1 You were a healthy vine
covered with grapes.
But the more grapes you grew,
the more altars you built;
the better off you became,
the better shrines you set up
for pagan gods.
2 You are deceitful and disloyal.
So you will pay
for your sins,
because the Lord will destroy
your altars and images.

3 “We don't have a king,”
you will say.
“We don't fear the Lord.
And what good are kings?”
4 Israel, you break treaties
and don't keep promises;
you turn justice
into poisonous weeds
where healthy plants should grow.

5 All who live in Samaria tremble
with concern for the idols
at sinful Bethel.
The idol there was the pride
of the priests,
but it has been put to shame;
now everyone will cry.
6 It will be taken to Assyria
and given to the great king.
Then Israel will be disgraced
for worshiping that idol.

7 Like a twig in a stream,
the king of Samaria
will be swept away.
8 The altars at sinful Bethel
will be destroyed
for causing Israel to sin;
they will be grown over
with thorns and thistles.
Then everyone will beg
the mountains and hills
to cover and protect them.
The Lord Promises To Punish Israel
9 Israel, you have never
stopped sinning
since that time at Gibeah.
That's why you
will be attacked at Gibeah.
10 Your sins have doubled,
and you are rebellious.
Now I have decided
to send nations to attack
and put you in chains.

11 Once you were obedient
like a calf
that loved to thresh grain.
But I will put a harness
on your beautiful neck;
you and Judah must plow
and cultivate the ground.
12 Plow your fields,
scatter seeds of justice,
and harvest faithfulness.
Worship me, the Lord,
and I will send my saving power
down like rain.
13 You have planted evil,
harvested injustice, and eaten
the fruit of your lies.
You trusted your own strength
and your powerful forces.
14 So war will break out,
and your fortresses
will be destroyed.
Your enemies will do to you
what Shalman did to the people
of Beth-Arbel—
mothers and their children
will be beaten to death
against rocks.
15 Bethel, this will be your fate
because of your evil.
Israel, at dawn your king
will be killed.