1. Israel was a luxuriant vine yielding plenty of fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; the richer his land became, the richer he made the sacred pillars.
2. Theirs is a divided heart; now they will have to pay for it. He himself will hack down their altars and wreck their sacred pillars.
3. Then they will say, 'We have no king because we have not feared Yahweh, but what could the king do for us?'
4. Speeches are made, oaths sworn to no purpose, agreements concluded, and so-called justice spreads like a poisonous weed along the furrows of the fields!
5. Samaria's citizens will tremble for the calf of Beth-Aven; the people there will mourn for it, so will its idol-priests, as they exult in its glory once it has been carried away!
6. It will be carried off to Assyria as tribute to the Great King. Ephraim will reap the shame, and Israel blush for his intentions.
7. Samaria has had her day. Her king is like a straw drifting on the water.
8. The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed; thorns and thistles will grow over their altars. Then they will say to the mountains, 'Cover us!' and to the hills, 'Fall on us!'
9. Since the days of Gibeah, Israel, you have sinned. There they have taken their stand, and will not war overtake the guilty at Gibeah?
10. I am coming to punish them; nations will muster against them to punish them for their two crimes.
11. Ephraim is a well-trained heifer that loves to tread the grain. But I have laid a yoke on her fine neck, I shall put Ephraim into harness, Judah will have to plough, Jacob must draw the harrow.
12. Sow saving justice for yourselves, reap a harvest of faithful love; break up your fallow ground: it is time to seek out Yahweh until he comes to rain saving justice down on you.
13. You have ploughed wickedness, you have reaped iniquity, you have eaten the fruit of falsehood. Because you have trusted in your chariots, in your great numbers of warriors,
14. turmoil is going to break out among your people, and all your fortresses will be laid waste. As Shalman laid Beth-Arbel waste on the day of battle, dashing mothers to pieces on their children,
15. so it shall be done to you, Bethel, because of your great wickedness; at dawn, the king of Israel will be no more.