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God Will Have Compassion

11 When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
When I called[a] them, they went from my face.[b]
    They sacrificed to the Baals, and they sacrificed to idols.
And I myself taught Ephraim to walk;
    I took them[c] in my[d] arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
I drew them with human ties,[e]
    with the bands of love.
I was to them like one who lifted up[f] a yoke on their jaws,[g]
    though I bent down to them[h] and let them[i] eat.
He will return[j] to the land of Egypt,
    and Assyria will be his king,[k]
    because they refused to return.
The sword rages in his cities;
    it consumes his false prophets
and devours because of their plans.
    My people are bent on backsliding from me.
To the Most High they call,
    he does not raise them at all.
How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
    How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
    How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart is disturbed[l] within me;
    all[m] my compassions are aroused.
I will not execute[n] my fierce anger,[o]
    I will not again destroy Ephraim;
because I am God
    and not a mortal,[p]
    the Holy One in your midst;
and I will not come in wrath.
10     They will go after Yahweh;
        he roars like a lion.
When he roars,
    his children will come trembling
        from the sea.[q]
11 They will tremble like birds[r] from Egypt,
    and like doves[s] from the land of Assyria;
and I will let them return[t] to their homes—
    a declaration of Yahweh.

Israel’s History

12 [u] Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,[v]
and the house of Israel with deceit;
and Judah is still wandering with God
    and is faithful to the Holy One.


  1. Hosea 11:2 Hebrew “When they called”; the LXX and modern translations read “When I called”
  2. Hosea 11:2 Hebrew “their face”
  3. Hosea 11:3 Hebrew uncertain
  4. Hosea 11:3 Hebrew “his”
  5. Hosea 11:4 Literally “ropes of a human”
  6. Hosea 11:4 Or “like one who imposed”
  7. Hosea 11:4 Or “infants to their cheeks”
  8. Hosea 11:4 Hebrew “him”
  9. Hosea 11:4 Hebrew “him”
  10. Hosea 11:5 Or “They will not return”
  11. Hosea 11:5 That is “Israel’s king”
  12. Hosea 11:8 Or “My heart is overturned”
  13. Hosea 11:8 Literally “together”
  14. Hosea 11:9 Literally “I will not do”
  15. Hosea 11:9 Literally “the anger of my nose”
  16. Hosea 11:9 Or “human”
  17. Hosea 11:10 That is, “the West”
  18. Hosea 11:11 Hebrew “bird”
  19. Hosea 11:11 Hebrew “dove”
  20. Hosea 11:11 Hebrew “I will cause them to live”
  21. Hosea 11:12 Hosea 11:12–12:14 in the English Bible is 12:1–15 in the Hebrew Bible
  22. Hosea 11:12 Hebrew “lie”

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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