Wages of Apostasy

If[a] a man divorces his wife
and she leaves him to marry another,
can he ever return to her?(A)
Wouldn’t such a land[b] become totally defiled?
But you!
You have prostituted yourself with many partners(B)
can you return to me?(C)
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Look to the barren heights(D) and see.
Where have you not been immoral?
You sat waiting for them beside the highways(E)
like a nomad in the desert.
You have defiled the land
with your prostitution and wickedness.(F)
This is why the showers haven’t come(G)
why there has been no spring rain.
You have the brazen look(H) of a prostitute[c]
and refuse to be ashamed.(I)
Haven’t you recently called to me, “My Father.(J)
You were my friend in my youth.(K)
Will he bear a grudge forever?(L)
Will he be endlessly infuriated?”
This is what you have said,
but you have done the evil things
you are capable of.

Unfaithful Israel, Treacherous Judah

In the days of King Josiah the Lord asked me, “Have you seen what unfaithful Israel has done? She has ascended every high hill and gone under every green tree to prostitute herself there.(M) I thought, ‘After she has done all these things, she will return to me.’(N) But she didn’t return, and her treacherous sister Judah(O) saw it. I[d] observed that it was because unfaithful Israel had committed adultery that I had sent her away and had given her a certificate of divorce.(P) Nevertheless, her treacherous sister Judah was not afraid but also went and prostituted herself.(Q) Indifferent to[e] her prostitution, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones(R) and trees.(S) 10 Yet in spite of all this, her treacherous sister Judah didn’t return to me with all her heart(T)—only in pretense.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

11 The Lord announced to me, “Unfaithful Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.(U) 12 Go, proclaim these words to the north, and say,

‘Return, unfaithful Israel.(V)
This is the Lord’s declaration.
I will not look on you with anger,[f]
for I am unfailing in my love.(W)
This is the Lord’s declaration.
I will not be angry forever.(X)
13 Only acknowledge your guilt(Y)
you have rebelled against the Lord your God.(Z)
You have scattered your favors to strangers
under every green tree(AA)
and have not obeyed me.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

14 “‘Return, you faithless children(AB)—this is the Lord’s declaration—for I am your master,[g](AC) and I will take you,(AD) one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15 I will give you shepherds who are loyal to me,[h](AE) and they will shepherd you with knowledge and skill. 16 When you multiply and increase in the land,(AF) in those days—this is the Lord’s declaration—no one will say again, “The ark of the Lord’s covenant.”(AG) It will never come to mind, and no one will remember or miss it. Another one will not be made.[i] 17 At that time Jerusalem will be called The Lord’s Throne,(AH) and all the nations will be gathered to it,(AI) to the name of the Lord in Jerusalem.(AJ) They will cease to follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. 18 In those days the house of Judah will join with the house of Israel,(AK) and they will come together from the land of the north to the land I have given your ancestors to inherit.’”(AL)

True Repentance

19 I thought, “How I long to make you my sons
and give you a desirable land,
the most beautiful inheritance(AM) of all the nations.”
I thought, “You will call me ‘My Father’
and never turn away from me.”
20 However, as a woman may betray her lover,[j]
so you have betrayed(AN) me, house of Israel.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

21 A sound is heard on the barren heights:
the children of Israel weeping and begging for mercy,
for they have perverted their way;
they have forgotten the Lord their God.(AO)

22 Return, you faithless children.
I will heal your unfaithfulness.(AP)
“Here we are, coming to you,
for you are the Lord our God.

23 Surely, falsehood comes from the hills,
commotion from the mountains,(AQ)
but the salvation of Israel
is only in the Lord our God.(AR)
24 From the time of our youth
the shameful one[k] has consumed
what our fathers have worked for—
their flocks and their herds,
their sons and their daughters.
25 Let us lie down in our shame;
let our disgrace cover us.(AS)
We have sinned against the Lord our God,(AT)
both we and our fathers,
from the time of our youth even to this day.(AU)
We have not obeyed the Lord our God.”

