A Plea to Return to the Lord
O Israel, a return to the LORD your God,
For you have stumbled because of your iniquity;
Take words with you,
And return to the LORD.
Say to Him,
"Take away all iniquity;
Receive us graciously,
For we will offer the b sacrifices of our lips.
Assyria shall c not save us,
d We will not ride on horses,
Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands,
' You are our gods.'
e For in You the fatherless finds mercy."
"I will heal their f backsliding,
I will g love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from him.
I will be like the h dew to Israel;
He shall grow like the lily,
And lengthen his roots like Lebanon.
His branches shall spread;
i His beauty shall be like an olive tree,
And j his fragrance like Lebanon.
k Those who dwell under his shadow shall return;
They shall be revived like grain,
And grow like a vine.
Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
" Ephraim shall say,
'What have I to do anymore with idols?'
I have heard and observed him.
I am like a green cypress tree;
l Your fruit is found in Me."
Who is wise?
Let him understand these things.
Who is prudent?
Let him know them.
For m the ways of the LORD are right;
The righteous walk in them,
But transgressors stumble in them.
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
So you, by the help of your God, return; Observe mercy and justice, And wait on your God continually.
So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart - These, O God, You will not despise.
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense - They call to Egypt, They go to Assyria.
You have plowed wickedness; You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, Because you trusted in your own way, In the multitude of your mighty men.
Ephraim feeds on the wind, And pursues the east wind; He daily increases lies and desolation. Also they make a covenant with the Assyrians, And oil is carried to Egypt.
A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, And rely on horses, Who trust in chariots because they are many, And in horsemen because they are very strong, But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, Nor seek the LORD!
But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, To repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation.
O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, Do it for Your name's sake; For our backslidings are many, We have sinned against You.
To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
My root is spread out to the waters, And the dew lies all night on my branch.
The king's wrath is like the roaring of a lion, But his favor is like dew on the grass.
Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead.
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table.
And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said: "Surely, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field Which the LORD has blessed.
Its leaves were lovely, Its fruit abundant, And in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches, And all flesh was fed from it.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
The works of His hands are verity and justice; All His precepts are sure.
They stand fast forever and ever, And are done in truth and uprightness.
The way of the LORD is strength for the upright, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.
The LORD is righteous in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails, But the unjust knows no shame.