Jeremiah 3:1
New International Version
“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.

New Living Translation
“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.

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.

Berean Study Bible
“If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him to marry another, can he ever return to her? Would not such a land be completely defiled? But you have played the harlot with many lovers—and you would 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.

New King James Version
“They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife, And she goes from him And becomes another man’s, May he return to her again?’ Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to Me,” says the LORD.

New American Standard Bible
God says, “If a husband divorces his wife And she leaves him And becomes another man’s wife, Will he return to her again? Would that land not be completely defiled? But you are a prostitute with many lovers; Yet you turn to Me,” declares the LORD.

NASB 1995
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.

NASB 1977
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.

Amplified Bible
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.

Christian Standard Bible
If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him to marry another, can he ever return to her? Wouldn’t such a land become totally defiled? But you! You have prostituted yourself with many partners — can you return to me? This is the LORD’s declaration.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him to marry another, can he ever return to her? Wouldn’t such a land become totally defiled? But you! You have played the prostitute with many partners— can you return to Me? This is the LORD’s declaration.

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.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
If a man will divorce his wife and she will go from unity with him and she will be with another man, if she returns to him again, behold the land shall certainly be defiled; and you have committed prostitution with many Shepherds. Return to me, says LORD JEHOVAH

Brenton Septuagint Translation
If a man put away his wife, and she depart from him, and become another man's, shall she return to him any more at all? shall not that woman be utterly defiled? ye thou hast gone a-whoring with many shepherds, and hast returned to me, saith the Lord.

Contemporary English Version
The LORD said to the people of Israel: If a divorced woman marries, can her first husband ever marry her again? No, because this would pollute the land. But you have more gods than a prostitute has lovers. Why should I take you back?

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.

Good News Translation
The LORD says, "If a man divorces his wife, and she leaves him and becomes another man's wife, he cannot take her back again. This would completely defile the land. But, Israel, you have had many lovers, and now you want to return to me!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A saying: If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, her first husband shouldn't go back to her again. The land would become thoroughly polluted. "You have acted like a prostitute who has many lovers. And now you want to come back to me!" declares the LORD.

International Standard Version
"When a man divorces his wife, she leaves him and becomes another man's wife, will the first husband return to her again? The land would be deeply polluted, would it not? Since you have committed fornication with many lovers, would you now return to me?" declares the LORD.

JPS Tanakh 1917
saying: If a man put away his wife, And she go from him, And become another man's, May he return unto her again? Will not that land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; And wouldest thou yet return to Me? Saith the LORD.

Literal Standard Version
“Saying, Behold, one sends his wife away, And she has gone from him, And she has been to another man, Does he return to her again? Is that land not greatly defiled? And you have committed whoredom with many lovers, And turn to Me again,” A declaration of YHWH.

NET Bible
"If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and becomes another man's wife, he may not take her back again. Doing that would utterly defile the land. But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods. So what makes you think you can return to me?" says the LORD.

New Heart English Bible
"They say, 'If a man puts away his wife, and she goes from him, and become another man's, will he return to her again?' Wouldn't that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the prostitute with many lovers; yet return again to me," says the LORD.

World English Bible
"They say, 'If a man puts away his wife, and she goes from him, and become another man's, will he return to her again?' Wouldn't that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the prostitute with many lovers; yet return again to me," says Yahweh.

Young's Literal Translation
Saying, 'Lo, one sendeth away his wife, And she hath gone from him, And she hath been to another man, Doth he turn back unto her again? Greatly defiled is not that land? And thou hast committed whoredom with many lovers, And turn again to Me, an affirmation of Jehovah.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Wages of the Harlot
1 If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him to marry another, can he ever return to her? Would not such a land be completely defiled? But you have played the harlot with many lovers— and you would return to Me?” declares the LORD. 2“Lift up your eyes to the barren heights and see. Is there any place where you have not been violated? You sat beside the highways waiting for your lovers, like a nomad in the desert. You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness.…

Cross References
Matthew 5:31
It has also been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'

Deuteronomy 24:1
If a man marries a woman, but she becomes displeasing to him because he finds some indecency in her, he may write her a certificate of divorce, hand it to her, and send her away from his house.

