1“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2But the more they were called, the more they went away from me.⚓ They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. 3It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. 4I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.
5“Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? 6A sword will flash in their cities; it will devour their false prophets and put an end to their plans. 7My people are determined to turn from me. Even though they call me God Most High, I 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 Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. 9I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man— the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities. 10They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. 11They will come from Egypt, trembling like sparrows, from Assyria, fluttering like doves. I will settle them in their homes,” declares the Lord.
12Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God, even against the faithful Holy One.⚓