1“You are to call your brothers, ‘my people,’ and your sisters, ‘you have been shown pity.’
God Speaks About Israel
2“Plead with your mother.
Accuse her, because she is no longer my wife,
and I am no longer her husband.
Tell her to stop acting like a prostitute,
to stop behaving like an unfaithful wife.
3If she refuses, I will strip her naked
and leave her bare like the day she was born.
I will make her dry like a desert,
like a land without water,
and I will kill her with thirst.
4I will not take pity on her children,
because they are the children of a prostitute.
5Their mother has acted like a prostitute;
the one who became pregnant with them has acted disgracefully.
She said, ‘I will chase after my lovers,
who give me my food and water,
wool and flax, wine and olive oil.’
6So I will block her road with thornbushes;
I will build a wall around her
so she cannot find her way.
7She will run after her lovers,
but she won’t catch them.
She will look for them,
but she won’t find them.
Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband,
because life was better then for me than it is now.’
8But she does not know that I was the one
who gave her grain, new wine, and oil.
I gave her much silver and gold,
but she used it for Baal.
9“So I will come back and take away my grain at harvest time
and my new wine when it is ready.
I will take back my wool and linen
that covered her nakedness.
10So I will show her nakedness to her lovers,
and no one will save her from me.
11I will put an end to all her celebrations:
her yearly festivals, her New Moon festivals, and her Sabbaths.
I will stop all of her special feasts.
12I will destroy her vines and fig trees,
which she said were her pay from her lovers.
I will turn them into a forest,
and wild animals will eat them.
13I will punish her for all the times
she burned incense to the Baals.
She put on her rings and jewelry
and went chasing after her lovers,
but she forgot me!”
says the Lord.
14“So I am going to attract her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
15There I will give her back her vineyards,
and I will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope.
There she will respond as when she was young,
as when she came out of Egypt.”
16The Lord says, “In the future she will call me ‘my husband;’
no longer will she call me ‘my baal.’
17I will never let her say the names of Baal again;
people won’t use their names anymore.
18At that time I will make an agreement for them
with the wild animals, the birds, and the crawling things.
I will smash from the land
the bow and the sword and the weapons of war,
so my people will live in safety.
19And I will make you my promised bride forever.
I will be good and fair;
I will show you my love and mercy.
20I will be true to you as my promised bride,
and you will know the Lord.
21“At that time I will speak to you,” says the Lord.
“I will speak to the skies,
and they will give rain to the earth.
22The earth will produce grain, new wine, and oil;
much will grow because my people are called Jezreel.
23I will plant my people in the land,
and I will show pity to the one I had called ‘not shown pity.’
I will say, ‘You are my people’
to those I had called ‘not my people.’
And they will say to me, ‘You are our God.’ ”
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.