Deuteronomy 24:4
then the husband who divorced her first may not remarry her after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination to the LORD. You must not bring sin upon the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Psalm 106:38
They shed 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 you broke your yoke and tore off your chains, saying, 'I will not serve!' Indeed, on every high hill and under every green tree you lay down as a prostitute.

Jeremiah 4:1
"If you will return, O Israel, return to Me," declares the LORD. "If you will remove your detestable idols from My sight and no longer waver,

Jeremiah 22:20
Go up to Lebanon and cry out; raise your voice in Bashan; cry out from Abarim, for all your lovers have been crushed.


Treasury of Scripture

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? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but you have played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, said the LORD.

they say.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4
When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house…

shall not that

Jeremiah 3:9
And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.

Jeremiah 2:7
And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.

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

but thou hast

Jeremiah 2:20,23
For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot…

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: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

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

yet return

Jeremiah 3:12-14,22
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…

Jeremiah 4:1,14
If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove…

Jeremiah 8:4-6
Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return? …









III.

(1) The parable of the guilty wife who is condemned in spite of all her denials is carried out to its logical results.

They say.--Better, So to speak, as introducing a new application of the figure. The direct reference is to Deuteronomy 24:4, which forbade the return to the past husband as an abomination, a law which the recent discovery of the Book of the Law (2Kings 22:10-11) had probably brought into prominence. But there is also an obvious allusion to the like imagery in Hosea. There the prophet had done, literally or in parable, what the law had forbidden (Hosea 2:16; Hosea 3:3), and so had held out the possibility of return and the hope of pardon. Jeremiah has to play a sterner part. and to make the apostate adulteress at least feel that she had sinned too deeply to have any claims to forgiveness. It might seem as if Jehovah could not now return to the love of His espousals, and make her what she once had been.

Yet return again to me, saith the Lord.--The words sound in the English like a gracious invitation, and--in spite of the authority of many interpreters who take it as an indignant exclamation, and return to me! an invitation given in irony, and so equivalent to rejection, as though that return were out of the question--it must, I think, be so taken. The prophet has, as we have seen, the history of Hosea in his mind, where there had been such a call to return (Hosea 2:19; Hosea 3:3), and actually refers to it and repeats it in Jeremiah 3:7; Jeremiah 3:12; Jeremiah 3:14. It surely implies a want of insight into the character of Jeremiah to suppose that he ever came before men as proclaiming an irrevocable condemnation, excluding the possibility of repentance. . . .

Verse 1. - They say, etc.; as the margin of Authorized Version correctly states, the Hebrew simply has "saying." Various ingenious attempts have been made to explain this. Hitzig, for instance, followed by Dr. Payne Smith, thinks that "saying" may be an unusual equivalent for "that is to say," "for example," or the like; while the Vulgate and Rashi, followed by De Wette and Rosenmüller, assume an ellipsis, and render, "It is commonly said," or "I might say." But far the most natural way is to suppose that "saying" is a fragment of the superscription of the prophecy, the remainder of which has been accidentally placed in ver. 6, and that we should read, "And the word of the Lord came unto me in the days of Josiah the king, saying." So J. D. Michaelis, Ewald, Graf, Naegelsbach. If a man put away his wife. The argument is founded on the law of Deuteronomy 24:1-4, which forbade an Israelite who had divorced his wife to take her again, if in the interval she had been married to another. The Jews had broken a still more sacred tie, not once only, but repeatedly; they worshipped "gods many and lords many;" so that they had no longer any claim on Jehovah in virtue of his "covenant" with his people. Shall he return, etc.? rather, Ought he to return? The force of the term is potential (comp. Authorized Version of Genesis 34:7, "which thing ought not to be done"). Shall not in the next clause is rather would not. Yet return again to me. So Peshito, Targum, Vulgate, and the view may seem to be confirmed by the invitations in vers. 12, 14, 22. But as it is obviously inconsistent with the argument of the verse, and as the verb may equally well be the infinitive or the imperative, most recent commentators render, "And thinkest thou to return to me?" (literally, and returning to me! implying that the very idea is inconceivable). Probably Jeremiah was aware that many of the Jews were dissatisfied with the religious condition of the nation (comp. ver. 4).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
“If
הֵ֣ן (hên)
Interjection
Strong's 2005: Lo! behold!

