Hosea 12:6

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

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} bwvt Kyhwlab "in Deo tuo conquiesce", Drusius.
{x} rmv "observa", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.