1 COME AND let us return to the Lord, for He has torn so that He may heal us; He has stricken so that He may bind us up.
2 After two days He will revive us (quicken us, give us life); on the third day He will raise us up that we may live before Him. [Isa. 26:19; Ezek. 37:1-10.]
3 Yes, let us know (recognize, be acquainted with, and understand) Him; let us be zealous to know the Lord [to appreciate, give heed to, and cherish Him]. His going forth is prepared and certain as the dawn, and He will come to us as the [heavy] rain, as the latter rain that waters the earth.
4 O Ephraim, what shall I do with you? [says the Lord] O Judah, what shall I do with you? For your [wavering] love and kindness are like the night mist or like the dew that goes early away.
5 Therefore have I hewn down and smitten them by means of the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; My judgments [pronounced upon them by you prophets] are like the light that goes forth.
6 For I desire and delight in dutiful steadfast love and goodness, not sacrifice, and the knowledge of and acquaintance with God more than burnt offerings. [Matt. 9:13; 12:7.]
7 But they, like [less-privileged] men and like Adam, have transgressed the covenant; there have they dealt faithlessly and treacherously with Me.
8 Gilead is a city of evildoers; it is tracked with bloody [footprints].
9 And as troops of robbers lie in wait for a man, so the company of priests murder on the road toward Shechem; yes, they commit villainy and outrages.
10 I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel! There harlotry and idolatry are found in Ephraim; Israel is defiled.
11 Also, O Judah, there is a harvest [of divine judgment] appointed for you; when I would return My people from their captivity [in which they are slaves to the misery brought on by their own sins],