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Haftara VaYetze

Hosea 12.13-14.10

Jacob fled the land of Aram, and [there] Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he herded sheep. By a prophet of God brought Israel out from Egypt, and he was preserved. Ephraim has given bitter provocation. He will leave his bloodguilt upon him, and his God will return to him his reproach.

When Ephraim spoke there was trembling. He was exalted in Israel; but when he incurred guilt through Baal, he died. Now they sin more and more, and have made for themselves molten images of silver, and idols according to their own understanding all the work of craftsmen. They say of them, “The same ones sacrifice men kiss calves.” Therefore they will be like the morning cloud, and like the dew that vanishes early; like chaff that is driven in the wind from the threshing-floor, and like smoke from a window.

Yet I am God your Lord from the land of Egypt; you know no God but Me, and there is no savior besides Me. I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. When they were fed to the full, they were filled, and their hearts were exalted. Therefore they forgot Me. So I have become like a lion to them, like a leopard I lurk by the way. I spring on them like a bear bereaved for her cubs, I will tear open their hearts, and devour them like a lioness, as a wild beast would tear them.

It will destroy you, Israel, that you are against Me, against your help.

Where is your king now to save you in all your cities! And your judges, of whom you said,, “Give me a king and princes”?  I give you a king in My anger, and will take him away in my wrath. Ephraim’s iniquity is bound up; his sin is laid in store.

The pangs of a woman in childbirth will come upon him. He is an unwise son. This is no time to tarry in opening the womb. Should I ransom them from the power of the nether-world? Should I redeem them from death? Where are your plagues, O death! Where is your destruction, O nether-world! Repentance is hidden from My eyes!

Though he is fruitful among the reeds, an east wind will come, God’s wind rising from the wilderness; and his spring will become dry, and his fountain will be dried up, stripping him of all precious things.

Samaria will bear her guilt, fro she rebelled against her God; they will fall by the sword their infants will be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women will be ripped open. Return, Israel, to God you Lord; you have stumbled because of your sins. Take with you words, and return to God. Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity, and grant us favor; so that we will offer words of our lips instead of calves.” Asshur will not save us; we will not ride upon horses, nor will we say again to the work of our hands, “You are our gods,” for You the orphan finds mercy.

I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for My anger is turned away from him. I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily, and cast his roots like Lebanon. His branches will spread, and his beauty will be like the olive, his fragrance like the Lebanon. Ephraim [will say], “What have I to do any more with idols?” It is I who respond and care for you; I am like an evergreen cypress; your fruit comes from Me.

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them. For God’s ways are right, and the righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.