English Standard Version

The Lord’s Love for Israel

1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols.
3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them.
4 I led them with cords of kindness,1 with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.
5 They shall not2 return to the land of Egypt, but Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me.
6 The sword shall rage against their cities, consume the bars of their gates, and devour them because of their own counsels.
7 My people are bent on turning away from me, and though they call out to the Most High, he shall not raise them up at all.
8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.
9 I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.3
10 They shall go after the Lord; he will roar like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west;
11 they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt, and like doves from the land of Assyria, and I will return them to their homes, declares the Lord.
12 4 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit, but Judah still walks with God and is faithful to the Holy One.
1 Or humaneness; Hebrew man
2 Or surely
3 Or into the city
4 Ch 12:1 in Hebrew
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