God’s Case against Israel 4 1Hear the word of the Lord, people of Israel, for the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land: There is no truth, no faithful love, and no knowledge of God in the land! 2Cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery are rampant; one act of bloodshed follows another. 3For this reason the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes, along with the wild animals and the birds of the sky; even the fish of the sea disappear. 4But let no one dispute; let no one argue, for My case is against you priests.[Q][R] 5You will stumble by day; the prophet will also stumble with you by night. And I will destroy your mother. 6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from serving as My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your sons. 7The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me. I[S] will change their honor[T] into disgrace. 8They feed on the sin[U] of My people; they have an appetite for their transgressions. 9The same judgment will happen to both people and priests. I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds. 10They will eat but not be satisfied; they will be promiscuous but not multiply. For they have abandoned their devotion to the Lord. 11Promiscuity, wine, and new wine take away one’s understanding. 12My people consult their wooden idols, and their divining rods inform them. For a spirit of promiscuity leads them astray; they act promiscuously in disobedience to[V] their God. 13They sacrifice on the mountaintops, and they burn offerings on the hills, and under oaks, poplars, and terebinths, because their shade is pleasant. And so your daughters act promiscuously and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. 14I will not punish your daughters when they act promiscuously or your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, for the men themselves go off with prostitutes and make sacrifices with cult prostitutes. People without discernment are doomed. Warnings for Israel and Judah 15Israel, if you act promiscuously, don’t let Judah become guilty! Do not go to Gilgal or make a pilgrimage to Beth-aven,[W] and do not swear an oath: As the Lord lives! 16For Israel is as obstinate as a stubborn cow. Can the Lord now shepherd them like a lamb in an open meadow? 17Ephraim is attached to idols; leave him alone! 18When their drinking is over, they turn to promiscuity. Israel’s leaders[X] fervently love disgrace.[Y] 19A wind with its wings will carry them off,[Z] and they will be ashamed of their sacrifices.
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