12:1 Ephraim continually feeds on the wind;
he chases the east wind all day;
he multiplies lies and violence.
They make treaties 1 with Assyria,
and send olive oil as tribute 2 to Egypt.
they use dishonest scales. 4
1 tn Heb “a treaty” (so NIV, NRSV); KJV, NASB “a covenant”; NAB “comes to terms.”
2 tn The phrase “as tribute” does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for clarity. Cf. NCV “send a gift of olive oil.”
3 tn Heb “the merchant…loves to cheat.” The Hebrew has singular forms (noun and verb) which are used generically to refer to all Israelite merchants and traders in general. The singular noun II כְּנַעַן (kÿna’an, “a merchant; a trader”; BDB 488 s.v. II כְּנַעַן) is used in a generic sense to refer to the merchant class of Israel as a whole (e.g., Ezek 16:29; 17:4; Zeph 1:11).
4 tn Heb “The merchant – in his hand are scales of deceit – loves to cheat.” The present translation rearranges the Hebrew line division to produce a smoother English rendering.