2
1"People of Israel, call your brothers My People. And call your sisters My Loved Ones."
Israel Is Punished and Brought Back to the Lord
2I said to my children, "Talk things over with your mother.
Talk to her.
She isn't acting like a wife to me anymore.
She no longer treats me as her husband.
Tell her to stop looking and acting like a prostitute.
Tell her not to let her lovers
lie on her breasts anymore.
3If she doesn't stop it, I will strip her naked.
I'll make her as bare as she was on the day she was born.
I'll make her like a desert.
She will become like dry land.
And I'll let her die of thirst."
4I won't show my love to Gomer's children.
They are the children of other men.
5Their mother hasn't been faithful to me.
She who became pregnant with them
has brought shame on herself.
She said, "I will chase after my lovers.
They give me my food and water.
They provide me with wool and linen.
They give me olive oil and wine."
6So I will block her path with bushes that have thorns.
I'll build a wall around her.
Then she can't go to her lovers.
7She will still chase after her lovers.
But she won't catch them.
She'll look for them.
But she won't find them.
Then she'll say,
"I'll go back to my husband.
That's where I was at first.
I was better off then than I am now."
8She wouldn't admit that I was the one
who gave her everything she had.
I provided her with grain, olive oil and fresh wine.
I gave her plenty of silver and gold.
But she used it to make statues of Baal.
9So I will take away my grain when it gets ripe.
I'll take my fresh wine when it's ready.
I'll take back my wool and my linen.
I gave them to her to cover her naked body.
10So now I'll uncover her body.
All of her lovers will see it.
No one can stop me from punishing her.
11I will put a stop to the special times she celebrates.
I'll bring an end to the feasts she celebrates each year.
I'll stop her New Moon Feasts and her Sabbath days.
I'll bring all of her appointed feasts to an end.
12I will destroy her vines and her fig trees.
She said they were her pay from her lovers.
I'll make them like clumps of bushes and weeds.
Wild animals will eat them up.
13The Lord announces, "Israel burned incense to the gods
that were named after Baal.
I will punish her
for all of the times she did that.
She decorated herself with rings and jewelry.
Then she went after her lovers.
But she forgot all about me.
14"So now I am going to draw her back to me.
I will lead her into the desert.
There I will speak tenderly to her.
15I will give her back her vineyards.
I will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope for her.
Then she will love me, as she did when she was young.
She will love me just as she did
when she came up out of Egypt.
16"A new day is coming," announces the Lord.
"Israel will call me My Husband.
She will no longer call me My Master.
17She will no longer speak about the gods
that are named after Baal.
She will not pray to them for help anymore.
18At that time I will make a covenant
for the good of my people.
I will make it with the wild animals
and the birds of the air.
It will also be made with the creatures
that move on the ground.
I will remove bows and swords
and other weapons of war from the land.
Then my people can lie down in safety.
19I will make Israel my own.
She will belong to me forever.
I will do to her what is right and fair.
I will love her tenderly.
20I will be faithful to her.
And she will recognize me as the Lord.
21"So at that time I will answer her,"
announces the Lord.
"I will command the skies
to send rain on the earth.
22Then the earth will produce grain, olive oil and fresh wine.
And Israel will be called Jezreel.
That is because I will answer her prayers.
23I will plant her in the land for myself.
I will show my love to the one I called Not My Loved One.
I will say, 'You are my people'
to those who were called Not My People.
And they will say, 'You are my God.' "
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