1‘When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.2But the more they were called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.3It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realise it was I who healed them.4I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.5‘Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent?6A sword will flash in their cities; it will devour their false prophets and put an end to their plans.7My people are determined to turn from me. Even though they call me God Most High, I will by no means exalt them.8‘How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.9I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man – the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities.10They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west.11They will come from Egypt, trembling like sparrows, from Assyria, fluttering like doves. I will settle them in their homes,’ declares the Lord.
12Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God, even against 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)