Hosea 6 Commentary

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Hosea's Unconditional Love for Gomer

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Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission

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 I.  The Prodigal Wife, Hosea 1:1-3:5 
   A.  Her Unfaithfulness, Hosea 1:1-11 
   B.  Her Punishment, Hosea 2:1-13 
   C.  Her Restoration and Israel's, Hosea 2:14-23 
   D.  Her Redemption, Hosea 3:1-5 
II.  The Prodigal People, Hosea 4:1-14:9 
   A.  The Message of Judgment, Hosea 4:1-10:15 
      1.  The indictment, Hosea 4:1-19 
      2.  The verdict, Hosea 5:1-15 
      3.  The plea of Israel, Hosea 6:1-3 
      4.  The reply of the Lord, Hosea 6:4-11 
      5.  The crimes of Israel, Hosea 7:1-16 
      6.  The prophecy of judgment, Hosea 8:1-10:15 
    B.  The Message of Restoration, Hosea 11:1-14:9 
      1.  God's love for the prodigal people, Hosea 11:1-11 
      2.  God's chastisement of the prodigal people, Hosea 11:12-13:16 
      3.  God's restoration of the prodigal people, Hosea 14:1-9 
      Ryrie Study Bible

John Hannah's Outline  - The prophet's message 

The prophet's message  (Hosea 4:1-14:8)

  1. Jehovah's rejection of Israel  (Hosea 4:1-7:16)
    1. The faithlessness of Israel  (Hosea 4:1-19)
      1. The fact of apostasy  (Hosea 4:1-3)
      2. The reason for apostasy  (Hosea 4:4-10)
      3. The course of apostasy  (Hosea 4:11-19)
        1. The idolatry of Israel  (Hosea 4:11-13)
        2. The instruction of Judah  (Hosea 4:14-19)
    2. The repudiation of Israel  (Hosea 5:1-6:3)
      1. The rebuke of Israel  (Hosea 5:1-7)
      2. The judgment upon Israel  (Hosea 5:8-15)
      3. The invitation to Israel  (Hosea 6:1-3)
    3. The fickleness of Israel  (Hosea 6:4-11)
    4. The foolishness of Israel  (Hosea 7:1-16)
      1. The wickedness of Israel  (Hosea 7:1-7)
      2. The silliness of Israel  (Hosea 7:8-16) Hannah's Bible Outlines.

Robert Chisholm points out that there are 5 "Judgment-Salvation" cycles in the book of Hosea:

Hosea 1:2-9 Hosea 1:10-2:1
Hosea 2:2-13 Hosea 2:14-3:5
Hosea 4:1-5:14 Hosea 5:15-6:3
Hosea 6:4-11:7 Hosea 11:8-11
Hosea 11:12-13:16 Hosea 14:1-9

Hosea 6:1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.

BGT  Hosea 6:1 πορευθῶμεν καὶ ἐπιστρέψωμεν πρὸς κύριον τὸν θεὸν ἡμῶν ὅτι αὐτὸς ἥρπακεν καὶ ἰάσεται ἡμᾶς πατάξει καὶ μοτώσει ἡμᾶς

NET  Hosea 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 us, but he will bandage our wounds!

LXE  Hosea 6:1 In their affliction they will seek me early, saying, Let us go, and return to the Lord our God; for he has torn, and will heal us; he will smite, and bind us up.

NLT  Hosea 6:1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds.

KJV  Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

ESV  Hosea 6:1 "Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.

CSB  Hosea 6:1 Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, and He will heal us; He has wounded us, and He will bind up our wounds.

NIV  Hosea 6:1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.

NKJ  Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.

NRS  Hosea 6:1 "Come, let us return to the LORD; for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck down, and he will bind us up.

YLT  Hosea 6:1 'Come, and we turn back unto Jehovah, For He hath torn, and He doth heal us, He doth smite, and He bindeth us up.

NAB  Hosea 6:1 In their affliction, they shall look for me: "Come, let us return to the LORD, For it is he who has rent, but he will heal us; he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds.

NJB  Hosea 6:1 Come, let us return to Yahweh. He has rent us and he will heal us; he has struck us and he will bind up our wounds;

GWN  Hosea 6:1 Let's return to the LORD. Even though he has torn us to pieces, he will heal us. Even though he has wounded us, he will bandage our wounds.

BHT  Hosea 6:1 lükû wünäšûºbâ ´el-yhwh(´ädönäy) Kî hû´ †äräp wüyirPä´ëºnû yak wüyaHBüšëºnû

BBE  Hosea 6:1 Come, let us go back to the Lord; for he has given us wounds and he will make us well; he has given blows and he will give help.

 WTT Hosea 6:1 לְכוּ וְנָשׁוּבָה אֶל־יְהוָה כִּי הוּא טָרָף וְיִרְפָּאֵנוּ יַךְ וְיַחְבְּשֵׁנוּ (Hos 6:1 WTT)

  • let us return to the LORD - Ho 5:15 Ho 14:1. Dt 4:30, 31. Dt 30:2, 3, 8. 1 Sa 14:36. 1 Ch 28:9. 2 Ch 15:2. Job 33:27, 28. Ps 73:28. 145:18. Is 2:3-5 Isa 55:7. 58:2. Je 3:22. 50:4, 5. La 3:40, 41. Zeph 2:1-3. Zech 1:3. Ml 2:7. 3:7. Jn 14:6. Ac 3:19-21. Ep 3:12.
  • For He has torn us- Ho 5:12-14 Hos 13:7-9 De 32:39 1Sa 2:6 Job 5:18 34:29 Ps 30:7-11 Isa 29:13, Isa 30:22 Jer 30:12-17 Jer 33:5, 6 La 3:32,33  Ezek 7:9
  • He will heal -  Ex 15:26. Je 30:17.
  • He will bandage -  Job 5:18. Ep 2:13-18.

Hosea 6:1-3 is not as easy to interpret as it might appear at first glance. The main question as discussed below is does Hos 6:1-3 represent the people of Israel crying out, a remnant of people in the northern kingdom crying out, or the prophet crying out for the people voicing what they should be saying. We know from history that there was no revival in the Northern Kingdom. So one other interpretation is that these passages refer to a future time of national repentance and restoration of the nation of Israel which we know will occur at the end of this age. The preceding passage (Hos 5:15) seems to clearly be a passage referring to the distant future. Notice the key word "until" in Hos 5:15, indicating that God's hiding (so to speak) is only temporary but will come to an end when "they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face." That never happened in Hosea's day and this would definitely speak of a future fulfillment. It is in the context of that future fulfillment that we read Hosea's cry in (Hos 6:1-3). Notice the "will" phrases - "He will heal us...He will bandage us...He will revive us...He will raise us up." Hosea does not state these as God "might" do these things but that HE WILL do these things. So that begs the question - were these things accomplished in Hosea's day? Clearly the answer is no. Have they been accomplished since Hosea made this prophecy? While there is a nation of Israel, they are hardly living as "before Him." The only reasonable alternative (and it fits very nicely with the futuristic aspect of Hosea 5:15) is that these "WILL" promises in fact WILL be fulfilled in the future for the nation of Israel. God will heal them. God will bandage them. God will revive them. God will raise them up. It is in that future day when God restores and revives the nation of Israel that they will once again "live before Him." (Hos 6:2) This interpretation is based on a literal reading of the Scriptures and taking Israel as an actual nation and not as "the church" as sadly has been done by many writers even in evangelicalism in the twenty-first century. (See  Are Israel and the church the same thing? Does God still have a plan for Israel? and What is replacement theology / supersessionism?)

J Vernon McGee points out the "now and not yet" aspects of this section of Hosea's prophecy - This is God’s last call to the northern kingdom in that day (ED: THE "NOW" OF HOSEA'S DAY), but it also looks to the future of that nation when God will heal them (ED: THE "NOT YET" OF THE FUTURE); although He has torn them, He intends to bind them up. This should be a warning that God will judge the sin of any nation that makes a profession of being a Christian nation and which has had the benefit of the Word of God. (ED: OF COURSE MCGEE IS POINTING HIS FINGER AT POST-CHRISTIAN, EVEN ANTI-CHRISTIAN AMERICA!)

The KJV Bible Commentary - The prophet looks beyond both the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities down to the ultimate day when Israel as a nation will be converted (cf. Jer 31:31–34+) and God will set up His millennial kingdom over His people and reign for a thousand years. In response to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivity, a remnant will come to this recognition; but in that day the entire nation will come to this realization.

Boice - A convict was released from a Kansas prison after serving seven years for fraud. Upon his release he immediately acquired someone else's credit cards and went on a spending spree that took him across the state in first-class hotels, gourmet restaurants, and private planes. He was caught and brought to trial. In court the man confessed what he had done. But he asked the judge to pardon him on the ground that he had now learned his lesson. "It was wrong," he said. "I know that now, and I will never do anything like that again." The judge was unimpressed. He said, "I have learned that courtroom confessions last only until the criminal gets to the door." Then he committed the man to prison again. This story introduces the sixth and seventh chapters of Hosea's prophecy, for the repentance with which these chapters open is as ungenuine as the "about face" of this thief. Israel had rebelled against God and had suffered for it. A cry for repentance went out: "Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds" (6:1). This call was probably voiced with great intensity and even conviction, but it was not genuine. (Boice Expositional Commentary - The Minor Prophets Vol. 1 p. 55).

So while there is a call to Israel of Hosea's day, the primary fulfillment is when the future generation of Israel will return to Jehovah. So while this is a prophecy, at the time it was uttered, it was still a valid call by the prophet Hosea to the nation of Israel to repent, to turn from her many sins and to return to Jehovah, her "husband." (cf Jer 31:32, Isa 54:5). This was their only hope for revival. God would not revive an unrepentant people. Read the words in 2 Chr 7:13-14

“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people (ISRAEL WAS ON THE VERGE OF REAPING WHAT SHE HAD SOWN), 14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways (THAT IS CALLED REPENTANCE!), then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Recall the preceding context, the words in which God had just promised "I will go away and return to My place Until (until) they acknowledge their guilt (WOULD INCLUDE CONFESSION AND REPENTANCE) and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me." (Hos 5:15+) In that prophecy God promises that the nation of Israel will one day seek His face. That "national seeking" has not happened yet in Israel's history (individual Jews have repented yes, but never the majority of the nation). Indeed, instead of seeking God's face, they actually rejected His only Son, their (only) Redeemer, the Only Holy One Who could have set them free and healed them. The rejection of Jesus by the majority of the nation of Israel continues in our day (June, 2019) and will continue until the end of this present age when they are taken through the "Refiner's fire" (see Da 12:10+), the horrible three and one-half year Great Tribulation prophesied by Jesus  (begins in Mt 24:15+, named in Mt 24:21+) which is synonymous with Jeremiah's Time of Jacob's Distress, (Jer 30:7) and Daniel's time of distress (Da 12:1+).  It is at that time the Jews will finally recognize Jesus as their Messiah (see comments on Zechariah 12:10-14+, Zechariah 13:1+, Romans 11:26-27+). 

Here are Leon Woods comments on the preceding passage (Hos 5:15) - “The language would appear to reach into the Millennium, when the Israelites will indeed repent before God and seek his face (cf. 1:10–11; 2:14–23).”

