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A Plea to Return to the Lord

14 (A)Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
    for (B)you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
Take with you words
    and return to the Lord;
say to him,
    “Take away all iniquity;
accept (C)what is good,
    and we will pay with bulls
    (D)the vows[a] of our lips.
(E)Assyria shall not save us;
    (F)we will not ride on horses;
and (G)we will say no more, ‘Our God’,
    to the work of our hands.
(H)In you the orphan finds mercy.”
I (I)will heal their apostasy;
    (J)I will love them freely,
    for my anger has turned from them.
(K)I will be like the dew to Israel;
    (L)he shall blossom like the lily;
    he shall take root like the trees (M)of Lebanon;
his shoots shall spread out;
    his beauty shall be (N)like the olive,
    and his fragrance like Lebanon.
They shall return and (O)dwell beneath my[b] shadow;
    they shall flourish like the corn;
they shall blossom like the vine;
    their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
O (P)Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
    It is I who answer and look after you.[c]
I am like an evergreen cypress;
    (Q)from me comes your fruit.
(R)Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
    whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the Lord are right,
    and (S)the upright walk in them,
    (T)but transgressors stumble in them.

Footnotes

  1. Hosea 14:2 Septuagint, Syriac pay the fruit
  2. Hosea 14:7 Hebrew his
  3. Hosea 14:8 Hebrew him

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