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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 fruit 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.”

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;

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 as a garden;

they shall blossom as the vine,

their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

8O Eʹphraim, 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.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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