Come, let us return to the LORD - Notice the "let us" so that Hosea himself is crying out to his people to return to Yahweh. As we know for history, Israel of Hosea's day did not return to the LORD. And so this is a call for national as well as personal repentance, revival and return.

What a dramatic contrast with their prior behavior described in Hos 5:13+ where "Ephraim saw his (moral/ethical) sickness and Judah his wound" and instead of returning to Yahweh, they sought a cure for their spiritual sickness from the pagans, the idolatrous Assyrians who would soon sweep down on them and destroy them even as God prophesied in Hos 5:14+ declaring "For I will be like a lion to Ephraim And like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear to pieces and go away, I will carry away, and there will be none to deliver." 

The generation in Hosea's day had forgotten the truth about God that this future generation will remember...

‘See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.  (Dt 32:39)

Jeremiah says "Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness.” “Behold, we come to You; For You are the LORD our God.  (Jer 3:22)

Alan Carr (Hosea 6:1-2 The Invitation To Contrition) - I would just remind us today that the Bible is a book filled with invitations. The first one is found in Gen. 7:1. In that verse God invites Noah and his family to come into the Ark for salvation from the flood. The last invitation is found in Rev. 22:20. In that verse John issues an invitation for the Lord to return quickly. I like both of those invitations. In fact, as I study the invitations I find throughout the Bible, I am discovering that I like them all....America needs a revival! She needs to be pulled back from the brink of disaster. But, before there will ever be a national revival in America, there must first be a revival within the churches of America. And, before there will be a revival in our churches, there must be revival in the hearts of individual believers.  This passage is call for the people of God to humble themselves before God to seek His face for forgiveness and restoration. It is, in essence, an Invitation To Contrition.  The word “ contrition” means “ sincere sorrow over sin, with a desire to repent of that sin.” It describes people who are broken hearted that they have wronged God. They are sorry for what they have done and they want to make things right with Him. It is a state of heart that God will honor,

Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed (contrite; Lxx =  tapeinos = humble) in spirit. 

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. 

Isa 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite. 

Henry Morris on return to the Lord - Following God's pronouncement in the preceding verse that He is awaiting Israel's confession and repentance, the prophet puts himself in the place of returning to Israel in the last days, prophetically anticipating her confession and resultant restoration.

For He has torn us, but He will heal us - For is a term of explanation and is explaining why Israel was interested in returning to the Lord (at least as voiced by the prophet Hosea).  Torn us alludes to the prophecy (Hos 5:14+) of God Himself like a lion tearing Israel and taking them away (into exile in Assyria). 

The Septuagint translates heal with the verb iaomai which literally speaks of deliverance from physical diseases and afflictions (Lk 22:51). The middle voice indicates God's personal involvement in the healing. This is significant because this same verb is used in the famous Messianic description in Isaiah 53:5 "But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed (Hebrew = rapha; Lxx = iaomai)." Indeed Jehovah Rapha (the God Who Heals) is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Who heals us from our deadly infection of sin by being made sin for us (in our place), taking our place on the Cross, that we might die with Him (Ro 6:6, Gal 2:20), that we might live now and forevermore in Him and with Him. In this context Jesus Christ is the healer of Israel, (cf Zech 13:1+)

He has wounded us, but He will bandage us - This is the confident certainty of a future generation of Israel who at the end of this age will have their centuries' long spiritual blindness cured so they can see their God and realize the truth of the words in Jeremiah 29 (which Christian's today often quote but too often forget the original application is to Israel at the end of this present age)...

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’  (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

Alan Carr applies this section - How many in this very room can remember a day when you were closer to the Lord than you are today? Can you remember a day when the things of God were more precious to your than they are now? Can you remember a time when His house, His Word, His business, and time spent with Him thrilled your soul far more than they do now? As I mentioned those six descriptive phrases God used to describe Israel, can you see parallels within your own life?

  • Is your devotion to God shallow?
  • Do you have a greater passion for sin than you do the things of God?
  • Have you compromised with the world?
  • Have you lost your power with the Lord?
  • Are you like a silly dove flitting here and there looking for help in every source but the Lord?
  • Are you like a deceitful bow that cannot be trusted to hit the target of righteous, faithful living?

If you find yourself in that condition today, you know you are not where you need to be with the Lord. Like the people in the church in Ephesus, you have “ left your first love”, Rev. 2:1-7. You may be going through the motions, but your heart is not aflame with a passionate love for the Lord Jesus Christ and the things of God. You have allowed your soul to drift away from God and this is His call to you to come back to Him! If I were you, I would respond to Him by coming back home today! (Read full sermon where Carr emphasizes need for personal revival in the church - Hosea 6:1-2 The Invitation To Contrition)

Hosea 6:2  "He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him.

BGT  Hosea 6:2 ὑγιάσει ἡμᾶς μετὰ δύο ἡμέρας ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ ἀναστησόμεθα καὶ ζησόμεθα ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ

NET  Hosea 6:2 He will restore us in a very short time; he will heal us in a little while, so that we may live in his presence.

LXE  Hosea 6:2 After two days he will heal us: in the third day we shall arise, and live before him, and shall know him:

NLT  Hosea 6:2 In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence.

KJV  Hosea 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

ESV  Hosea 6:2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.

CSB  Hosea 6:2 He will revive us after two days, and on the third day He will raise us up so we can live in His presence.

NIV  Hosea 6:2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.

NKJ  Hosea 6:2 After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight.

NRS  Hosea 6:2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.

YLT  Hosea 6:2 He doth revive us after two days, In the third day He doth raise us up, And we live before Him.

NAB  Hosea 6:2 He will revive us after two days; on the third day he will raise us up, to live in his presence.

NJB  Hosea 6:2 after two days he will revive us, on the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his presence.

GWN  Hosea 6:2 After two days he will revive us. On the third day he will raise us so that we may live in his presence.

BHT  Hosea 6:2 yüHayyëºnû miyyömäºyim Bayyôm haššülîšî yüqìmëºnû wüniHyè lüpänäyw

BBE  Hosea 6:2 After two days he will give us life, and on the third day he will make us get up, and we will be living before him.

WTT Hosea 6:2 יְחַיֵּנוּ מִיֹּמָיִם בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי יְקִמֵנוּ וְנִחְיֶה לְפָנָיו 

  • revive us. Ho 13:14. Ezra 9:8. Ps 71:20, 80:18, 85:6. Is 26:19, 20. Hab 3:2.
  • after two days. Ps 30:4, 5, 102:13, 16. 1 Co 15:4, 20.
  • the third day. 2 Ki 20:5. Ps 90:4, 118:24. Is 24:22. Lk 13:32 2 Pe 3:8. Re 11:11
  • raise us up. Ezek 37:11-13. Da 12:2. Am 9:11, 14, 15. Lk 2:25. Ac 1:6, 3:19-21.
  • we may live. Ge 17:18. Ps 61:7 Jn 14:19. Ro 14:8.
  • before Him - in his sight. Ho 7:2. Jb 19:26. Is 24:23. Mt 19:28. 23:39. Lk 21:36. Jn 1:51 1 J 3:2.


He will revive us after two days (cf Ezek 37:5+)  - One might interpret this as a statement by the people of Israel in Hosea's day, but if so, they were clearly not sincere in their cry for revival. And the interpretation shifts to a future day when God will in fact revive the nation. 

Of course this time phrase makes it very tempting to associate the resurrection of the nation on "the third day" to the resurrection of Jesus on the third day and some commentaries do take this approach, but not all. In context, what Hosea is saying is that if Israel would repent, He would intervene quickly (2-3 days is not literal but depicts a short time). Does that preclude any application to the "third day" motif so frequently mentioned by Jesus? You be the judge on that one! 

MacArthur agrees that after two days is  "Not a reference to the resurrection of Christ (illness, not death, is in the context), but to the quickness of healing and restoration (cf. the quickness with which the dry bones of Ezekiel 37+ respond). Numbers are used similarly elsewhere (e.g., Job 5:19; Pr 6:16; 30:15, 18; Am 1:3)." (MSB)

NET Note says after two days "is an idiom meaning “after a short time” (see, e.g., Jdg 11:4; BDB 399 s.v. יוֹם 5.a)....“on the third day”...parallels after two days and means “in a little while.” The “2–3” sequence is an example of graded numerical parallelism (Pr 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."

He will raise us up on the third day - (cf Ezek 37:11-13+) - If we read this as if Israel was expecting that God would revive them soon, which is one way it could be read, as Assyria's destruction of Israel proved, this prophetic declaration awaits a future fulfillment at the end of this age, if one accepts a literal interpretation of the Scripture. 

David A Hubbard comments - The duration mentioned is the period of time after which decomposition of the body sets in (cf. Jon. 2:1; John 11:39). The verbs revive us (cf. 1 Sam. 2:6), and raise us up (cf. Isa. 26:19) are frequent expressions for resuscitation and resurrection. Such language anticipates the clearer accounts of national resurrection after death in exile or through persecution found in Ezekiel chapter 37 and Daniel 12:1-2. Hosea 6:2 may have been part of what Paul alluded to in his resurrection argument (1 Cor. 15:4): ‘that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures’, although we have no direct record of apostolic or patristic use of this proof-text before Tertullian (Wolff, p. 118). If recovery from sickness not revival from death (so Wolff, p. 117) is the meaning, the time-frame seems trivial. A three-day illness, especially in antiquity, would have been no big thing. The consequence of the longed-for national resurrection is a life lived in Yahweh’s presence, where joy is available to the people (Ps. 16:11) and praise to Yahweh is their constant response (Pss 6:5; 30:9; 88:10-12). It is just possible that the first word of verse 3 should be attached to the end of verse 2 as a second statement of consequence: ‘and we shall know [him]’ (BHS; Andersen, p. 422). The clause would add a climax to verse 2 akin to that of 2:20. (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries – Hosea)

J Vernon McGee on the third day - “In the third day he will raise us up”—this is very interesting in light of the fact that the resurrection of Christ was on the third day. He was raised for the justification of both Jew and Gentile. This will also be applicable in that future day when God will bring Israel back into that land and bring them to Himself. In Ezekiel 37+ God speaks of that day as a resurrection, and that resurrection will be based on the One who was raised on the third day; for in Christ’s resurrection there is provided, for any man who will accept it, a redemption and a justification which will bring him into a right relationship with Almighty God. The apostle Paul develops the subject of the future of Israel in Romans 11. In our day, God’s purpose in building His church is to draw to Himself both Jew and Gentile, people out of every tongue and tribe and nation, who are going to come before Him to worship. When God completes His purpose in the church and takes it out of the world, He will again turn to the nation Israel and will raise her up. Every prophet who wrote in Scripture—and even some who didn’t write—spoke of God’s future purpose for the nation Israel. Even before the children of Israel could get into the land, Moses began to talk about the coming day when God would restore them back to the land for the third time. The third time—on the third day, so to speak—the restoration to the land would be a permanent restoration. There is a correlation between this restoration and Christ’s being raised from the dead on the third day. (Thru the Bible)

Henry Morris on the third day -  Two prophetic mysteries are suggested here. Jesus Christ, representing the true Israel in His death, was raised the third day. The earthly nation of Israel, seemingly "dead" as a nation for about two thousand years, will be raised for her thousand-year millennial reign when she returns to Messiah, and He to her at the end of this present age (Ezekiel 37:12-14). On the divine equation that "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years" (2 Peter 3:8). (Defender's Study Bible)

Cornerstone Bible Commentary on the third day - Hosea’s presentation of his assurance of God’s forgiveness and restoration of Israel is accompanied by the motif of the third day. From the beginning of Israel’s redemption, the third day plays an important part. God appeared to Israel on Mount Sinai on the third day (Exod 19:10–16). The third day was a day of crucial decision (1 Kgs 12:12; Esther 4:16; 5:1). It was also a day of healing and sacrifice (Lev 7:17–18; 19:6–7; Num 19:12, 19–20). Accordingly, it was a day fit for Hezekiah’s recovery (2 Kgs 20:8). The third day, of course, is also significant for the capstone of Jesus’ saving work. Jesus often told his disciples of a coming third day when, after his death, he would rise again (Matt 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; Luke 9:22). And so it came to pass, for Christ was gloriously raised on the third day (Luke 24:21; 1 Cor 15:4). All along the way, it would seem, God was preparing people for the great climactic event: the granting of new life and the institution of a new covenant with believers through the death and resurrection of his Son and our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

NET Note on revive (NET - "restore") - 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 (Dt 32:39; 1 Sa 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).

