Hosea 11
God's love for his people
1When Israel was a child,#Ex 4.22; Mt 2.15.
I loved him, and I called
my son out of Egypt.
2But as the saying goes,
“The more they were called,
the more they rebelled.”#11.2 But…rebelled: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
They never stopped offering
incense and sacrifices
to the idols of Baal.
3I took Israel by the arm
and taught them to walk.
But they would not admit
that I was the one
who had healed them.
4I led them with kindness
and with love,
not with ropes.
I held them close to me;#11.4 I held…to me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
I bent down to feed them.
5But they trusted Egypt
instead of returning to me;
now Assyria will rule them.
6War will visit their cities,
and their plans will fail.#11.6 fail: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 6.
7My people are determined
to reject me for a god
they think is stronger,
but he can't help.#11.7 help: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 7.
8Israel, I can't let you go.#Dt 29.23.
I can't give you up.
How could I possibly destroy you
as I did the towns of Admah
and Zeboiim?#11.8 Admah and Zeboiim: When the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, he also destroyed these two towns (see Deuteronomy 29.23).
I just can't do it.
My feelings for you
are much too strong.
9Israel, I won't lose my temper
and destroy you again.
I am the Holy God—
not merely a human being,
and I won't stay angry.
10I, the LORD, will roar like a lion,
and my children will return,
trembling from the west.
11They will come back,
fluttering like birds from Egypt
or like doves from Assyria.
Then I will bring them
back to their homes.
I, the LORD, have spoken!
Israel and Judah are doomed
Israel and Judah compared
12Israel is deceitful to me,
their loyal and holy God;
they surround me with lies,
and Judah worships
other gods.#11.12 and Judah worships other gods: Or “but Judah remains faithful”.