1“Come, let us return to the LORD,a
For it is he who has torn, but he will heal us;
he has struck down, but he will bind our wounds.
2He will revive us after two days;
to live in his presence.
3Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD;
as certain as the dawn is his coming.
He will come to us like the rain,
like spring rain that waters the earth.”c
4What can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your loyalty is like morning mist,
like the dew that disappears early.
5For this reason I struck them down through the prophets,
my judgment shines forth like the light.
6For it is loyalty that I desire, not sacrifice,
and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.e
Further Crimes of Israel
7But they, at Adam,* violated the covenant;
there they betrayed me.
8Gilead* is a city of evildoers,
tracked with blood.
9Like brigands lying in wait
is the band of priests.
They murder on the road to Shechem,*
indeed they commit a monstrous crime.
10In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing:
there is found Ephraim’s prostitution,
Israel is defiled.
11For you also, Judah,
a harvest* has been appointed!
* [6:5] The word of God proclaimed by the prophets is effective, it accomplished what it promised: punishment.
* [6:11] Harvest: God’s judgment, when Judah will reap what it has sown.