1 ‘When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.
3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.
5 ‘Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent?
6 Swords will flash in their cities, will destroy the bars of their gates and put an end to their plans.
7 My people are determined to turn from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will by no means exalt them.
8 ‘How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man– the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.
10 They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes,’ declares the LORD.
12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, the house of Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God, even against the faithful Holy One.