12 1What Israel does is as useless as chasing the wind; he chases the east wind all day. They tell more and more lies and do more and more violence. They make agreements with Assyria, and they send a gift of olive oil to Egypt. 2The Lord also has some things against Judah. He will punish Israel for what they have done; he will give them what they deserve. 3Their ancestor Jacob held on to his brother’s heel while the two of them were being born. When he grew to be a man, he wrestled with God. 4When Jacob wrestled with the angel and won, he cried and asked for his blessing. Later, God met with him at Bethel and spoke with him there. 5It was the Lord God All-Powerful; the Lord is his great name. 6You must return to your God; love him, do what is just, and always trust in him as your God. 7The merchants use dishonest scales; they like to cheat people. 8Israel said, “I am rich! I am someone with power!” All their money will do them no good because of the sins they have done. 9“But I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt. I will make you live in tents again as you used to do on worship days. 10I spoke to the prophets and gave them many visions; through them, I taught my lessons to you.” 11The people of Gilead are evil, worth nothing. Though people sacrifice bulls at Gilgal, their altars will become like piles of stone in a plowed field. 12Your ancestor Jacob fled to Northwest Mesopotamia where he worked to get a wife; he tended sheep to pay for her. 13Later the Lord used a prophet to bring Jacob’s descendants out of Egypt; he used a prophet to take care of the Israelites. 14But the Israelites made the Lord angry when they killed other people, and they deserve to die for their crimes. The Lord will make them pay for the disgraceful things they have done.
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