Hosea 12:6
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

New Living Translation
So now, come back to your God. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him.

English Standard Version
“So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.”

New American Standard Bible
Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually.

King James Bible
Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.

Christian Standard Bible
But you must return to your God. Maintain love and justice, and always put your hope in God.

Contemporary English Version
So return to your God. Patiently trust him, and show love and justice.

Good News Translation
So now, descendants of Jacob, trust in your God and return to him. Be loyal and just, and wait patiently for your God to act.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But you must return to your God. Maintain love and justice, and always put your hope in God.

International Standard Version
So you, return to your God; guard grace and justice, and look to your God always.

NET Bible
But you must return to your God, by maintaining love and justice, and by waiting for your God to return to you.

New Heart English Bible
Therefore turn to your God. Keep kindness and justice, and wait continually for your God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Return to your God. Be loyal and fair, and always wait with hope for your God.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Therefore turn thou to thy God; Keep mercy and justice, And wait for thy God continually.

New American Standard 1977
Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore be thou converted unto thy God; keep mercy and judgment, and in thy God wait continually.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore turn you to your God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on your God continually.

American King James Version
Therefore turn you to your God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on your God continually.

American Standard Version
Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep kindness and justice, and wait for thy God continually.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Therefore turn thou to thy God : keep mercy and judgment, and hope in thy God always.

Darby Bible Translation
And thou, return unto thy God: keep loving-kindness and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.

English Revised Version
Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.

Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.

World English Bible
Therefore turn to your God. Keep kindness and justice, and wait continually for your God.

Young's Literal Translation
And thou, through thy God, dost turn, Kindness and judgment keep thou, And wait on thy God continually.
Study Bible
A Reproof of Ephraim, Judah, Jacob
5Even the LORD, the God of hosts, The LORD is His name. 6Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually. 7A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress.…
Cross References
Ezekiel 18:30
"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct," declares the Lord GOD. "Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you.

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.

Hosea 10:12
Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.

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

Joel 2:12
"Yet even now," declares the LORD, "Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning;

Micah 6:8
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?

Micah 7:7
But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.
Treasury of Scripture

Therefore turn you to your God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on your God continually.


Hosea 14:1 O Israel, return to the LORD your God; for you have fallen by your iniquity.

Proverbs 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit to you, …

Isaiah 31:6 Turn you to him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted.

Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near…

Jeremiah 3:14-22 Turn, O backsliding children, said the LORD; for I am married to …

Lamentations 3:39-41 Why does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins…

Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD …

Zechariah 1:3 Therefore say you to them, Thus said the LORD of hosts; Turn you …

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you …

Acts 26:20 But showed first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout …


Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel: for the LORD has …

Proverbs 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Isaiah 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before …

Isaiah 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, …

Jeremiah 22:15 Shall you reign, because you close yourself in cedar? did not your …

Amos 5:24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require …

Zechariah 7:9 Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and …

Zechariah 8:16 These are the things that you shall do; Speak you every man the truth …

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To …

James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that has showed no mercy; …


Genesis 49:18 I have waited for your salvation, O LORD.

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your …

Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not yourself because …

Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, …

Psalm 130:5-7 I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in his word do I hope…

Isaiah 8:17 And I will wait on the LORD, that hides his face from the house of …

Isaiah 30:18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious to you, …

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall …

Lamentations 3:25,26 The LORD is good to them that wait for him, to the soul that seeks him…

Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall …

Zephaniah 3:8 Therefore wait you on me, said the LORD, until the day that I rise …

(6) Therefore . . .--More correctly, But do thou return to thy God. There is an implied contrast between the patriarch and his degenerate descendants in the days of Hosea.

