I hear, yes, I hear Ephraim lamenting:
“You disciplined me,
and I learned my lesson,
even though I was as stubborn as a mule.
Bring me back, let me return,
because you are the LORD my God.
After I turned away from you,
I regretted it;
I realized what I had done,
and I have hit myself—
I was humiliated and disgraced,
and I have carried this disgrace
since I was young.”
Isn’t Ephraim my much-loved child?
Don’t I utterly adore him?
Even when I scold him,
I still hold him dear.
I yearn for him and love him deeply,
declares the LORD.