Jeremiah 3:1
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
“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.

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
It is commonly said: If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and marry another man, shall he return to her any more? shall not that woman be polluted, and defiled? but thou hast prostituted thyself to many lovers: nevertheless return to me, saith the Lord, and I will receive thee.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
They say, If a man shall put away his wife, and she shall go from him, and become another man's, shall he return to 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.

Jeremiah 3:1 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Judah has refused to let itself be turned from idolatry either by judgments or by the warnings of the prophets; nevertheless it holds itself guiltless, and believes itself able to turn aside judgment by means of its intrigues with Egypt. Jeremiah 2:29. "Wherefore contend ye against me? ye are all fallen away from me, saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 2:30. In vain have I smitten your sons; correction have they not taken: your sword hath devoured your prophets, like a devouring lion. Jeremiah 2:31. O race that ye are, mark the word of Jahveh. Was I a wilderness to Israel, or a land of dread darkness? Why saith my people, We wander about, come no more to thee? Jeremiah 2:32. Does a maiden forget her ornaments, a bride her girdle? but my people hath forgotten me days without number. Jer 2:33. How finely thou trimmest thy ways to seek love! therefore to misdeeds thou accustomest thy ways. Jeremiah 2:34. Even in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the innocent poor ones; not at housebreaking hast thou caught them, but by reason of all this. Jeremiah 2:35. And thou sayest, I am innocent, yea His wrath hath turned from me: behold, I will plead at law with thee for that thou hast said, I have not sinned. Jeremiah 2:36. Why runnest thou so hard to change thy way? for Egypt too thou shalt come to shame, as thou wast put to shame for Asshur. Jeremiah 2:37. From this also shalt thou come forth, beating thy hands upon thy head; for Jahveh rejecteth those in whom thou trustest, and thou shalt not prosper with them." The question in Jeremiah 2:29, Wherefore contend ye against me? implies that the people contended with God as to His visitations, murmured at the divine chastisements they had met with; not as to the reproaches addressed to them on account of their idolatry (Hitz., Graf). ריב with אל, contend, dispute against, is used of the murmuring of men against divine visitations, Jeremiah 12:1; Job 33:13. Judah has no ground for discontent with the Lord; for they have all fallen away from Him, and (Jeremiah 2:31) let themselves be turned to repentance neither by afflictions, nor by warnings, nor by God's goodness to them. לשּׁוא, to vanity, i.e., without effect, or in vain. Hitz. and Graf wish to refer "your sons" to the able-bodied youth who had at different times been slain by Jahveh in war. The lxx seem to have taken it thus, expression לקחוּ by ἐδέξασθε; for the third pers. of the verb will not agree with this acceptation of "your sons," since the reproach of not having taken correction could not apply to such as had fallen in war, but only to those who had escaped. This view is unquestionably incorrect, because, as Hitz. admits the subject, those addressed in לקחוּ, must be the people. Hence it follows of necessity that in בּניכם too the people is meant. The expression is similar to בּני עמּך, Leviticus 19:18, and is used for the members of the nation, those who constitute the people; or rather it is like בּני יהוּדה, Joel 3:6, where Judah is looked on by the prophet as a unity, where sons are the members of the people. הכּה, too, is not to be limited to those smitten or slain in war. It is used of all the judgments with which God visits His people, of sword, pestilence, famine, failure of crops, drought, and of all kinds of diseases; cf. Leviticus 26:24., Deuteronomy 28:22, Deuteronomy 28:27. מוּסר is instruction by word and by warning, as well as correction by chastisement. Most comm. take the not receiving of correction to refer to divine punitive visitations, and to mean refusal to amend after such warning; Ros., on the other hand, holds the reference to be to the warnings and reproofs of the prophets (מוּסר( stehpohic instructionem valet, ut Proverbs 5:12, Proverbs 5:23 cet.). But both these references are one-sided. If we refer "correction have they not taken" to divine chastisement by means of judgments, there will be no connection between this and the following clause: your sword devoured your prophets; and we are hindered from restraining the reference wholly to the admonitions and rebukes of the prophets by the close connection of the words with the first part of the verse, a connection indicated by the omission of all particles of transition. We must combine the two references, and understand מוּסר both of the rebukes or warnings of the prophets and of the chastisements of God, holding at the same time that it was the correction of the people by the prophets that Jer. here chiefly kept in view. In administering this correction the prophets not only applied to the hearts of the people as judgments from God all the ills that fell upon them, but declared to the stiff-necked sinners the punishments of God, and by their words showed those punishments to be impending: e.g., Elijah, 1 Kings 17 and 18, 2 Kings 1:9.; Elisha, 2 Kings 2:23; the prophet at Bethel, 1 Kings 13:4. Thus this portion of the verse acquires a meaning for itself, which simplifies the transition from the first to the third clause, and we gain the following thought: I visited you with punishments, and made you to be instructed and reproved by prophets, but ye have slain the prophets who were sent to you. Nehemiah puts it so in Nehemiah 9:26; but Jeremiah uses a much stronger expression, Your sword devoured your prophets like a lion which destroys, in order to set full before the sinners' eyes the savage hatred of the idolatrous people against the prophets of God. Historical examples of this are furnished by 1 Kings 18:4, 1 Kings 18:13; 1 Kings 19:10; 2 Chronicles 24:21., 2 Kings 21:16; Jeremiah 26:23.

