Turn Back to the Lord
1Israel, return! Come back
to the Lord, your God.
Sin has made you fall.
2Return to the Lord and say,
“Please forgive our sins.
Accept our good sacrifices
of praise instead of bulls.#14.2 Accept … bulls: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
3Assyria can't save us,
and chariots can't help.
So we will no longer worship
the idols we have made.
Our Lord, you show mercy
to orphans.”
The Lord Promises To Forgive
4Israel, you have rejected me,
but my anger is gone;
I will heal you and love you
without limit.
5I will be like the dew—
then you will blossom like lilies
and have roots like a tree.#14.5 like a tree: The Hebrew text has “like Lebanon,” probably referring to the famous cedar trees on Mount Lebanon.
6Your branches will spread
with the beauty
of an olive tree
and with the aroma
of Lebanon Forest.
7You will rest in my shade,
and your grain will grow.
You will blossom
like a vineyard
and be famous as the wine
from Lebanon.
8Israel, give up your idols!
I will answer your prayers
and take care of you.#14.8 Israel … you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
I am that glorious tree,
the source of your fruit.#14.8 I am … fruit: This is the only place in the Old Testament where the Lord is compared to a tree. Hosea reminds the people that it is the Lord who is the source of life, rather than the Canaanite gods and goddesses that are worshiped under trees at the local shrines.
9If you are wise, you will know
and understand what I mean.
I am the Lord, and I lead you
along the right path.
If you obey me,
we will walk together,
but if you are wicked,
you will stumble.
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