That we may live before Him (cf Ezek 37:14+) - Why would God be willing to revive and restore a repentant people? Here is the answer - that they might live in His presence. This is the heart of God, for not just wayward Israel in Hosea's day, but for every son and daughter to live in His glorious presence, fellowshipping with Him, worshipping Him, serving Him. Is this indeed not what happens when any sinner repents and believes in Jesus? They enter into a covenant union with God, which admittedly is still hampered by our residual sin nature, the evil world system and the deceptive devil, and yet it is still a foretaste of a promised future day spoken of for example by Jude when he wrote...

Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25+)

Hosea 6:3  "So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth."

BGT  Hosea 6:3 καὶ γνωσόμεθα διώξομεν τοῦ γνῶναι τὸν κύριον ὡς ὄρθρον ἕτοιμον εὑρήσομεν αὐτόν καὶ ἥξει ὡς ὑετὸς ἡμῖν πρόιμος καὶ ὄψιμος τῇ γῇ

NET  Hosea 6:3 So let us acknowledge him! Let us seek to acknowledge 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."

LXE  Hosea 6:3 let us follow on to know the Lord: we shall find him ready as the morning, and he will come to us as the early and latter rain to the earth.

NLT  Hosea 6:3 Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring."

KJV  Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

ESV  Hosea 6:3 Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth."

CSB  Hosea 6:3 Let us strive to know the LORD. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land.

NIV  Hosea 6:3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."

NKJ  Hosea 6:3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.

NRS  Hosea 6:3 Let us know, let us press on to know the LORD; his appearing is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us like the showers, like the spring rains that water the earth."

YLT  Hosea 6:3 And we know -- we pursue to know Jehovah, As the dawn prepared is His going forth, And He cometh in as a shower to us, As gathered rain -- sprinkling earth.'

NAB  Hosea 6:3 Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD; as certain as the dawn is his coming, and his judgment shines forth like the light of day! He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain that waters the earth."

NJB  Hosea 6:3 Let us know, let us strive to know Yahweh; that he will come is as certain as the dawn. He will come to us like a shower, like the rain of springtime to the earth.

GWN  Hosea 6:3 Let's learn about the LORD. Let's get to know the LORD. He will come to us as sure as the morning comes. He will come to us like the autumn rains and the spring rains that water the ground.

BHT  Hosea 6:3 wünëd`â nirDüpâ lädaº`at ´et-yhwh(´ädönäy) KüšaºHar näkôn mô|cä´ô wüyäbô´ kaGGeºšem läºnû Kümalqôš yôºrè ´äºrec

BBE  Hosea 6:3 And let us have knowledge, let us go after the knowledge of the Lord; his going out is certain as the dawn, his decisions go out like the light; he will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth. 

WTT Hosea 6:3 וְנֵדְעָה נִרְדְּפָה לָדַעַת אֶת־יְהוָה כְּשַׁחַר נָכוֹן מוֹצָאוֹ וְיָבוֹא כַגֶּשֶׁם לָנוּ כְּמַלְקוֹשׁ יוֹרֶה אָרֶץ 

  • So let us know. Ho 2:20. Is 54:13. Je 24:7. 31:34. Mi 4:2. Jn 17:3. if. Pr 2:1-5, 9. Mt 13:11, 12. Jn 7:17. 8:12, 31, 32. Ac 3:19-21. 17:11, 12. Ph 3:13-15. He 3:14.
  • let us press on to know the LORD. Pr 23:12. Da 11:33. Mt 24:13. Lk 8:11-15. 22:31, 32. Jn 8:31. 15:9, 10. Ac 11:23. 14:22. Ro 2:7-9. Ga 4:11. 5:7. 6:9. Col 1:10. 1 Th 3:5. 2 P 3:18.
  • His going forth. 2 S 23:4. Ps 19:4-10. Pr 4:18. Mi 5:2. Ml 4:2. Lk 1:78, 79. Jn 16:28. 2 P 1:19. Re 22:16.
  • is as certain - prepared. or, sure, or fixed. Ge 41:32. Dt 13:14 (certain). 2 S 7:16, 26 (established). Ps 51:10, 57:7, 93:2. Pr 4:18 (perfect). Is 2:2. Mic 4:1.
  • as the dawn. Ho 14:5. Ge 8:22. 2 S 23:3-5. Ps 30:5. 49:14. 90:14. 110:3. Je 31:35, 36. 33:25, 26. 2 P 1:19.
  • And He will come to us. Ps 72:6. Zc 9:9. Mi 5:2.
  • like the rain. Ho 10:12. 14:5. Dt 32:2. Jb 29:23. Ps 65:9. 72:6. Is 5:6. 32:15. 44:3. Ezk 36:25. Jl 2:23, 24. Mic 5:7. Zec 10:1.
  • Like the spring rain former rain. or, as the latter rain sprinkling the earth. Dt 11:14 1 Ch 10:3 (archers). 2 Ch 35:23 (archers). Pr 26:18 (casteth). Je 5:24.


This of course was not Jehovah's response in Hosea's time but will be His response in the future when the nation repents and returns. 

So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD - Know is yada which speaks of intimate knowledge (and was used of a husband "knowing" his wife - Ge 4:1 "had relations" = literally "knew). This cry from Hosea (notice he says "us" so he includes himself) as discussed above could be interpreted as a cry to the nation of Israel in Hosea's day to seek to know God. Hosea's exhortation however was rejected by Israel. And so His cry echoes down the corridors of time (and applies to Gentiles as well as Jews, the latter being the primary recipients) and ultimately it awaits a future fulfillment. Indeed, when the prophecy of the New Covenant is fulfilled to Israel and Judah God says

“They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know (yada) the LORD,’ for they will all know (yada) Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”  (Jer 31:34+)

 Let us press on pictures one actively pursuing or chasing after the LORD. The Septuagint translates it with the verb dioko picturing a zealous pursuit, an earnest striving to know God (cf Paul's heart in Php 3:14+).

Recall that Israel's failure to know Jehovah was a major component of God's controversy with Israel...

Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness Or knowledge of God in the land.  (Hos 4:1+)

NET Note - 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).

His going forth is as certain as the dawn - How certain is it that the sun will arise this morning? That's how certain is God's going forth! The NET renders it "He will come to our rescue as certainly as the appearance of the dawn." 

And He will come to us like the rain Like the spring rain watering the earth - Better rendered "as certainly as the winter rain comes, as certainly as the spring rain that waters the land." (NET) or the NIV = "he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth." Hosea is describing the well-known occurrence of the early and latter rains, the former occurring in the autumn/winter to soften the soil for later planting of seeds, and the latter rain in the spring enabling the seeds to germinate and produce crops. What is the simile (figure of speech) "like the rain" envisioning? refreshment, growth, life-giving, etc. This is what the presence of the Lord will be like when the nation of Israel returns to Him in the future, for then He would come to them (like the rain). 

God's coming like refreshing "rain" in the time of revival of Israel which is in marked contrast to His dealing with the sinful, unrepentant nation (north and south kingdoms) as a moth and rottenness in (Hos 5:12+).

Richard Patterson applies this section to Christians - The emphasis in this passage on the crucial importance of knowing God intimately reminds believers that such a quest is continuously theirs. Paul declared that, by faith in the resurrected Christ, the believer can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead (Phil 3:10). He went on to point out, however, that this task consumes a lifetime. Accordingly, he remarked that his focus was on forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead—the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven (Phil 3:13b–14). May we therefore be “third-day Christians”—those who have put implicit faith in the One Who was crucified for our sins and raised on the third day (1 Cor 15:4) to make us right with God (Rom 4:25). All Christians may join in Paul’s journey to know God with ever increasing intimacy. For such is the opportunity available to them through the power of the resurrected Christ. In union with him they may live out the new life he has granted in all its fullness (Ro 6:4, 10–11; 1 Pet 2:24). (Cornerstone Bible Commentary)

Warren Wiersbe comments on Hosea 6:1-3 - To begin with, their concern was for healing and not for cleansing. They saw their nation in difficulty and wanted God to “make things right,” but they did not come with broken hearts and surrendered wills. They wanted happiness, not holiness, a change of circumstances, but not a change in character. Many times in my own ministry I’ve met people in trouble who treated God like a celestial lifeguard who should rescue them from danger but not deliver them from their sins. They shed tears of remorse over their suffering, but not tears of repentance over their sin. Furthermore, the people of Israel thought that the remedy would work quickly: “After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will raise us up” (6:2). What blind optimism! They were like the false prophets in Jeremiah’s day who offered the nation superficial remedies but never got to the heart of the problem (Jer. 6:14; 8:11–16). They were like physicians putting suntan lotion on a cancerous tumor instead of calling for drastic surgery. Expecting a “quick fix” is one of the marks of an unrepentant heart that doesn’t want to pay the price for deep cleansing (Ps. 51:6–7). There is a third evidence of their shallowness: they saw forgiveness and restoration as a “mechanical” thing that was guaranteed and not as a relational matter that involved getting right with God. To paraphrase Hosea 6:3, “If we seek Him, His blessing is sure to come just as the dawn comes each morning and the rains come each spring and winter.” This is formula religion, like getting a candy bar out of a vending machine: put in the money, push the button, and out comes the candy. The Christian life is a relationship with God, and the relationships aren’t based on cut-and-dried formulas. One more evidence of their shallowness is the fact that they depended on religious words rather than righteous deeds. When we truly repent, our words will come from broken hearts and they will cost us something. Hosea considered words to be like “spiritual sacrifices” brought to the Lord (14:2), and we must not give Him something cheap (2 Sam. 24:24). Words can reveal or conceal, depending on the honesty and humility of the sinner. We must take to heart the warning in Ecclesiastes 5:1–2. (Be Amazed)

Related Resource:

David Guzik - This passage along with others (Deuteronomy 11:14, Joel 2:23) were taken to give the name of the “Latter Rain Movement” starting in 1948.

