1 The people say, "Let's return to the Lord! He has hurt us, but he will be sure to heal us; he has wounded us, but he will bandage our wounds, won't he?
2 In two or three days he will revive us, and we will live in his presence.
3 Let us try to know the Lord. He will come to us as surely as the day dawns, as surely as the spring rains fall upon the earth."
4 But the Lord says, "Israel and Judah, what am I going to do with you? Your love for me disappears as quickly as morning mist; it is like dew, that vanishes early in the day.
5 That is why I have sent my prophets to you with my message of judgment and destruction. What I want from you is plain and clear:
6 I want your constant love, not your animal sacrifices. I would rather have my people know me than burn offerings to me. 1
7 "But as soon as they entered the land at Adam, they broke the covenant I had made with them.
8 Gilead is a city full of evil people and murderers.
9 The priests are like a gang of robbers who wait in ambush for someone. Even on the road to the holy place at Shechem they commit murder. And they do all this evil deliberately!
10 I have seen a horrible thing in Israel: my people have defiled themselves by worshiping idols.
11 "And as for you, people of Judah, I have set a time to punish you also for what you are doing.