¶ IF a man put away his wife, and she go from him and become another man’s wife, and he return to her again, behold, the land shall be defiled.
But you have committed adultery with many rulers;
return again to me, says the LORD.
Lift up your eyes to the highways, and see if there is a place where you have not defiled yourself.
In the roads you have sat waiting for them, like an ostrich in the wilderness;
and you have polluted the land with your whoredom.
And because of your wickedness the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain;
and you have become shameless like a whore, you have refused to be reproved.
Behold, now you say to me, My father, and thou art foster mother of my childhood.
Will God reserve his anger for ever?
Or will he keep it to the end?
Behold, you have spoken, and have done evil things beyond measure.
¶ The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah, Have you seen the thing which she who dwells in Israel has done?
She has gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there has played the harlot.
And I said after she had done all these things, Return to me, but she did not return.
And her perverseness was seen by her sister Judah.
And she saw all Israel’s evil-doings.
And because the inhabitants of Israel committed adultery, I had put her away and given a bill of divorce;
yet her perverse sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.
And her whoredom was so excessive that she defiled the land and committed adultery with idols of stone and wood,
And yet, for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not returned to me with her whole heart, but only with falsehood, says the LORD.
And the LORD said to me, The inhabitant of Israel has justified herself more than her perverse sister Judah.
¶ Go proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Repent, O you inhabitant of Israel, says the LORD;
and I will not be severe against you;
for I am good, says the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.
Only acknowledge your iniquity, for you have sinned against the LORD your God, and have scattered your evil practices to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed my voice, says the LORD.
Repent, O backsliding children, says the LORD;
for I was pleased with you;
and took one person of you from every town and two from every family, and I brought you to Zion.
And I will give you rulers according to my own heart, who will govern you with knowledge and understanding.
And it shall come to pass 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;
neither shall it come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall that ritual be performed any more.
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD;
and all the nations shall look up to the name of the LORD;
neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
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 as an inheritance to their fathers.
And I said, I will consider you as children, and give you a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations;
and I said, You shall call me, My father, and shall not turn away from me.
Surely as a wife lies about her lover, so has the house of Israel lied against me, says the LORD.
A voice was heard on the highways, the weeping and supplications of the children of Israel;
for they have perverted their ways, and they have forsaken the LORD their God.
Repent, O you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings;
and say, Behold, we are yours;
for thou art the LORD our God.
Truly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills and from fortified mountains;
truly, in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.
For shame has devoured the labor of our fathers from their childhood, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.
Let us lie down in our shame, and let our confusion cover 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.