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Hosea 11 - God’s Compassion Despite Israel’s Ingratitude

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2 The more I[a] called them, the more they went from me;[b] they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols.

3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my[c] arms; but they did not know that I healed them. 4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks.[d] I bent down to them and fed them.

5 They shall return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me. 6 The sword rages in their cities, it consumes their oracle-priests, and devours because of their schemes. 7 My people are bent on turning away from me. To the Most High they call, but he does not raise them up at all.[e]

How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.[f]

10 They shall go after the Lord, who roars like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west. 11 They 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.

12 [g] Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Judah still walks[h] with God, and is faithful to the Holy One.


a. Hosea 11:2 Gk: Heb they

b. Hosea 11:2 Gk: Heb them

c. Hosea 11:3 Gk Syr Vg: Heb his

d. Hosea 11:4 Or who ease the yoke on their jaws

e. Hosea 11:7 Meaning of Heb uncertain

f. Hosea 11:9 Meaning of Heb uncertain

g. Hosea 11:12 Ch 12.1 in Heb

h. Hosea 11:12 Heb roams or rules

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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