1 When Ephraim spoke all trem bled; he was powerful in Israel but be came guilty of Baal worship and ruined himself. 2 They now continue to sin and make images from molten metal, fashioning idols from silver, the work of craftsmen. And they call them God! They offer sacrifices to them and humans adore calves! 3 That is why they will be like mor ning mist and like dew which does not last, like the straw swept away on the threshing floor, like smoke escaping through a window.
4 But I am Yahweh, your God who brought you out of Egypt; you have no God other than me and no savior but me.
5 I knew you in the desert, in a land of scorching heat. 6 When they had food they were satisfied and when they were satisfied they became proud and no longer remembered me. 7 So I became for them like a leopard, like a tiger I watched out for them, 8 and attacked them with the fury of a bear that has lost its cubs. I tore out their heart and like a lion I devoured them; like a savage beast I tore them apart.
9 Israel, you had in me a helper, will I be now your destroyer? 10 Where is your king that he may rescue your cities? Where are your rulers about whom you said, “Give us a king and commanders.” 11 So in my anger I gave you a king and in my fury I took him away.
12 The wickedness of Ephraim is deep-set; his sin is stored up. 13 The pangs of woman in labor come upon him. But the child is capricious. When it is time he does not leave the womb.
14 Will I ransom them from the power of the netherworld? Will I rescue them from death? Not at all! Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O netherworld, is your venom? Yet my eyes will not look with compassion 15 on the one who ex celled among his brothers. Yahweh will send the east wind from the desert to dry up his sources of water and parch his fountains, to strip him of all his treasures.