New English Translation
1 Ephraim continually feeds on the wind; he chases the east wind all day; he multiplies lies and violence. They make treaties with Assyria, and send olive oil as tribute to Egypt.
2 The LORD also has a covenant lawsuit against Judah; he will punish Jacob according to his ways and repay him according to his deeds.
Israel Must Return to the God of Jacob
3 In the womb he attacked his brother; in his manly vigor he struggled with God.
4 He struggled with an angel and prevailed; he wept and begged for his favor. He found God at Bethel, and there he spoke with him!
5 As for the LORD God Almighty, the LORD is the name by which he is remembered!
6 But you must return to your God, by maintaining love and justice, and by waiting for your God to return to you.
The LORD Refutes Israel's False Claim of Innocence
7 The businessmen love to cheat; they use dishonest scales.
8 Ephraim boasts, "I am very rich! I have become wealthy! In all that I have done to gain my wealth, no one can accuse me of any offense that is actually sinful."
9 "I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt; I will make you live in tents again as in the days of old.
10 I spoke to the prophets; I myself revealed many visions; I spoke in parables through the prophets."
11 Is there idolatry in Gilead? Certainly its inhabitants will come to nothing! 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 Jacob fled to the country of Aram, then Israel worked to acquire a wife; he tended sheep to pay for her.
13 The LORD brought Israel out of Egypt by a prophet, and due to a prophet Israel was preserved alive.
14 But Ephraim bitterly provoked him to anger; so he will hold him accountable for the blood he has shed, his LORD will repay him for the contempt he has shown.
King James Version
1 Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt.
2 The LORD hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.
3 ¶ He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God:
4 Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Beth-el, and there he spake with us;
5 Even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is his memorial.
6 Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.
7 ¶ He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.
8 And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin.
9 And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.
10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? surely they are vanity: they sacrifice bullocks in Gilgal; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields.
12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep.
13 And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.
14 Ephraim provoked him to anger most bitterly: therefore shall he leave his blood upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him.