God's Compassion Despite Israel's Ingratitude
1When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2The more Ia called them,
the more they went from me;b
they kept sacrificing to the Ba'als,
and burning incense to idols.
3Yet it was I who taught E'phraim to walk,
I took them up in myc arms;
but they did not know that I healed them.
4I led them with cords of compassion,d
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one
who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.
5They shall return to the land of Egypt,
and Assyria shall be their king,
because they have refused to return to me.
6The sword shall rage against their cities,
consume the bars of their gates,
and devour them in their fortresses.e
7My people are bent on turning away from me;f
so they are appointed to the yoke,
and none shall remove it.
8How can I give you up, O E'phraim!
How can I hand you over, O Israel!
How can I make you like Admah!
How can I treat you like Zeboi'im!
My heart recoils within me,
my compassion grows warm and tender.
9I will not execute my fierce anger,
I will not again destroy E'phraim;
for I am God and not man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come to destroy.g
10They shall go after the Lord,
he will roar like a lion;
yea, he will roar,
and his sons shall come trembling from the west;
11they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt,
and like doves from the land of Assyria;
and I will return them to their homes, says the Lord.
12hE'phraim has encompassed me with lies,
and the house of Israel with deceit;
but Judah is still known byi God,
and is faithful to the Holy One.