Jeremiah 3:14
New International Version
“Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion.

New Living Translation
“Return home, you wayward children,” says the LORD, “for I am your master. I will bring you back to the land of Israel— one from this town and two from that family— from wherever you are scattered.

English Standard Version
Return, O faithless children, declares the LORD; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.

Berean Study Bible
“Return, O faithless children,” declares the LORD, “for I am your master, and I will take you—one from a city and two from a family—and bring you to Zion.

King James Bible
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

New King James Version
“Return, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.

New American Standard Bible
‘Return, you faithless sons,’ declares the LORD; ‘For I am a master to you, And I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, And bring you to Zion.’

NASB 1995
‘Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the LORD; ‘For I am a master to you, And I will take you one from a city and two from a family, And I will bring you to Zion.’

NASB 1977
‘Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the LORD; ‘For I am a master to you, And I will take you one from a city and two from a family, And I will bring you to Zion.’

Amplified Bible
‘Return, O faithless children [of the twelve tribes],’ says the LORD, ‘For I am a master and husband to you, And I will take you [not as a nation, but individually]—one from a city and two from a [tribal] family— And I will bring you to Zion.’

Christian Standard Bible
“ ‘Return, you faithless children —this is the LORD’s declaration—for I am your master, and I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
“Return, you faithless children"—this is the LORD’s declaration—"for I am your master, and I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.

American Standard Version
Return, O backsliding children, saith Jehovah; for I am a husband unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Return, backslider children, says LORD JEHOVAH, for I was delighted with you and I led you each from a city and two from a family, and I brought you to Zion

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Turn, ye children that have revolted, saith the Lord; for I will rule over you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you in to Sion:

Contemporary English Version
You are unfaithful children, but you belong to me. Come home! I'll take one or two of you from each town and clan and bring you to Zion.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Return, O ye revolting children, saith the Lord: for I am your husband: and I will take you, one of a city, and two of a kindred, and will bring you into Sion.

English Revised Version
Return, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am a husband unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

Good News Translation
"Unfaithful people, come back; you belong to me. I will take one of you from each town and two from each clan, and I will bring you back to Mount Zion.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Come back, you rebellious people," declares the LORD. "I'm your husband. I will take you, one from every city and two from every family, and bring you to Zion.

International Standard Version
"Return, unfaithful people," declares the LORD, "for I am your husband. I'll take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I'll bring you to Zion.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Return, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am a lord unto you, and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion;

Literal Standard Version
“Return, O backsliding sons,” A declaration of YHWH. “For I have ruled over you, And taken you—one from a city, and two from a family, And have brought you to Zion,

NET Bible
"Come back to me, my wayward sons," says the LORD, "for I am your true master. If you do, I will take one of you from each town and two of you from each family group, and I will bring you back to Zion.

New Heart English Bible
"Return, backsliding children," says the LORD; "for I am a husband to you. I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.

World English Bible
"Return, backsliding children," says Yahweh; "for I am a husband to you. I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.

Young's Literal Translation
Turn back, O backsliding sons, An affirmation of Jehovah. For I have ruled over you, And taken you one of a city, and two of a family, And have brought you to Zion,

Additional Translations ...
Context
Invitation to Repentance
13Only acknowledge your guilt, that you have rebelled against the LORD your God. You have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every green tree and have not obeyed My voice,’ ” declares the LORD. 14“Return, O faithless children,” declares the LORD, “for I am your master, and I will take you— one from a city and two from a family— and bring you to Zion. 15Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”…

Cross References
Isaiah 31:6
Return to the One against whom you have so blatantly rebelled, O children of Israel.

Isaiah 54:5
For your husband is your Maker--the LORD of Hosts is His name--the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth.

Isaiah 57:17
I was enraged by his sinful greed, so I struck him and hid My face in anger; yet he kept turning back to the desires of his heart.

Jeremiah 3:12
Go, proclaim this message toward the north: 'Return, O faithless Israel,' declares the LORD. 'I will no longer look on you with anger, for I am merciful,' declares the LORD. 'I will not be angry forever.

Jeremiah 29:14
I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore you from captivity and gather you from all the nations and places to which I have banished you, declares the LORD. I will restore you to the place from which I sent you into exile."

Jeremiah 31:6
For there will be a day when watchmen will call out on the hills of Ephraim, 'Arise, let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God!'"

Jeremiah 31:12
They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will be radiant over the bounty of the LORD--the grain, new wine, and oil, and the young of the flocks and herds. Their life will be like a well-watered garden, and never again will they languish.


Treasury of Scripture

Turn, O backsliding children, said the LORD; for I am married to you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

o backsliding

Jeremiah 2:19
Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

for I am married

Jeremiah 3:1,8
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…

Jeremiah 2:2
Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.

Jeremiah 31:32
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

one of a city

Jeremiah 23:3
And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

Jeremiah 31:8-10
Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither…

Isaiah 1:9
Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.









(14) Turn, O backsliding children.--In his desire to individualise his call to repentance, the prophet drops his parable, or rather combines the sign and the thing signified, with the same assonance as before--turn back, ye children who have turned away.

I am married unto you.--The tender pity of Jehovah leads Him to offer pardon even to the adulterous wife. Jeremiah had learned, in all their fulness, the lessons of Hosea 1-3.

