1 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for your sin has been your downfall!
2 Return to the Lord and repent! Say to him: “Completely forgive our iniquity; accept our penitential prayer, that we may offer the praise of our lips as sacrificial bulls.
3 Assyria cannot save us; we will not ride warhorses. We will never again say, ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made. For only you will show compassion to Orphan Israel!”
4 “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger will turn away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily, he will send down his roots like a cedar of Lebanon.
6 His young shoots will grow; his splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will reside again in his shade; they will plant and harvest grain in abundance. They will blossom like a vine, and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.
8 O Ephraim, I do not want to have anything to do with idols anymore! I will answer him and care for him. I am like a luxuriant cypress tree; your fruitfulness comes from me!
9 Who is wise? Let him discern these things! Who is discerning? Let him understand them! For the ways of the Lord are right; the godly walk in them, but in them the rebellious stumble.