New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Sincere Conversion and New Life
2 Return, Israel, to the Lord, your God;
you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
3 Take with you words,
and return to the Lord;
Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity,
and take what is good.
Let us offer the fruit of our lips.(C)
4 [b]Assyria will not save us,
nor will we mount horses;(D)
We will never again say, ‘Our god,’
to the work of our hands;
for in you the orphan finds compassion.”(E)
5 I will heal their apostasy,
I will love them freely;
for my anger is turned away from them.
6 I will be like the dew for Israel:(F)
he will blossom like the lily;
He will strike root like the Lebanon cedar,
7 and his shoots will go forth.(G)
His splendor will be like the olive tree
and his fragrance like Lebanon cedar.(H)
8 Again they will live in his shade;
they will raise grain,
They will blossom like the vine,
and his renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.
- 14:1 Samaria: the capital of the Northern Kingdom will fall; this is the punishment predicted for Ephraim, the Northern Kingdom.
- 14:4 These good intentions promise a reversal of Israel’s sins: no more reliance on “Assyria,” i.e., on foreign alliances (see notes on 8:9 and 12:2), on “horses,” i.e., on human power (10:13), and on idolatry (8:4–6; 13:2). Israel will trust in the Lord alone.
- 14:9 Verdant cypress tree: the symbol of lasting life, the opposite of the sacred trees of the Baal cult (4:13). The Lord provides the “fruit” (peri) to Israel (2:7, 10), another instance of the wordplay on Ephraim (see notes on 9:16 and 13:15).
- 14:10 A challenge to the reader in the style of the wisdom literature.