In 1948, a Oneness Pentecostal minister named William Branham (What is Branhamism?) held meetings at an orphanage and school founded by a Foursquare Church in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Those attending the meeting were so impressed by the supernatural works – healing, prophecy, word of knowledge, and strange phenomenon – that they considered it a beginning of a new work of God on earth. In their newsletter, this is how they described it:

“All the great outpourings of the past have had their outstanding truths. Luther’s truth was Justification by Faith. Wesley’s was Sanctification. The Baptists taught the premillenial coming of Christ. The Missionary Alliance taught Divine Healing. The Pentecostal outpouring has restored the Baptism of the Holy Ghost to its rightful place. But the next great outpouring is going to be marked by all these other truths plus such a demonstration of the nine gifts of the Spirit as the world, not even the Apostolic world, has ever witnessed before. This revival will be short and will be the last before the Rapture of the Church.”

They felt that the Pentecostal denominations of their day were “dead” and “dry,” and needed the blessing of the “Latter Rain,” which would especially be marked by miraculous signs and supernatural works. The Pentecostal denominations – notably the Assemblies of God and the Foursquare Church denounced the Branham and the Latter Rain movement for both their teaching and practices.

William Branham continued, drawing large crowds to his prophecy and healing crusades. He and a young evangelist named Oral Roberts led the Latter Rain Movement for several years. Branham’s doctrine became more and more aberrant. Branham believed that the word of God was given in three forms: the Zodiac, the Egyptian pyramids, and the written scriptures. He also taught the “serpent seed” doctrine, which was based on his interpretation of Genesis 3:13, saying that Eve had sexual relations with the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

The Latter Rain Movement, as led by William Branham and Oral Roberts eventually faded from prominence. Branham himself died in a traffic collision with a drunk driver in 1965. He died on Christmas Eve, and his faithful followers believed that he would rise from the dead, so they delayed his burial for several days. But the influence of the Latter Rain movement lived on. The Latter Rain popularized many attitudes and doctrines popular in revival movements today:

  • The “five-fold ministry” and “restoration of apostle and prophets”
  • The “foundational truths” of Hebrews 6:1-2
  • An emphasis on signs and wonders as marks of true revival
  • A strong emphasis on unity
  • Replacement theology, replacing Israel with the church
  • Dominion theology, saying the church will conquer and rule the world
  • An elitist attitude, promoting the idea of a group of “superchristians”

Many researchers – and many within these modern groups today – believe that many modern “revival” movements are really just a continuation of the Latter Rain movement. Movements such as “Joel’s Army,” (What is Joel’s Army?) the Manifest Sons of God, the Dominion Movement, the Kansas City Prophets, the Toronto Blessing, the Pensacola Revival (see Todd Bentley) are connected in some way to the Latter Rain movement. For example, Paul Cain – later to re-emerge as head of the Kansas City Prophets in 1989 – traveled with William Branham and called him “the greatest prophet that ever lived.” (The Enduring Word Bible Commentary – Hosea)

Hosea 6:4  What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud And like the dew which goes away early.

BGT  Hosea 6:4 τί σοι ποιήσω Εφραιμ τί σοι ποιήσω Ιουδα τὸ δὲ ἔλεος ὑμῶν ὡς νεφέλη πρωινὴ καὶ ὡς δρόσος ὀρθρινὴ πορευομένη

NET  Hosea 6:4 What am I going to do with you, O Ephraim? What am I going to do with you, O Judah? For your faithfulness is as fleeting as the morning mist; it disappears as quickly as dawn's dew!

LXE  Hosea 6:4 What shall I do unto thee, Ephraim? What shall I do to thee, Juda? whereas your mercy is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew that goes away.

NLT  Hosea 6:4 "O Israel and Judah, what should I do with you?" asks the LORD. "For your love vanishes like the morning mist and disappears like dew in the sunlight.

KJV  Hosea 6:4 O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.

ESV  Hosea 6:4 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away.

CSB  Hosea 6:4 What am I going to do with you, Ephraim? What am I going to do with you, Judah? Your loyalty is like the morning mist and like the early dew that vanishes.

NIV  Hosea 6:4 "What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.

NKJ  Hosea 6:4 "O Ephraim, what shall I do to you? O Judah, what shall I do to you? For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud, And like the early dew it goes away.

NRS  Hosea 6:4 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes away early.

YLT  Hosea 6:4 What do I do to thee, O Ephraim? What do I do to thee, O Judah? Your goodness is as a cloud of the morning, And as dew rising early -- going.

NAB  Hosea 6:4 What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your piety is like a morning cloud, like the dew that early passes away.

NJB  Hosea 6:4 What am I to do with you, Ephraim? What am I to do with you, Judah? For your love is like morning mist, like the dew that quickly disappears.

GWN  Hosea 6:4 "What should I do with you, Ephraim? What should I do with you, Judah? Your love is like fog in the morning. It disappears as quickly as the morning dew.

BHT  Hosea 6:4 mâ ´e|`éSè-llükä ´epraºyim mâ ´e`éSè-llükä yühûdâ wüHasDükem Ka|`ánan-Böºqer wüka††al mašKîm hölëk

BBE  Hosea 6:4 O Ephraim, what am I to do to you? O Judah, what am I to do to you? For your love is like a morning cloud, and like the dew which goes early away.

WTT Hosea 6:4 מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה־לְּךָ אֶפְרַיִם מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה־לְּךָ יְהוּדָה וְחַסְדְּכֶם כַּעֲנַן־בֹּקֶר וְכַטַּל מַשְׁכִּים הֹלֵךְ 

  • what. Ge 18:2. Da 11:8. Is 5:3, 4. Je 3:19. 5:7, 9, 23. 9:7. Mt 23:37, 38. Lk 13:7-9. 19:41, 42.
  • What shall I do with you.  Aporia; or, Doubt  An expression of feeling by way of doubt. The speaker expresses himself as though he were at a loss as to what course to pursue. For other instances of this figure see Ho 11:8. Mt 21:25, 26. Lk 16:3. for. Jg 2:18, 19. Ps 78:34-37. 106:12, 13. Je 3:10. 34:15, 16. Mt 13:21. 2 P 2:20–22.
  • For your loyalty is like a morning cloud or, mercy, or, kindness Ho 13:3.
  • like the dew which goes away early. Mk 4:17. Lk 8:13.


After giving us a glimpse of the hope filled future of the nation of Israel, now Hosea returns to focus upon the present sinful condition of the Northern Kingdom of Ephraim (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. 

John Hannah entitles Hosea 6:4-11 "The fickleness of Israel" 

ESV Study Bible - One must not miss this outburst of emotion, like an anguished father not knowing what to do with his wayward child, or a husband agonizingly frustrated with his promiscuous bride (cf. 11:8; Luke 15:20)

What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? - God addresses all 12 tribes, the context declaring that they have gone away from their early devotion to Jehovah. And from other texts we know that they had replaced Jehovah God with idols that are no gods at all!

For your loyalty is like a morning cloud - Now He describes their fickleness for one that is "fickle" is marked by erratic changeableness in affections or attachments. And so they are like a morning cloud, which is fleeting and soon disappears. So to is their loyalty to Jehovah!

THOUGHT - Can we not all identify with this fleeting loyalty at times in our lives? Is not every sin we commit (especially when we do it knowingly), evidence of a lapse of loyalty to the eminently Loyal One? Indeed, it is. And sometimes their are seasons we might name "Fleeting Loyalty." 

Loyalty (02617) see below for hesed/chesed/heced.

And like the dew which goes away early - The second metaphor is just as vivid as the former and so the truth of their transient, evanescent loyalty is hammered home by another "water vapor" metaphor.

Boice on like a morning cloud ... like the dew  - This does not mean that the people have a genuine love for God but only that what they do have does not stand the test of time. It means that this "love" is inadequate. In fact, it is so inadequate it cannot really be called love. What the people of Israel probably had in this period was an emotional attachment to the ancient God of their fathers, much the way some people today consider themselves "Christians" because of the genuine faith of their parents or grandparents. The people of Israel were worshipers of Jehovah, much like those in America, Britain, Canada, and other western nations are "worshipers" of Christ. It is all meaningless, says God. It is as passing as morning mist or dew. (An Expositional Commentary – The Minor Prophets, Volume 1: Hosea-Jonah)

Hubbard comments "the similes of Yahweh’s intervention (Hos 6:3) are more than matched by other similes of Israel’s violation of covenant responsibility—vanishing cloud and evaporating dew (Hos 6:4). Talk of covenant loyalty, of hunting down the knowledge of God (Hos 6:3), is cheap. When the winds of promiscuity blow, when the sun of competition blazes, Ephraim and Judah behave alike: they fail to treat each other or their fellow citizens with the covenant (steadfast) love that Yahweh has shown to them (see Hosea 2:19). In a land that depended on predictable rain and persistent dew, the figures carry impressive power. The poignant questions of verse 4 are a major link in a chain of complaints that end at Hosea 11:8-9." (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries – Hosea)

Hosea 6:5  Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth

BGT  Hosea 6:5 διὰ τοῦτο ἀπεθέρισα τοὺς προφήτας ὑμῶν ἀπέκτεινα αὐτοὺς ἐν ῥήμασιν στόματός μου καὶ τὸ κρίμα μου ὡς φῶς ἐξελεύσεται

NET  Hosea 6:5 Therefore, I will certainly cut you into pieces at the hands of the prophets; I will certainly kill you in fulfillment of my oracles of judgment; for my judgment will come forth like the light of the dawn.

LXE  Hosea 6:5 Therefore have I mown down your prophets; I have slain them with the word of my mouth: and my judgment shall go forth as the light.

NLT  Hosea 6:5 I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces-- to slaughter you with my words, with judgments as inescapable as light.

KJV  Hosea 6:5 Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.

ESV  Hosea 6:5 Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes forth as the light.

CSB  Hosea 6:5 This is why I have used the prophets to cut them down; I have killed them with the words of My mouth. My judgment strikes like lightning.

NIV  Hosea 6:5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth; my judgments flashed like lightning upon you.

NKJ  Hosea 6:5 Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of My mouth; And your judgments are like light that goes forth.

NRS  Hosea 6:5 Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets, I have killed them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes forth as the light.

YLT  Hosea 6:5 Therefore I have hewed by prophets, I have slain them by sayings of My mouth, And My judgments to the light goeth forth.

NAB  Hosea 6:5 For this reason I smote them through the prophets, I slew them by the words of my mouth;

NJB  Hosea 6:5 This is why I have hacked them to pieces by means of the prophets, why I have killed them with words from my mouth, why my sentence will blaze forth like the dawn-

GWN  Hosea 6:5 That is why I cut you down by sending the prophets. I killed you with the words from my mouth. My judgments shined on you like light.

BHT  Hosea 6:5 `al-Kën HäcaºbTî Bannübî´îm háragTîm Bü´imrê-pî ûmišPä†Êºkä ´ôr yëcë´

BBE  Hosea 6:5 So I have had it cut in stones; I gave them teaching by the words of my mouth;

WTT Hosea 6:5 עַל־כֵּן חָצַבְתִּי בַּנְּבִיאִים הֲרַגְתִּים בְּאִמְרֵי־פִי וּמִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ אוֹר יֵצֵא 

  • Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets 1 Sa 13:13. 15:22, 23. 1 Ki 14:6-12. 17:1. 18:17, 18. 2 K 1:16. 2 Ch 21:12-17. Is 58:1. Je 1:10, 18. 5:14. 13:13, 14. 23:29. Ezk 3:9, 10. 43:3. Ac 7:31-44.
  • I have slain them by the words of My mouth. 1 K 19:17. Is 11:4. Je 23:29. 2 Co 10:5, 6. He 4:12. Re 1:16. 2:16. 19:15, 21.
  • by the words of My mouth Ge 2:17.
  • And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth. Ho 14:9. Ge 18:25. Dt 33:2 Jb 34:10, 11. Ps 37:6. 119:120. Zep 3:5. Ro 2:5. Ep 6:17. 1 P 2:7.

