Jeremiah Chapter 3 |
1[The word of the Lord came to me] as follows: If a man divorces his wife, and she leaves him and marries another man, can he ever go back to her? Would not such a land be defiled? Now you have whored with many lovers: can you return to Me?—says the Lord.
2Look up to the bare heights, and see:
Where have they not lain with you?
You waited for them on the roadside
Like a bandit in the wilderness.
And you defiled the land
With your whoring and your debauchery.
3And when showers were withheld
And the late rains did not come,
You had the brazenness of a street woman,
You refused to be ashamed.
4Just now you called to Me, “Father!
You are the Companion of my youth.
5Does one hate for all time?
Does one rage forever?”
That is how you spoke;
You did wrong, and had your way.
6The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what Rebel Israel did, going to every high mountain and under every leafy tree, and whoring there? 7I thought: After she has done all these things, she will come back to Me. But she did not come back; and her sister, Faithless Judah, saw it. 8I noted: Because Rebel Israel had committed adultery, I cast her off and handed her a bill of divorce; yet her sister, Faithless Judah, was not afraid—she too went and whored. 9Indeed, the land was defiled by her casual immorality, as she committed adultery with stone and with wood. 10And after all that, her sister, Faithless Judah, did not return to Me wholeheartedly, but insincerely—declares the Lord.
11And the Lord said to me: Rebel Israel has shown herself more in the right than Faithless Judah. 12Go, make this proclamation toward the north, and say: Turn back, O Rebel Israel—declares the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am compassionate—declares the Lord; I do not bear a grudge for all time. 13Only recognize your sin; for you have transgressed against the Lord your God, and scattered your favors among strangers under every leafy tree, and you have not heeded Me—declares the Lord.
14Turn back, rebellious children—declares the Lord. Since I have espoused you, I will take you, one from a town and two from a clan, and bring you to Zion. 15And I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will pasture you with knowledge and skill.
16And when you increase and are fertile in the land, in those days—declares the Lord—men shall no longer speak of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, nor shall it come to mind. They shall not mention it, or miss it, or make another. 17At that time, they shall call Jerusalem “Throne of the Lord,” and all nations shall assemble there, in the name of the Lord, at Jerusalem. They shall no longer follow the willfulness of their evil hearts. 18In those days, the House of Judah shall go with the House of Israel; they shall come together from the land of the north to the land I gave your fathers as a possession.
19I had resolved to adopt you as My child, and I gave you a desirable land—the fairest heritage of all the nations; and I thought you would surely call Me “Father,” and never cease to be loyal to Me. 20Instead, you have broken faith with Me, as a woman breaks faith with a paramour, O House of Israel—declares the Lord.
21Hark! On the bare heights is heard
The suppliant weeping of the people of Israel,
For they have gone a crooked way,
Ignoring the Lord their God.
22Turn back, O rebellious children,
I will heal your afflictions!
“Here we are, we come to You,
For You, O Lord, are our God!
23 Surely, futility comes from the hills,
Confusion from the mountains.
Only through the Lord our God
Is there deliverance for Israel.
24But the Shameful Thing has consumed
The possessions of our fathers ever since our youth—
Their flocks and herds,
Their sons and daughters.
25Let us lie down in our shame,
Let our disgrace cover us;
For we have sinned against the Lord our God,
We and our fathers from our youth to this day,
And we have not heeded the Lord our God.”