1Samaria shall expiate her guilt, for she has rebelled against her God. They shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed to pieces, their expectant mothers shall be ripped open.
2Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt. 3Take with you words, and return to the LORD; Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity, and receive what is good, that we may render as offerings the bullocks from our stalls. 4Assyria will not save us, nor shall we have horses to mount; We shall say no more, ‘Our god,' to the work of our hands; for in you the orphan finds compassion.”
5I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them. 6I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar, 7and put forth his shoots. His splendor shall be like the olive tree and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar. 8Again they shall dwell in his shade and raise grain; They shall blossom like the vine, and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
9Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols? I have humbled him, but I will prosper him. “I am like a verdant cypress tree”— Because of me you bear fruit!
9Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent know them. Straight are the paths of the LORD, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them.*