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7HoseaPassage
1 Whenever I would heal Israel, I am confronted by the guilt of Ephraim and the evil-doings of Samaria; for deceit is their principle of behaviour; the thief breaks into the house, marauders raid in the open;            
2 and they never pause to consider that I remember all their wicked deeds; and now their own deeds hem them in and stare me in the face.            
3 They amuse the king with their wickedness and the chief men with their lies. Conspiracy in the palace. Hs.7.3-7          
4 They are all adulterers, hot as an oven which the baker need not stoke from the time he has kneaded the dough until it rises.            
5 At the holiday for our king, the ministers become inflamed with wine, while he accepts the homage of people            
6 who laugh at him. Their hearts are like an oven as they plot, all night their passion slumbers, then in the morning it bursts into flame;            
7 yes, all of them as hot as ovens, they consume their rulers. All their kings have fallen thus, not one of them has ever called on me.            
8 Ephraim mixes with the nations. Ephraim is a half-baked cake. Israel & the nations. Hs.7.8-16          
9 Foreigners have eaten his strength away but he is unconscious of it; even his hair is turning grey but he is unconscious of it.            
10 (Israel's arrogance is his own accuser; but they do not come back to Yahweh their God or seek him, despite all this.)            
11 Ephraim is like a silly, witless pigeon calling on Egypt, turning to Assyria.            
12 Wherever they turn, I shall spread my net over them, I shall bring them down like the birds of the sky, I shall punish them for their perversity.            
13 Woe to them for having fled from me! Ruin seize them for having wronged me! I have rescued them again and again and they have only told lies about me.            
14 Theirs is no heartfelt cry to me when they lament on their beds; when they gash themselves over the grain and new wine, they are still rebelling against me.            
15 Though I supported and gave strength to their arms, they plan how to hurt me.            
16 They turn to what does not exist, they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of their arrogant talk; how they will be laughed at in Egypt!            
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© Paul Ingram 2019.
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