The folly of Israel’s idolatry
10 Israel is a growing vine
that yields its fruit.
The more his fruit increased,
the more altars he built;
the richer his land became,
the more he set up sacred standing stones.
2 Their heart is false;
now they must bear their guilt.
The Lord will break down their altars
and destroy their standing stones.
3 For now they will say:
“We have no king,
because we don’t love the Lord.
What then could a king do for us?”
4 They have spoken empty words,
swearing falsely when making covenants;
so judgment springs up like poisonous weeds
in the furrows of the field.
5 The inhabitants of Samaria shake
because of the calf of Beth-aven.
Its people will mourn over it,
just as its idolatrous priests who rejoiced over its glory that is now gone.
Shame and punishment
6 To Assyria it will be carried
as a gift for the great king.
Ephraim will be put to shame;
Israel will be ashamed of his own idol.
7 Samaria will be cut off;
her king is like a chip of wood on the surface of the water.
8 The sin of Israel, the shrines of Aven
will be torn down.
Thorn and thistle will sprout up
on their altars.
They will say to the mountains, “Cover us,”
to the hills, “Fall on us.”
9 Since the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, Israel;
there they have continued.
Will not war overtake them in Gibeah?
10 I will come and punish them;
nations will be gathered against them
when they are punished for their double crime.
11 Ephraim was a trained cow that loved to pull a plow;
I spared her fair neck;
but I will make Ephraim break through the ground;
Judah will plow;
Jacob will turn the soil for himself.
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap faithful love;
break up your unplanted ground,
for it is time to seek the Lord,
that he may come
and rain righteousness upon you.
13 You have plowed wickedness,
you have reaped depravity,
you have eaten the fruit of lies,
because you have trusted in your way
and in your many warriors.
14 Therefore, the noise of war will rise against your people;
all your fortresses will be destroyed,
as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle,
when mothers were dashed into pieces with their children.
15 It will indeed happen to you, Bethel,
because of your great wickedness.
At dawn, the king of Israel will be cut off completely.
11 When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 The more I called them,
the further they went from me;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals,
and they burned incense to idols.
3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up in my arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
4 I led them
with bands of human kindness,
with cords of love.
I treated them like those
who lift infants to their cheeks;
I bent down to them and fed them.
5 They will return to the land of Egypt,
and Assyria will be their king,
because they have refused to return to me.
6 The sword will strike wildly in their cities;
it will consume the bars of their gates
and will take everything because of their schemes.
7 My people are bent on turning away from me;
and though they cry out to the Most High,[a]
he will not raise them up.
8 How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart winces within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
Israel’s and Judah’s responses
9 I won’t act on the heat of my anger;
I won’t return to destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and not a human being,
the holy one in your midst;
I won’t come in harsh judgment.
10 They will walk after the Lord,
who roars like a lion.
When he roars,
his children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come trembling like a bird,
and like a dove from the land of Assyria;
and I will return them to their homes, says the Lord.
12 [b] Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
the house of Israel with faithless acts;
but Judah still walks with God,
and is faithful to the holy one.
God’s charge against Judah
12 [c] Ephraim herds the wind,
and pursues the east wind all day long;
they multiply lies and violence;
they make a treaty with Assyria,
and oil is carried to Egypt.
2 The Lord has a charge against Judah,
and will punish Jacob according to his ways,
and respond to him according to his deeds.
3 From the womb he tried to be the oldest of twin brothers;
as an adult he struggled with God.
4 He struggled with the messenger and survived;
he wept and sought his favor;
he met him at Bethel,
and there he spoke with him.
5 The Lord God of heavenly forces,
the Lord is his name!
6 But you! Return to your God
with faithful love and justice,
and wait continually for your God.
7 He is a merchant; the means to cheat are in his hands;
he loves to take advantage of others.
8 Ephraim has said,
I’ve gained wealth for myself;
in all of my gain
no offense has been found in me
that would be sin.”
9 I am the Lord your God
from the land of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
as in former days.
10 I spoke to the prophets;
and I multiplied visions,
and through them I uttered parables.
11 In Gilead there is wickedness;
they will surely come to nothing.
In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls,
so their altars will be like piles of stones
on the rows of the field.
12 Jacob fled to the land of Aram;
there Israel served for a wife,
and for a wife he kept watch over livestock.
13 By a prophet the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt,
and by a prophet he was guarded.
14 Ephraim has given bitter offense;
so the Lord will bring his crimes down on him
and pay him back for his wrongdoing.
Infidelity despite divine goodness
13 When Ephraim spoke, there was excitement;
he was praised in Israel;
but he became guilty through Baal and died.
2 And now they keep on sinning;
they have made metal images,
idols of silver,
as a result of their skill,
all of them the work of craftsmen.
“Sacrifice to these,” they say.
People are kissing calves!
3 Therefore, they will be like the morning mist,
like the dew that passes away early,
like husks that swirl from the threshing floor,
or like smoke from a window.
4 Yet I have been the Lord your God
ever since the land of Egypt;
and you will know no other gods but me;
there is no savior besides me.
5 I knew you in the wilderness,
in the land of no rain.
6 When I fed them, they were satisfied;
and their hearts became proud;
therefore, they forgot me.
Consequences of infidelity
7 So I will become like a lion to them;
like a leopard I will lurk beside the road.
8 I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs,
and I will tear open the covering of their hearts.
I will devour them like a lion,
as a wild animal would eat them.
