1“They say ‘If a man puts away his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man’s, can he ever return to her again? Wouldn’t that land be greatly polluted?’ But you have prostituted yourself with many lovers, and yet think to return to me, says Yahweh.
2Lift up your eyes to the barren heights, and look! Where have you not been lain with? You have sat for them by the roads like an Arab in the desert. 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 the forehead of a prostitute, you refused to be ashamed.
4Have you not just now called to me, saying, ‘My Father, you are the friend of my youth!
5Will he retain his anger forever? Will he be indignant to the end?’ Behold, you people have spoken and have done evil things, and have had your way.”
6Moreover, Yahweh said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what she did, that unfaithful one, Israel? She has gone up on every high hill and under every green tree, and has prostituted herself there.
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 adulteries of that unfaithful one, Israel, I had sent her away and given her a bill of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she also went and prostituted herself.
9It came to pass because she took her prostitution lightly, that the land was polluted, and she committed adultery with stones and with trees.
10Yet for all this her treacherous sister, Judah, has not returned to me with her whole heart, but only in pretense,” says Yahweh.
11Yahweh said to me, “Unfaithful Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah..
12Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, ‘Return, unfaithful Israel, says Yahweh, I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, says Yahweh. I will not keep my anger forever.
13Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against Yahweh your God and have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed my voice, says Yahweh.
14Return, you unfaithful children, says Yahweh, for I am your husband.a 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 who are after my heart, who will shepherd you with knowledge and understanding.
16When you have multiplied and increased in the land in those days, says Yahweh, they will no longer say, “The ark of the covenant of Yahweh!” Indeed, it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor miss it. It will not be made again.
17At that time they will call Jerusalem, “The throne of Yahweh,” and all the nations will be gathered to it, to the name of Yahweh, to Jerusalem. And they will walk no longer after the stubbornness of their own evil heart.
18In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together out of the land of the north to the land that I gave for an inheritance to your fathers.
19But I said: How I would put you among the children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any army of nations! And I said: You will call me “My Father,” and will not turn away from following me.
20Surely 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.
22“Return, you unfaithful children; I will heal your unfaithfulness.” “Behold, we have come to you, for you are Yahweh our God.”
23Truly the hills are a deception, that tumult on the mountains. Truly the salvation of Israel is in Yahweh our God.
24“But from our youth the Shameful Thingb has devoured the labor of our fathers; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.
25Let’s lie down in our shame and let our disgrace 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.”