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A Plea for Repentance

14 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
    for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
Take words with you
    and return to the Lord;
say to him,
    “Take away all guilt;
accept that which is good,
    and we will offer
    the fruit[a] of our lips.
Assyria shall not save us;
    we will not ride upon horses;
we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
    to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy.”

Assurance of Forgiveness

I will heal their disloyalty;
    I will love them freely,
    for my anger has turned from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
    he shall blossom like the lily,
    he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon.[b]
His shoots shall spread out;
    his beauty shall be like the olive tree,
    and his fragrance like that of Lebanon.
They shall again live beneath my[c] shadow,
    they shall flourish as a garden;[d]
they shall blossom like the vine,
    their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

O Ephraim, what have I[e] to do with idols?
    It is I who answer and look after you.[f]
I am like an evergreen cypress;
    your faithfulness[g] comes from me.
Those who are wise understand these things;
    those who are discerning know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
    and the upright walk in them,
    but transgressors stumble in them.

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 14:2 Gk Syr: Heb bulls
  2. Hosea 14:5 Cn: Heb like Lebanon
  3. Hosea 14:7 Heb his
  4. Hosea 14:7 Cn: Heb they shall grow grain
  5. Hosea 14:8 Or What more has Ephraim
  6. Hosea 14:8 Heb him
  7. Hosea 14:8 Heb your fruit

A plea: Return to God

14 [a] Return, Israel, to the Lord your God;
        you have stumbled because of your wickedness.
Prepare to speak
    and return to the Lord;
    say to the Lord,
        “Forgive all wickedness;
            and receive the good.
    Instead of bulls,
        let us offer what we can say:
Assyria won’t save us;
        we won’t ride upon horses;
    we will no longer say, ‘Our God,’
        to the work of our hands.
    In you the orphan finds compassion.”

Divine promise of healing

I will heal their faithlessness;
                I will love them freely,
        for my anger has turned from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
        he will blossom like the lily;
        he will cast out his roots like the forests of Lebanon.[b]
His branches will spread out;
        his beauty will be like the olive tree,
        and his fragrance like that of Lebanon.
They will again live beneath my shadow,
        they will flourish like a garden;
    they will blossom like the vine,
        their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon.
Ephraim, what do idols have to do with me?
        It is I who answer and look after you.
    I am like a green cypress tree;
        your fruit comes from me.

Be careful

Whoever is wise understands these things.
    Whoever observes carefully knows them.
    Truly, the Lord’s ways are right,
        and the righteous will walk in them,
        but evildoers will stumble in them.

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 14:1 14:2 in Heb
  2. Hosea 14:5 Or like Lebanon

Repentance to Bring Blessing

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

“I will heal(L) their waywardness(M)
    and love them freely,(N)
    for my anger has turned away(O) from them.
I will be like the dew(P) to Israel;
    he will blossom like a lily.(Q)
Like a cedar of Lebanon(R)
    he will send down his roots;(S)
    his young shoots will grow.
His splendor will be like an olive tree,(T)
    his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.(U)
People will dwell again in his shade;(V)
    they will flourish like the grain,
they will blossom(W) like the vine—
    Israel’s fame will be like the wine(X) of Lebanon.(Y)
Ephraim, what more have I[c] to do with idols?(Z)
    I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper;(AA)
    your fruitfulness comes from me.”

Who is wise?(AB) Let them realize these things.
    Who is discerning? Let them understand.(AC)
The ways of the Lord are right;(AD)
    the righteous walk(AE) 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

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