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;

on the third day* he will raise us up,b

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,

I killed them by the words of my mouth;* d

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!

* [6:2] After two days; on the third day: presumptuous Israel expects that soon God will renew them (cf. Ez 37).

* [6:5] The word of God proclaimed by the prophets is effective, it accomplished what it promised: punishment.

* [6:7] At Adam: the violation of the covenant at Adam is mentioned nowhere else in the Bible. The place Adam, the location of which is unknown, may be referred to in Jos 3:16.

* [6:8] Gilead: city in Transjordan (Gn 31:4648; 2 Kgs 15:25).

* [6:9] Shechem: an important ancient religious and political center (Jos 24).

* [6:11] Harvest: God’s judgment, when Judah will reap what it has sown.

a. [6:1] Lam 3:40.

b. [6:2] Lk 24:7, 46; 1 Cor 15:4.

c. [6:3] Dt 11:14; Ps 72:6.

d. [6:5] Is 11:4; 49:2; Jer 5:14; Heb 4:1213.

e. [6:6] 1 Sm 15:22; Am 5:2224; Mi 6:68; Eccl 4:17; Mt 9:13; 12:7.

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