1 »When Israel was a young man, 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. I took them in my 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, destroy the bars of their gates, and put an end to their plans.
7 »My people are determined to turn apostatize 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. I will not turn and devastate Ephraim. I am not man. I am God, the Holy One among you. I will not come against my city in wrath.
10 »They will follow Jehovah! 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 Jehovah.
12 »Ephraim surrounds me with lies, the house of Israel with deceit. Yet Judah is unruly against God, even against the Holy One who is faithful.«