12:1 Ephraim continually feeds on the wind;
he chases the east wind all day;
he multiplies lies and violence.
They make treaties1 with Assyria,
and send olive oil as tribute2 to Egypt.
he will punish Jacob according to his ways
and repay him according to his deeds.
Israel Must Return to the God of Jacob
12:3 In the womb he attacked his brother;
in his manly vigor he struggled4 with God.
12:4 He struggled5 with an angel and prevailed;
he wept and begged for his favor.
He found God6 at Bethel,7
and there he spoke with him!8
12:5 As for the
12:6 But you must return10 to your God,
by maintaining love and justice,
and by waiting11 for your God to return to you.12
The Lord Refutes Israel’s False Claim of Innocence
12:7 The businessmen love to cheat;13
they use dishonest scales.14
12:8 Ephraim boasts,15 “I am very rich!
I have become wealthy!16
In all that I have done to gain my wealth,17
no one can accuse me of any offense18 that is actually sinful.”19
12:9 “I am the
I will make you live in tents again as in the days of old.22
12:10 I spoke to the prophets;
I myself revealed many visions;23
I spoke in parables24 through25 the prophets.”
12:11 Is there idolatry26 in Gilead?27
Certainly its inhabitants28 will come to nothing!29
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?
Surely their altars will be like stones heaped up on a plowed field!
Jacob in Aram, Israel in Egypt, and Ephraim in Trouble
12:12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram,
then Israel worked30 to acquire a wife;
he tended sheep to pay for her.
and due to a prophet31 Israel32 was preserved alive.33
12:14 But Ephraim bitterly34 provoked him to anger;
so he will hold him accountable for the blood he has shed,35
his Lord36 will repay him for the contempt he has shown.37