4:1 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.
4:2 There is only cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery.
They resort to violence and bloodshed.
4:3 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.
4:4 Do not let anyone accuse or contend against anyone else:
for my case is against you priests!
4:5 You stumble day and night,
and the false prophets stumble with you;
You have destroyed your own people!
4:6 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.
4:7 The more the priests increased in numbers,
the more they rebelled against me.
They have turned their glorious calling
into a shameful disgrace!
4:8 They feed on the sin offerings of my people;
their appetites long for their iniquity!
4:9 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.
4:10 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.
4:11 Old and new wine
take away the understanding of my people.
4:12 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.
4:13 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!
4:14 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!”
4:15 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!”
4:16 Israel has rebelled like a stubborn heifer!
Soon the Lord will put them out to pasture
like a lamb in a broad field!
4:17 Ephraim has attached himself to idols;
Do not go near him!
4:18 They consume their alcohol,
then engage in cult prostitution;
they dearly love their shameful behavior.
4:19 A whirlwind has wrapped them in its wings;
they will be brought to shame because of their idolatrous worship.