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.”
6:4 What am I going to do with you, O Ephraim?
What am I going to do with you, O Judah?
it disappears as quickly as dawn’s dew! 6
1 tn The object (“him”) is omitted in the Hebrew text, but supplied in the translation for clarity.
2 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
3 tn The Hebrew infinitive construct with לְ (lamed) denotes purpose: “to know” (לָדַעַת, lada’at).
4 tn The vav prefixed to וְחַסְדְּכֶם (vÿkhasdÿkhem, “your faithfulness”) functions in an explanatory sense (“For”).
5 tn Heb “your faithfulness [so NCV; NASB “your loyalty”; NIV, NRSV, NLT “your love”] is like a morning cloud” (וְחַסְדְּכֶם כַּעֲנַן־בֹּקֶר, vÿkhasdÿkhem ka’anan-boqer).
sn The Hebrew poets and prophets frequently refer to the morning clouds as a simile for transitoriness (e.g., Job 7:9; Isa 44:22; Hos 6:4; 13:3; BDB 778 s.v. עָנָן 1.c). For discussion of this phenomena in Palestine, see Chaplin, PEQ (1883): 19.
6 tn Heb “the dew departing early” (BDB 1014 s.v. שָׁכַם); cf. NRSV “the dew that goes away early.” The Hiphil participle מַשְׁכִּים (mashkim) means “to depart early” (Gen 19:27; Josh 8:14; Judg 19:9). The idiom means “early morning” (1 Sam 17:16).