Verse 6. - Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually. God's character in itself, and his conduct towards the great forefather of the Hebrew race, call at once for confidence and contrition. The evidence of their repentance is twofold: one aspect is manward, consisting of mercy and judgment; the other is Godward, being a constant waiting upon God. The literal rendering brings out the meaning more clearly; it is, "And thou, in [or, 'by'] thy God thou shalt return." If we render the preposition by "in," we may understand it to imply entire dependence on God, or close and cordial fellowship with God; if we take it to mean "by," it signifies the power or help of God; while the return is moral and spiritual, with perhaps material and literal restoration implied A parallel for be in the signification of "by" occurs in the first chapter of this book at the seventh verse: "I will save them by (be) the Lord their God;" also in Deuteronomy 33:29, "O people saved by (be) the Lord." We prefer the former sense as more simple and suitable; it is concisely and correctly explained by Keil as follows: "'שׁוב with בְ is a pregnant expression, as in Isaiah 10:22, 'So turn as to enter into vital fellowship with God; ' that is, to be truly converted.... The next two clauses are to be taken as explanatory of תשוב. The conversion is to show itself i, the perception of love and right towards their brethren, and in constant trust in God." The difference between שׁוּב בְּ and שוּב אֶל is that the latter signifies "to return to," and the former "to return into," and thus expresses inward union with him. The general sense of the clause is thus expressed by Aben Ezra: "If thou wouldst return to God, he would be thy help to bring thee back to him;" and by Kimchi as follows: "But thou who art the seed of Jacob, if thou art willing, canst return unto thy God, i.e. thou canst rest in him, as 'In returning and rest shall ye be saved' (Isaiah 30:15)." The second point of the verse has an instructive parallel in Micah 6:8, "What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" In regard to the waiting upon God, of which the last clause speaks, Aben Ezra has the pithy remark, "Depend not upon thy riches nor thy strength, for the strength thou hadst from him, also the riches." Kimchi comments on the same more fully, as follows: "On this condition thou canst rest and not be afraid of the enemy, if thou wilt observe to do mercy and judgment: for his conditions are as he said, 'I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.' And although he does not mention righteousness here, yet he has said in another place, 'Keep ye judgment, and to justice [literally, 'righteousness'].' And he says here, 'And wait upon thy God continually;' now it is righteousness and equity that thou waitest on thy God continually. And even when thou shalt have great possession and riches and wealth, thou shalt say to thyself, ' It is all from him; thou shall remember him continually and wait on him, as he says in the Law (Deuteronomy 8:18), ' Thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth; not like Ephraim, who says, 'I am become rich, I have found me out substance.'" The Septuagint has ἔγγιζε, equivalent to "draw near to," having probably read קְרֹב instead of קַוֵּה. Therefore turn thou to thy God,.... Judah, with whom the Lord had a controversy, is here addressed and exhorted to return to the Lord, from whom they had backslidden; and this is urged, from the consideration of their being the descendants of so great a man as Jacob; whose example they should follow, and make supplication to the Lord as he did; and from this instance of their progenitor might encourage themselves, that God, who was his God, and their God, would be gracious and merciful to them, and that they should prevail with him likewise, and obtain the blessing, and especially since he is the everlasting and unchangeable Jehovah. Turning to the Lord, as it supposes a going astray from him, so it signifies a turning from idols, and all vain confidences; and is done by renewed acts of faith and trust in the Lord, and repentance towards him; and cannot be performed aright without grace and strength from him, of which Ephraim was sensible, Jeremiah 31:18; as well as the encouragement to it is from a view of God as a covenant God, and as gracious and merciful, So Aben Ezra interprets it of divine help, of turning by thy God, that is, by the help and assistance of thy God; and, indeed, conversion to God, whether at first, or after, is through his powerful and efficacious grace. Kimchi explains it, "thou shalt rest in thy God" (w); when want follows is performed, comparing it with Isaiah 30:15. The Targum is,

"and thou shall be strong in the worship of thy God;''

keep mercy and judgment; or, "observe" (x) them to do them; to show mercy to persons in misery, to the poor and indigent, which is what the Lord desires and delights in, more than in ceremonial sacrifices; and is a principal part of the moral law, as "judgment" is another; the exercise of justice, both public and private; passing a righteous sentence in courts of judicature, and doing that which is right between man and man; owing no man anything, but giving to all their due; doing no injury to any man's person, property, or character; which are fruits meet for true repentance; and when they spring from faith and love, and are done with a view to the glory of God, and good of men, are acceptable to the Lord; these are the weightier matters of the law, Matthew 23:23;

and wait on thy God continually; both in private prayer, and for an answer to it, and in public worship and ordinances, in hope of meeting with him, and enjoying his presence; for this takes in the whole of religious worship, private and public, and all religious exercises, as invocation of God, trust in him, and expectation of seed things from him; and may have a respect to the Messiah, and salvation by him, and a waiting for him and that; as Jacob did, and his posterity should, and many of them were in this posture, before and at his coming; see Genesis 49:18; Agreeable to this the Targum is,

"and wait for the redemption or salvation of thy God continually.''

(w) "in Deo tuo conquiesce", Drusius. (x) "observa", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. 6. thou—who dost wish to be a true descendant of Jacob.

to THY God—who is therefore bound by covenant to hear thy prayers.

keep mercy and judgment—(Mic 6:8). These two include the second-table commandments, duty towards one's neighbor, the most visible test of the sincerity on one's repentance.

wait on thy God—alone, not on thy idols. Including all the duties of the first table (Ps 37:3, 5, 7; 40:1).12:1-6 Ephraim feeds himself with vain hopes of help from man, when he is at enmity with God. The Jews vainly thought to secure the Egyptians by a present of the produce of their country. Judah is contended with also. God sees the sin of his own people, and will reckon with them for it. They are put in mind of what Jacob did, and what God did for him. When his faith upon the Divine promise prevailed above his fears, then by his strength he had power with God. He is Jehovah, the same that was, and is, and is to come. What was a revelation of God to one, is his memorial to many, to all generations. Then let those who have gone from God, be turned to him. Turn thou to the Lord, by repentance and faith, as thy God. Let those that are converted to him, walk with him in all holy conversation and godliness. Let us wrestle with Him for promised blessings, determined not to give over till we prevail; and let us seek Him in his ordinances.
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