Jeremiah 3:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
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.

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
That because the rebellious Israel had played the harlot, I had put her away, and had given her a bill of divorce: yet her treacherous sister Juda was not afraid, but went and played the harlot also herself.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And I saw, when for all the causes by which 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.

Jeremiah 3:8 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

As a divorced woman who has become another man's wife cannot return to her first husband, so Judah, after it has turned away to other gods, will not be received again by Jahveh; especially since, in spite of all chastisement, it adheres to its evil ways. Jeremiah 3:1. "He saith, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, can he return to her again? would not such a land be polluted? and thou hast whored with many partners; and wouldst thou return to me? saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 3:2. Lift up thine eyes unto the bare-topped hills and look, where hast thou not been lien with; on the ways thou sattest for them, like an Arab in the desert, and pollutedst the land by thy whoredoms and by thy wickedness. Jeremiah 3:3. And the showers were withheld, and the latter rain came not; but thou hadst the forehead of an harlot woman, wouldst not be ashamed. Jeremiah 3:4. Ay, and from this time forward thou criest to me, My father, the friend of my youth art thou. Jeremiah 3:5. Will he always bear a grudge and keep it up for ever? Behold, thou speakest thus and dost wickedness and carriest it out." This section is a continuation of the preceding discourse in Jeremiah 2, and forms the conclusion of it. That this is so may be seen from the fact that a new discourse, introduced by a heading of its own, begins with Jeremiah 3:6. The substance of the fifth verse is further evidence in the same direction; for the rejection of Judah by God declared in that verse furnishes the suitable conclusion to the discourse in Jeremiah 2, and briefly shows how the Lord will plead with the people that holds itself blameless (Jeremiah 2:35).

(Note: The contrary assertion of Ew. and Ngelsb. that these verses do not belong to what precedes, but constitute the beginning of the next discourse (Jeremiah 3-6), rests upon an erroneous view of the train of thought in this discourse. And such meagre support as it obtains involves a violation of usage in interpreting ושׁוב as: yet turn again to me, and needs further the arbitrary critical assertion that the heading in Jeremiah 3:6 : and Jahveh said to me in the days of Josiah, has been put by a copyist in the wrong place, and that it ought to stand before Jeremiah 3:1. - Nor is there any reason for the assumption of J. D. Mich. and Graf, that at Jeremiah 3:1 the text has been mutilated, and that by an oversight ויהי has dropped out; and this assumption also contradicts the fact that Jeremiah 3:1-5 can neither contain nor begin any new prophetic utterance.)

But it is somewhat singular to find the connection made by means of לאמר, which is not translated by the lxx or Syr., and is expressed by Jerome by vulgo dicitur. Ros. would make it, after Rashi, possem dicere, Rashi's opinion being that it stands for ישׁ לי לימר. In this shape the assumption can hardly be justified. It might be more readily supposed that the infinitive stood in the sense: it is to be said, one may say, it must be affirmed; but there is against this the objection that this use of the infinitive is never found at the beginning of a new train of thought. The only alternative is with Maur. and Hitz. to join לאמר with what precedes, and to make it dependent on the verb מאס in Jeremiah 2:37 : Jahveh hath rejected those in whom thou trustest, so that thou shalt not prosper with them; for He says: As a wife, after she has been put away from her husband and has been joined to another, cannot be taken back again by her first husband, so art thou thrust away for thy whoredom. The rejection of Judah by God is not, indeed, declared expressis verbis in Jeremiah 3:1-5, but is clearly enough contained there in substance. Besides, "the rejection of the people's sureties (Jeremiah 2:37) involves that of the people too" (Hitz.). לאמר, indeed, is not universally used after verbis dicendi alone, but frequently stands after very various antecedent verbs, in which case it must be very variously expressed in English; e.g., in Joshua 22:11 it comes after ישׁמעוּ, they heard: as follows, or these words; in 2 Samuel 3:12 we have it twice, once after the words, he sent messengers to David to say, i.e., and cause them say to him, a second time in the sense of namely; in 1 Samuel 27:11 with the force of: for he said or thought. It is used here in a manner analogous to this: he announces to thee, makes known to thee. - The comparison with the divorced wife is suggested by the law in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Here it is forbidden that a man shall take in marriage again his divorced wife after she has been married to another, even although she has been separated from her second husband, or even in the case of the death of the latter; and re-marriage of this kind is called an abomination before the Lord, a thing that makes the land sinful. The question, May he yet return to her? corresponds to the words of the law: her husband may not again (לשׁוּב) take her to be his wife. The making of the land sinful is put by Jer. in stronger words: this land is polluted; making in this an allusion to Leviticus 18:25, Leviticus 18:27, where it is said of similar sins of the flesh that they pollute the land.

