The Lord’s Love for Israel

11 When Israel was a child, I loved him,(A)
and out of Egypt I called My son.(B)
The more they[a] called them,[b](C)
the more they[c] departed from Me.[d]
They kept sacrificing to the Baals(D)
and burning offerings to idols.(E)
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,(F)
taking them[e] in My arms,(G)
but they never knew that I healed them.(H)
I led them with human cords,
with ropes of love.(I)
To them I was like one
who eases the yoke from their jaws;(J)
I bent down to give them food.(K)
Israel will not return to the land of Egypt
and Assyria will be his king,(L)
because they refused to repent.(M)
A sword will whirl through his cities;(N)
it will destroy and devour the bars of his gates,[f](O)
because of their schemes.(P)
My people are bent on turning from Me.(Q)
Though they call to Him on high,
He will not exalt them at all.

How can I give you up, Ephraim?(R)
How can I surrender you, Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?(S)
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?(T)
I have had a change of heart;
My compassion is stirred!
I will not vent the full fury of My anger;(U)
I will not turn back to destroy Ephraim.(V)
For I am God and not man,
the Holy One among you;(W)
I will not come in rage.[g]
10 They will follow the Lord;(X)
He will roar like a lion.(Y)
When He roars,
His children will come trembling from the west.(Z)
11 They will be roused like birds from Egypt
and like doves(AA) from the land of Assyria.(AB)
Then I will settle them in their homes.(AC)
This is the Lord’s declaration.

12 [h] Ephraim surrounds me with lies,(AD)
the house of Israel, with deceit.
Judah still wanders with God
and is faithful to the holy ones.[i][j]


  1. Hosea 11:2 Perhaps the prophets
  2. Hosea 11:2 = Israel
  3. Hosea 11:2 = Israel
  4. Hosea 11:2 LXX; MT reads them
  5. Hosea 11:3 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads him
  6. Hosea 11:6 Or devour his empty talkers, or devour his limbs; Hb obscure
  7. Hosea 11:9 Or come into any city; Hb obscure
  8. Hosea 11:12 Hs 12:1 in Hb
  9. Hosea 11:12 Or to the Holy One; Hb obscure
  10. Hosea 11:12 Possibly angels, or less likely, pagan gods or idols

God’s Love for Israel

11 “When Israel was a child,(A) I loved(B) him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.(C)
But the more they were called,
    the more they went away from me.[a](D)
They sacrificed to the Baals(E)
    and they burned incense to images.(F)
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
    taking them by the arms;(G)
but they did not realize
    it was I who healed(H) them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with ties of love.(I)
To them I was like one who lifts
    a little child to the cheek,
    and I bent down to feed(J) them.(K)

“Will they not return to Egypt(L)
    and will not Assyria(M) rule over them
    because they refuse to repent?(N)
A sword(O) will flash in their cities;
    it will devour(P) their false prophets
    and put an end to their plans.
My people are determined to turn(Q) from me.(R)
    Even though they call me God Most High,
    I will by no means exalt them.

“How can I give you up,(S) Ephraim?(T)
    How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
    How can I make you like Zeboyim?(U)
My heart is changed within me;
    all my compassion(V) is aroused.(W)
I will not carry out my fierce anger,(X)
    nor will I devastate(Y) Ephraim again.
For I am God, and not a man(Z)
    the Holy One(AA) among you.
    I will not come against their cities.
10 They will follow the Lord;
    he will roar(AB) like a lion.(AC)
When he roars,
    his children will come trembling(AD) from the west.(AE)
11 They will come from Egypt,
    trembling like sparrows,
    from Assyria,(AF) fluttering like doves.(AG)
I will settle them in their homes,”(AH)
    declares the Lord.

Israel’s Sin

12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,(AI)
    Israel with deceit.
And Judah is unruly against God,
    even against the faithful(AJ) Holy One.[b](AK)


  1. Hosea 11:2 Septuagint; Hebrew them
  2. Hosea 11:12 In Hebrew texts this verse (11:12) is numbered 12:1.

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