Hosea 7

1“I will heal Israel! Then people will know that Ephraim sinned. People will know about Samaria’s lies. People will know about the thieves that come and go in that town. 2Those people don’t believe that I will remember their crimes. The bad things they did are all around. I can see their sins clearly. 3Their evil makes their king happy. Their false gods please their leaders. 4A baker presses dough ˻to make bread˼. ˻He puts the bread in the oven.˼ The baker does not make the fire hotter while the bread is rising. ˻But the people of Israel are not like that.˼ The people of Israel are always making their fire hotter. 5On Our King’s Day, ˻they make the fire hotter˼ ˻they give their drinking parties.˼ The leaders become sick from the heat of wine. So the kings join hands with people that laugh at God. 6The people make their secret plans. Their hearts burn with excitement like an oven. Their excitement burns all night. And in the morning it is like a hot fire. 7They are all like hot ovens. They destroyed their rulers. All of their kings fell. Not one of them called to me for help.” 8“Ephraim mixes with the nations. Ephraim is like a cake that was not cooked on both sides. 9Strangers destroy Ephraim’s strength. But Ephraim does not know it. Gray hairs are also sprinkled on Ephraim. But Ephraim does not know it. 10˻Ephraim’s˼ pride speaks against him. The people had many, many troubles, but they still didn’t go back to the Lord their God. The people didn’t look to him for help. 11So Ephraim has become like a silly dove without understanding. The people called to Egypt for help. The people went to Assyria for help. 12They go to those countries for help, but I will trap them. I will throw my net over them, and I will bring them down like the birds of the sky. I will punish them for their agreements. 13It will be bad for them. They left me. They refused to obey me. So they will be destroyed. I saved those people. But they speak lies against me. 14They never call to me from their hearts. Yes, they cry on their beds. And they cut themselves when they ask for grain and new wine. But ˻in their hearts,˼ they have turned away from me. 15I trained them and made their arms strong. But they made evil plans against me. 16But they were like a boomerang. They changed directions, but they did not come back to me. Their leaders bragged ˻about their strength˼. But they will be killed with swords. And the people in Egypt will laugh at them.

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