1 Israel is a luxuriant vine, that putteth forth his fruit: according to the abundance of his fruit he hath multiplied his altars; according to the goodness of their land they have made goodly pillars.
The more prosperous Israel is, the more it sins and constructs altars to idols. The more prosperity the more deceit and guilt.
2 Their heart is divided; now shall they be found guilty: he will smite their altars, he will destroy their pillars. 3 Surely now shall they say, We have no king; for we fear not Jehovah; and the king, what can he do for us? 4 They speak vain words, swearing falsely in making covenants: therefore judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
They have utterly abandoned their true King, Yahweh. So, again, they will be punished.
5 The inhabitants of Samaria shall be in terror for the calves of Beth-aven; for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced over it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it. 6 It also shall be carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.
These verses tells what will happen to their worthless idols.
7 As for Samaria, her king is cut off, as foam upon the water. 8 The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.
The king will be as helpless as a piece of wood on a wave. And those who are left in the land will pray that the land swallow them up so that they do not fall into the hands of Godís judgment.
9 O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood; the battle against the children of iniquity doth not overtake them in Gibeah. 10 When it is my desire, I will chastise them; and the peoples shall be gathered against them, when they are bound to their two transgressions. 11 And Ephraim is a heifer that is taught, that loveth to tread out the grain; but I have passed over upon her fair neck: I will set a rider on Ephraim; Judah shall plow, Jacob shall break his cl are absolutely out of control -- and like a beast of burden they must be chained and controlled or they will destroy both field, home and land.
12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to kindness; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek Jehovah, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
This counterpoint of hope is embedded in the oracle of doom. Why? Because as long as there is life there is hope of repentance and restoration.
13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies; for thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men. 14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces with her children. 15 So shall Beth-el do unto you because of your great wickedness: at daybreak shall the king of Israel be utterly cut off.
The kingdom is yoked because of arrogant self reliance. Shalman is Shalmenesser I, king of Assyria. Unfortunately we donít have any note of a campaign against Beth Arbel.
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