Jeremiah 3:1-18

Jeremiah 3:1-18 The Message (MSG)

GOD’s Message came to me as follows: “If a man’s wife walks out on him And marries another man, can he take her back as if nothing had happened? Wouldn’t that raise a huge stink in the land? And isn’t that what you’ve done— ‘whored’ your way with god after god? And now you want to come back as if nothing had happened.” GOD’s Decree. “Look around at the hills. Where have you not had sex? You’ve camped out like hunters stalking deer. You’ve solicited many lover-gods, Like a streetwalking whore chasing after other gods. And so the rain has stopped. No more rain from the skies! But it doesn’t even faze you. Brazen as whores, you carry on as if you’ve done nothing wrong. Then you have the nerve to call out, ‘My father! You took care of me when I was a child. Why not now? Are you going to keep up your anger nonstop?’ That’s your line. Meanwhile you keep sinning nonstop.” GOD spoke to me during the reign of King Josiah: “You have noticed, haven’t you, how fickle Israel has visited every hill and grove of trees as a whore at large? I assumed that after she had gotten it out of her system, she’d come back, but she didn’t. Her flighty sister, Judah, saw what she did. She also saw that because of fickle Israel’s loose morals I threw her out, gave her her walking papers. But that didn’t faze flighty sister Judah. She went out, big as you please, and took up a whore’s life also. She took up cheap sex-and-religion as a sideline diversion, an indulgent recreation, and used anything and anyone, flouting sanity and sanctity alike, stinking up the country. And not once in all this did flighty sister Judah even give me a nod, although she made a show of it from time to time.” GOD’s Decree. Then GOD told me, “Fickle Israel was a good sight better than flighty Judah. Go and preach this message. Face north toward Israel and say: “‘Turn back, fickle Israel. I’m not just hanging back to punish you. I’m committed in love to you. My anger doesn’t seethe nonstop. Just admit your guilt. Admit your God-defiance. Admit to your promiscuous life with casual partners, pulling strangers into the sex-and-religion groves While turning a deaf ear to me.’” GOD’s Decree. “Come back, wandering children!” GOD’s Decree. “I, yes I, am your true husband. I’ll pick you out one by one— This one from the city, these two from the country— and bring you to Zion. I’ll give you good shepherd-rulers who rule my way, who rule you with intelligence and wisdom. “And this is what will happen: You will increase and prosper in the land. The time will come”—GOD’s Decree!—“when no one will say any longer, ‘Oh, for the good old days! Remember the Ark of the Covenant?’ It won’t even occur to anyone to say it—‘the good old days.’ The so-called good old days of the Ark are gone for good. “Jerusalem will be the new Ark—‘GOD’s Throne.’ All the godless nations, no longer stuck in the ruts of their evil ways, will gather there to honor GOD. “At that time, the House of Judah will join up with the House of Israel. Holding hands, they’ll leave the north country and come to the land I willed to your ancestors.

Jeremiah 3:1-18 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

God says, “If a husband divorces his wife And she goes from him And belongs to another man, Will he still return to her? Will not that land be completely polluted? But you are a harlot with many lovers; Yet you turn to Me,” declares the LORD. “Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see; Where have you not been violated? By the roads you have sat for them Like an Arab in the desert, And you have polluted a land With your harlotry and with your wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld, And there has been no spring rain. Yet you had a harlot’s forehead; You refused to be ashamed. Have you not just now called to Me, ‘My Father, You are the friend of my youth? Will He be angry forever? Will He be indignant to the end?’ Behold, you have spoken And have done evil things, And you have had your way.” Then the LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there. I thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,” declares the LORD. And the LORD said to me, “Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ declares the LORD. ‘Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the LORD; ‘For I am a master to you, And I will take you one from a city and two from a family, And I will bring you to Zion.’ “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding. It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares the LORD, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again. At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the LORD,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the LORD; nor will they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance.

Jeremiah 3:1-18 New Living Translation (NLT)

