Come on! Let's go back to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces, but now he will heal us. He has struck us down, but now he will bind up our wounds. In two days he will heal us; after three days he will raise us up so we can live in his presence. Let's get to know the Lord, really strive to know him, and he will appear to us as surely as the sun will rise; he will come to us as certainly as the spring rains fall on the earth.” Ephraim,* what shall I do with you? Judah, what shall I do with you? Your love disappears like mist at dawn; it vanishes like dew in the morning. So I cut you down through the prophets; I killed you with my words. My judgment shines out like a light. I want your true love, not your sacrifices; I want you to know me, not your burnt offerings.
But you, just like Adam, broke our agreement, there you were unfaithful to me. Gilead is a city of evil people where footprints are tracked in blood. Priests are like a gang of bandits, lying in wait to ambush travelers on the road. They commit murder in Shechem, carrying out wicked crimes. 10 I have seen in the house of Israel something totally disgusting: Ephraim engages in prostitution and Israel is sexually corrupt. 11 And as for you, Judah, your harvest-time has been set! When I restore the fortunes of my people,§
* 6:4 Ephraim was taken as representative of the northern kingdom of Israel, and Judah the south. 6:7 Literally, “covenant.” 6:10 The image of prostitution and sexual immorality is used to describe Israel's spiritual adultery in following other gods. § 6:11 This latter phrase is better taken with the beginning of the following chapter.