One of a city, and two of a family.--The latter word is the wider in its range of the two--a clan, or tribe, that might embrace many cities. The limitation to the "one" and the "two" is after the manner of Isaiah's reference (Isaiah 1:9) to the "remnant" that should be saved, and reminds of the "ten righteous men" who might have saved the cities of the plain (Genesis 18:32).

Verse 14. - Turn, O backsliding children. There is a play upon words, or rather upon senses, in the original, "Turn, ye turned away ones" (comp. ver. 12). To whom is this addressed? To the Israelites in the narrower sense, for there is nothing to indicate a transition. Long as they have been removed from the paternal hearth, they are still "sons." For I am married unto you. The same Hebrew phrase occurs in Jeremiah 31:32. Its signification has been a subject of dispute. From the supposed necessities of exegesis in Jeremiah 31:32, some (e.g. Pococke and Gesenins) have translated, "for I have rejected you," but the connection requires not "for" but "though," which, however, is an inadmissible rendering; besides, the Hebrew verb in question nowhere has the sense of "reject" elsewhere (yet the Septuagint already has it, virtually at least, in Jeremiah 31:32, q.v.). The literal meaning is for I have been a lord over you, i.e. a husband. Israel is despondent, and fears to return. Jehovah repeats his invitation, assuring Israel that he does not regard the marriage bond as broken. He is still (in spite of ver. 8) the husband, and Israel the bride (comp. Hosea 2; Isaiah 1:1; Isaiah 54:6, etc.). One of a city, and two of a family. The promises of God are primarily to communities, but this does not prevent him from devoting the most special care to individuals. "One of a city, and two of a family," even though there should be but one faithful Lot in a city, and two such in a family (larger than a city, a single tribe containing only a few mishpa-khoth, or clans), yet I will admit these few to the promised blessings." Calvin's remark is worth noticing: "Hie locus dignus est observatu, quia ostendit Deus non esse, cur alii alios expectent; deinde etiam si corpus ipsum populi putreseat in suis peccatis, tamen si pauci ad ipsum redeant, se illis etiam fore placabilem." The historical facts to which the prophecy corresponds are variously regarded. Theodoret, Grotius, etc., suppose it to have been fulfilled exclusively in the return from Babylon; St. Jerome and others think rather of the Messianic period. Hengstenberg finds a continuous fulfillment, beginning at the time of Cyrus, when many belonging to the ten tribes joined themselves to the returning Judahites. He finds a further continuation in the times of the Maccabees, and in fact a continually growing fulfillment in preparation for that complete one brought in by Christ, when the premised blessings were poured out upon the whole δωδεκάφυλον (Luke 2:36). "Zion and the holy land were at that time the seat of the kingdom of God, so that the return to the latter was inseparable from the return to the former." Dr. Guthe, however, the latest critical commentator on Jeremiah, thinks that the passage can be explained otherwise, viz." from each city one by one, and from each family two by two." This gives a more obvious explanation; but the ordinary rendering is more natural, and the explanation based upon it is in the highest degree worthy of the Divine subject. The doubt, of course, is whether in the Old Testament a special providence is extended elsewhere so distinctly to the individual. But Jeremiah is pre-eminently an individualizing prophet; he feels the depth and reality of individual as opposed to corporate life as no one else among the prophets. (At any rate, one point is clear, that the prophet foresees that the number of the exiles who return will be but small compared with the increase to be divinely vouchsafed to them; see ver. 16.)

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
“Return,
שׁ֣וּבוּ (šū·ḇū)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine plural
Strong's 7725: To turn back, in, to retreat, again

O faithless
שׁוֹבָבִים֙ (šō·w·ḇā·ḇîm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's 7726: Turning back, recusant, apostate

children,”
בָנִ֤ים (ḇā·nîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 1121: A son

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

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

“for
כִּ֥י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

I
אָנֹכִ֖י (’ā·nō·ḵî)
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's 595: I

am your master,
בָּעַ֣לְתִּי (bā·‘al·tî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 1166: To be master, to marry

and I will take
וְלָקַחְתִּ֨י (wə·lā·qaḥ·tî)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 3947: To take

you—
אֶתְכֶ֜ם (’eṯ·ḵem)
Direct object marker | second person masculine plural
Strong's 853: Untranslatable mark of the accusative case

one
אֶחָ֣ד (’e·ḥāḏ)
Number - masculine singular
Strong's 259: United, one, first

from a city
מֵעִ֗יר (mê·‘îr)
Preposition-m | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 5892: Excitement

and two
וּשְׁנַ֙יִם֙ (ū·šə·na·yim)
Conjunctive waw | Number - md
Strong's 8147: Two (a cardinal number)

from a family—
מִמִּשְׁפָּחָ֔ה (mim·miš·pā·ḥāh)
Preposition-m | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's 4940: A family, circle of relatives, a class, a species, sort, a tribe, people

and bring
וְהֵבֵאתִ֥י (wə·hê·ḇê·ṯî)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hifil - Conjunctive perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 935: To come in, come, go in, go

you
אֶתְכֶ֖ם (’eṯ·ḵem)
Direct object marker | second person masculine plural
Strong's 853: Untranslatable mark of the accusative case

to Zion.
צִיּֽוֹן׃ (ṣî·yō·wn)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's 6726: Zion -- a mountain in Jerusalem, also a name for Jerusalem


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OT Prophets: Jeremiah 3:14 Return backsliding children says Yahweh (Jer.)
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