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The Lord's case against Israel

1ISRAEL, hear the word of the LORD; for the LORD has a charge to bring against the inhabitants of the land: There is no good faith or loyalty, no acknowledgement of God in the land.

2People swear oaths and break them; they kill and rob and commit adultery; there is violence, one deed of blood after another.

3Therefore the land will be desolate and all who live in it will languish, with the wild beasts and the birds of the air; even the fish will vanish from the sea.

4But it is not for mankind to bring charges, not for them to prove a case; it is my quarrel, and it is with you, the priest.

5By day and by night you blunder on, you and the prophet with you. Your nation is brought to ruin;

6want of knowledge has been the ruin of my people. As you have rejected knowledge, so will I reject you as a priest to me. As you have forsaken the teaching of God, so will I, your God, forsake your children.

7The more priests there are, the more they sin against me; their dignity I shall turn into dishonour.

8They feed on the sin of my people and batten on their iniquity.

9But people and priest will fare alike. I shall punish them for their conduct and repay them for their deeds.

10They will eat but never be satisfied, resort to prostitutes and never have children, for they have abandoned the LORD

11to give themselves to immorality. Wine, old and new, steals my people's wits;

12they ask advice from a piece of wood and accept the guidance of the diviner's wand; for a spirit of promiscuity has led them astray and they are unfaithful to their God.

13They sacrifice on mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak and poplar and the terebinth's pleasant shade. That is why your daughters turn to prostitution and your sons' brides commit adultery.

14I shall not punish your daughters for becoming prostitutes or your sons' brides for their adultery, because your men resort to whores and sacrifice with temple-prostitutes. A people so devoid of understanding comes to grief.

15Israel, though you are adulterous, let not Judah incur such guilt; let her not come to Gilgal or go up to Beth-aven to swear by the life of the LORD.

16Like a heifer, Israel has turned stubborn; will the LORD now feed them like lambs in a broad meadow?

17Ephraim has associated with idols; a drunken rabble, they have devoted their lives to immorality, preferring dishonour to glory.


19The wind with its wings will carry them off, and they will find their sacrifices a delusion.

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