A Plea for Repentance
1Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
2Take with you words
and return to the Lord;
say to him,
"Take away all iniquity;
accept that which is good
and we will render
the fruita of our lips.
3Assyria shall not save us,
we will not ride upon horses;
and we will say no more, 'Our God,'
to the work of our hands.
In thee the orphan finds mercy."
Assurance of Forgiveness
4I will heal their faithlessness;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
5I will be as the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom as the lily,
he shall strike root as the poplar;b
6his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
7They shall return and dwell beneath myc shadow,
they shall flourish as a garden;d
they shall blossom as the vine,
their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
8O E'phraim, what have I to do with idols?
It is I who answer and look after you.e
I am like an evergreen cypress,
from me comes your fruit.
9Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the Lord are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.