Ephraim led the way in Baal worship and in human sacrifice. Their kings were truly incompetent. The LORD God removed his compassion from them.
VERSE 1. When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling. He exalted himself in Israel, but when he became guilty in Baal, he died.
he became guilty in Baal. The tribe of Ephraim had an exalted place. However, they also took the lead in worshipping Baal.
VERSE 2. Now they sin more and more, and have made themselves molten images of their silver, even idols according to their own understanding, all of them the work of the craftsmen. They say of them, ‘They offer human sacrifice and kiss the calves.’
They offer human sacrifice. This might allude to their child sacrifice in conjunction with worship of the god Molech, which was sometimes combined with Baal worship.
kiss the calves. That is, as a part of their sacrificial rites to idols, they kissed their calf-idols.
VERSE 3. Therefore they will be like the morning mist, and like the dew that passes away early, like the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the threshing floor, and like the smoke out of the chimney.
VERSE 4. “Yet I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt; and you shall acknowledge no god but me, and besides me there is no savior.
NASB translation. Yet I have been the Lord your God Since the land of Egypt; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me.
you were not to know any god except Me. The people of the LORD God have an exclusive relationship with him.
VERSE 5. I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.
VERSE 6. According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted. Therefore they have forgotten me.
VERSE 7. Therefore I am like a lion to them. Like a leopard, I will lurk by the path.
VERSE 8. I will meet them like a bear that is bereaved of her cubs, and will tear the covering of their heart. There I will devour them like a lioness. The wild animal will tear them.
VERSE 9. You are destroyed, Israel, because you are against me, against your help.
VERSE 10. Where is your king now, that he may save you in all your cities? And your judges, of whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes?’
I have given you a king. The LORD God punished them by giving them incompetent kings.
VERSE 12. The guilt of Ephraim is stored up. His sin is stored up.
VERSE 13. The sorrows of a travailing woman will come on him. He is an unwise son; for when it is time, he doesn’t come to the opening of the womb.
VERSE 14. I will ransom them from the power of Sheol. I will redeem them from death! Death, where are your plagues? Sheol, where is your destruction? “Compassion will be hidden from my eyes.
Death, where are your plagues? Sheol, where is your destruction? St. Paul echoes those questions:
1 Corinthians 15:55. “Death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?”
Compassion will be hidden from my eyes. Regarding these people, the eyes of the LORD God are closed to compassion.
VERSE 15. Though he is fruitful among his brothers, an east wind will come, the breath of the LORD coming up from the wilderness; and his spring will become dry, and his fountain will be dried up. He will plunder the storehouse of treasure.
VERSE 16. Samaria will bear her guilt; for she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women will be ripped open.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.