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1 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall!
2 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.
3 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.’
4 ‘I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.
5 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;
6 his young shoots will grow. His splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 Men will dwell again in his shade. He will flourish like the grain. He will blossom like a vine, and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.
8 O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? I will answer him and care for him. I am like a green pine tree; your fruitfulness comes from me.’
9 Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.