11 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt. 2 But the more I called to him, the farther he moved from me,[a] offering sacrifices to the images of Baal and burning incense to idols. 3 I myself taught Israel[b] how to walk, leading him along by the hand. But he doesn’t know or even care that it was I who took care of him. 4 I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him.
5 “But since my people refuse to return to me, they will return to Egypt and will be forced to serve Assyria. 6 War will swirl through their cities; their enemies will crash through their gates. They will destroy them, trapping them in their own evil plans. 7 For my people are determined to desert me. They call me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor me.
8 “Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows. 9 No, I will not unleash my fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you, and I will not come to destroy. 10 For someday the people will follow me. I, the Lord, will roar like a lion. And when I roar, my people will return trembling from the west. 11 Like a flock of birds, they will come from Egypt. Trembling like doves, they will return from Assyria. And I will bring them home again,” says the Lord.
Charges against Israel and Judah
12 [c]Israel surrounds me with lies and deceit, but Judah still obeys God and is faithful to the Holy One.[d]
11:2As in Greek version; Hebrew reads the more they called to him, the farther he moved from them.
11:3Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel; also in 11:8, 9, 12.
11:12aVerse 11:12 is numbered 12:1 in Hebrew text.
11:12bOr and Judah is unruly against God, the faithful Holy One. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
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