“If a man divorces a woman and she goes and marries someone else, he will not take her back again, for that would surely corrupt the land. But you have prostituted yourself with many lovers, so why are you trying to come back to me?” says the LORD. “Look at the shrines on every hilltop. Is there any place you have not been defiled by your adultery with other gods? You sit like a prostitute beside the road waiting for a customer. You sit alone like a nomad in the desert. You have polluted the land with your prostitution and your wickedness. That’s why even the spring rains have failed. For you are a brazen prostitute and completely shameless. Yet you say to me, ‘Father, you have been my guide since my youth. Surely you won’t be angry forever! Surely you can forget about it!’ So you talk, but you keep on doing all the evil you can.” During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, “Have you seen what fickle Israel has done? Like a wife who commits adultery, Israel has worshiped other gods on every hill and under every green tree. I thought, ‘After she has done all this, she will return to me.’ But she did not return, and her faithless sister Judah saw this. She saw that I divorced faithless Israel because of her adultery. But that treacherous sister Judah had no fear, and now she, too, has left me and given herself to prostitution. Israel treated it all so lightly—she thought nothing of committing adultery by worshiping idols made of wood and stone. So now the land has been polluted. But despite all this, her faithless sister Judah has never sincerely returned to me. She has only pretended to be sorry. I, the LORD, have spoken!” Then the LORD said to me, “Even faithless Israel is less guilty than treacherous Judah! Therefore, go and give this message to Israel. This is what the LORD says: “O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the LORD your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I, the LORD, have spoken! “Return home, you wayward children,” says the LORD, “for I am your master. I will bring you back to the land of Israel— one from this town and two from that family— from wherever you are scattered. And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding. “And when your land is once more filled with people,” says the LORD, “you will no longer wish for ‘the good old days’ when you possessed the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant. You will not miss those days or even remember them, and there will be no need to rebuild the Ark. In that day Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Throne of the LORD.’ All nations will come there to honor the LORD. They will no longer stubbornly follow their own evil desires. In those days the people of Judah and Israel will return together from exile in the north. They will return to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance forever.

Jeremiah 3:1-18 King James Version (KJV)

They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth? Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest. The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD. And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: and I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: 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 for an inheritance unto your fathers.

Jeremiah 3:1-18 New Century Version (NCV)

“If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should her first husband come back to her again? If he went back to her, wouldn’t the land become completely unclean? But you have acted like a prostitute with many lovers, and now you want to come back to me?” says the LORD. “Look up to the bare hilltops, Judah. Is there any place where you have not been a prostitute? You have sat by the road waiting for lovers, like an Arab in the desert. You made the land unclean, because you did evil and were like a prostitute. So the rain has not come, and there have not been any spring rains. But your face still looks like the face of a prostitute. You refuse even to be ashamed of what you did. Now you are calling to me, ‘My father, you have been my friend since I was young. Will you always be angry at me? Will your anger last forever?’ Judah, you said this, but you did as much evil as you could!” When King Josiah was ruling Judah, the LORD said to me, “Did you see what unfaithful Israel did? She was like a prostitute with her idols on every hill and under every green tree. I said to myself, ‘Israel will come back to me after she does this evil,’ but she didn’t come back. And Israel’s wicked sister Judah saw what she did. Judah saw that I divorced unfaithful Israel because of her adultery, but that didn’t make Israel’s wicked sister Judah afraid. She also went out and acted like a prostitute! And she didn’t care that she was acting like a prostitute. So she made her country unclean and was guilty of adultery, because she worshiped idols made of stone and wood. Israel’s wicked sister didn’t even come back to me with her whole heart, but only pretended,” says the Lord. The LORD said to me, “Unfaithful Israel had a better excuse than wicked Judah. Go and speak this message toward the north: ‘Come back, unfaithful people of Israel,’ says the LORD. ‘I will stop being angry at you, because I am full of mercy,’ says the LORD. ‘I will not be angry with you forever. All you have to do is admit your sin— that you turned against the LORD your God and worshiped gods under every green tree and didn’t obey me,’ ” says the LORD. “Come back to me, you unfaithful children,” says the LORD, “because I am your master. I will take one person from every city and two from every family group, and I will bring you to Jerusalem. Then I will give you new rulers who will be faithful to me, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. In those days there will be many of you in the land,” says the LORD. “At that time people will no longer say, ‘I remember the Ark of the Agreement.’ They won’t think about it anymore or remember it or miss it or make another one. At that time people will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will come together in Jerusalem to show respect to the LORD. They will not follow their stubborn, evil hearts anymore. In those days the family of Judah will join the family of Israel. They will come together from a land in the north to the land I gave their ancestors.

Jeremiah 3:1-18 American Standard Version (ASV)

They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, will he return unto her again? will not that land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith Jehovah. Lift up thine eyes unto the bare heights, and see; where hast thou not been lain with? By the ways hast thou sat for them, as an Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; yet thou hadst a harlot’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My Father, thou art the guide of my youth? Will he retain his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and hast done evil things, and hast had thy way. Moreover Jehovah said unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. And I said after she had done all these things, She will return unto me; but she returned not: and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 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. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that the land was polluted, and she committed adultery with stones and with stocks. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not returned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith Jehovah. And Jehovah said unto me, Backsliding Israel hath showed herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith Jehovah; I will not look in anger upon you; for I am merciful, saith Jehovah, I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against Jehovah thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith Jehovah. Return, O backsliding children, saith Jehovah; for I am a husband unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye are multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith Jehovah, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of Jehovah; neither shall it come to mind; neither shall they remember it; neither shall they miss it; neither shall it be made any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness 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 gave for an inheritance unto your fathers.

