1 Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall!2Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.3Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount warhorses. We will never again say “Our gods” to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.’4‘I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.5I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots;6his young shoots will grow. His splendour will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.7People will dwell again in his shade; they will flourish like the corn, they will blossom like the vine – Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.8Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? I will answer him and care for him. I am like a flourishing juniper; your fruitfulness comes from me.’9Who is wise? Let them realise these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.
English Standard Version
A Plea to Return to the Lord
1Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. (Ho 3:5; Ho 6:1; Ho 12:6; Ho 13:9)2Take with you words and return to the Lord; say to him, “Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips. (Ps 50:13; Ps 69:30; Ho 5:15; Heb 13:15)3Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses; and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’ to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy.” (Ps 10:14; Isa 30:16; Isa 31:1; Ho 5:13; Ho 14:8)4I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. (Jer 3:22; Ho 6:1; Ho 11:1)5I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; (Ps 92:12; Isa 27:6; Isa 35:2; Ho 6:3)6his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon. (Ps 52:8)7They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine; their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon. (Ps 91:1)8O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit. (Isa 30:22; Ho 2:8; Ho 2:23; Ho 14:3; Joh 15:4)9Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. (Ps 107:43; Pr 10:29; Jer 9:12; Da 12:10; Lu 2:34; Joh 8:47; Joh 18:37; 2Co 2:16)