1 I loved Israel when he was a child. He's my son I called out of Egypt.
2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed to the Baals and offered incense to idols.
3 I myself taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the hand, but they didn't realize I was the one who healed them.
4 I led them along with cords of kindness, with ropes of love. I was the one who eased their burden and bent down to feed them.
5 However, because my people refuse to return to me, they will not return to the land of Egypt but Assyria shall be their king.
6 War will sweep through their cities, putting an end to their boasting and destroying their plans.
7 My people are hanging on to their apostasy from me. They call him “god on high” but he will not raise them up at all.
8 How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I let you go, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is breaking; I am full of compassion.
9 I will not execute the fierceness of my anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God, not a human being. I am the Holy One living among you. I will not enter your cities.
10 The people will follow me, the Lord. He will roar like a lion. When he roars like a lion then his children will come trembling from the west.
11 Like a flock of frightened birds they will come from Egypt, like doves they will come from Assyria, and I will bring them back home, declares the Lord.
12 Ephraim surrounds me with lies and Israel with deceit, and Judah still wanders with some deity, faithful to some “Holy One.”