1 WHEN ISRAEL was a child, then I loved him and called My son out of Egypt. [Matt. 2:15.]
2 The more [the prophets] called to them, the more they went from them; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to the graven images.
3 Yet I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms or taking them up in My arms, but they did not know that I healed them.
4 I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love, and I was to them as one who lifts up and eases the yoke over their cheeks, and I bent down to them and gently laid food before them.
5 They shall not [literally] return into [another bondage in] the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be their king because they refused to return to Me.
6 And the sword shall rage against and fall upon their cities and shall consume the bars of their gates and shall make an end [of their defenses], because of their own counsels and devices.
7 My people are bent on backsliding from Me; though [the prophets] call them to Him Who is on high, none at all will exalt Him or lift himself up [to come to Him].
8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I surrender you and cast you off, O Israel! How can I make you as Admah or how can I treat you as Zeboiim [both destroyed with Sodom]! My heart recoils within Me; My compassions are kindled together. [Deut. 29:23.]
9 I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not bring back Ephraim to nothing or again destroy him. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in the midst of you, and I will not come in wrath or enter into the city.
10 They shall walk after the Lord, Who will roar like a lion; He Himself will roar and [His] sons shall come trembling and eagerly from the west.
11 They shall come trembling but hurriedly like a bird out of Egypt and like a dove out of the land of Assyria, and I will cause them to dwell in their houses, says the Lord.
12 Ephraim surrounds Me with lies and the house of Israel with deceit, and Judah is not yet steadfast with God, with the faithful Holy One.