1. “They say, ‘If a man puts away his wife, and she goes from him and will be for another man, will he return to her again?’ Would not then that land be greatly defiled? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return to Me,” declares the LORD.
2. “Lift up your eyes to the high places, and see, where have you not been lain with? By the highways you have sat for them, like the Arabian in the wilderness; and you have defiled the land with your fornications and with your wickedness.
3. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain; and you have had a harlot’s forehead, you refused to be ashamed.
4. Will you not from this time cry to Me, ‘My Father, You are the guide of my youth’?
5. You ask, ‘Will He keep His anger forever? Will He keep it to the end?’ Behold, this is how you talk, but you do evil, and have had your way.”
6. The LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen that which backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and has played the harlot there.
7. And I said after she had done all these things, ‘She will return to Me!’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
8. And I saw, when for all the causes for which backsliding Israel committed adultery, I sent her away and gave a bill of divorce to her, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she went and played the harlot also.
9. And it came to pass through the folly of her whoredom, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and stocks.
10. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but with deception,” says the LORD.
11. And the LORD said to me, “The backsliding Israel has justified herself more than treacherous Judah.
12. Go and cry these words toward the north, and say, ‘Return, O backsliding Israel,’ says the LORD; ‘and I will not cause My anger to fall on you; for I am merciful,’ says the LORD, ‘and I will not keep My anger forever.
13. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD your God and have scattered your ways to strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice,’ ” says the LORD.
14. “Turn, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; “for I am your husband; and I will take you one from a city, and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
15. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
16. And it will be when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days,” says the LORD, “they shall say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD!’ Nor shall it come to mind; nor shall they remember it; nor shall they visit it; nor shall it be made any more.
17. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. Nor shall they walk any more after the stubbornness 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 to your fathers.
19. But I said, ‘How shall I put you among the children, and give you a pleasant land, a beautiful inheritance among the hosts of nations?’ And I said, ‘You shall call Me, “My Father,” and shall not turn away from Me.’
20. Surely as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so you have dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel,” says 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, O backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” “Behold, we come to You; for You are the LORD our God.
23. Truly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the high hills, from the multitude of mountains. Truly, in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.
24. The shameful thing has eaten up the labor 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 covers us; for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.”
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