A Plea to Return to the Lord1 a Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for b you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
2 Take with you words
and return to the Lord;
say to him,
“Take away all iniquity;
accept c what is good,
and we will pay with bulls
d the vows ▼
▼ Septuagint, Syriac pay the fruitof our lips.
3 f Assyria shall not save us;
g we will not ride on horses;
and h we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
to the work of our hands.
i In you the orphan finds mercy.”
4 I j will heal their apostasy;
k I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
5 l I will be like the dew to Israel;
m he shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees n of Lebanon;
6 his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be o like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
7 They shall return and p dwell beneath my ▼
▼ Hebrew hisshadow;
they shall flourish like the grain;
they shall blossom like the vine;
their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 O r Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
It is I who answer and look after you. ▼
▼ Hebrew him
I am like an evergreen cypress;
t from me comes your fruit.
9 u Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the Lord are right,
and v the upright walk in them,
w but transgressors stumble in them.
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