Therefore - Term of conclusion. Base on their fickleness, God had sent His prophets to correct them. 

I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets - Verbally the words of the prophets cut to the quick, like a surgeon's scalpel seeking to remove the deadly cancerous lesion before it kills the host. We see this pattern in the passages directed at the Southern Kingdom (but the same pattern held for the northern kingdom)...

And the LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place;  but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy. (2 Chr 36:15-16)

See the repeated refrain of God sending prophets "again and again" (to Judah) -Jer. 25:3; Jer. 25:4; Jer. 26:5; Jer. 29:19; Jer. 32:33; Jer. 35:14; Jer. 35:15; Jer. 44:4

Here as some prophetic words that speak of hewing the nation to pieces...

See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, To pluck up and to break down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant.”  (Jer. 1:10)

Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, “Because you have spoken this word, Behold, I am making My words in your mouth fire And this people wood, and it will consume them.  (Jer. 5:14)

I have slain them by the words of My mouth - Not literally slain with His words but figuratively (but when the prophecies were fulfilled they would literally be slain). This recalls God's testimony about His words in Jeremiah 23:29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?

The prophets announced God’s destructive judgments, which then fell on His unrepentant people who had deaf ears, stiff necks and hardened hearts.

Paul writes that the word is "the sword of the Spirit." (Eph 6:17)

NET Note - The prophets are pictured as the executioners of Israel and Judah because they announced their imminent destruction. The prophetic word was endowed with the power of fulfillment.

And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth - Hos 6:3 spoke of a "positive" going forth of God ("as certain as the dawn"), but their lack of repentance will reap His going forth in judgment.

The NET renders it "My judgment will come forth like the light of the dawn," the idea being that God's judgments as inescapable as the sun rising in the morning.

The NIV renders it "my judgments flashed like lightning upon you," which is a possible rendering for the Hebrew word for "light " is translated God's "lightning" in Job 36:32 “He covers His hands with the lightning , and commands it to strike the mark." If this is the intended meaning it gives us a striking picture (pun intended) of the power, suddenness and destructiveness of the "light" which goes forth as His judgments.

Nelson Study Bible - This comparison suggests that God’s judgment, like bright sunlight, was obvious to all; or that like a bolt of lightning or a blinding flash of light, it came swiftly.

Constable - These messages had been as destructive as lightning bolts (cf. Amos 4:6-11).


POSB - A fleeting, temporary love is unacceptable to God. A lukewarm, indifferent heart is unacceptable. They are both repulsive to Him. If we make false professions and act self-righteous, we will bring God’s hand of judgment down upon us. And if our love for the Lord is half-hearted or insincere, the Lord actually says that He will spue or spit us out of His mouth (Rev. 3:15-16). (The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible)

Wiersbe - God doesn't want our relationship with Him to be one of shallow, transient feelings and empty words and rituals, hearts that are enthusiastic one day and frigid the next. (Ibid)

Hosea 6:6  For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

BGT  Hosea 6:6 διότι ἔλεος θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν καὶ ἐπίγνωσιν θεοῦ ἢ ὁλοκαυτώματα

NET  Hosea 6:6 For I delight in faithfulness, not simply in sacrifice; I delight in acknowledging God, not simply in whole burnt offerings.

LXE  Hosea 6:6 For I will have mercy rather than sacrifice, and the knowledge of God rather than whole-burnt-offerings.

NLT  Hosea 6:6 I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.

KJV  Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

ESV  Hosea 6:6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

CSB  Hosea 6:6 For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

NIV  Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

NKJ  Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

NRS  Hosea 6:6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

YLT  Hosea 6:6 For kindness I desired, and not sacrifice, And a knowledge of God above burnt-offerings.

NAB  Hosea 6:6 For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than holocausts.

NJB  Hosea 6:6 for faithful love is what pleases me, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not burnt offerings.

GWN  Hosea 6:6 I want your loyalty, not your sacrifices. I want you to know me, not to give me burnt offerings.

BHT  Hosea 6:6 Kî Heºsed HäpaºcTî wülö´-zäºbaH wüdaº`at ´élöhîm më`ölôt

BBE  Hosea 6:6 Because my desire is for mercy and not offerings; for the knowledge of God more than for burned offerings.

WTT Hosea 6:6 כִּי חֶסֶד חָפַצְתִּי וְלֹא־זָבַח וְדַעַת אֱלֹהִים מֵעֹלוֹת (Hos 6:6 WTT)

  • For I delight in loyalty 1 Sa 15:22. Ps 50:8, 9. Pr 21:3. Ec 5:1. Is 1:11-17. 58:6-10. Je 7:22, 23. Da 4:27. Am 5:21-24. Mic 6:6-8. Mt 5:7. 9:13. 12:7. 23:23. Mk 12:33.
  • rather than sacrifice. Ps 50:8, 9. Pr 21:3. Is 1:11.
  • And in the knowledge of God  Ho 4:1. 1 Ch 28:9. Jb 22:21. Je 9:23, 24. 22:16. Col 1:10. 1 J 2:3. 3:6.
  • rather than burnt offerings Le 23:12


For - Term of explanation - Explains why God's judgments just described would be so severe.

I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice - Obedience is what bring delight to the heart of God. And remember in the NT, the only way we can obey is by continually relying on the Spirit

Samuel echoes this truth asking disobedient King Saul...

Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 

Samuel's point is that external sacrifices without internal obedience from the heart of faith (real trust or faith really obeys -- not perfectly but that is the general "direction.")

Related Resources:

In Micah we read a similar desire of God's heart for His people...

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?  (Mic 6:8+)

Jesus twice quoted this passage of Hosea to the religious leaders of His day who also missed the heart of God, focusing on the wrong and superficial things.

Matthew 9:13 “But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 12:7   “But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.

Loyalty (02617)(hesed/chesed/heced) is the idea of faithful love in action and often in the OT refers to God's lovingkindness expressed in His covenant relationship with Israel (His "loyal love" to His "Wife" Israel [cp Hos 2:18, 19, 20-see note, Is 54:5, Je 31:32] = His "loyalty to covenant"). God's hesed denotes persistent and unconditional tenderness, kindness, and mercy, a relationship in which He seeks after man with love and mercy (cf God immediately seeking man Ge 3:9, who was immediately hiding Ge 3:8 trying to cover their shame Ge 3:7 - contrast God's lovingkindness manifest by spilling blood to provide skins to cover their shame! Ge 3:21). Hesed expresses both God’s loyalty to His covenant and His love for His people along with a faithfulness to keep His promises.

Hesed in Hosea -  Hos. 2:19; Hos. 4:1; Hos. 6:4; Hos. 6:6; Hos. 10:12; Hos. 12:6;

And in the knowledge of God - Not mere "head" knowledge. In Jesus' day the Pharisee's heads were stuffed with knowledge of God, but their hearts were cold and hard toward living out that knowledge for the glory of God. Their knowledge was for their glory, not God's! God delights in knowledge that goes from our heads to our hearts and then our "feet" (so to speak). Truth lived out in His power and for His glory is God's heart desire. 

McGee writes "The people were merely going through a form. My friend, you can go to church on Sunday and be as fundamental as you can be. You may criticize the preacher, criticize the choir, criticize everybody—maybe they deserve it, I don’t know—but God’s desire is that you put His Word into shoe leather, that you allow it to get down where the rubber meets the road, and that there be an evidence of mercy in your own heart and life. Don’t think that going to a church banquet is somehow a substitute for truly eating the Bread of Life or of enjoying a big porterhouse steak from the Word of God. No church function is a substitute for really studying the Word of God."

Rather than burnt offerings - Offerings are so deceptive, because we feel if we have given God a "thing," we have really given Him something. We need to be like the little girl when they passed the offering plate. When the offering plate came to this little girl at the end of a row, she took the plate, put it on the floor, and stood in it. When the usher asked her what she was doing, she responded, “In Sunday school I learned that I was supposed to give myself to God.” Point made! Are you as convicted as I am. God wants US, not our "thing" (be it money, service, etc). If He has us as His "burnt offering," it is a sweet savor in His nostrils (anthropomorphically speaking) and the offering of the "thing" will follow from a heart full of love for God! 

Listen to God speaking through Amos regarding Israel's offerings...

I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. “But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.  (Amos 5:21-24)

Isaiah is even more pointed...

What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. 12 “When you come to appear before Me, Who requires of you this trampling of My courts? 13 “Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies– I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.  14 “I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.  15 “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.  16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,  17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. (Isa 1:11-17+)

God in Jeremiah declares - 

“For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. “But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’ (Je 7:22, 23)

Israel missed what God has always desired - He wants ALL of each of us...

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Ro 12:1+

NET Note - Contrary to popular misunderstanding, Hosea does not reject animal sacrifice nor cultic ritual, and advocate instead obedience only. Rather, God does not delight in ritual sacrifice without the accompanying prerequisite moral obedience (1 Sam 15:22; Pss 40:6–8; 51:16–17; Prov 21:3; Isa 1:11–17; Jer 7:21–23; Hos 6:6; Mic 6:6–8). However, if prerequisite moral obedience is present, he delights in sacrificial worship as an outward expression (Ps 51:19). Presented by a repentant obedient worshiper, whole burnt offerings were “an aroma pleasing” to the LORD (Lev 1:9, 13).

Hosea 6:7  But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

BGT  Hosea 6:7 αὐτοὶ δέ εἰσιν ὡς ἄνθρωπος παραβαίνων διαθήκην ἐκεῖ κατεφρόνησέν μου

NET  Hosea 6:7 At Adam they broke the covenant; Oh how they were unfaithful to me!

LXE  Hosea 6:7 But they are as a man transgressing a covenant:

NLT  Hosea 6:7 But like Adam, you broke my covenant and betrayed my trust.

KJV  Hosea 6:7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

ESV  Hosea 6:7 But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.

CSB  Hosea 6:7 But they, like Adam, have violated the covenant; there they have betrayed Me.

NIV  Hosea 6:7 Like Adam, they have broken the covenant-- they were unfaithful to me there.

NKJ  Hosea 6:7 "But like men they transgressed the covenant; There they dealt treacherously with Me.

NRS  Hosea 6:7 But at Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.

YLT  Hosea 6:7 And they, as Adam, transgressed a covenant, There they dealt treacherously against me.

NAB  Hosea 6:7 But they, in their land, violated the covenant; there they were untrue to me.

NJB  Hosea 6:7 But they have broken the covenant at Adam, there they have betrayed me.

GWN  Hosea 6:7 "Like Adam, you rejected the promise. You were unfaithful to me.

BHT  Hosea 6:7 wühëºmmâ Kü´ädäm `äbrû bürît šäm Bäºgdû bî

BBE  Hosea 6:7 But like a man, they have gone against the agreement; there they were false to me.