With "and thou hast whored" comes the application of this law to the people that had by its idolatry broken its marriage vows to its God. זנה is construed with the accus. as in Ezekiel 16:28. רעים, comrades in the sense of paramours; cf. Hosea 3:1. רבּים, inasmuch as Israel or Judah had intrigued with the gods of many nations. ושׁוב אלי .snoi is infin. abs., and the clause is to be taken as a question: and is it to be supposed that thou mayest return to me? The question is marked only by the accent; cf. Ew. 328, a, and Gesen. 131, 4, b. Syr., Targ., Jerome, etc. have taken ושׁוב as imperative: return again to me; but wrongly, since the continuity is destroyed. This argument is not answered by taking ו copul. adversatively with the sig. yet: it is on the contrary strengthened by this arbitrary interpretation. The call to return to God is incompatible with the reference in Jeremiah 3:2 to the idolatry which is set before the eyes of the people to show it that God has cause to be wroth. "Look but to the bare-topped hills." שׁפים, bald hills and mountains (cf. Isaiah 41:18), were favoured spots for idolatrous worship; cf. Hosea 4:13. When hast not thou let thyself be ravished? i.e., on all sides. For שׁגּלתּ the Masoretes have here and everywhere substituted שׁכּבתּ, see Deuteronomy 28:30; Zechariah 14:2, etc. The word is here used for spiritual ravishment by idolatry; here represented as spiritual fornication. Upon the roads thou sattest, like a prostitute, to entice the passers-by; cf. Genesis 38:14; Proverbs 7:12. This figure corresponds in actual fact to the erection of idolatrous altars at the corners of the streets and at the gates: 2 Kings 23:8; Ezekiel 16:25. Like an Arab in the desert, i.e., a Bedouin, who lies in wait for travellers, to plunder them. The Bedouins were known to the ancients, cf. Diod. Sic. 2:48, Plin. Hist. Nat. vi. 28, precisely as they are represented to this day by travellers. - By this idolatrous course Israel desecrated the land. The plural form of the suffix with the singular זנוּת is to be explained by the resemblance borne both in sound and meaning (an abstract) by the termination וּת to the plural ות; cf. Jeremiah 3:8, Zephaniah 3:20, and Ew. 259, b. רעתך refers to the moral enormities bound up with idolatry, e.g., the shedding of innocent blood, Jeremiah 2:30, Jeremiah 2:35. The shedding of blood is represented as defilement of the land in Numbers 35:33.

Jeremiah 3:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

when for

Jeremiah 3:1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return to her again?...

2 Kings 17:6-18 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria...

2 Kings 18:9-11 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel...

Ezekiel 23:9 Why I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, on whom she doted.

Hosea 2:2,3 Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband...

Hosea 3:4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image...

Hosea 4:15-17 Though you, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not you to Gilgal, neither go you up to Bethaven, nor swear...

Hosea 9:15-17 All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of my house...

and given her

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

Isaiah 50:1 Thus said the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorce, whom I have put away?...

feared not

2 Kings 17:19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.

Ezekiel 23:11-21 And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she...

Hosea 4:15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not you to Gilgal, neither go you up to Bethaven, nor swear...

Cross References
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 24:3
and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife,

Isaiah 50:1
Thus says the LORD: "Where is your mother's certificate of divorce, with which I sent her away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities you were sold, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.

Jeremiah 2:19
Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the LORD your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

Jeremiah 33:24
"Have you not observed that these people are saying, 'The LORD has rejected the two clans that he chose'? Thus they have despised my people so that they are no longer a nation in their sight.

Ezekiel 16:46
And your elder sister is Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters.

Ezekiel 16:47
Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways.

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