Jeremiah 3

1 aIf
Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew Saying, “If
a man divorces his wife
and she goes from him
and becomes another man’s wife,
will he return to her?
cWould not that land be greatly polluted?
dYou have played the whore with many lovers;
and would you return to me?

declares the  Lord.
2Lift up your eyes to ethe bare heights, and see!
Where have you not been ravished?
fBy the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers
like an Arab in the wilderness.
gYou have polluted the land
with your vile whoredom.
3 hTherefore the showers have been withheld,
and the spring rain has not come;
yet you have ithe forehead of a whore;
you refuse to be ashamed.
4Have you not just now jcalled to me,
‘My father, you are the friend of my youth
5 kwill he be angry forever,
will he be indignant to the end?’
Behold, you have spoken,
but you have done all the evil that you could.”

Faithless Israel Called to Repentance

6The  Lord said to me in the days of lKing Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, mhow she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there nplayed the whore? 7And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous osister Judah saw it. 8She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, pI had sent her away with qa decree of divorce. rYet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went sand played the whore. 9Because she took her whoredom lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with tstone and tree. 10Yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me uwith her whole heart, but in pretense, declares the  Lord.”

11And the  Lord said to me, vFaithless Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12Go, and proclaim these words toward wthe north, and say,

x“‘Return, faithless Israel,

declares the  Lord.
I will not look on you in anger,
for yI am merciful,

declares the  Lord;
zI will not be angry forever.
13 aaOnly acknowledge your guilt,
that you rebelled against the  Lord your God
and scattered your favors among foreigners under abevery green tree,
and that you have not obeyed my voice,

declares the  Lord.
14 acReturn, O faithless children,

declares the  Lord;
adfor I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
and I will bring you to Zion.

15“‘And aeI will give you shepherds after my own heart afwho will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the  Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the  Lord.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. 17At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the  Lord, agand all nations shall gather to it, ahto the presence of the  Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. 18 aiIn those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land ajof the north to akthe land that I gave your fathers for a heritage.

19 “‘I said,
How I would set you among my sons,
and give you a pleasant land,
a heritage most beautiful of all nations.
And I thought you would alcall me, My Father,
and would not turn from following me.
20 amSurely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband,
so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel,

declares the  Lord.’”
21 A voice on the anbare heights is heard,
aothe weeping and pleading of Israel’s sons
because they have perverted their way;
they have forgotten the  Lord their God.
22 apReturn, O faithless sons;
aqI will heal your faithlessness.”
Behold, we come to you,
for you are the  Lord our God.
23Truly arthe hills are a delusion,
the orgies
Hebrew commotion
on the mountains.
atTruly in the  Lord our God
is the salvation of Israel.

24“But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 auLet us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For avwe have sinned against the  Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the  Lord our God.”

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