WTT Hosea 6:7 וְהֵמָּה כְּאָדָם עָבְרוּ בְרִית שָׁם בָּגְדוּ בִי (Hos 6:7 WTT)

  • But like Adam. Ge 3:6, 11. Jb 31:33. Ps 49:12. Ps 82:7.
  • transgressed. Ho 8:1. 2 K 17:15. 18:12. Is 24:5. Je 31:32. Ezk 16:59-61. 20:37. He 8:9.
  • the covenant. Ge 2:16, 17. Jsh 24:1, 25. Is 42:6. Ro 5:12, 19. 1 Co 15:22, 45, 47. Ga 3:10. 1 Th 5:9.
  • There they have dealt treacherously against Me. Ho 5:7. Is 24:16. 48:8. Je 3:7-11, 20. 5:11. 9:6.

But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant - Adam knew what God had clearly stated in Genesis 2:16-17, but he consciously, willingly (willfully - like me when I sin) made the decision to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 

The verb for have transgressed (05674) is "A verb meaning to pass through or over, to cover, to go beyond, to go along, to be crossed over, to make to cross over, to go through, to go away. This verb indicates the physical act of crossing or passing over and takes on a figurative usage that exhibits many variations in meaning. Two figurative meanings are of primary importance theologically; the verb means going beyond, overstepping a covenant or a command of God or man. Moses uses the word when charging the people with disobeying and overstepping the Lord's commands (Num. 14:41; Josh. 7:11, 15). (Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament)

The implication is that God had a form of a covenant with Adam, albeit not strictly speaking a covenant like those God cut (karath) with men later in the Old Testament. Covenant speaks of oneness and there could have been no more perfect oneness between God and Adam than in the Garden before Adam sinned. Think about God walking in the cool of the Garden and how Adam and Eve must have walked with Him. But Paradise was lost when sin entered the world through Adam whose seed transmitted the "deadly virus" to all mankind. In Ro 5:12 Paul writes "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned (THEY ALL COMMITTED SIN BECAUSE THEY HAD THE SIN VIRUS THE PROPENSITY NOW INDWELLING THEIR HEART)." 

Boice on like Adam - The point is that the rebellion of Israel is something that lies deep in human nature, having been inherited from Adam, and therefore does not surprise God. This does not excuse Israel; for it is "they" who have broken the covenant... like Adam. It is merely that they have inherited their unfaithful nature from Adam and may therefore also be said to have broken the covenant "there." (Ibid)

Wiersbe - God promised Adam His blessings if he obeyed His commands, but Adam deliberately destroyed and plunged the human race into sin and death (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:21-22). God promised Israel the blessings of the Promised Land if they would obey Him (Deut. 28), but they broke the covenant and suffered the consequences. For both Israel and Judah, God had appointed a harvest, and they would reap just what they had sown (Gal. 6:7-8). (Ibid)

Wayne House (and Thomas Ice) write - The Covenant with Adam and Eve - Although Genesis 1:26-28 does not use the term covenant, the parallel with the covenant idea of Genesis 9 strongly suggests a covenant that Yahweh (the suzerain) made with Adam and Eve (the vassals). Yahweh defined man's character and gave a statement of duties, with accompanying blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. Yahweh put the man into the garden to serve and to keep. The Hebrew is problematic, but the terms regularly have covenantal significance (Exodus 3:12; Numbers 28:2; Genesis 26:5) and maybe should be understood in this passage as referring to God putting Adam into the garden to serve him and keep his covenant. (Dominion Theology)

Herbert Lockyer on The Covenant with Adam  (Genesis 1:28-30) - This primeval covenant which Matthew Henry calls "The Covenant of Innocence" God made with Adam before the Fall, was fundamentally an alliance of friendship, and promised continued life and favor on condition of obedience. Many aspects of this first covenant extend throughout human history. God charged Adam to be "fruitful and multiply" and to "subdue the earth." Such a covenant of blessing revealed the heart of the benevolent Creator. But God's original plan for Adam to be lord over the earth was frustrated, for he disobeyed God and lost thereby much of the power promised him in the covenant. A complete and glorious fulfillment of the covenant, however, will be experienced when Christ sets up His millennial kingdom (Psalm 2:5-8; Hebrews 2:6-8). After Adam's fall, there came what can be called the Adamic Covenant (Genesis 3:14-19, 21-24). To prevent man in his fallen state from becoming utterly corrupt, God established a covenant, placing restraints and limitations on man, the serpent and physical creation. The serpent was cursed, and received the prediction of his final doom; the woman heard of the sorrow motherhood would bring her, and of the position of headship man would have; man heard how his sin resulted in the earth he was to govern, being cursed, and how with hard labor he would have to wrest his living from the earth. Yet, at the back of this judgment the Creator had a benevolent object in mind. Constant occupation would serve as a restraint to the evil tendencies of man's now fallen nature. A foregleam of the covenant of grace can be seen in the "coats of skin" God provided for the nakedness of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). Through Christ's sacrifice believing sinners are clothed with the garment of salvation (II Corinthians 5:21; 8:9). "Naked come to Thee for dress." (All the Doctrines of the Bible)

There they have dealt treacherously against Me - NIV, NET = "they were unfaithful to Me." 

Deal treacherously (0898)(bagad apparently from an Arabic root meaning to deceive) means to act deceitfully, unfaithfully, to commit faithlessness.. This word describes a traitor, one who violates his allegiance and betrays something or someone (e.g., God). Bagad means to ‘break faith’ which speaks of one who does not honour the terms of an existing agreement. The root idea of bagad is to cover or cloak things over, and so to act covertly or falsely, perfidiously (acting untrue to what should command one’s fidelity or allegiance and adds to faithless the implication of an incapacity for fidelity or reliability!). "The verb connotes unfaithfulness in relationships like marriage (Ex. 21:8; Jer. 3:20; Mal. 2:14); Israel’s covenant with the Lord (Ps. 78:57; 119:158); friendships (Job 6:15; Jer. 3:20; Mal. 2:10); leadership (Jdg. 9:23)." (Baker)

The Septuagint translates bagad in this verse with kataphroneo which means they treated God with scornful contempt, even looking down on Him, despising Him, disparaging Him. They cared nothing (or at least very little) for God! BDAG says kataphroneo means "to look down on someone or something with contempt or aversion, with implication that one considers the object of little value." This is the Almighty God that finite men were treating as of little value! Do we ever fall into this deceptive trap? I fear we do, as for example when we give more time and attention to our daily text messages than to the "text messages" God has written to each of us in His Holy Word! Our Quiet Times become very quiet, even non-existent! That is thinking little of the value of daily communion with the Creator and Sustainer of everything that exists or has existed! Woe! 

Hosea 6:8  Gilead is a city of wrongdoers, Tracked with bloody footprints.

BGT  Hosea 6:8 Γαλααδ πόλις ἐργαζομένη μάταια ταράσσουσα ὕδωρ

NET  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a city full of evildoers; its streets are stained with bloody footprints!

LXE  Hosea 6:8 there the city Galaad despised me, working vanity, troubling water.

NLT  Hosea 6:8 "Gilead is a city of sinners, tracked with footprints of blood.

KJV  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood.

ESV  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a city of evildoers, tracked with blood.

CSB  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a city of evildoers, tracked with bloody footprints.

NIV  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a city of wicked men, stained with footprints of blood.

NKJ  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a city of evildoers, And defiled with blood.

NRS  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a city of evildoers, tracked with blood.

YLT  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a city of workers of iniquity, Slippery from blood.

NAB  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a city of evildoers, tracked with blood.

NJB  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a city of evil-doers, full of bloody footprints.

GWN  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a city filled with troublemakers. It is stained with bloody footprints.

BHT  Hosea 6:8 Gil`äd qiryat Pöº`álê ´äºwen `áquBBâ miDDäm

BBE  Hosea 6:8 Gilead is a town of evil-doers, marked with blood.

WTT Hosea 6:8 גִּלְעָד קִרְיַת פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן עֲקֻבָּה מִדָּם (Hos 6:8 WTT)

  • Gilead is a city of wrongdoers. Ho 12:11. Josh 21:38. 1 K 17:1.
  • Tracked with bloody footprints polluted with blood. or, cunning for blood. Ho 5:1, 2. 2 S 3:27. 20:8-10. 1 K 2:5. Ps 10:8, 9. 59:2, 3. Is 59:6, 7. Je 11:19. Mic 7:2. Mt 26:15, 16. Ac 23:12-15. 25:3.


Gilead is a city of wrongdoers - "a city of evildoers" Hosea continues the list of wrongdoings of the people. Some think this is the city of Gilead, Ramoth Gilead, east of the Jordan, others the district.

Wrongdoers - Lit., “doers of evil.” The same noun for “evil” (ʾawen]) was used earlier to depict Bethel: Due to its housing of the cult shrine, Hosea called it Beth-aven (“house of wickedness”) in Hos 4:15.

NET Note - The participle phrase פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן (po’ale ’aven, “workers of wickedness”) emphasizes continual (uninterrupted), habitual action. This particular use of the participle is an ironic play on the professional occupation function (see IBHS 615 §37.2c). In effect, the major “professional guild” in Gilead is evil-working; the people are producers of evil!

Chisholm comments on Gilead - The town had become a center for wicked men (lit., "workers of iniquity"). In Psalm 5:5 this same expression is translated "who do wrong." It refers to the worst sort of men, who actively oppose righteousness and are the objects of God's hatred. In this case they were guilty of murder (Hosea 6:8b). The city streets are pictured as being tracked with blood from the murderers' sandals (cf. 1 Kings 2:5). The figurative language emphasizes both the extent and certainty of their guilt. Unfortunately the precise historical background for the crime cannot be determined. Perhaps oppression of the poor is in view. Elsewhere "workers of iniquity" are said to be guilty of oppressing the poor which is only occasionally associated with murder (cf. Ps. 94:4-6; Isa. 1:21-23). (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Patterson on Gilead - Other than a few vague references (e.g., Judg 10:17; 12:7), Gilead is not known as a city but only as a district beyond the Jordan River. McComiskey (1992:95) suggests that Hosea may have used Gilead to designate all of Israelite Transjordan much as he employs Ephraim in referring to the northern kingdom (cf. NIDOTTE 4.682–683). Hosea probably used the term “city” (qiryat) as a metaphor. The whole district was one big “city” of iniquity and bloody deeds. What a contrast with the integrity of Gilead’s earlier settlers (Num 32:16–32)! Hosea would speak of Gilead in another connection later (12:11). (Cornerstone Bible Commentary)

Tracked with bloody footprints - This is a horrible picture. Is it a metaphor or was it literally the case? And it is even all the more horrible because Gilead was initially to be a city of refuge, but now is a city of bloodshed (see note below). 

Jack Goodrich - The region of Gilead, located east of the Jordan River, was famous for indecent behavior (Gn 31:25-26; 32; Jdg 11). Shechem, located in the hill country about 38 miles north of Jerusalem, was the northern kingdom's first capital (1Kg 12:1, 25). Tracks of blood and homicidal priests suggest that the people were committing violent crimes, which often occurred during travel (Lk 10:30). (The Moody Bible Commentary)

Hosea 6:9  And as raiders wait for a man, So a band of priests murder on the way to Shechem; Surely they have committed crime.

BGT  Hosea 6:9 καὶ ἡ ἰσχύς σου ἀνδρὸς πειρατοῦ ἔκρυψαν ἱερεῖς ὁδὸν κυρίου ἐφόνευσαν Σικιμα ὅτι ἀνομίαν ἐποίησαν

NET  Hosea 6:9 The company of priests is like a gang of robbers, lying in ambush to pounce on a victim. They commit murder on the road to Shechem; they have done heinous crimes!

