The people pretend to turn to the Lord
The Lord's people speak
1Let's return to the Lord.
He has torn us to shreds,
but he will bandage our wounds
and make us well.
2In two or three days
he will heal us
and restore our strength
that we may live with him.
3Let's do our best
to know the Lord.
His coming is as certain
as the morning sun;
he will refresh us like rain
renewing the earth
in the springtime.
The Lord speaks to Israel and Judah
4People of Israel and Judah,
what can I do with you?
Your love for me disappears
more quickly than mist
or dew at sunrise.
5That's why I slaughtered you
with the words
of my prophets.
That's why my judgments blazed
like the dawning sun.#6.5 That's why my … sun: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
6 # Matt 9.13Matt 12.7 I'd rather you were faithful
and knew me
than offered sacrifices.
7At a place named Adam,
you#6.7 At … you: Or “Like Adam, you” or “Each one of you”. betrayed me
by breaking our agreement.
8Everyone in Gilead is evil;
your hands are stained
with the blood of victims.#6.8 your hands … victims: This may refer to child sacrifice.
9You priests are like a gang
of robbers in ambush.#6.9 You … ambush: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
On the road to Shechem#6.9 Shechem: This was one of the towns where people could run for safety, if they had accidentally killed someone (see Joshua 20.1–9).
you murder and commit
other horrible crimes.
10I have seen a terrible thing
in Israel—
you are unfaithful
and unfit to worship me.
11People of Judah,
your time is coming too.
The Lord wants to help Israel
I, the Lord, would like to make
my nation prosper again
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