5:14 Seek good and not evil so you can live!
Then the Lord, the God who commands armies, just might be with you,
as you claim he is.
5:15 Hate what is wrong, love what is right!
1 tn Heb “Those who”; the referent (the Israelites) has been specified in the translation for clarity. In light of vv. 11-13, it is also possible that the words are directed at a more limited group within the nation – those with social and economic power.
2 tn There is an interesting wordplay here with the verb הָפַךְ (hafakh, “overturn, turn”). Israel “turns” justice into wormwood (cf. 6:12), while the Lord “turns” darkness into morning (v. 8; cf. 4:11; 8:10). Israel’s turning is for evil, whereas the Lord’s is to demonstrate his absolute power and sovereignty.
3 tn Heb “they throw righteousness.”
4 sn In v. 7 the prophet begins to describe the guilty Israelites, but then interrupts his word picture with a parenthetical, but powerful, description of the judge they must face (vv. 8-9). He resumes his description of the sinners in v. 10.
5 tn Heb “set up, establish.” In the ancient Near East it was the responsibility especially of the king to establish justice. Here the prophet extends that demand to local leaders and to the nation as a whole (cf. 5:24).
7 tn Or “will show favor to.”
8 tn Or “the remnant of” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); CEV “what’s left of your people.”
9 sn Joseph (= Ephraim and Manasseh), as the most prominent of the Israelite tribes, represents the entire northern kingdom.