The Lord’s Love for Israel1 aWhen Israel was a child, bI loved him,
and out of Egypt I ccalled dmy son.
2 eThe more they were called,
the more they went away;
fthey kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
3 Yet it was gI who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that hI healed them.
4 iI led them with cords of kindness ▼
▼Or humaneness; Hebrew man
with the bands of love,
and kI became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and lI bent down to them and fed them.
5 mThey shall not ▼
▼Or surelyreturn to the land of Egypt,
but oAssyria shall be their king,
pbecause qthey have refused to return to me.
6 rThe sword shall rage against their cities,
consume the bars of their gates,
and devour them sbecause of their own counsels.
7My people are bent ton turning away from me,
and though uthey 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?
vHow can I make you wlike Admah?
How can I treat you xlike Zeboiim?
yMy heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
9I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
zfor I am God and not a man,
aathe Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath. ▼
▼Or into the city
10 acThey shall go after the Lord;
adhe will roar like a lion;
when he roars,
his children shall come trembling aefrom the west;
11they shall come trembling like birds affrom Egypt,
and aglike doves ahfrom the land of Assyria,
and I will return them to their homes, declares the Lord.
▼Ch 12:1 in HebrewEphraim ajhas surrounded me with lies,
and the house of Israel with deceit,
but Judah still walks with God
and is faithful to the Holy One.
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