The prophet's indignation grows hotter as he brings into view God's treatment of the apostate race, and sets before it, to its shame, the divine long-suffering and love. הדּור, O generation ye! English: O generation that ye are! (cf. Ew. 327, a), is the cry of indignation; cf. Deuteronomy 32:5, where Moses calls the people a perverse foolish generation. ראוּ: see, observe, give heed to the word of the Lord. This verb is often used of perceptions by any sense, as expressive of that sense by which men apprehend most of the things belonging to the outward world. Have I been for Israel a wilderness, i.e., an unfruitful soil, offering neither means of support nor shelter? This question contains a litotes, and is as much as to say: have not I richly blessed Israel with earthly goods? Or a land of dread darkness? מאפּליה, lit., a darkness sent by Jahveh; cf. the analogous form שׁלהבתיה, Sol 8:6.

(Note: Ewald, Gram. 270, c, proposes to read with the lxx מאפלּיּה, because (he says) it is nowhere possible, at least not in the language of the prophets, for the name Jah (God) to express merely greatness. But this is not to the point. Although a darkness sent by Jah be a great darkness, it by no means follows that the name Jah is used merely to express greatness. But by תּרדּמת ; 1 Samuel 26:12, it is put beyond a doubt that darkness of Jah means a darkness sent or spread out by Jah.)

The desert is so called not merely because it is pathless (Job 3:23), but as a land in which the traveller is on all sides surrounded by deadly dangers; cf. Jeremiah 2:6 and Psalm 55:5. Why then will His people insist on being quit of Him? We roam about unfettered (as to רוּד, see on Hosea 12:1), i.e., we will no longer bear the yoke of His law; cf. Jeremiah 2:20. By a comparison breathing love and longing sadness, the prophet seeks to bring home to the heart of the people a feeling of the unnaturalness of their behaviour towards the Lord their God. Does a bride, then, forget her ornaments? etc. קשׁרים, found besides in Isaiah 3:20, is the ornamental girdle with which the bride adorns herself on the wedding-day; cf. Isaiah 3:20 with Isaiah 49:18. God is His people's best adornment; to Him it owes all the precious possessions it has. It should keep fast hold of Him as its most priceless treasure, should prize Him more highly than the virgin her jewels, than the bride her girdle. but instead of this it has forgotten its God, and that not for a brief time, but throughout countless days. ימים is accus. of duration of time. Jeremiah uses this figure besides, as Calv. observed, to pave the way for what comes next. Volebat enim Judaeos conferre mulieribus adulteris, quae dum feruntur effreni sua libidine, rapiuntur post suos vagos amores.

Jeremiah 3:1 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

they say. Heb. saying. If a man

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 When a man has taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes...

shall not that

Jeremiah 3:9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her prostitution, that she defiled the land...

Jeremiah 2:7 And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when you entered...

Leviticus 18:24-28 Defile not you yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you...

Isaiah 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance...

Micah 2:10 Arise you, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.

but thou hast

Jeremiah 2:20,23 For of old time I have broken your yoke, and burst your bands; and you said, I will not transgress...

Deuteronomy 22:21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die...

Judges 19:2 And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him to her father's house to Bethlehemjudah...

Ezekiel 16:26,28,29 You have also committed fornication with the Egyptians your neighbors, great of flesh; and have increased your prostitutions...

Ezekiel 23:4 And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bore sons and daughters...

Hosea 1:2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go...

Hosea 2:5-7 For their mother has played the harlot: she that conceived them has done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers...

yet return

Jeremiah 3:12-14,22 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, you backsliding Israel, said the LORD...

Jeremiah 4:1,14 If you will return, O Israel, said the LORD, return to me: and if you will put away your abominations out of my sight...

Jeremiah 8:4-6 Moreover you shall say to them, Thus said the LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return...

Deuteronomy 4:29-31 But if from there you shall seek the LORD your God, you shall find him, if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul...

Isaiah 55:6-9 Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near...

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, As I live, said the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked...

Hosea 14:1-4 O Israel, return to the LORD your God; for you have fallen by your iniquity...

Zechariah 1:3 Therefore say you to them, Thus said the LORD of hosts; Turn you to me, said the LORD of hosts, and I will turn to you...

Luke 15:16-24 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave to him...

Cross References
Matthew 5:31
"It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'

Deuteronomy 24:1
"When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house,

Deuteronomy 24:4
then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the LORD. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance.

Psalm 106:38
they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood.

Jeremiah 2:20
"For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, 'I will not serve.' Yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore.

Jeremiah 4:1
"If you return, O Israel, declares the LORD, to me you should return. If you remove your detestable things from my presence, and do not waver,

Jeremiah 22:20
"Go up to Lebanon, and cry out, and lift up your voice in Bashan; cry out from Abarim, for all your lovers are destroyed.

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