Hosea 13

1“Ephraim made himself very important in Israel. Ephraim spoke and people shook with fear. But Ephraim sinned—he began worshiping Baal. 2Now the Israelites sin more and more. They make idols for themselves. Workers make those fancy statues from silver. And then those people talk to their statues! They offer sacrifices to those statues. They kiss those ˻golden˼ calves. 3That is why those people will soon disappear. They will be like the fog that comes early in the morning—that fog comes and then soon disappears. The Israelites will be like chaff that is blown from the threshing floor. The Israelites will be like smoke that rises from a chimney and disappears. 4“I have been the Lord your God since the time you were in the land of Egypt. You did not know any other god except me. I am the One who saved you. 5I knew you in the desert—I knew you in that dry land. 6˻I gave food to the Israelites.˼ They ate that food. They became full and satisfied. They became proud. And they forgot me! 7“That is why I will be like a lion to them. I will be like a leopard waiting by the road. 8I will attack them like a bear whose cubs were robbed from her. I will attack them. I will rip open their chests. I will be like a lion or other wild animal tearing and eating its prey.” 9“Israel, I helped you. But you turned against me. So now I will destroy you! 10Where is your king? He can’t save you in all your cities! Where are your judges? You asked for them, saying, 'Give me a king and leaders.’ 11I was angry, and I gave you a king. And when I became very angry, I took him away. 12“Ephraim tried to hide his guilt. He thought his sins were a secret. ˻But he will be punished.˼ 13˻His punishment˼ will be like the pain a woman feels giving birth. He will not be a wise son. The time will come for his birth, and he will not survive. 14“I will save them from the grave! I will rescue them from death! Death, where are your diseases? Grave, where is your power? I am not looking for revenge! 15˻Israel˼ grows among his brothers. But a powerful east wind will come— the Lord’s wind will blow from the desert. Then ˻Israel’s˼ well will become dry. His spring of water will become dry. The wind will take every valuable thing from ˻Israel’s˼ treasure. 16Samaria must be punished. Why? Because she turned against her God. The Israelites will be killed with swords. Their children will be torn to pieces. Their pregnant women will be ripped open.”

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