Israel Is Like a Bad Son
1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and I called my son out of Egypt.
2 The more I called them,#Greek; Masoretic Text “The more they called them.” the farther they went away.
They sacrificed to other gods—the Baals,
and they burned incense to idols.
3 I was the one who taught the people of Ephraim to walk.#Or “I was the one who guided Ephraim.”
I took them by the hand.
But they didn’t realize that I had healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ropes of love.
I removed the yokes #A yoke is a wooden bar placed over the necks of work animals so that they can pull plows or carts. from their necks.
I bent down and fed them.
5 “They will not return to Egypt.
Instead, Assyria will rule them
because they have refused to return to me.
6 War will sweep through their cities,
demolish their city gates,
and put an end to their plans.
7 My people are determined to turn away from me.
Even if they call to the Most High,
he will not pardon them.
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboim?
I have changed my mind.
I am deeply moved.
9 I will not act on my burning anger.
I will not destroy Ephraim again.
I am God, not a human.
I am the Holy One among you,
and I will not come to you in anger.
10 “My people will follow me when I roar like a lion.
When I roar, my children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come trembling like birds from Egypt
and like doves from Assyria.
I will settle them in their own homes,”
declares the Lord.#Hosea 11:12 in English Bibles is Hosea 12:1 in the Hebrew Bible.
12 “Ephraim surrounds me with lies.
The nation of Israel surrounds me with deceit.”
Judah rebels against God, against the Holy One who is faithful.