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A Plea to Return to the Lord

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 what is good,

and we will pay with bulls

the vows of our lips.

3Assyria shall not save us;

we will not ride on horses;

and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’

to the work of our hands.

In you the orphan finds mercy.”

4I will heal their apostasy;

I will love them freely,

for my anger has turned from them.

5I will be like the dew to Israel;

he shall blossom like the lily;

he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;

6his shoots shall spread out;

his beauty shall be like the olive,

and his fragrance like Lebanon.

7They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow;

they shall flourish like the grain;

they shall blossom like the vine;

their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

8O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?

It is I who answer and look after you.

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.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version ©2001 Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.
English Standard Version, ESV, and the ESV logo are registered trademarks of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. Click here to review ESV Full Copyright Notice and Permissions Information.

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