1 The people of Israel* feed on the wind; they chase after the east wind all day long. They multiply lies and violence; they make alliances with Assyria and cut deals with the Egyptians.1
2 Now the LORD is bringing a lawsuit against Judah. He is about to punish Jacob* for all his deceitful ways.2
3 Before Jacob was born, he struggled with his brother; when he became a man, he even fought with God.
4 Yes, he wrestled with the angel and won. He wept and pleaded for a blessing from him. There at Bethel he met God face to face, and God spoke to him*--3
5 the LORD God Almighty, the LORD is his name!
6 So now, come back to your God! Act on the principles of love and justice, and always live in confident dependence on your God.
7 But no, the people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales--they love to cheat.
8 Israel boasts, "I am rich, and I've gotten it all by myself! No one can say I got it by cheating! My record is spotless!"
9 "I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from your slavery in Egypt. And I will make you live in tents again, as you do each year when you celebrate the Festival of Shelters.*4
10 I sent my prophets to warn you with many visions and parables."
11 But Gilead is filled with sinners who worship idols. And in Gilgal, too, they sacrifice bulls; their altars are lined up like the heaps of stone along the edges of a plowed field.
12 Jacob fled to the land of Aram and earned a wife by tending sheep.
13 Then the LORD led Jacob's descendants, the Israelites, out of Egypt by a prophet, who guided and protected them.
14 But the people of Israel have bitterly provoked the LORD, so their Lord will now sentence them to death in payment for their sins.
Read Hosea 13