“Come, let us return to the Lord .
He has torn us to pieces;
now he will heal us.
He has injured us;
now he will bandage our wounds.
2 In just a short time he will restore us,
so that we may live in his presence.
3 Oh, that we might know the Lord !
Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
or the coming of rains in early spring.”
“O Israel 1 and Judah,
what should I do with you?” asks the Lord .
“For your love vanishes like the morning mist
and disappears like dew in the sunlight.
5 I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces -
to slaughter you with my words,
with judgments as inescapable as light.
6 I want you to show love, 2
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me 3
more than I want burnt offerings.
But like Adam, 4 you broke my covenant
and betrayed my trust.
8 “Gilead is a city of sinners,
tracked with footprints of blood.
9 Priests form bands of robbers,
waiting in ambush for their victims.
They murder travelers along the road to Shechem
and practice every kind of sin.
10 Yes, I have seen something horrible in Ephraim and Israel:
My people are defiled by prostituting themselves with other gods!
“O Judah, a harvest of punishment is also waiting for you,
though I wanted to restore the fortunes of my people.