Jeremiah 3:1-18 New International Version (NIV)

“If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again? Would not the land be completely defiled? But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers— would you now return to me?” declares the LORD. “Look up to the barren heights and see. Is there any place where you have not been ravished? By the roadside you sat waiting for lovers, sat like a nomad in the desert. You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains have fallen. Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute; you refuse to blush with shame. Have you not just called to me: ‘My Father, my friend from my youth, will you always be angry? Will your wrath continue forever?’ This is how you talk, but you do all the evil you can.” During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, “Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the LORD. The LORD said to me, “Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah. Go, proclaim this message toward the north: “ ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will frown on you no longer, for I am faithful,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt— you have rebelled against the LORD your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,’ ” declares the LORD. “Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the LORD, “people will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. In those days the people of Judah will join the people of Israel, and together they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance.

Jeremiah 3:1-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

That is to say, “If a man divorces his wife And she goes [away] from him And becomes another man’s [wife], Will he return to her again? [Of course not!] Will not that land [where such a thing happened] be completely desecrated? But you [rebelled against Me and you] are a prostitute with many lovers; Yet you turn to Me.” says the LORD. “Lift up your eyes to the barren heights and see; Where have you not been violated? You sat by the road waiting [eagerly] for them [those man-made gods] Like an Arab [tribesman who waits to attack] in the desert, And you have desecrated the land With your [vile] prostitution and your wickedness (disobedience to God). Therefore the showers have been withheld, And there has been no spring rain. Yet you have the forehead (appearance) of a prostitute; You refuse to be ashamed. Will you not just now call out to Me, ‘My Father, you were the guide and companion of my youth? Will He be angry forever? Will He be indignant to the end?’ Behold, you have spoken, And you have done all the evil things [you could], And you have had your way and have carried out your wickedness.” Moreover, the LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king [of Judah], “Have you seen what that faithless Israel has done—how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there she was a prostitute? I thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return, and her treacherous (faithless) sister Judah saw it. And I saw [that even though Judah knew] that for all the acts of adultery (idolatry) of faithless Israel, I [the LORD] had sent her away and given her a certificate of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah was not afraid; but she went and was a prostitute also [following after idols]. Because of the thoughtlessness of Israel’s prostitution [her immorality mattered little to her], she desecrated the land and committed adultery with [idols of] stones and trees. Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with her whole heart, but rather in [blatant] deception [she merely pretended obedience to King Josiah’s reforms],” declares the LORD. And the LORD said to me, “Faithless Israel has proved herself less guilty than treacherous Judah [a land of renegades]. Go and proclaim these words toward the north [where the ten tribes have been taken as captives] and say, ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not look on you in anger. For I am gracious and merciful,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not be angry forever. Only understand fully and acknowledge your wickedness and guilt, That you have rebelled (transgressed) against the LORD your God And have scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the LORD. ‘Return, O faithless children [of the twelve tribes],’ says the LORD, ‘For I am a master and husband to you, And I will take you [not as a nation, but individually]—one from a city and two from a [tribal] family— And I will bring you to Zion.’ “Then [in the final time] I will give you [spiritual] shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and [true] understanding. It will be in those days when you have [repented and] multiplied and increased in the land,” says the LORD, “they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ It will not come to mind, nor will they [seriously] remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again [for instead of the ark, which symbolized My presence, I will be present]. At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the LORD,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name (renown) of the LORD; and they will not walk anymore after the stubbornness of their [own] evil heart. In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance.

Jeremiah 3:1-18 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

“If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man’s wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? declares the LORD. Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been ravished? By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers like an Arab in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your vile whoredom. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have the forehead of a whore; you refuse to be ashamed. Have you not just now called to me, ‘My father, you are the friend of my youth— will he be angry forever, will he be indignant to the end?’ Behold, you have spoken, but you have done all the evil that you could.” The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore? And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,’ but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. Because she took her whoredom lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. Yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, declares the LORD.” And the LORD said to me, “Faithless Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, “‘Return, faithless Israel, declares the LORD. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the LORD; I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the LORD your God and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, declares the LORD. Return, O faithless children, declares the LORD; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. “‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the LORD, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the LORD.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage.