Israel Unrepentant

  1“Come, let us return to the Lord.
  He has torn us to pieces
   but he will heal us;
  he has injured us
   but he will bind up our wounds.
  2After two days he will revive us;
   on the third day he will restore us,
   that we may live in his presence.
  3Let us acknowledge the Lord;
   let us press on to acknowledge him.
  As surely as the sun rises,
   he will appear;
  he will come to us like the winter rains,
   like the spring rains that water the earth.”

  4“What can I do with you, Ephraim?
   What can I do with you, Judah?
  Your love is like the morning mist,
   like the early dew that disappears.
  5Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,
   I killed you with the words of my mouth—
   then my judgments go forth like the sun.
  6For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
   and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
  7As at Adam, they have broken the covenant;
   they were unfaithful to me there.
  8Gilead is a city of evildoers,
   stained with footprints of blood.
  9As marauders lie in ambush for a victim,
   so do bands of priests;
  they murder on the road to Shechem,
   carrying out their wicked schemes.
  10I have seen a horrible thing in Israel:
   There Ephraim is given to prostitution,
   Israel is defiled.

  11“Also for you, Judah,
   a harvest is appointed.

  “Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,