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Jesus here quoted Hosea 6:6 as Scriptural authority. Animal sacrifices, which were prescribed by the law and thus necessary and appropriate, were meaningless unless accompanied by true obedience to the law, along with true repentance and faith in God's mercy and forgiveness. Such characteristics of one who offers sacrifice would inevitably produce a merciful attitude in that person's life.
KJV Defenders Study Bible, by Dr. Henry Morris, Ph.D.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
DEF 10 ISBN 0-529-10444-x
DEF 10-1 ISBN 0-529-10445-8