!
In all that I have done to gain my wealth,
no one can accuse me of any offence that is actually sinful.”
9 “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again as in the days of old.
10 I spoke to the prophets;
I myself revealed many visions;
I spoke in parables through the prophets.”
11 Is there idolatry in Gilead?
Certainly its inhabitants will come to nothing!
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?
Surely their altars will be like stones heaped up on a ploughed field!
Jacob in Aram, Israel in Egypt, and Ephraim in Trouble
12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram,
then Israel worked to acquire a wife;
he tended sheep to pay for her.
13 The Lord brought Israel out of Egypt by a prophet,
and due to a prophet Israel was preserved alive.
14 But Ephraim bitterly provoked him to anger;
so he will hold him accountable for the blood he has shed,
his Lord will repay him for the contempt he has shown.