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Hosea 6:1-3

Context
Superficial Repentance Breeds False Assurance of God’s Forgiveness

6:1 “Come on! Let’s return to the Lord!

He himself has torn us to pieces,

but he will heal us!

He has injured 1  us,

but he will bandage our wounds!

6:2 He will restore 2  us in a very short time; 3 

he will heal us in a little while, 4 

so that we may live in his presence.

6:3 So let us acknowledge him! 5 

Let us seek 6  to acknowledge 7  the Lord!

He will come to our rescue as certainly as the appearance of the dawn,

as certainly as the winter rain comes,

as certainly as the spring rain that waters the land.”

1 tn “has struck”; NRSV “struck down.”

2 tn The Piel of חָיָה (khayah) may mean: (1) to keep/preserve persons alive from the threat of premature death (1 Kgs 20:31; Ezek 13:18; 18:27); (2) to restore the dead to physical life (Deut 32:39; 1 Sam 2:6; cf. NCV “will put new life in us”); or (3) to restore the dying back to life from the threat of death (Ps 71:20; BDB 311 s.v. חָיָה).

3 tn Heb “after two days” (so KJV, NIV, NRSV). The expression “after two days” is an idiom meaning “after a short time” (see, e.g., Judg 11:4; BDB 399 s.v. יוֹם 5.a).

4 tn Heb “on the third day” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV), which parallels “after two days” and means “in a little while.” The “2-3” sequence is an example of graded numerical parallelism (Prov 30:15-16, 18-19, 21-23, 24-28, 29-31). This expresses the unrepentant overconfidence of Israel that the Lord’s discipline of Israel would be relatively short and that he would restore them quickly.

5 tn The object (“him”) is omitted in the Hebrew text, but supplied in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “let us pursue in order to know.” The Hebrew term רָדַף (radaf, “to pursue”) is used figuratively: “to aim to secure” (BDB 923 s.v. רָדַף 2). It describes the pursuit of a moral goal: “Do not pervert justice…nor accept a bribe…pursue [רָדַף] justice” (Deut 16:20); “those who pursue [רָדַף] righteousness and who seek [בָּקַשׁ, baqash] the Lord” (Isa 51:1); “He who pursues [רָדַף] righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor” (Prov 21:20); “Seek [בָּקַשׁ] peace and pursue [רָדַף] it” (Ps 34:15); “they slander me when I pursue [רָדַף] good” (Ps 38:21).

7 tn The Hebrew infinitive construct with לְ (lamed) denotes purpose: “to know” (לָדַעַת, ladaat).



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