Israel Refuses to Turn Away From Their Sins
1The people say, “Come.
Let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces.
But he will heal us.
He has wounded us.
But he’ll bandage our wounds.
2After two days he will give us new life.
On the third day he’ll make us like new again.
Then we will enjoy his blessing.
3Let’s recognize him as the Lord.
Let’s keep trying to know him.
You can be sure the sun will rise.
And you can be just as sure the Lord will appear.
He will come to renew us like the winter rains.
He will be like the spring rains that water the earth.”

4The Lord says, “Ephraim, what can I do with you?
And what can I do with you, Judah?
Your love for me vanishes like the morning mist.
It soon disappears like the early dew.
5So I used the words of my prophets to cut you in pieces.
I used my words to put you to death.
Then my judgments blazed out like the sun.
6I want mercy and not sacrifice.
I want you to recognize me as God
instead of bringing me burnt offerings.
7Just as at the city of Adam, they disobeyed me,
they have broken the covenant I made with them.
They were not faithful to me there.
8Ramoth Gilead is a city where sinful people live.
It is stained with footprints of blood.
9On the road to Shechem, groups of priests act like robbers.
They hide and wait to attack people.
They murder them.
So they carry out their evil plans.
10I have seen a horrible thing in Israel.
The people of Ephraim are unfaithful to their own God.
The people of Israel are ‘unclean.’

11“People of Judah, I have also appointed a time
for you to be destroyed.

“I would like to bless my people
with great success again.