11 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2 But the more they were called, the more they went away from me.[a] They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. 3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. 4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.
5 “Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? 6 A sword will flash in their cities; it will devour their false prophets and put an end to their plans. 7 My people are determined to turn from me. Even though they call me God Most High, I will by no means exalt them.
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. 9 I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man— the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities. 10 They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. 11 They will come from Egypt, trembling like sparrows, from Assyria, fluttering like doves. I will settle them in their homes,” declares the Lord.
12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God, even against the faithful Holy One.[b]
12 [a]1 Ephraim feeds on the wind; he pursues the east wind all day and multiplies lies and violence. He makes a treaty with Assyria and sends olive oil to Egypt. 2 The Lord has a charge to bring against Judah; he will punish Jacob[b] according to his ways and repay him according to his deeds. 3 In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel; as a man he struggled with God. 4 He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor. He found him at Bethel and talked with him there— 5 the Lord God Almighty, the Lord is his name! 6 But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.
7 The merchant uses dishonest scales and loves to defraud. 8 Ephraim boasts, “I am very rich; I have become wealthy. With all my wealth they will not find in me any iniquity or sin.”
9 “I have been the Lord your God ever since you came out of Egypt; I will make you live in tents again, as in the days of your appointed festivals. 10 I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions and told parables through them.”
11 Is Gilead wicked? Its people are worthless! Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal? Their altars will be like piles of stones on a plowed field. 12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram[c]; Israel served to get a wife, and to pay for her he tended sheep. 13 The Lord used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt, by a prophet he cared for him. 14 But Ephraim has aroused his bitter anger; his Lord will leave on him the guilt of his bloodshed and will repay him for his contempt.
Hosea 12:1In Hebrew texts 12:1-14 is numbered 12:2-15.
Hosea 12:2Jacob means he grasps the heel, a Hebrew idiom for he takes advantage of or he deceives.
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