When Israel Was a Child
1When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt* I called my son. q Mt 2, 15 . 2The more I called them, the farther they went from me, Sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols. 3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; 4I drew them with human cords, with bands of love;* I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer.
5He shall return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be his king; 6The sword shall begin with his cities and end by consuming his solitudes. Because they refused to repent, their own counsels shall devour them. 7His people are in suspense about returning to him; and God, though in unison they cry out to him, shall not raise them up.
End of the Exile
8How could I give you up, O Ephraim, or deliver you up, O Israel? How could I treat you as Admah, or make you like Zeboiim?* My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. r Gn 19, 24f . 9I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you.
10They shall follow the LORD who roars like a lion; When he roars, his sons shall come frightened from the west, 11Out of Egypt they shall come trembling, like sparrows, from the land of Assyria, like doves; And I will resettle them in their homes, says the LORD.