Hosea 6:1-6

Hosea 6:1 (KJB)

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.


Their cry will be to return to the LORD.  The word return in the Old Testament refers to repentance and coming back to the LORD.  They will eventually acknowledge that the LORD had torn them, that is, it was He who judged them and caused them to go into captivity.  They will also finally acknowledge that the LORD is the only one that can heal them, that is, to restore them to their former status of a favored people with God and they would now be obedient and follow the law.  God’s judgment on his people was not to destroy them but to bring them back to repentance.  It is like when a Christian is walking opposite the way of the LORD, chastisement would bring them to their senses and they would repent and return.


Hosea 6:2 (KJB)

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


The term two days is not a literal term in this context.  It denotes a short period of time that God will judge them.  Jeremiah 31:20 (KJV) Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.  Even though they were disobedient to God, God still yearned for them to return and be restored in obedience.  After a short time period, then after that is up they will be restored and once again live in obedience to the LORD.  The above time frame also points to the time when Christ was in the tomb.  He was in the tomb for the two days and then on the third day he arose from the dead and came out of the tomb.  Acts 10:40 (KJV) Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;  It also interesting to note that the third day of creation began in the evening and ended up in the morning.  Genesis 1:13 (KJV) And the evening and the morning were the third day.  One of the great promises that God makes is that his mercies are new every morning.  Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV) It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  {23} They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.


Hosea 6:3 (KJB)

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.


When they will seek the LORD, they shall seek the knowledge of him since one of their greatest crimes against the LORD was that they lost knowledge of him in their pursuit of idolatry.  Having the knowledge of the LORD is essential to coming to repentance.  In the former verse the LORD stated that he was going to withdraw himself from them but now he is going to come to them as the morning comes onto the earth in a new day as it dispels the darkness of the night.  As it says in Lamentations that his mercies are new every morning.  He will come to them as the refreshing rain upon the land, he will rain upon them mercy and knowledge of him.  The former or autumnal rain fell in October at the time of seed planting.  The latter rain fell in March and April which helped ripened the harvest.  If either of these rains were withheld, the harvest would fail.  More than the rain, they needed the LORD to come to them and reclaim them and reeducate them in the ways of the LORD.


Hosea 6:4 (KJB)

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.


God now poses the question to both Judah and Ephraim concerning what more can he do unto them or for them to bring them to knowledge of their sins against him.  He has brought smaller judgments upon them, he has ordained that they go into captivity with Assyria and Babylon, so what more can he do to bring them to their senses.   He tells them that their goodness is as a morning cloud.  The morning cloud which looks like it is going to bring rain and yet no rain comes from the cloud.  Their goodness was like that, outwardly they looked good but inwardly they had not changed.  The early dew vanishes from the ground without affecting the plants and grass.  They are being told that their goodness was hypocritical.  They put on an outward show but inward they are the same as before.  Luke 11:39 (KJV) And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.  That same attitude continued for hundreds of years into the time of the Pharisees who opposed Christ.


Hosea 6:5 (KJB)

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.


God states that in the past he has hewn them by the prophets, that is, he sent prophets to Israel to bring them back to their spiritual senses.  One of those prophets was Elijah who challenged the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel and showed Israel who the true God was.  The words of God’s mouth were spoken by the prophets who rebuked Israel such as Nathan who rebuked David for his adultery.  Jehu who went against Jezebel.  Jeremiah who counseled the king of Judah to serve the king of Babylon.   Just as the light proceeds forth from its source, the judgments of God against Israel were done in plain sight and nothing withheld so they could accomplish what they were meant to accomplish.


Hosea 6:6 (KJB)

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


The LORD desired there to be mercy among the people and not only cold sacrifices which were done as a routine which lost its meaning among the people.  Religion without the knowledge of God is a poor religion and leads nowhere.  Micah 6:8 (KJV) He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?  As it says in Micah God desired the people to show mercy to other people.  Then they were to have the knowledge of the true God which leads one to repentance because when one learns about the character of God, it will give them a new perspective and will help bring them out of apostasy.  The knowledge of God leads to submitting to his will and his majesty realizing that he is the true sovereign of the universe and not these false little wooden or metal idols.  He rather they know the true God instead of just offering burnt offerings without meaning it.