1‘Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
2After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
3Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.’
4‘What can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears.
5Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,
I killed you with the words of my mouth –
then my judgments go forth like the sun.#6:5 The meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.
6For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
7As at Adam,#6:7 Or Like Adam; or Like human beings they have broken the covenant;
they were unfaithful to me there.
8Gilead is a city of evildoers,
stained with footprints of blood.
9As marauders lie in ambush for a victim,
so do bands of priests;
they murder on the road to Shechem,
carrying out their wicked schemes.
10I have seen a horrible thing in Israel:
there Ephraim is given to prostitution,
Israel is defiled.
11‘Also for you, Judah,
a harvest is appointed.
‘Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,