3 “If a man ·divorces [L sends away] his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should her first husband come back to her again? If he went back to her, wouldn’t the land become completely ·unclean [defiled; polluted; C in a ritual sense; such a thing was forbidden by the Law; Deut. 24:1–4]? But you have acted like a prostitute with many lovers, and now you want to come back to me?” says the Lord[Hos. 2:7]; 2 “·Look up [L Lift up your eyes and look] to the bare hilltops, Judah. Is there any place where ·you have not been a prostitute [L you have not been lain with; C the hill country contained many pagan altars]? You have sat by the road waiting for lovers, like an Arab in the ·desert [wilderness]. You made the land ·unclean [defiled; polluted; C in a ritual sense], because you did evil and were like a prostitute. 3 So the rain has ·not come [L been withheld], and there have not been any spring rains [1 Kin. 17:1]. But ·your face still looks like the face [L you have the forehead] of a prostitute [C unembarrassed]. You refuse even to be ashamed of what you did. 4 ·Now you are [L Are you not now…?] calling to me, ‘My father, you have been my friend since I was young. 5 Will you always be angry at me? Will your anger last ·forever [L to the end]?’ Judah, you said this, but you did as much evil as you could!”
Judah and Israel Are like Sisters
6 ·When [L In the days when] Josiah [C Jeremiah began his work in Josiah’s thirteenth year (626 bc) and continued until Josiah’s death (609 bc) and beyond; 1:1–3] was ·ruling Judah [L king], the Lord said to me, “Did you see what unfaithful Israel did? She was like a prostitute with her idols on every hill and under every green tree [2:20]. 7 I said to myself, ‘Israel will come back to me after she does this evil,’ but she didn’t come back. And Israel’s ·wicked [traitorous; treacherous] sister Judah saw what she did [Ezek. 13; 26]. 8 Judah saw that I ·divorced [L sent away with a certificate of divorce] unfaithful Israel because of her adultery [C in the Assyrian exile of 722 bc], but that didn’t make Israel’s ·wicked [traitorous; treacherous] sister Judah afraid. She also went out and acted like a prostitute! 9 And she didn’t care that she was acting like a prostitute. So she made her country ·unclean [defiled; polluted; C in a ritual sense] and was guilty of adultery with stone and wood [C by worshiping idols made of these materials]. 10 Israel’s ·wicked [traitorous; treacherous] sister, Judah, didn’t even come back to me with her whole heart, but only pretended,” says the Lord.
11 The Lord said to me, “·Unfaithful [Apostate] Israel ·had a better excuse [L is more righteous] than ·wicked [traitorous; treacherous] Judah. 12 Go and speak ·this message [L these words] toward the north:
‘·Come back [Return], ·unfaithful [apostate] people of Israel,’ says the Lord. ‘I will ·stop being angry [no longer frown; L make my face fall] at you, because I am ·full of mercy [loyal],’ says the Lord. ‘I will not be angry with you forever. 13 ·All you have to do is admit your sin—[L Acknowledge your guilt] that you ·turned [rebelled; transgressed] against the Lord your God and ·worshiped gods [L scattered your ways to strangers] under every green tree [2:20] and didn’t ·obey me [L listen to my voice],’” says the Lord.
14 “·Come back [Return] to me, you ·unfaithful [apostate] children,” says the Lord, “because I am your master. I will take one person from every city and two from every ·family group [clan], and I will bring you to ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple]. 15 Then I will give you ·new rulers [L shepherds] ·who will be faithful to me [L according to my heart], who will ·lead [shepherd] you with knowledge and ·understanding [insight]. 16 In those days ·there will be many of you [L you will multiply and be fruitful] in the land,” says the Lord. “At that time people will no longer say, ‘The Ark of the ·Agreement [L Covenant; Testimony; Treaty; Ex. 25:10].’ They won’t remember it or miss it or make another one. 17 At that time people will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord[C due to God’s presence], and all nations will ·come together [gather] in Jerusalem to ·show respect to [L the name of] the Lord[12:15–16; 16:19; Is. 2:2–4; 56:6–7; Mic. 4:1–3; Zech. 2:11; 8:2–23; 14:16–17]. They will not ·follow [L go after] their stubborn, evil hearts anymore. 18 In those days the ·family [L house] of Judah will join the ·family [L house] of Israel. They will come together from a land in the north to the land I ·gave their ancestors [L caused their ancestors/fathers to inherit; C the future return from exile].
19 “I, the Lord, said,
‘How ·happy I would be to treat you as [L I would set you among] my own children and give you a ·pleasant [favored; coveted; desired] land, a ·land [inheritance] more beautiful than that of any other nation [Ex. 3:8, 17; Lam. 2:15; Ezek. 20:6; Dan. 11:16, 41].’ I thought you would call me ‘My Father’ and not turn away from me. 20 But like a woman who is ·unfaithful [a traitor; treacherous] to her husband, ·family [L house] of Israel, you have been unfaithful [a traitor; treacherous] to me,” says the Lord.
21 You can hear ·crying [L a voice] on the bare hilltops [3:2]. It is the people of Israel crying and ·praying for mercy [supplicating]. They have ·become very evil [L wandered off their path] and have forgotten the Lord their God.
22 “Come back to me, you ·unfaithful [apostate] children, and I will ·forgive [L heal] you for being ·unfaithful [apostate].”
“Yes, we will come to you, because you are the Lord our God. 23 ·It was foolish to worship idols on [L Deception/Illusions come from] the hills and ·orgies [L a tumult] on the mountains. Surely the salvation of Israel comes from the Lord our God. 24 Since our youth, shameful things [C false gods] have eaten up everything our ·ancestors [fathers] worked for— their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our ·shame [humiliation], and let our disgrace cover us. We have sinned against the Lord our God, both we and our ·ancestors [fathers]. From our youth until now, we have not ·obeyed [L listened to the voice of] the Lord our God.”
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