Hosea 11
Contemporary English Version

God's Love for His People

1 When Israel was a child,

I loved him, and I called

my son out of Egypt.

2But as the saying goes,

“The more they were called,

the more they rebelled.”+

They never stopped offering

incense and sacrifices

to the idols of Baal.

3I took Israel by the arm

and taught them to walk.

But they would not admit

that I was the one

who had healed them.

4I led them with kindness

and with love,

not with ropes.

I held them close to me;+

I bent down to feed them.

5But they rejected me,

and so must return to Egypt;

now Assyria will rule them.

6War will visit their cities,

and their plans will fail.+

7My people are determined

to reject me for a god

they think is stronger,

but he can't help.+

8 Israel, I can't let you go.

I can't give you up.

How could I possibly destroy you

as I did the towns of Admah

and Zeboiim?+

I just can't do it.

My feelings for you

are much too strong.

9Israel, I won't lose my temper

and destroy you again.

I am the Holy God—

not merely some human,

and I won't stay angry.

10I, the Lord, will roar like a lion,

and my children will return,

trembling from the west.

11They will come back,

fluttering like birds from Egypt

or like doves from Assyria.

Then I will bring them

back to their homes.

I, the Lord, have spoken!

Israel and Judah Compared

12Israel is deceitful to me,

their loyal and holy God;

they surround me with lies,

and Judah worships

other gods.+


11.2 But … rebelled: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
11.4 I held … to me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
11.6 fail: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 6.
11.7 help: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 7.
11.8 Admah and Zeboiim: When the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, he also destroyed these two towns (see Deuteronomy 29.23).
11.12 and Judah worships other gods: Or “but Judah remains faithful.”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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