1O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. 2Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.14.2 receive…: or, give good 3Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
4¶ I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. 5I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.14.5 grow: or, blossom14.5 cast…: Heb. strike 6His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.14.6 spread: Heb. go 7They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.14.7 grow: or, blossom14.7 scent: or, memorial
8Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. 9Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.
Repentance to bring blessing
In Hebrew texts 14:1-9 is numbered 14:2-10. 1Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!
2Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
‘Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.14:2 Or offer our lips as sacrifices of bulls
3Assyria cannot save us;
we will not mount warhorses.
We will never again say “Our gods”
to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find compassion.’
4‘I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.
5I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
he will send down his roots;
6his young shoots will grow.
His splendour will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7People will dwell again in his shade;
they will flourish like the corn,
they will blossom like the vine –
Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8Ephraim, what more have I14:8 Or Hebrew; Septuagint What more has Ephraim to do with idols?
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper;
your fruitfulness comes from me.’
9Who is wise? Let them realise these things.
Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.