LXE  Hosea 6:9 And thy strength is that of a robber: the priests have hid the way, they have murdered the people of Sicima; for they have wrought iniquity in the house of Israel.

NLT  Hosea 6:9 Priests form bands of robbers, waiting in ambush for their victims. They murder travelers along the road to Shechem and practice every kind of sin.

KJV  Hosea 6:9 And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness.

ESV  Hosea 6:9 As robbers lie in wait for a man, so the priests band together; they murder on the way to Shechem; they commit villainy.

CSB  Hosea 6:9 Like raiders who wait in ambush for someone, a band of priests murders on the road to Shechem. They commit atrocities.

NIV  Hosea 6:9 As marauders lie in ambush for a man, so do bands of priests; they murder on the road to Shechem, committing shameful crimes.

NKJ  Hosea 6:9 As bands of robbers lie in wait for a man, So the company of priests murder on the way to Shechem; Surely they commit lewdness.

NRS  Hosea 6:9 As robbers lie in wait for someone, so the priests are banded together; they murder on the road to Shechem, they commit a monstrous crime.

YLT  Hosea 6:9 And as bands do wait for a man, A company of priests do murder -- the way to Shechem, For wickedness they have done.

NAB  Hosea 6:9 As brigands ambush a man, a band of priests slay on the way to Shechem, committing monstrous crime.

NJB  Hosea 6:9 Like so many robbers in ambush, a gang of priests commits murder on the road to Shechem- what infamous behaviour!

GWN  Hosea 6:9 The priests are like gangs of robbers who lie in ambush for a person. They murder on the road to Shechem. Certainly, they have committed a crime.

BHT  Hosea 6:9 ûküHaKKê ´îš Güdûdîm Heºber Kö|hánîm Deºrek yüraccüHû-šeºkmâ Kî zimmâ `äSû

BBE  Hosea 6:9 And like a band of thieves waiting for a man, so are the priests watching secretly the way of those going quickly to Shechem, for they are working with an evil design.

WTT Hosea 6:9 וּכְחַכֵּי אִישׁ גְּדוּדִים חֶבֶר כֹּהֲנִים דֶּרֶךְ יְרַצְּחוּ־שֶׁכְמָה כִּי זִמָּה עָשׂוּ

  • And as raiders wait for a man. Ho 7:1. Ezr 8:31. Jb 1:15-17. 12:6. 24:2-17. Pr 1:11-19. so. Ho 5:1, 2. Je 11:9. Ezk 22:25, 27. Mi 3:9-11. Zep 3:3, 4. Mk 14:1. Lk 22:2-6. Jn 11:47-53. Ac 4:24-28.
  • So a band of priests murder on the way to Shechem Is 47:12
  • by consent. Heb. with one shoulder, or to Shechem. 1 K 12:25. Zp 3:9.
  • Surely they have committed crime lewdness. or, enormity. Le 18:17 (wickedness). Lev 19:29. 20:14, 14. Jg 20:6. Jb 17:11, 31:11 (heinous crime). Ps 26:10 (mischief). Ps 119:150. Pr 10:23. 21:27 24:9 (thought). Is 32:7. Je 13:27. Ezk 16:27, 43, 58. 22:9, 11. 23:21, 27, 29, 35, 44, 48, 48, 49. 24:13.


And as raiders wait for a man - They hide, they use stealth and cunning, they use the element of surprise and they use unexpected force. 

Guzik - When the priests when to places of pagan sacrifice, it was a thieving, killing sin. (Ibid)

J Vernon McGee has an interesting comment - In other words, the priests in refusing to give the people the Water of Life and the Bread of Life were actually committing murder. To be honest with you, I think that a minister who stands in the pulpit and does not give out the Word of God is guilty just as it is stated right here. I did not think that up—it is the Word of God which says that.

So a band of priests murder on the way to Shechem - On the way to the city of refuge. Perhaps a sarcastic twist is intended. No longer a place of refuge but of bloodshed. 

Leon Wood - Shechem lay on the road from the capital city, Samaria, to the religious center, Bethel. The thought is that the very priests, appointed by Jeroboam from "all sorts of people" (1 Kings 12:31), were robbing and murdering pilgrims. (Expositor's Bible Commentary – Volume 7: Daniel and the Minor Prophets)

POSB has an interesting note - Even the cities of Gilead and Shechem had become a refuge for criminals, the lawless and violent of the nation. This was most surprising because these two cities had originally been set aside as cities of refuge, places to which people who were guilty of manslaughter could flee from those who were seeking revenge. The cities of refuge guaranteed safety and true justice for the innocent. But in Hosea’s day, these former safe havens became major centers of lawlessness, so much so that the streets were stained with blood. Note that even the priests were guilty of encouraging and forming bands of thieves and robbers who were often guilty of assault and murder. (Ibid)

Surely they have committed crime - Variously rendered as the priests committing "atrocities, villany, heinous crimes, monstrous crimes."

Chisholm - The references to (Ramoth) Gilead and Shechem are well chosen. Joshua had designated that both of these towns be cities of refuge, where manslayers could find asylum (Josh. 20:1-2, 7-8). In this way the land would be spared outbreaks of bloodshed, and justice would be promoted. Ironically in Hosea's day these cities had become associated with bloodshed and injustice. (Ibid)

Crime (02154)(zimmah) refers to plan, purpose, counsel, wickedness, lewdness, sin. The word refers to the plans and purposes of the mind which give rise to one's actions, with usually bad or evil intentions. Chisholm adds that "Elsewhere this word (zimmâh) is used of the vilest sexual sins, including incest (Lev. 18:17), cult prostitution (Lev. 19:29), rape (Judges 20:5-6), and adultery (Job 31:9-11). This sexual connotation is probably applicable here because the priests' breach of covenant (Hosea 6:6-7) is likened to prostitution (v. 10)." And one other consideration given the Canaanite influence is that they were practicing cult prostitution!  And this would be a segue into the next description of God's having "seen a horrible thing." 

Hosea 6:10  In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing; Ephraim's harlotry is there, Israel has defiled itself.

NET  Hosea 6:10 I have seen a disgusting thing in the temple of Israel: there Ephraim practices temple prostitution and Judah defiles itself.

LXE  Hosea 6:10 I have seen horrible things there, even the fornication of Ephraim: Israel and Juda are defiled;

NLT  Hosea 6:10 Yes, I have seen something horrible in Ephraim and Israel: My people are defiled by prostituting themselves with other gods!

KJV  Hosea 6:10 I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled.

ESV  Hosea 6:10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing; Ephraim's whoredom is there; Israel is defiled.

CSB  Hosea 6:10 I have seen something horrible in the house of Israel: Ephraim's promiscuity is there; Israel is defiled.

NIV  Hosea 6:10 I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel. There Ephraim is given to prostitution and Israel is defiled.

NKJ  Hosea 6:10 I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel: There is the harlotry of Ephraim; Israel is defiled.

NRS  Hosea 6:10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing; Ephraim's whoredom is there, Israel is defiled.

YLT  Hosea 6:10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing, There is the whoredom of Ephraim -- defiled is Israel.

NAB  Hosea 6:10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing: there harlotry is found in Ephraim, Israel is defiled.

NJB  Hosea 6:10 At Bethel I have seen a horrible thing; there Ephraim plays the whore, Israel is befouled.

GWN  Hosea 6:10 "I have seen horrible things in the nation of Israel. Ephraim is acting like a prostitute, and Israel is unclean.

BHT  Hosea 6:10 Bübêt yiSrä´ël rä´îºtî (ša`árîriyyâ) [ša`árû|riyyâ] šäm zünût lü´epraºyim ni†mä´ yiSrä´ël

BBE  Hosea 6:10 In Israel I have seen a very evil thing; there false ways are seen in Ephraim, Israel is unclean;

NAS  Hosea 6:10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing; Ephraim's harlotry is there, Israel has defiled itself.

WTT Hosea 6:10 בְּבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל רָאִיתִי )שַׁעֲרִירִיָּה] (שַׁעֲרוּרִיָּה[ שָׁם זְנוּת לְאֶפְרַיִם נִטְמָא יִשְׂרָאֵל

  • In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing. Je 2:12, 13. 5:30, 31. 18:13. 23:14.
  • Ephraim's harlotry is there. See on Ho 4:11, 17. 5:3, 4. 1 K 12:28-30. 15:30. 2 K 17:7-23. Je 3:6-11. Ezk 23:5-11.


Pr 15:3 says "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good."

In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing - The house of Israel would be a possibility and some version so render it but there was not "approved" Temple in the Northern Kingdom, only the one Temple in the Southern Kingdom in Jerusalem. And so this phrase could also refer to the Israelite nation.

The Septuagint translates horrible (shaaruriyyah) with the adjective phrikodes which means that which causes shuddering, utter horror, used only here in Hos 6:10 in all the Bible. The Hebrew word shaaruriyyah is used one other time in the OT

Jer 18:13 “Therefore thus says the LORD, ‘Ask now among the nations, Who ever heard the like of this? The virgin of Israel Has done a most appalling thing. (Lxx = phriktos = horrible, that which causes shock).

The Hebrew and Greek words used for "horrible thing" seen by God seem to stretch the limits of that which God sees as evil, but we cannot be further definitive. Leon Wood thinks that  "The "horrible thing" singled out is the sin of prostitution," and he could be correct. Patterson adds that "A similar form of this rare word (shaʿarur) occurs in Jeremiah to designate the deceit and wickedness of Israel’s spiritual leadership (Jer 5:30; 23:14) and the almost unbelievable fact that Israel had forgotten God and gone after idols (Jer 18:13–15)."

Ephraim's harlotry is there, Israel has defiled itself - Gilbrant comments "God had seen something so disgusting that no one could deny it. In the sight of God and in the sense of his presence, all excuses fail. For what more horrible, more amazing than that this happened, not in any ordinary nation but in Israel was adultery and defilement." (Complete Biblical Library – Daniel-Malachi)

Hosea 6:11  Also, O Judah, there there is a harvest appointed for you, When I restore the fortunes of My people.

BGT  Hosea 6:11 ἄρχου τρυγᾶν σεαυτῷ ἐν τῷ ἐπιστρέφειν με τὴν αἰχμαλωσίαν τοῦ λαοῦ μου

NET  Hosea 6:11 I have appointed a time to reap judgment for you also, O Judah! Whenever I want to restore the fortunes of my people,

LXE  Hosea 6:11 begin together grapes for thyself, when I turn the captivity of my people.

NLT  Hosea 6:11 "O Judah, a harvest of punishment is also waiting for you, though I wanted to restore the fortunes of my people.

KJV  Hosea 6:11 Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.

ESV  Hosea 6:11 For you also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed, when I restore the fortunes of my people.

CSB  Hosea 6:11 A harvest is also appointed for you, Judah. When I return My people from captivity,

NIV  Hosea 6:11 "Also for you, Judah, a harvest is appointed. "Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,

NKJ  Hosea 6:11 Also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed for you, When I return the captives of My people.

NRS  Hosea 6:11 For you also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed. When I would restore the fortunes of my people,

YLT  Hosea 6:11 Also, O Judah, appointed is a harvest to thee, In My turning back to the captivity of My people!

NAB  Hosea 6:11 For you also, O Judah, a harvest has been appointed.

