1 Come, and let us return to the LORD (these are the words of Israel in a yet future day, as already symbolized by the return of Gomer [3:2,3], and foretold in 3:5. This is the acknowledgment referred to in 5:15. Deut. 32:39): for He has torn, and He will heal us (cp. Jer. 30:17); He has smitten, and He will bind us up.
2 After two days (i.e. 2 days after this national repentance. See 5:15 'till') will He bring us back to life: on the third day He will raise us up (the 2 witnesses just before His return), and we shall live again in resurrection (referring to the yet future resurrection of the New Israel [Ezek. 37], which will thus resemble the resurrection of Messiah [1 Cor. 15:20) before His face. (As their sin had been [7:2])
3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know (you can count on it) the LORD: His going forth (cp. 2 Sam. 23:4. Mic. 5:2 John 16:28) is fixed as the dawn; and He shall come to us (cp. Ps. 72:6. Zech. 9:9. Mic. 5:2) as the rain (cp. Job 29:23), as the latter and former rain (cp. Deut. 11:14. See Jer. 5:24) to the earth. (He wont let you sprout without bringing you the latter rain.)
M T 6:4. Divine Forbearance. U 6:5-10:15. Incorrigibility. V 11:1-7. Contrasted Conduct. T 11:8-11. Divine Forbearance. U 11:12-12:14. Incorrigibility. V 13:1-8. Contrasted Conduct.
4 O Ephraim, what shall I do to you? O Judah, what shall I do to you? for your piety is as a morning cloud (your love is fickle), and as the early dew it goes away.
U W 6:5. Divine Judgments. X 6:6-11-. Incorrigibility. W 6:-11-7:1-. Divine Mercy. X 7:-1-10:15. Incorrigibility.
5 This is why I hewed them declared by the prophets (Heb. idiom, by which the declaration that a thing should be done is spoken of the personal act of doing it. See Jer. 1:18; and cp. Jer. 1:10; 5:14); I have slain them by the words of My mouth (they are going to the woodshed): and My judgments is as light that goes forth. (If you are deserving of them, you can count on it.)
6 For I desired loving-kindness, and not sacrifice; (from the heart. Quoted in Matt. 9;13; 12:7. Cp. Ps. 50:8,9. Prov. 21:3. Isa. 1:11) and the knowledge of God (cp. Jer. 9:23,24; 22:16) more than burnt offerings. (Instead of foolishness.)
7 But they like men have rebelled against the covenant (see Josh. 24:1,25): there have they dealt treacherously against Me. (They are traitors, treasonous.)
8 Gilead (probably Ramoth-Gilead, a city of refuge, and of the priests [Josh. 21:38]) is a city of them that work vanity (referring here to the sin of idolatry. Cp. "Beth-aven", 4:15), and is tracked with heel-marks of blood. (It was suppose to be safe there.)
9 And as gangs of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests (see Micah 6:6-8) murder in the way towards Sichem (as in Gen. 37:14. Sichem [like "Gilead", v.8] was a city of priests [Josh 21:21]): for they commit lewdness. (I.e. practice idolatry. Jeroboam built Shechem [now Nablous], and doubtless set up his calf-worship there [1 Kings 12:23])
10 I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the idolatry of Ephraim, Israel is defiled.
11 Also, O Judah, there is appointed a harvest for you, (I.e. a reaping time of judgment. See Jer. 51:33. Joel 3:13; and cp. Prov. 22:8. Gal. 6:7,8)
when I turned again the captivity of My People.