9 I will destroy you, Israel;
for you didn’t realize that I could help you.
10 Where is your king now,
so that he can save you?
Where in all your cities are your judges,
of whom you said,
“Give me a king and rulers”?
11 I gave you a king in my anger,
and I took him away in my wrath.
12 Ephraim’s wickedness is bound up;
his sin is kept in store.
13 The pangs of a woman in childbirth come for him,
but he is not aware of the time to be born;
for at the proper time he doesn’t present himself
at the mouth of the womb.
14 Will I ransom them from the power of the grave[d]
Will I redeem them from death’s hold?
Death, where are your diseases?
Grave,[e] where is your destruction?
Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
15 Although he may flourish among rushes,
the east wind will come—
the breath of God
rising from the wilderness;
and his spring will dry up;
his fountain will be dried up.
It will strip his household
of every cherished possession.
16 [f] Samaria will be desolate,
because she has rebelled against her God;
by the sword they will fall—
their babies will be dashed,
and their pregnant women ripped open.
A plea: Return to God
14 [g] Return, Israel, to the Lord your God;
you have stumbled because of your wickedness.
2 Prepare to speak
and return to the Lord;
say to the Lord,
“Forgive all wickedness;
and receive the good.
Instead of bulls,
let us offer what we can say:
3 Assyria won’t save us;
we won’t ride upon horses;
we will no longer say, ‘Our God,’
to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds compassion.”
Divine promise of healing
4 I will heal their faithlessness;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like the lily;
he will cast out his roots like the forests of Lebanon.[h]
6 His branches will spread out;
his beauty will be like the olive tree,
and his fragrance like that of Lebanon.
7 They will again live beneath my shadow,
they will flourish like a garden;
they will blossom like the vine,
their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim, what do idols have to do with me?
It is I who answer and look after you.
I am like a green cypress tree;
your fruit comes from me.
9 Whoever is wise understands these things.
Whoever observes carefully knows them.
Truly, the Lord’s ways are right,
and the righteous will walk in them,
but evildoers will stumble in them.
1 Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James.
To those who are called, loved by God the Father and kept safe by Jesus Christ.
2 May you have more and more mercy, peace, and love.
Certain judgment of the false teachers
3 Dear friends, I wanted very much to write to you concerning the salvation we share. Instead, I must write to urge you to fight for the faith delivered once and for all to God’s holy people. 4 Godless people have slipped in among you. They turn the grace of our God into unrestrained immorality and deny our only master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Judgment was passed against them a long time ago.
5 I want to remind you of something you already know very well. The Lord, who once saved a people out of Egypt, later destroyed those who didn’t maintain their faith. 6 I remind you too of the angels who didn’t keep their position of authority but deserted their own home. The Lord has kept them in eternal chains in the underworld until the judgment of the great day. 7 In the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah and neighboring towns practiced immoral sexual relations and pursued other sexual urges. By undergoing the punishment of eternal fire, they serve as a warning.
8 Yet, even knowing this, these dreamers in the same way pollute themselves, reject authority, and slander the angels. 9 The archangel Michael, when he argued with the devil about Moses’ body, did not dare charge him with slander. Instead, he said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these people slander whatever they don’t understand. They are destroyed by what they know instinctively, as though they were irrational animals.
Prophecies about the false teachers
11 They are damned, for they follow in the footsteps of Cain. For profit they give themselves over to Balaam’s error. They are destroyed in the uprising of Korah. 12 These people are like jagged rocks just below the surface of the water waiting to snag you when they join your love feasts. They feast with you without reverence. They care only for themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; fruitless autumn trees, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom the darkness of the underworld is reserved forever.
14 Enoch, who lived seven generations after Adam, prophesied about these people when he said, “See, the Lord comes with his countless holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on everyone and to convict everyone about every ungodly deed they have committed in their ungodliness as well as all the harsh things that sinful ungodly people have said against him.” 16 These are faultfinding grumblers, living according to their own desires. They speak arrogant words and they show partiality to people when they want a favor in return.
17 But you, dear friends, remember the words spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the end time scoffers will come living according to their own ungodly desires.” 19 These people create divisions. Since they don’t have the Spirit, they are worldly.
A strategy for the faithful
20 But you, dear friends: build each other up on the foundation of your most holy faith, pray in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep each other in the love of God, wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will give you eternal life. 22 Have mercy on those who doubt. 23 Save some by snatching them from the fire. Fearing God, have mercy on some, hating even the clothing contaminated by their sinful urges.
24 To the one who is able to protect you from falling,
and to present you blameless and rejoicing before his glorious presence,
25 to the only God our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
belong glory, majesty, power, and authority,
before all time, now and forever. Amen.
A pilgrimage song. Of Solomon.
127 Unless it is the Lord who builds the house,
the builders’ work is pointless.
Unless it is the Lord who protects the city,
the guard on duty is pointless.
2 It is pointless that you get up early and stay up late,
eating the bread of hard labor
because God gives sleep to those he loves.
3 No doubt about it: children are a gift from the Lord;
the fruit of the womb is a divine reward.
4 The children born when one is young
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
5 The person who fills a quiver full with them is truly happy!
They won’t be ashamed when arguing with their enemies in the gate.
15 The rod and correction lead to wisdom,
but children out of control shame their mothers.
16 When the wicked become numerous, so do crimes;
the righteous will see their downfall.
17 Instruct your children; they will give you peace of mind
and bring delight into your life.