World English Bible
The Polluted Land
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 Yahweh.
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?' Behold, you have spoken and have done evil things, and have had your way."
Israel's and Judah's Unfaithfulness
6Moreover, Yahweh 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 didn't return; and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8I saw, when, for this very cause that backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorce, yet treacherous Judah, her sister, didn't fear; but she also went and played the prostitute. 9It happened through the lightness of her prostitution, that the land was polluted, and she committed adultery with stones and with stocks. 10Yet for all this her treacherous sister, Judah, has not returned to me with her whole heart, but only in pretense," says Yahweh.
Invitation to Repentance
11Yahweh 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 Yahweh; 'I will not look in anger on you; for I am merciful,' says Yahweh. 'I will not keep [anger] forever.
13Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against Yahweh your God, and have scattered your ways to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed my voice,' says Yahweh."
14"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.
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 Yahweh, "they shall say no more, 'The ark of the covenant of Yahweh!' 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 Yahweh;' and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of Yahweh, 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, a goodly heritage of the armies of 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 Yahweh.
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 Yahweh their God.
22Return, you backsliding children, I will heal your backsliding. "Behold, we have come to you; for you are Yahweh our God.
23Truly in vain is [the help that is looked for] from the hills, the tumult on the mountains. Truly the salvation of Israel is in Yahweh 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 Yahweh our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day. We have not obeyed the voice of Yahweh our God."
The World English Bible is a 1997 revision of the American Standard Version of the Holy Bible, first published in 1901. It is in the Public Domain. Please feel free to copy and distribute it freely. Thank you to Michael Paul Johnson for making this work available. For the latest information, to report corrections, or for other correspondence, visit www.ebible.org.
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