Therefore will I return and take back My grain in the time for it and My new wine in the season for it, and will pluck away and recover My wool and My flax which were to cover her [Israel’s] nakedness.
She will pursue her lovers but not catch them. She will seek them but won’t find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband; because things were better for me then than they are now.’
So I will return and take back my grain at the time it is ready to be harvested. I will take back my wine at the time the grapes are ready. I will take back my wool and linen. I gave those things to her so that she could cover her naked body.
“So I will come back and take away my grain ·at harvest time [L in its time] and my new wine ·when it is ready [L in its season/appointed time]. I will take back my wool and ·linen [flax] that covered her nakedness.
“But now I will take back the wine and ripened corn I constantly supplied, and the clothes I gave her to cover her nakedness—I will no longer give her rich harvests of grain in its season or wine at the time of the grape harvest.
“Haul your mother into court. Accuse her! She’s no longer my wife. I’m no longer her husband. Tell her to quit dressing like a whore, displaying her breasts for sale. If she refuses, I’ll rip off her clothes and expose her, naked as a newborn. I’ll turn her skin into dried-out leather, her body into a badlands landscape, a rack of bones in the desert. I’ll have nothing to do with her children, born one and all in a whorehouse. Face it: Your mother’s been a whore, bringing bastard children into the world. She said, ‘I’m off to see my lovers! They’ll wine and dine me, Dress and caress me, perfume and adorn me!’ But I’ll fix her: I’ll dump her in a field of thistles, then lose her in a dead-end alley. She’ll go on the hunt for her lovers but not bring down a single one. She’ll look high and low but won’t find a one. Then she’ll say, ‘I’m going back to my husband, the one I started out with. That was a better life by far than this one.’ She didn’t know that it was I all along who wined and dined and adorned her, That I was the one who dressed her up in the big-city fashions and jewelry that she wasted on wild Baal-orgies. I’m about to bring her up short: No more wining and dining! Silk lingerie and gowns are a thing of the past. I’ll expose her genitals to the public. All her fly-by-night lovers will be helpless to help her. Party time is over. I’m calling a halt to the whole business, her wild weekends and unholy holidays. I’ll wreck her sumptuous gardens and ornamental fountains, of which she bragged, ‘Whoring paid for all this!’ They will soon be dumping grounds for garbage, feeding grounds for stray dogs and cats. I’ll make her pay for her indulgence in promiscuous religion— all that sensuous Baal worship And all the promiscuous sex that went with it, stalking her lovers, dressed to kill, And not a thought for me.” God’s Message!
Then she will chase after her lovers, but she will not overtake them. She will seek them, but not find. Then she will say: ‘Let me go and return to my first husband, for was it better for me then, than now.’
Therefore I shall turn (again), and take (back) my wheat in his time, and my wine in his time; and I shall deliver my wool, and my flax, by which they covered the shame thereof. (And so I shall return, and take back my corn in its time, and my wine in its time; and I shall take away my wool, and my flax, with which she covered her shame, or her nakedness.)
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