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6 The Lord said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: “Have you seen what mbacksliding Israel has done? She has ngone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. 7 oAnd I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous psister Judah saw it. 8 Then I saw that qfor all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had rput her away and given her a certificate of divorce; syet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. 9 So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she tdefiled the land and committed adultery with ustones and trees. 10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me vwith her whole heart, but in pretense,” says the Lord.
‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord;
‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you.
For I am ymerciful,’ says the Lord;
‘I will not remain angry forever.
13 zOnly acknowledge your iniquity,
That you have transgressed against the Lord your God,
And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord.
14 “Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; d“for I am married to you. I will take you, eone from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to fZion. 15 And I will give you gshepherds according to My heart, who will hfeed you with knowledge and understanding.
16 “Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and iincreased in the land in those days,” says the Lord, “that they will say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ jIt shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.
17 “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, kto the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem. No more shall they lfollow 3the dictates of their evil hearts.
‘How can I put you among the children
And give you pa pleasant land,
A beautiful heritage of the hosts of nations?’
“And I said:
‘You shall call Me, q“My Father,”
And not turn away from Me.’
20 Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her 4husband,
So rhave you dealt treacherously with Me,
O house of Israel,” says the Lord.
21 A voice was heard on sthe desolate heights,
Weeping and supplications of the children of Israel.
For they have perverted their way;
They have forgotten the Lord their God.
And I will theal your backslidings.”
“Indeed we do come to You,
For You are the Lord our God.
23 uTruly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills,
And from the multitude of mountains;
vTruly, in the Lord our God
Is the salvation of Israel.
24 wFor shame has devoured
The labor of our fathers from our youth—
Their flocks and their herds,
Their sons and their daughters.
And our 5reproach covers us.
xFor we have sinned against the Lord our God,
We and our fathers,
From our youth even to this day,
And yhave not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”
About The New King James Version
The New King James Version is a total update of the 1611 King James Version, also known as the "Authorized Version." Every attempt has been made to maintain the beauty of the original version while updating the English grammar to contemporary style and usage. The result is much better "readability." It is noteworthy that the NKJV is one of the few modern translations still based on the "Western" or "Byzantine" manuscript tradition. This makes the New King James Version an invaluable aid to comparative English Bible study.
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