Hosea 11

The people in Israel have forgotten the Lord

1 The Lord says, ‘I have loved Israel since he was a child.

As my son, I called him to come out of Egypt.

2 But the more I spoke to him,

the more he turned away from me.

My people gave sacrifices to the god, Baal.

They burned incense and they offered this to idols.

3 But it was I who taught this child to walk!

I took my people up in my arms!

I gave them health.

But they did not know this.

4 I led them with love and with kind words.

I was like a person who let them be free.

I bent down to feed them.

5 Israel's people refuse to return to me.

So they must return to Egypt.

Assyria will rule over them.

6 Their cities will have war.

People will break down the city gates.

Their strong places will not help them.

7 All that my people want to do is to turn away from me.

They call out to a God who rules above,

but he will not help them.’

The Lord does not want to destroy Israel

8 ‘Ephraim, I do not want to forget about you.

11:8Ephraim was the Israelite kingdom in the north.

I do not want to give you to someone else.

I do not want to make you like Admah.

I do not want to make you like Zeboiim.

11:8Admah and Zeboiim were cities that were near Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 10:19). God destroyed Admah and Zeboiim when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24-25). That was when he was very angry.

My love for you will not let me do it!

My love for you is too strong.

9 I will not punish you any longer.

This is even when I am angry.

I will not destroy Israel again.

This is because I am God and not a man.

I am the Holy God and I am with you.

I will not show you that I am angry.

10 I will make a loud sound like a lion.

I will make a loud sound and my children will come.

They will follow me.

My children will come from the west.

They will be afraid when they come.

11 They will be like birds from Egypt.

They will be like birds from Assyria.

They will be afraid.

I will bring them back to their homes again.

I, the Lord, have spoken.’

The Lord is against the people in Israel

12 Israel's people say things that are not true.

Those things are all round me.

Israel's people have not told me true things.

But Judah's people have not obeyed God.

I, the Holy God, always do what I have promised to do.

But Judah's people do not obey me.