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Chapter 6

    “Come, let us return to the Lord,(A)
For it is he who has torn, but he will heal us;
    he has struck down, but he will bind our wounds.
He will revive us after two days;
    on the third day[a] he will raise us up,(B)
    to live in his presence.
Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord;
    as certain as the dawn is his coming.
He will come to us like the rain,
    like spring rain that waters the earth.”(C)

What can I do with you, Ephraim?
    What can I do with you, Judah?
Your loyalty is like morning mist,
    like the dew that disappears early.
For this reason I struck them down through the prophets,
    I killed them by the words of my mouth;[b](D)
    my judgment shines forth like the light.
For it is loyalty that I desire, not sacrifice,
    and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.(E)

Further Crimes of Israel

But they, at Adam,[c] violated the covenant;
    there they betrayed me.

Gilead[d] is a city of evildoers,
    tracked with blood.
Like brigands lying in wait
    is the band of priests.
They murder on the road to Shechem,[e]
    indeed they commit a monstrous crime.
10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing:
    there is found Ephraim’s prostitution,
    Israel is defiled.
11 For you also, Judah,
    a harvest[f] has been appointed!


  1. 6:2 After two days; on the third day: presumptuous Israel expects that soon God will renew them (cf. Ez 37).
  2. 6:5 The word of God proclaimed by the prophets is effective, it accomplished what it promised: punishment.
  3. 6:7 At Adam: the violation of the covenant at Adam is mentioned nowhere else in the Bible. The place Adam, the location of which is unknown, may be referred to in Jos 3:16.
  4. 6:8 Gilead: city in Transjordan (Gn 31:46–48; 2 Kgs 15:25).
  5. 6:9 Shechem: an important ancient religious and political center (Jos 24).
  6. 6:11 Harvest: God’s judgment, when Judah will reap what it has sown.