1. When Ephraim used to speak, all trembled; he was a power in Israel; but once he had incurred guilt with Baal, he died.
2. And now they compound their sins by casting images for themselves out of their silver, idols of their own invention, the work of craftsmen, all of it! 'Sacrifice to them,' they say! Men bestow kisses to calves!
3. That is why they will be like morning mist, like the dew that quickly disappears, like the chaff whirled from the threshing-floor, like smoke escaping through the window.
4. But I have been Yahweh your God since your days in Egypt when you knew no god but me, since you had no one else to save you.
5. I cared for you in the desert, in the land of dreadful drought.
6. I pastured them, and they were satisfied; once satisfied, their hearts grew proud, and therefore they forgot me.
7. So now I shall be like a lion to them, like a leopard I shall lurk beside the road,
8. like a bear robbed of her cubs I shall meet them and rend the membrane of their heart, and there like a lioness I shall eat them, like a wild beast tear them to shreds.
9. Israel, you have destroyed yourself though in me lies your help.
10. Your king, where is he now, to save you, or the governors in all your cities? - whom you once pleaded for, saying, 'Give me a king and princes!'
11. In my anger I gave you a king and in my wrath I have taken him away.
12. Ephraim's guilt is packed away, his sin is locked up.
13. Pangs as of childbirth overtake him, and a stupid child he is; his time is due, but he does not leave the womb.
14. Shall I save them from the clutches of Sheol? Shall I buy them back from Death? Where are your plagues, Death? Where are your scourges, Sheol? Compassion will be banished from my sight!
15. Though Ephraim bears more fruit than his brothers, the wind from the East will come, Yahweh's breath blowing up from the desert to dry his spring, to dry up his fountain, to strip his treasury of everything worth having.