Israel Is Like a Bad Son
1“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and I called my son out of Egypt.
2The more I called them,#11:2 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.
3I was the one who taught the people of Ephraim to walk.#11:3 Or “I was the one who guided Ephraim.”
I took them by the hand.
But they didn’t realize that I had healed them.
4I led them with cords of human kindness, with ropes of love.
I removed the yokes #11:4 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.
6War will sweep through their cities,
demolish their city gates,
and put an end to their plans.
7My 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.
9I 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.
11They will come trembling like birds from Egypt
and like doves from Assyria.
I will settle them in their own homes,”
declares the Lord.#11:11 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.