The Response to God’s Rebuke
1“Come and let us return [in repentance] to the Lord,
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
2After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up
That we may live before Him.
3So let us know and become personally acquainted with Him; let us press on to know and understand fully the [greatness of the] Lord [to honor, heed, and deeply cherish Him].
His appearing is prepared and is as certain as the dawn,
And He will come to us [in salvation] like the [heavy] rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
The Reply of the Lord
4O Ephraim, what shall I do with you?
O Judah, what shall I do with you?
For your [wavering] loyalty and kindness are [transient] like the morning cloud
And like the dew that goes away early.
5Therefore, I have hewn them in pieces by [the words of] the prophets;
I have slain them by the words of My mouth;
My judgments [pronounced upon them by the prophets] are like the light that shines forth [obvious to all].
6For I desire and delight in [steadfast] loyalty [faithfulness in the covenant relationship], rather than sacrifice,
And in the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
7But they, like Adam, have transgressed the covenant;
There they have dealt treacherously against Me.
8Gilead is a city of wrongdoers;
It is tracked with bloody footprints.
9And as bands of robbers [lie in] wait for a man,
So a band of priests murder on the road toward Shechem [covering their crimes in that city of refuge];
Certainly they have committed crimes and outrages.
10I have seen a horrible thing [sins of every kind] in the house of Israel!
Ephraim’s prostitution (idolatry) is there; Israel has defiled itself.
11Also, O Judah, there is a harvest [of divine judgment] appointed for you,
When I restore the fortunes of My people [who have been slaves to the misery of sin].