New Heart English Bible
1"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.
2"Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see. Where have you not been lain with? You have sat for them by the ways, as an Arabian in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your prostitution and with your wickedness.
3Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain; yet you have a prostitute's forehead, you refused to be ashamed.
4Will you not from this time cry to me, 'My Father, you are the guide of my youth?'
5"'Will he retain his anger forever? Will he keep it to the end?' Look, you have spoken and have done evil things, and have had your way."
6Moreover, the LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king, "Have you seen that which backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there has played the prostitute. 7I said after she had done all these things, 'She will return to me;' but she did not return; and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8She saw that for all the causes for which faithless Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorce, yet treacherous Judah, her sister, did not fear; but she also went and played the prostitute. 9And it came to pass, through her casual prostitution, that the land was polluted, and she committed adultery with stone and wood. 10Yet for all this her treacherous sister, Judah, has not returned to me with her whole heart, but only in pretense," says the LORD.
11The LORD said to me, "Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.
12Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, 'Return, you backsliding Israel,' says the LORD; 'I will not look in anger on you; for I am merciful,' says the LORD. 'I will not keep anger forever.
13Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD your God, and have scattered your ways to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed my voice,'" says the LORD.
14"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.
15I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16It shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land, in those days," says the LORD, "they shall say no more, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' neither shall it come to mind; neither shall they remember it; neither shall they miss it; neither shall it be made any more. 17At that time they shall call Jerusalem 'The throne of the LORD;' and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. Neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart. 18In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I gave for an inheritance to your fathers.
19"But I said, 'How I would put you among the children, and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of all the nations.' and I said, 'You shall call me "My Father," and shall not turn away from following me.'
20"Surely as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so you have dealt treacherously with me, house of Israel," says the LORD.
21A voice is heard on the bare heights, the weeping and the petitions of the children of Israel; because they have perverted their way, they have forgotten the LORD their God.
22"Return, you backsliding children, I will heal your backsliding." "Look, we have come to you; for you are the LORD our God.
23Truly the hills are a delusion, the tumult on the mountains. Truly the salvation of Israel is in the LORD our God.
24But the shameful thing has devoured the labor of our fathers from our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25Let us lie down in our shame, and let our confusion cover us; for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day. We have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God."