“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt. 2 The more I called them,[a] the farther they went away. They sacrificed to other gods—the Baals, and they burned incense to idols. 3 I was the one who taught the people of Ephraim to walk.[b] I took them by the hand. But they didn’t realize that I had healed them. 4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ropes of love. I removed the yokes[c] from their necks. I bent down and fed them.
5 “They will not return to Egypt. Instead, Assyria will rule them because they have refused to return to me. 6 War will sweep through their cities, demolish their city gates, and put an end to their plans. 7 My people are determined to turn away from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will not pardon them.
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboim? I have changed my mind. I am deeply moved. 9 I will not act on my burning anger. I will not destroy Ephraim again. I am God, not a human. I am the Holy One among you, and I will not come to you in anger.
10 “My people will follow me when I roar like a lion. When I roar, my children will come trembling from the west. 11 They will come trembling like birds from Egypt and like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their own homes,” declares the Lord.[d]
12 “Ephraim surrounds me with lies. The nation of Israel surrounds me with deceit.” Judah rebels against God, against the Holy One who is faithful.
Hosea 11:2Greek; Masoretic Text “The more they called them.”
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