1 Israel, return to Yahweh your God;
for you have fallen because of your sin.
2 Take words with you, and return to Yahweh.
Tell him, “Forgive all our sins,
and accept that which is good:
so we offer our lips like bulls.
3 Assyria can’t save us.
We won’t ride on horses;
neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, ‘Our gods!’
for in you the fatherless finds mercy.”
4 “I will heal their waywardness.
I will love them freely;
for my anger is turned away from him.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel.
He will blossom like the lily,
and send down his roots like Lebanon.
6 His branches will spread,
and his beauty will be like the olive tree,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
7 Men will dwell in his shade.
They will revive like the grain,
and blossom like the vine.
Their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim, what have I to do any more with idols?
I answer, and will take care of him.
I am like a green cypress tree;
from me your fruit is found.”
9 Who is wise, that he may understand these things?
Who is prudent, that he may know them?
For the ways of Yahweh are right,
and the righteous walk in them;
But the rebellious stumble in them.