Hosea 11

Reversal of the Exodus: Return to Egypt and Exile in Assyria

11:1 When Israel was a young man, I loved him like a son,1

and I summoned my son2 out of Egypt.

11:2 But the more I summoned3 them,

the farther they departed from me.4

They sacrificed to the Baal idols

and burned incense to images.

11:3 Yet it was I who led5 Ephraim,

I took them by the arm;

but they did not acknowledge

that I had healed them.6

11:4 I led them with leather7 cords,

with leather8 ropes;

I lifted the yoke9 from their neck,10

and gently fed them.11

11:5 They will return to Egypt!12

Assyria will rule over them13

because they refuse to repent!14

11:6 A sword will flash in their cities,

it will destroy the bars of their city gates,

and will devour them in their fortresses.

11:7 My people are obsessed15 with turning away from me;16

they call to Baal,17 but he will never exalt them!

The Divine Dilemma: Judgment or Mercy?

11:8 How can I give you up,18 O Ephraim?

How can I surrender you, O Israel?

How can I treat you like Admah?

How can I make you like Zeboiim?

I have had a change of heart!19

All my tender compassions are aroused!20

11:9 I cannot carry out21 my fierce anger!

I cannot totally destroy Ephraim!

Because I am God, and not man – the Holy One among you –

I will not come in wrath!

God Will Restore the Exiles to Israel

11:10 He will roar like a lion,

and they will follow the Lord;

when he roars,

his children will come trembling22 from the west.

11:11 They will return in fear and trembling23

like birds from Egypt,

like doves from Assyria,

and I will settle them in their homes,” declares the Lord.

God’s Lawsuit against Israel: Breach of Covenant

11:12 (12:1)24 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies;

the house of Israel has surrounded me25 with deceit.

But Judah still roams about with26 God;

he remains faithful to the Holy One.

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