1 Return, Israel, to the Lord your God,
for you have stumbled in your iniquity.
2 Take words of repentance with you,
and return to the Lord your God.
Say to him:
Wholly pardon our iniquity,
accept that which is good,
instead of sacrificing bulls,
we offer our praise.
3 Assyria will not save us,
nor Egyptian warhorses,
and we will no more call
the work of our hands our gods.
For in you orphan Israel finds mercy.
4 “I will heal their apostasy,
I will love them freely,
now that my anger is turned away from them,
5 I will be as dew to Israel.
He will blossom like the lily,
he will plant his roots like the cedars of Lebanon,
6 his saplings will spread out,
his beauty will be like that of the olive tree,
his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon.
7 People will return and dwell in my shade,
they will bring life to new grain.
They shall sprout like the vine,
and their renown will be like that of the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim – what have I to do with idols!
It is I the Lord who respond to him and look after him.
I am like an evergreen cypress,
from me is your fruit found.
9 Whoever is wise,
let him discern these things,
prudent, let him perceive them;
For the Lord’s ways are straight,
and the righteous walk in them,
but the wicked stumble in them.