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)

12 [c]Ephraim(AL) feeds on the wind;(AM)
    he pursues the east wind all day
    and multiplies lies and violence.(AN)
He makes a treaty with Assyria(AO)
    and sends olive oil to Egypt.(AP)
The Lord has a charge(AQ) to bring against Judah;(AR)
    he will punish(AS) Jacob[d] according to his ways
    and repay him according to his deeds.(AT)
In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel;(AU)
    as a man he struggled(AV) with God.
He struggled with the angel and overcame him;
    he wept and begged for his favor.
He found him at Bethel(AW)
    and talked with him there—
the Lord God Almighty,
    the Lord is his name!(AX)
But you must return(AY) to your God;
    maintain love and justice,(AZ)
    and wait for your God always.(BA)

The merchant uses dishonest scales(BB)
    and loves to defraud.
Ephraim boasts,(BC)
    “I am very rich; I have become wealthy.(BD)
With all my wealth they will not find in me
    any iniquity or sin.”

“I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt;(BE)
I will make you live in tents(BF) again,
    as in the days of your appointed festivals.
10 I spoke to the prophets,
    gave them many visions
    and told parables(BG) through them.”(BH)

11 Is Gilead wicked?(BI)
    Its people are worthless!
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?(BJ)
    Their altars will be like piles of stones
    on a plowed field.(BK)
12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram[e];(BL)
    Israel served to get a wife,
    and to pay for her he tended sheep.(BM)
13 The Lord used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,(BN)
    by a prophet he cared for him.(BO)
14 But Ephraim has aroused his bitter anger;
    his Lord will leave on him the guilt of his bloodshed(BP)
    and will repay him for his contempt.(BQ)

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 11:2 Septuagint; Hebrew them
  2. Hosea 11:12 In Hebrew texts this verse (11:12) is numbered 12:1.
  3. Hosea 12:1 In Hebrew texts 12:1-14 is numbered 12:2-15.
  4. Hosea 12:2 Jacob means he grasps the heel, a Hebrew idiom for he takes advantage of or he deceives.
  5. Hosea 12:12 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia