Hosea 121 Ephraim feeds on the wind;
he pursues the east wind all day
and multiplies lies and violence.
He makes a treaty with Assyria
and sends olive oil to Egypt.
2 The Lord has a charge to bring against Judah;
he will punish Jacob ▼
▼ Jacob means he grasps the heel, a Hebrew idiom for he takes advantage of or he deceives.according to his ways
and repay him according to his deeds.
3 In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel;
as a man he struggled with God.
4 He struggled with the angel and overcame him;
he wept and begged for his favour.
He found him at Bethel
and talked with him there –
5 the Lord God Almighty,
the Lord is his name!
6 But you must return to your God;
maintain love and justice,
and wait for your God always.
7 The merchant uses dishonest scales
and loves to defraud.
8 Ephraim boasts,
‘I am very rich; I have become wealthy.
With all my wealth they will not find in me
any iniquity or sin.’
9 ‘I have been the Lord your God
ever since you came out of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
as in the days of your appointed festivals.
10 I spoke to the prophets,
gave them many visions
and told parables through them.’
11 Is Gilead wicked?
Its people are worthless!
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?
Their altars will be like piles of stones
on a ploughed field.
12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram ▼
▼ That is, North-west Mesopotamia;
Israel served to get a wife,
and to pay for her he tended sheep.
13 The Lord used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,
by a prophet he cared for him.
14 But Ephraim has aroused his bitter anger;
his Lord will leave on him the guilt of his bloodshed
and will repay him for his contempt.
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