NJB  Hosea 6:11 For you too, Judah, a harvest is in store, when I restore my people's fortunes.

GWN  Hosea 6:11 "Yet, Judah, I have set a harvest time for you when I bring my people back from captivity.

BHT  Hosea 6:11 Gam-yühûdâ šät qäcîr läk Büšûbî šübût `ammî P

WTT Hosea 6:11 גַּם־יְהוּדָה שָׁת קָצִיר לָךְ בְּשׁוּבִי שְׁבוּת עַמִּי פ

  • there is a harvest appointed for you. Ho 8:7. 10:12, 13. Pr 22:8. Is 17:5-8. Je 51:33. Jl 3:12, 13. Mic 4:12. Mt 13:30, 39. Lk 3:17. Ga 6:7, 8. Re 14:14-20.
  • When I restore. Ps 102:16, 22.
  • the fortunes of My people I returned the captivity. Jb 42:10. Ps 126:1, 4. 147:2. Je 29:14. Ezk 20:34, 41. 39:25. Am 9:14. Zp 2:7. 3:20. Ac 1:6.


Also, O Judah, there there is a harvest (qatsir appointed for you  - While Hosea is addressing primarily the Northern Kingdom, his prophetic warnings clearly apply to the Southern Kingdom. Not only did they commit the same sins but they even had the "benefit" of witnessing Israel's reaping of what she had sown. And that still did not serve to deter them from the same idolatrous, unfaithful sin against Jehovah. Judah tracked right along in the sinful path of their northern sister! 

Hosea's use of the metaphor of a harvest (qatsir) reminds one of the picture described by Joel of God's coming judgment

Put in the sickle, for the harvest (qatsir) is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.  (Joel 3:13+)

That was the "easy" part of the verse to interpret - Judah will be judged but the interpretation of the next phrase is more problematic.

When I restore the fortunes of My people - There is dramatic difference between a "harvest" (of judgment) and a prophecy of restoration of fortunes for God's people and at least two major interpretative questions arise - WHERE and WHEN?

The first question is WHERE? Specifically should this passage be placed at the end of verse 11 or at the beginning of Hosea 7:1? The opinions are divided as the original Masoretic Text places it with verse 11. On the other hand the "hopeful" prophetic aspect of this passage fits better with the hopeful prophetic aspect of the first part of Hosea 7:1 which reads "When I would heal Israel." Frankly, where one decides to place restore the fortunes makes little practical difference for the text still says what it says and that is specifically that God will restore the fortunes

The second question is to WHEN does this restoration of "My people" (Hos 6:11b) refer and when will God "heal Israel?" (Hos 7:1a) In other words when will this prophecy be fulfilled? Some say it was fulfilled when Judah returned to the land after 70 years of captivity and that is certainly a historical fact, so that would be at least a partial fulfillment of this prophecy. However, in my opinion, there is also a yet future fulfillment that will occur at the end of this age when Messiah returns and "all Israel will be saved" (Ro 11:26) for that is the only time when the related or parallel prophecy "when I would heal Israel" would be fulfilled assuming this speaks of spiritual healing which is the most important type of healing. Thus even modern Israel is still not spiritually healed, for the majority of the nation still rejects the Messiah, the Healer, and they will not recognize Him until He returns as prophesied in Zechariah 12:10+

“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that (PURPOSE) they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.

Finally it should be noted that the phrase restoration of fortunes is a very important concept in the Old Testament and most of the 20 occurrences of this phrase apply to Israel. The idea of this Hebrew phrase is "to turn a turning" signifying a reversal of divine judgment and replacement with restoration to a state of well-being and prosperity. Talk about amazing grace (God giving what is not deserved)! (See an in depth discussion of this important OT concept restoration of fortunes.)

For example there is almost al passage in Amos 9:14-15+ which is almost identical to Hosea 6:11b and it is clearly in a prophetic context that will be fulfilled in the future.

“Also I will restore (shub/sub)  the captivity (shebuth - also translated "fortunes") of My people Israel (cf Hos 6:11-7:1a = "When I restore the fortunes ["captivity"] of My people. When I would heal Israel") , And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit.  15 “I will also plant them on their land, And they will not again be rooted out from their land Which I have given them,” Says the LORD your God.

In another prophetic passage in Joel the identical Hebrew phrase is found again and the context is clearly speaking of the future restoration of Israel. Thus Joel 3:1+  reads

"For behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes (shebuth - also translated "captivity") of Judah and Jerusalem." (See Joel Commentary)

Related Resource:

In summary, I suggest that the weight of Biblical evidence supports Hosea 6:11b as being a prophecy of the future restoration of the nation of Israel at the end of this age, and having a partial fulfillment in the return of the exiles from Babylon. 

Duane Garrett - This is not a lamentation by Yahweh, but a promise that the restoration of the nation will involve exposure and healing of their sins. (New American Commentary)

J Vernon McGee seems to agree writing "“When I returned the captivity of my people”—there is a future day when God will bring the people back to the land, but at that time He had to judge them for their sin."

David Thompson - God describes what He will eventually do to His people. Hosea 6:11 Look carefully at the end of verse 11. You read this verse and you say, you have got to be kidding me. God will restore the fortunes of His people. His people have done evil and perverse things and God says I will “restore the fortunes of My people.” Now we must ask why in the world would God do that? Because God’s people are God’s family and He still loves His family. What an amazing God. I do not know how far you have wandered away from God. I do not know all of the perverse sin that is in your life. What I do know is that if you, as a prodigal, will turn back to God, He will restore His blessings on you because He loves you. That is the message of Hosea 6. Come back to God and go after the knowledge of God and God’s blessings will be yours. (Sermon



Restore  (turn  back, bring back) (07725)(shub/sub) is a verb meaning to turn, to return, to go back, to do again, to change, to withdraw, to bring back, to reestablish, to be returned, to bring back, to take, to restore, to recompense. 

Note that this verb restore (shub/sub) appears repeatedly in Hosea...several times it occurs in an eschatological context and that appears to be the case in Hosea 6:11. While one might ascribe the fulfillment of this promise of restoring fortunes as a reference to Judah's return after 70 years of Babylonian captivity, as discussed above it would be difficult to exclude that the final fulfillment of this restoration awaits the return of the Messiah, salvation of "My people" (note he does not say just "Judah" as he would if it were referring only to the Babylonian captivity) and entrance into the Messianic Kingdom.

Hosea 2:7  “She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; And she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, For it was better for me then than now!’ 

Hosea 2:9  “Therefore, I will take back (Literally "I will return and I will take"My grain at harvest time And My new wine in its season. I will also take away My wool and My flax Given to cover her nakedness. 

Hos. 3:5 (Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king;

Hosea 4:9  And it will be, like people, like priest; So I will punish them for their ways And repay them for their deeds. 

Hosea 5:4  Their deeds will not allow them To return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, And they do not know the LORD. 

Hos. 5:15  I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.

Hos. 6:1; "Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.

Hos. 6:11; Also, O Judah, there is a harvest appointed for you, When I restore the fortunes of My people.

Hosea 7:10  Though the pride of Israel testifies against him, Yet they have not returned to the LORD their God, Nor have they sought Him, for all this. 

Hosea 7:16   They turn, but not upward, They are like a deceitful bow; Their princes will fall by the sword Because of the insolence of their tongue. This will be their derision in the land of Egypt.

Hosea 8:13  As for My sacrificial gifts, They sacrifice the flesh and eat it, But the LORD has taken no delight in them. Now He will remember their iniquity, And punish them for their sins; They will return to Egypt. 

Hosea 9:3   They will not remain in the LORD’S land, But Ephraim will return to Egypt, And in Assyria they will eat unclean food. 

Hosea 11:5   They will not return to the land of Egypt; But Assyria–he will be their king Because they refused to return to Me. 

Hosea 11:9   I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not (Literally "turn not back to") destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, And I will not come in wrath. 

Hosea 12:2   The LORD also has a dispute with Judah, And will punish Jacob according to his ways; He will repay him according to his deeds. 

Hosea 12:6  Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually. 

Hosea 12:14  Ephraim has provoked to bitter anger; So his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him And bring back his reproach to him.

Hosea 14:1 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity. 

Hosea 14:2  Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity And receive us graciously, That we may present the fruit of our lips. 

Hosea 14:4  I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them. 

Hosea 14:7 They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine; their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon. (Hos 14:7 ESV)

Fortunes (captivity)(07622)(shebuth from shabah = to take captive but some think it originates from shub = to return, restore) is a feminine noun which has two main meanings in the OT, (1) captivity, captives (esp Nu 21:29 referring to Moab), implying control and oppression and (2) fortunes, assets (primarily possessions, materials, and property though not exclusively so which will make life easier and more secure). One could see how both senses are meant in some passages because to restore someone from captivity is tantamount to bringing them into a place of good fortune. Baker adds that "This word conveys either a state of exile, such as being taken for a spoil of war, or the subjects of such captivity. The chief use was in declaring the liberating power of the Lord in releasing His people from such banishment (Deut. 30:3+; Jer. 33:7+; Hos. 6:11+)."

The Septuagint (Lxx) translates fortunes in Hosea 6:11 with the noun aichmalosia which means captivity, state of captivity as a result of war (Rev 13.10).

Fortunes - 28v in the OT translated in the NAS as captive(3), captivity(9), fortune(1), fortunes(18), own captivity(1).

Num. 21:29; Deut. 30:3; Job 42:10; Ps. 14:7; Ps. 53:6; Ps. 85:1; Ps. 126:1; Ps. 126:4; Jer. 29:14; Jer. 30:3; Jer. 30:18; Jer. 31:23; Jer. 32:44; Jer. 33:7; Jer. 33:11; Jer. 33:26; Jer. 48:47; Jer. 49:6; Jer. 49:39; Lam. 2:14; Ezek. 16:53; Ezek. 29:14; Ezek. 39:25; Hos. 6:11; Joel 3:1; Amos 9:14; Zeph. 2:7; Zeph. 3:20

Hubbard writes "Again (cf. Hos 6:4) the gracious divine intent collides with the realities of Ephraim’s rebellion. God’s longing to show mercy is expressed in the desire to return Israel, his battered and beleaguered people (Hos 5:10-14), i.e. the entire land (cf. on Hos 1:9-2:1; 2:23; 4:1, 6, 8, 12) to a robust state of social, spiritual and material health: restore the fortunes is a familiar prophetic way of expressing this (cf. on Joel 3:1); heal is one of Hosea’s favourite terms for the reversal of Israel’s immorality and consequent suffering in judgment (Hos 5:13; 6:1; 11:3; 14:4). The two clauses—Hos 6:11b and Hos 7:1a—are parallel and should be read together (cf. RSV; NEB; NIV) despite the unfortunate chapter division that separates them (Vulg.; AV; JB; NASB). (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries – Hosea) 

ED: Hubbard's erudite discussion is interesting, but he really does not come down definitively on the timing of when God will show mercy to "His battered and beleaguered people...,i.e., the entire land...to a robust state of social, spiritual and material health." Hubbard does rightly point out that "restore the fortunes" is a familiar prophetic way of expressing this" but he does not say when that prophecy would be fulfilled. 

Whether one places restore the fortunes with Hos 6:11 or Hos 7:1, one is reminded of the great, mercy filled words in the prophecy of Habakkuk...

LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy.  (Hab 3:2+)