14 Israel, return to the Lord your God, because your sins have made you ·fall [stumble]. 2 ·Come back [Return] to the Lord and ·say these words to him [L take words with you]: “Take away all our sin and ·kindly receive us [accept our prayers], ·and we will keep the promises we made to you [L so that we may offer the sacrifices of our lips; or so that we may offer our lips as sacrificial bulls]. 3 Assyria cannot save us, nor will we ·trust in our [mount and ride] horses. We will not say again, ‘Our gods,’ to the things our hands have made. You show ·mercy [compassion] to ·orphans [the fatherless].”
4 The Lord says, “I will forgive ·them for leaving me [their apostasy/waywardness] and will love them freely, because ·I am not angry with them anymore [L my anger has turned away from them]. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel, and they will blossom like a lily. Like the cedar trees in Lebanon, ·their roots will be firm [they will take root]. 6 ·They will be like spreading branches [L His shoots will spread out], like the beautiful olive trees and the sweet-smelling cedars in Lebanon. 7 ·The people of Israel will again live under my protection [or People will again live under Israel’s protection/shade]. They will ·grow [flourish] like the grain, they will bloom like a vine, and they will be as famous as the wine of Lebanon. 8 ·Israel [L Ephraim; 4:17], have nothing to do with idols. I, the Lord, am the one who answers your prayers and ·watches over [cares for] you. I am like a ·green [flourishing; evergreen] ·pine tree [or juniper; or cypress]; your ·blessings [L fruit] come from me.”
9 ·A wise person will know these things [L Who is wise? Let him understand these things], ·and an understanding person will take them to heart [L Who is discerning? Let him understand them]. The Lord’s ways are right. ·Good people [The righteous] ·live by following [L walk in] them, but ·those who turn against God [the rebellious/transgressors] ·die because of them [L stumble in them].
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