Jeremiah 3

1 They say, If a man puts away his wife, and she goes from him, and become another man's, will he return to her again? Will not that land be greatly polluted? But thou have played the harlot with many lovers. Yet return again to me,

2 Lift up thine eyes to the bare heights, and see. Where have thou not been lain with? By the ways thou have sat for them, as an Arabian in the wilderness, and thou have polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.

3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain. Yet thou have a harlot's forehead; thou refused to be ashamed.

4 Will thou not from this time cry to me, My Father, thou are the guide of my youth?

5 Will he retain [his anger] forever? Will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou have spoken, and have done evil things, and have had thy way.

6 Moreover LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king, Have thou seen that which backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there has played the harlot.

7 And I said after she had done all these things, She will return to me, but she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.

8 And I saw, when, for this very cause that backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorcement, yet treacherous Judah her sister feared not, but she also went and played the harlot.

9 And it came to pass through the frivolity of her whoredom, that the land was polluted, and she committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not returned to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, says LORD.

11 And LORD said to me, Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.

12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, says LORD, I will not look in anger upon you, for I am merciful, says LORD. I will not keep [anger] forever.

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

14 Return, O backsliding sons, says LORD, for I am a husband to 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 shepherds according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

16 And it shall come to pass, when ye are multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says LORD, they shall no more say, The ark of the covenant of LORD, nor shall it come to mind. Neither shall they remember it, nor shall th

17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of LORD, to Jerusalem. Neither 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 gave for an inheritance to your fathers.

19 But I said, How I will put thee among the sons, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of the nations! And I said, Ye shall call me My Father, and shall not turn away from following me.

20 Surely as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so ye have dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, says LORD.

21 A voice is heard upon the bare heights, the weeping [and] the supplications of the sons of Israel, because they have perverted their way; they have forgotten LORD their God.

22 Return, ye backsliding sons, I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we have come to thee, for thou are LORD our God.

23 Truly [it is] in vain from the heights, the multitude on the mountains. Truly in LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.

24 But the shameful thing has devoured the labor of our fathers from our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.

25 Let us lay down in our shame, and let our confusion cover us, for we have sinned against LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of LORD our God.