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God’s Compassion Despite Israel’s Ingratitude

11 When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I[a] called them,
    the more they went from me;[b]
they kept sacrificing to the Ba′als,
    and burning incense to idols.

Yet it was I who taught E′phraim to walk,
    I took them up in my[c] arms;
    but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of compassion,[d]
    with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one
    who eases the yoke on their jaws,
    and I bent down to them and fed them.

They shall return to the land of Egypt,
    and Assyria shall be their king,
    because they have refused to return to me.
The sword shall rage against their cities,
    consume the bars of their gates,
    and devour them in their fortresses.[e]
My people are bent on turning away from me;[f]
    so they are appointed to the yoke,
    and none shall remove it.

How can I give you up, O E′phraim!
    How can I hand you over, O Israel!
How can I make you like Admah!
    How can I treat you like Zeboi′im!
My heart recoils within me,
    my compassion grows warm and tender.
I will not execute my fierce anger,
    I will not again destroy E′phraim;
for I am God and not man,
    the Holy One in your midst,
    and I will not come to destroy.[g]

10 They shall go after the Lord,
    he will roar like a lion;
yea, he will roar,
    and his sons shall come trembling from the west;
11 they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt,
    and like doves from the land of Assyria;
    and I will return them to their homes, says the Lord.
12 [h] E′phraim has encompassed me with lies,
    and the house of Israel with deceit;
but Judah is still known by[i] God,
    and is faithful to the Holy One.


  1. Hosea 11:2 Gk: Heb they
  2. Hosea 11:2 Gk: Heb them
  3. Hosea 11:3 Gk Syr Vg: Heb his
  4. Hosea 11:4 Heb man
  5. Hosea 11:6 Cn: Heb counsels
  6. Hosea 11:7 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  7. Hosea 11:9 Cn: Heb into the city
  8. Hosea 11:12 Ch 12.1 in Heb
  9. Hosea 11:12 Cn Compare Gk: Heb roams with

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