1 It is said: »If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, her first husband should not go back to her again.« The land would become completely polluted. »You have behaved like a prostitute who has many lovers. Now you want to come back to me!« Says Jehovah.
2 »Lift up your eyes to the bare hills and see. You have had sex with men in every place. You sat by the roadside waiting for them like a nomad in the desert. You have defiled corruptedprofaned the land with your prostitution and wickedness.
3 »Accordingly the rain has been withheld, and there have been no spring showers. Yet, you have the unashamed conspicuousimpudent look of a prostitute, and you refuse to be ashamed.
4 »Now you call to me. You say, Father! »You have been my friend ever since I was young.
5 »Will you hold a grudge forever? Will you always be angry? You have said and done all the evil things that you could.«
6 During the reign of King Josiah, Jehovah asked me: »Did you see what unfaithful Israel did? She went up every high mountain and under every large tree, and she acted like a prostitute there.
7 »I thought that after she had done all this she would come back to me. But she did not come back, and her treacherous unstableunreliablefalse sister Judah saw her.
8 »Judah saw that I sent unfaithful Israel away because of her adultery and that I gave Israel her divorce papers. But treacherous Judah, her sister, was not afraid. She also acted like a prostitute.
9 »Because she was not concerned about her prostitution. She polluted the land and committed adultery with stone and wood.
10 »Even after all this, Israel's treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart. She was deceitful,« says Jehovah.
11 Jehovah said to me: »Treacherous Judah was more reprehensible than unfaithful Israel.
12 »Go and proclaim this message to the north: Come back, unfaithful Israel. It is Jehovah speaking. I will no longer frown on you because I am merciful, declares Jehovah. I will no longer be angry with you.
13 Admit that you have done wrong! You have rebelled against Jehovah your God. You have given yourself to foreign gods under every large tree. You have not obeyed me, says Jehovah.
14 Return, you disobedient people, proclaims Jehovah. I am your husband. I will take you, one from every city and two from every family, and bring you to Zion.
15 »I will give you shepherds after my own heart. They will be shepherds who feed shepherdleadtend you with knowledge and understanding learningreasoninginsight.
16 »In those days you will be fertile, and your population will increase in the land, says Jehovah. Men will no longer talk about the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah. It will no longer come to mind. They will not remember it, miss it, or make another one.
17 »At that time, they will call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah. All nations will gather in Jerusalem because the name of Jehovah will be found there. They will no longer follow their own stubborn, evil ways.
18 »Then the nation of Judah will live with the nation of Israel. They will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave their ancestors as their own inheritance.
19 »I wanted to treat you like children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful property among the nations. I thought you would call me Father and not turn away from me.
20 »But like a wife who is unfaithful to her husband, so you, O house of Israel, were unfaithful me,« says Jehovah.
21 A voice is heard on the bare hills. It is the crying and the pleading of the people of Israel. They are perverted and have forgotten Jehovah their God.
22 »Return you backsliding children, and I will forgive you for being unfaithful. See, we have come to you because you are Jehovah our God.
23 »Truly the sound from the hills and mountains is the noise of false worship. Truly Jehovah our God will be our salvation.
24 »Ever since we were young, the shameful worship of Baal has taken everything our ancestors worked for, their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters.
25 »We must lie down in our shame and let our humiliation cover us. Ever since we were young, we and our fathers have sinned against Jehovah our God. We have not obeyed Jehovah our God.«