Footnotes

  1. 3:1 One Hb ms, LXX, Syr; other Hb mss read Saying: If
  2. 3:1 LXX reads woman
  3. 3:3 Lit have a prostitute’s forehead
  4. 3:8 One Hb ms, Syr read She
  5. 3:9 Lit From the lightness of
  6. 3:12 Lit not cause my face to fall on you
  7. 3:14 Or husband
  8. 3:15 Lit shepherds according to my heart
  9. 3:16 Or It will no longer be done
  10. 3:20 Lit friend
  11. 3:24 = Baal

“If a man divorces(A) his wife
    and she leaves him and marries another man,
should he return to her again?
    Would not the land be completely defiled?(B)
But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers(C)
    would you now return to me?”(D)
declares the Lord.
“Look up to the barren heights(E) and see.
    Is there any place where you have not been ravished?
By the roadside(F) you sat waiting for lovers,
    sat like a nomad in the desert.
You have defiled the land(G)
    with your prostitution(H) and wickedness.
Therefore the showers have been withheld,(I)
    and no spring rains(J) have fallen.
Yet you have the brazen(K) look of a prostitute;
    you refuse to blush with shame.(L)
Have you not just called to me:
    ‘My Father,(M) my friend from my youth,(N)
will you always be angry?(O)
    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,(P) the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what faithless(Q) Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree(R) and has committed adultery(S) there. I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister(T) Judah saw it.(U) I gave faithless Israel(V) her certificate of divorce(W) and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear;(X) she also went out and committed adultery. Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land(Y) and committed adultery(Z) with stone(AA) and wood.(AB) 10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return(AC) to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,(AD)” declares the Lord.(AE)

11 The Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel is more righteous(AF) than unfaithful(AG) Judah.(AH) 12 Go, proclaim this message toward the north:(AI)

“‘Return,(AJ) faithless(AK) Israel,’ declares the Lord,
    ‘I will frown on you no longer,
for I am faithful,’(AL) declares the Lord,
    ‘I will not be angry(AM) forever.
13 Only acknowledge(AN) your guilt—
    you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
you have scattered your favors to foreign gods(AO)
    under every spreading tree,(AP)
    and have not obeyed(AQ) me,’”
declares the Lord.

14 “Return,(AR) faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband.(AS) I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherds(AT) after my own heart,(AU) 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 ark(AV) of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered;(AW) it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne(AX) of the Lord, and all nations(AY) will gather in Jerusalem to honor(AZ) the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.(BA) 18 In those days the people of Judah will join the people of Israel,(BB) and together(BC) they will come from a northern(BD) land to the land(BE) 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,(BF)
    the most beautiful inheritance(BG) of any nation.’
I thought you would call me ‘Father’(BH)
    and not turn away from following me.
20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,
    so you, Israel, have been unfaithful(BI) to me,”
declares the Lord.

21 A cry is heard on the barren heights,(BJ)
    the weeping(BK) and pleading of the people of Israel,
because they have perverted their ways
    and have forgotten(BL) the Lord their God.

22 “Return,(BM) faithless people;
    I will cure(BN) you of backsliding.”(BO)

“Yes, we will come to you,
    for you are the Lord our God.
23 Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills(BP)
    and mountains is a deception;
surely in the Lord our God
    is the salvation(BQ) of Israel.
24 From our youth shameful(BR) 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,(BS)
    and let our disgrace cover us.
We have sinned(BT) against the Lord our God,
    both we and our ancestors;(BU)
from our youth(BV) till this day
    we have not obeyed(BW) the Lord our God.”

They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord.

Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.

Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.

Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?

Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.

The Lord said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.

And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.

And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the Lord.

11 And the Lord said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.

12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever.

13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord.

14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.

17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.

18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

19 But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me.

20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.

21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the Lord their God.

22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God.

23 Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.

24 For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.

25 We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.

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