New English Translation
The LORD's Covenant Lawsuit against the Nation Israel
1 Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites! For the LORD has a covenant lawsuit against the people of Israel. For there is neither faithfulness nor loyalty in the land, nor do they acknowledge God.
2 There is only cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery. They resort to violence and bloodshed.
3 Therefore the land will mourn, and all its inhabitants will perish. The wild animals, the birds of the sky, and even the fish in the sea will perish.
The LORD's Dispute against the Sinful Priesthood
4 Do not let anyone accuse or contend against anyone else: for my case is against you priests!
5 You stumble day and night, and the false prophets stumble with you; You have destroyed your own people!
6 You have destroyed my people by failing to acknowledge me! Because you refuse to acknowledge me, I will reject you as my priests. Because you reject the law of your God, I will reject your descendants.
7 The more the priests increased in numbers, the more they rebelled against me. They have turned their glorious calling into a shameful disgrace!
8 They feed on the sin offerings of my people; their appetites long for their iniquity!
9 I will deal with the people and priests together: I will punish them both for their ways, and I will repay them for their deeds.
10 They will eat, but not be satisfied; they will engage in prostitution, but not increase in numbers; because they have abandoned the LORD by pursuing other gods.
Judgment of Pagan Idolatry and Cultic Prostitution
11 Old and new wine take away the understanding of my people.
12 They consult their wooden idols, and their diviner's staff answers with an oracle. The wind of prostitution blows them astray; they commit spiritual adultery against their God.
13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops, and burn offerings on the hills; they sacrifice under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is so pleasant. As a result, your daughters have become cult prostitutes, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery!
14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery. For the men consort with harlots, they sacrifice with temple prostitutes. It is true: "A people that lacks understanding will come to ruin!"
Warning to Judah: Do Not Join in Israel's Apostasy!
15 Although you, O Israel, commit adultery, do not let Judah become guilty! Do not journey to Gilgal! Do not go up to Beth Aven! Do not swear, "As surely as the LORD lives!"
16 Israel has rebelled like a stubborn heifer! Soon the LORD will put them out to pasture like a lamb in a broad field!
17 Ephraim has attached himself to idols; Do not go near him!
The Shameful Sinners Will Be Brought to Shame
18 They consume their alcohol, then engage in cult prostitution; they dearly love their shameful behavior.
19 A whirlwind has wrapped them in its wings; they will be brought to shame because of their idolatrous worship.
King James Version
1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.
3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.
4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.
5 Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.
6 ¶ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
7 As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.
8 They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.
9 And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.
10 For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.
11 Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.
12 ¶ My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.
13 They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.
15 ¶ Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Beth-aven, nor swear, The LORD liveth.
16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.
17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.
18 Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye.
19 The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.