New English Translation
If Israel Would Repent of Sin, God Would Relent of Judgment
1 Whenever I want to restore the fortunes of my people, whenever I want to heal Israel, the sin of Ephraim is revealed, and the evil deeds of Samaria are exposed. For they do what is wrong; thieves break into houses, and gangs rob people out in the streets.
2 They do not realize that I remember all of their wicked deeds. Their evil deeds have now surrounded them; their sinful deeds are always before me.
Political Intrigue and Conspiracy in the Palace
3 The royal advisers delight the king with their evil schemes, the princes make him glad with their lies.
4 They are all like bakers, they are like a smoldering oven; they are like a baker who does not stoke the fire until the kneaded dough is ready for baking.
5 At the celebration of their king, his princes become inflamed with wine; they conspire with evildoers.
6 They approach him, all the while plotting against him. Their hearts are like an oven; their anger smolders all night long, but in the morning it bursts into a flaming fire.
7 All of them are blazing like an oven; they devour their rulers. All of their kings fall - and none of them call on me!
Israel Lacks Discernment and Refuses to Repent
8 Ephraim has mixed itself like flour among the nations; Ephraim is like a ruined cake of bread that is scorched on one side.
9 Foreigners are consuming what his strenuous labor produced, but he does not recognize it! His head is filled with gray hair, but he does not realize it!
10 The arrogance of Israel testifies against him, yet they refuse to return to the LORD their God! In spite of all this they refuse to seek him!
Israel Turns to Assyria and Egypt for Help
11 Ephraim has been like a dove, easily deceived and lacking discernment. They called to Egypt for help; they turned to Assyria for protection.
12 I will throw my bird net over them while they are flying, I will bring them down like birds in the sky; I will discipline them when I hear them flocking together.
Israel Has Turned Away from the LORD
13 Woe to them! For they have fled from me! Destruction to them! For they have rebelled against me! I want to deliver them, but they have lied to me.
14 They do not pray to me, but howl in distress on their beds; They slash themselves for grain and new wine, but turn away from me.
15 Although I trained and strengthened them, they plot evil against me!
16 They turn to Baal; they are like an unreliable bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because their prayers to Baal have made me angry. So people will disdain them in the land of Egypt.
King James Version
1 When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without.
2 And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.
3 They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.
4 They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.
5 In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine; he stretched out his hand with scorners.
6 For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire.
7 They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me.
8 Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.
9 Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.
10 And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this.
11 ¶ Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.
12 When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard.
13 Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.
14 And they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me.
15 Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me.
16 They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.