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Hosea 14 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Turn Back to the Lord

14 Israel, return! Come back
to the Lord, your God.
    Sin has made you fall.
Return to the Lord and say,
    “Please forgive our sins.
Accept our good sacrifices
    of praise instead of bulls.[a]
Assyria can’t save us,
    and chariots can’t help.
So we will no longer worship
    the idols we have made.
Our Lord, you show mercy
    to orphans.”

The Lord Promises To Forgive

Israel, you have rejected me,
    but my anger is gone;
I will heal you and love you
    without limit.
I will be like the dew—
then you will blossom like lilies
    and have roots like a tree.[b]
Your branches will spread
with the beauty
    of an olive tree
and with the aroma
    of Lebanon Forest.
You will rest in my shade,
    and your grain will grow.
You will blossom
    like a vineyard
and be famous as the wine
    from Lebanon.

Israel, give up your idols!
I will answer your prayers
    and take care of you.[c]
I am that glorious tree,
    the source of your fruit.[d]

If you are wise, you will know
    and understand what I mean.
I am the Lord, and I lead you
    along the right path.
If you obey me,
    we will walk together,
but if you are wicked,
    you will stumble.

Footnotes:

  1. 14.2 Accept. . . bulls: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 14.5 like a tree: The Hebrew text has “like Lebanon,” probably referring to the famous cedar trees on Mount Lebanon.
  3. 14.8 Israel. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 14.8 I am. . . fruit: This is the only place in the Old Testament where the Lord is compared to a tree. Hosea reminds the people that it is the Lord who is the source of life, rather than the Canaanite gods and goddesses that are worshiped under trees at the local shrines.

Hosea 14 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Repentance to bring blessing

14 [a]Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
    Your sins have been your downfall!
Take words with you
    and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
    ‘Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
    that we may offer the fruit of our lips.[b]
Assyria cannot save us;
    we will not mount war-horses.
We will never again say “Our gods”
    to what our own hands have made,
    for in you the fatherless find compassion.’

‘I will heal their waywardness
    and love them freely,
    for my anger has turned away from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
    he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
    he will send down his roots;
    his young shoots will grow.
His splendour will be like an olive tree,
    his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
People will dwell again in his shade;
    they will flourish like the corn,
they will blossom like the vine –
    Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
Ephraim, what more have I[c] to do with idols?
    I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper;
    your fruitfulness comes from me.’

Who is wise? Let them realise these things.
    Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
    the righteous walk in them,
    but the rebellious stumble in them.

Footnotes:

  1. Hosea 14:1 In Hebrew texts 14:1-9 is numbered 14:2-10.
  2. Hosea 14:2 Or offer our lips as sacrifices of bulls
  3. Hosea 14:8 Or Hebrew; Septuagint What more has Ephraim
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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