The Lord’s Love for Israel
2 yThe more they were called,
the more they went away;
zthey kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
3 Yet it was aI who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that bI healed them.
with the bands of love,
and dI became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and eI bent down to them and fed them.
but gAssyria shall be their king,
6 jThe sword shall rage against their cities,
consume the bars of their gates,
and devour them kbecause of their own counsels.
7 My people are bent lon turning away from me,
and though mthey 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?
How can I treat you olike Zeboiim?
pMy heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
9 I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
qfor I am God and not a man,
rthe Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath.3
10 sThey shall go after the Lord;
the will roar like a lion;
when he roars,
his children shall come trembling ufrom the west;
11 they shall come trembling like birds vfrom Egypt,
and I will return them to their homes, declares the Lord.
and the house of Israel with deceit,
but Judah still walks with God
and is faithful to the Holy One.
12 Ephraim feeds on the wind
and pursues zthe east wind all day long;
they multiply yfalsehood and violence;
athey make a covenant with Assyria,
and boil is carried to Egypt.
The Lord’s Indictment of Israel and Judah
2 cThe Lord has an indictment against Judah
and will punish Jacob according to his ways;
he will repay him according to his deeds.
3 dIn the womb he took his brother by the heel,
and in his manhood he strove with God.
4 He strove with the angel and prevailed;
he wept and sought his favor.
and there God spoke with us—
5 the Lord, the God of hosts,
fthe Lord is his memorial name:
6 “So you, gby the help of your God, return,
hhold fast to love and justice,
and wait continually for your God.”
7 A merchant, in whose hands are ifalse balances,
he loves jto oppress.
8 Ephraim has said, “Ah, but kI am rich;
I have found wealth for myself;
in all my labors lthey cannot find in me iniquity or sin.”
9 mI am the Lord your God
from the land of Egypt;
I will again make you ndwell in tents,
as in the days of the appointed feast.
10 oI spoke to the prophets;
it was I who multiplied pvisions,
and through the prophets gave parables.
11 qIf there is iniquity in Gilead,
they shall surely come to nothing:
rin Gilgal they sacrifice bulls;
stheir altars also are like stone heaps
ton the furrows of the field.
12 uJacob fled to the land of Aram;
there Israel vserved for a wife,
and for a wife he guarded sheep.
and by a prophet he was guarded.
14 yEphraim has given bitter provocation;
so his Lord zwill leave his bloodguilt on him
aand will repay him for his disgraceful deeds.
The Lord’s Relentless Judgment on Israel
13 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;
bhe was exalted in Israel,
but he incurred guilt cthrough Baal and died.
2 And now they sin more and more,
and dmake for themselves metal images,
idols skillfully made of their silver,
eall of them the work of craftsmen.
It is said of them,
“Those who offer human sacrifice fkiss calves!”
3 Therefore they shall be glike the morning mist
or glike the dew that goes early away,
hlike the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor
or ilike smoke from a window.
4 But jI am the Lord your God
from the land of Egypt;
kyou know no God but me,
and lbesides me there is no savior.
5 mIt was I who knew you in the wilderness,
in the land of drought;
othey were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
otherefore they forgot me.
7 So pI am to them like a lion;
qlike a leopard I will lurk beside the way.
8 I will fall upon them rlike a bear robbed of her cubs;
I will tear open their breast,
and there I will devour them like a lion,
sas a wild beast would rip them open.
9 He destroys7 you, O Israel,
for you are against me, against tyour helper.
10 uWhere now is your king, to save you in all your cities?
Where are all your rulers—
those of whom vyou said,
“Give me a king and princes”?
11 wI gave you a king in my anger,
and xI took him away in my wrath.
12 The iniquity of Ephraim is ybound up;
his sin is ykept in store.
13 zThe pangs of childbirth come for him,
but he is an unwise son,
for at the right time he does not present himself
aat the opening of the womb.
14 bI shall ransom them from the power of Sheol;
eCompassion is hidden from my eyes.
15 Though fhe may flourish among his brothers,
gthe east wind, the wind of the Lord, shall come,
rising from the wilderness,
hand his fountain shall dry up;
his spring shall be parched;
it shall strip ihis treasury
of every precious thing.
because kshe has rebelled against her God;
they shall fall by the sword;
ltheir little ones shall be dashed in pieces,
and their mpregnant women ripped open.
A Plea to Return to the Lord
14 nReturn, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for oyou have stumbled because of your iniquity.
2 Take with you words
and return to the Lord;
say to him,
“Take away all iniquity;
accept pwhat is good,
and we will pay with bulls
3 rAssyria shall not save us;
swe will not ride on horses;
and twe will say no more, ‘Our God,’
to the work of our hands.
uIn you the orphan finds mercy.”
4 I vwill heal their apostasy;
wI will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
5 xI will be like the dew to Israel;
yhe shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees zof Lebanon;
6 his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be alike the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
they shall flourish like the grain;
they shall blossom like the vine;
their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 O cEphraim, what have I to do with idols?
It is I who answer and look after you.3
I am like an evergreen cypress;
dfrom me comes your fruit.
9 eWhoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the Lord are right,
and fthe upright walk in them,
fbut transgressors stumble in them.