a man
אִ֣ישׁ (’îš)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 376: A man as an individual, a male person

divorces
יְשַׁלַּ֣ח (yə·šal·laḥ)
Verb - Piel - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7971: To send away, for, out

his wife
אִשְׁתּוֹ֩ (’iš·tōw)
Noun - feminine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 802: Woman, wife, female

and she leaves
וְהָלְכָ֨ה (wə·hā·lə·ḵāh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's 1980: To go, come, walk

him
מֵאִתּ֜וֹ (mê·’it·tōw)
Preposition-m | Direct object marker | third person masculine singular
Strong's 853: Untranslatable mark of the accusative case

to marry
וְהָיְתָ֣ה (wə·hā·yə·ṯāh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

another,
אַחֵ֗ר (’a·ḥêr)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 312: Hinder, next, other

can he ever
ע֔וֹד (‘ō·wḏ)
Adverb
Strong's 5750: Iteration, continuance, again, repeatedly, still, more

return
הֲיָשׁ֤וּב (hă·yā·šūḇ)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7725: To turn back, in, to retreat, again

to her?
אֵלֶ֙יהָ֙ (’ê·le·hā)
Preposition | third person feminine singular
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

Would not
הֲל֛וֹא (hă·lō·w)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

such
הַהִ֑יא (ha·hî)
Article | Pronoun - third person feminine singular
Strong's 1931: He, self, the same, this, that, as, are

a land
הָאָ֣רֶץ (hā·’ā·reṣ)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 776: Earth, land

be completely
חָנ֥וֹף (ḥā·nō·wp̄)
Verb - Qal - Infinitive absolute
Strong's 2610: To be polluted or profane

defiled?
תֶּחֱנַ֖ף (te·ḥĕ·nap̄)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's 2610: To be polluted or profane

But you
וְאַ֗תְּ (wə·’at)
Conjunctive waw | Pronoun - second person feminine singular
Strong's 859: Thou and thee, ye and you

have played the harlot
זָנִית֙ (zā·nîṯ)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - second person feminine singular
Strong's 2181: To commit adultery, to commit idolatry

with many
רַבִּ֔ים (rab·bîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's 7227: Much, many, great

lovers—
רֵעִ֣ים (rê·‘îm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 7453: Friend, companion, fellow

and you would return
וְשׁ֥וֹב (wə·šō·wḇ)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Infinitive absolute
Strong's 7725: To turn back, in, to retreat, again

to Me??
אֵלַ֖י (’ê·lay)
Preposition | first person common singular
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

declares
נְאֻם־ (nə·’um-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 5002: An oracle

the LORD.
יְהֹוָֽה׃ (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel


Jump to Previous
Greatly Harlot Husband Lovers Played Polluted Prostitute Wife Won't Wouldest
Jump to Next
Greatly Harlot Husband Lovers Played Polluted Prostitute Wife Won't Wouldest
Links
Jeremiah 3:1 NIV
Jeremiah 3:1 NLT
Jeremiah 3:1 ESV
Jeremiah 3:1 NASB
Jeremiah 3:1 KJV

Jeremiah 3:1 BibleApps.com
Jeremiah 3:1 Biblia Paralela
Jeremiah 3:1 Chinese Bible
Jeremiah 3:1 French Bible
Jeremiah 3:1 Clyx Quotations

OT Prophets: Jeremiah 3:1 They say If a man put away (Jer.)
Jeremiah 2:37
Top of Page
Top of Page