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3 “If a man divorcesd his wife

and she leaves him and marries another man,

should he return to her again?

Would not the land be completely defiled?e

But you have lived as a prostitute with many loversf

would you now return to me?”g

declares the Lord.

“Look up to the barren heightsh and see.

Is there any place where you have not been ravished?

By the roadsidei you sat waiting for lovers,

sat like a nomad in the desert.

You have defiled the landj

with your prostitutionk and wickedness.

Therefore the showers have been withheld,l

and no spring rainsm have fallen.

Yet you have the brazenn look of a prostitute;

you refuse to blush with shame.o

Have you not just called to me:

‘My Father,p my friend from my youth,q

will you always be angry?r

Will your wrath continue forever?’

This is how you talk,

but you do all the evil you can.”

Unfaithful Israel

During the reign of King Josiah,s the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what faithlesst Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading treeu and has committed adulteryv there. I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sisterw Judah saw it.x I gave faithless Israely her certificate of divorcez and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear;a she also went out and committed adultery. Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the landb and committed adulteryc with stoned and wood.e 10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not returnf to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,g” declares the Lord.h

11 The Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel is more righteousi than unfaithfulj Judah.k 12 Go, proclaim this message toward the north:l

“ ‘Return,m faithlessn Israel,’ declares the Lord,

‘I will frown on you no longer,

for I am faithful,’o declares the Lord,

‘I will not be angryp forever.

13 Only acknowledgeq your guilt—

you have rebelled against the Lord your God,

you have scattered your favors to foreign godsr

under every spreading tree,s

and have not obeyedt me,’ ”

declares the Lord.

14 “Return,u faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband.v I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherdsw after my own heart,x who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. 16 In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the Lord, “people will no longer say, ‘The arky of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered;z it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Thronea of the Lord, and all nationsb will gather in Jerusalem to honorc the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.d 18 In those days the people of Judah will join the people of Israel,e and togetherf they will come from a northerng land to the landh I gave your ancestors as an inheritance.

19 “I myself said,

“ ‘How gladly would I treat you like my children

and give you a pleasant land,i

the most beautiful inheritancej of any nation.’

I thought you would call me ‘Father’k

and not turn away from following me.

20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,

so you, Israel, have been unfaithfull to me,”

declares the Lord.

21 A cry is heard on the barren heights,m

the weepingn and pleading of the people of Israel,

because they have perverted their ways

and have forgotteno the Lord their God.

22 “Return,p faithless people;

I will cureq you of backsliding.”r

“Yes, we will come to you,

for you are the Lord our God.

23 Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hillss

and mountains is a deception;

surely in the Lord our God

is the salvationt of Israel.

24 From our youth shamefulu gods have consumed

the fruits of our ancestors’ labor—

their flocks and herds,

their sons and daughters.

25 Let us lie down in our shame,v

and let our disgrace cover us.

We have sinnedw against the Lord our God,

both we and our ancestors;x

from our youthy till this day

we have not obeyedz the Lord our God.”


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