1The LORD continues, ‘When Israel was a young nation, I loved them. I chose to bring my son out of Egypt.2But the more I called out to Israel, the more they went away from me. They brought sacrifices to the statues of the gods that were named Baal. And they burned incense to them.3I taught Ephraim to walk. I took them up in my arms. But they did not realise I was the one who took care of them.4I led them with kindness and love. I was to them like a person who lifts a little child to their cheek. I bent down and fed them.5‘But they refuse to turn away from their sins. So they will return to Egypt. And Assyria will rule over them.6A sword will flash in their cities. It will destroy the prophets who teach lies. It will bring an end to their plans.7My people have made up their minds to turn away from me. Even if they call me the Most High God, I will certainly not honour them.’8The LORD continues, ‘People of Ephraim, how can I give you up? Israel, how can I hand you over to your enemies? Can I destroy you as I did the town of Admah? Can I treat you like Zeboyim? My heart is stirred inside me. It is filled with pity for you.9I will not be so angry with you anymore. I will not completely destroy you again. After all, I am God. I am not a mere man. I am the Holy One among you. I will not direct my anger against their cities.10I will roar like a lion against my enemies. Then the LORD’s people will follow him. When he roars, his children will come home trembling with fear. They will return from the west.11They will come from Egypt, trembling like sparrows. They will return from Assyria, flying in like doves. I will settle you again in your homes,’ announces the LORD.
Israel has sinned
12The people of Ephraim tell me nothing but lies. Israel has not been honest with me. And Judah continues to wander away from God. They have deserted the faithful Holy One.
English Standard Version
The Lord’s Love for Israel
1When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. (Ex 4:22; De 7:8; Ho 2:15; Ho 14:4; Mal 1:6; Mt 2:15)2The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols. (Ho 2:13; Ho 11:7; Ho 13:1)3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them. (Ex 15:26; De 1:31; Ho 7:15)4I led them with cords of kindness, 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. (Le 26:13; Ps 78:24; Jer 31:3; Joh 6:44; Joh 12:32)5They shall not return to the land of Egypt, but Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me. (2Ki 17:13; Ho 4:16; Ho 7:16; Ho 8:13; Ho 10:3)6The sword shall rage against their cities, consume the bars of their gates, and devour them because of their own counsels. (Ho 10:6; Ho 10:14)7My 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. (Ho 11:2; Ho 14:4)8How 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. (Ge 14:8; Ge 19:24; De 29:23; De 32:36; Jer 49:18; Jer 50:40; Am 4:11; Jud 1:7)9I 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. (Nu 23:19; Isa 12:6)10They shall go after the Lord; he will roar like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west; (Isa 11:11; Isa 31:4; Jer 25:30; Ho 3:5; Joe 3:16; Am 1:2; Zec 8:7)11they 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. (Isa 60:8; Ho 8:13; Ho 9:3; Zec 10:6; Zec 10:10)12 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. (Ho 7:13)