God's great mercy in Judah's vile whoredom.
Jeremiah 3:1 They say; If a man put away his wife, and she goe from him, and become another mans, shall hee returne vnto her againe? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many louers; yet returne againe to me, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 3:2 Lift vp thine eyes vnto the high places, and see where thou hast not bene lien with: in the wayes hast thou sate for them, as the Arabian in the wildernesse, and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredomes, and with thy wickednes. Jeremiah 3:3 Therefore the showres haue bin withholden, and there hath bene no latter raine, and thou haddest a whores forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. Jeremiah 3:4 Wilt thou not from this time cry vnto me; My father, thou [art] the guide of my youth? Jeremiah 3:5 Will he reserue [his anger] for euer? wil he keepe [it] to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done euill things as thou couldest.
Judah is worse than Israel.
Jeremiah 3:6 The LORD said also vnto me, in the daies of Iosiah the king, Hast thou seene that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone vp vpon euery high mountaine, and vnder euery greene tree, and there hath plaied the harlot. Jeremiah 3:7 And I said after she had done all these things; Turne thou vnto me: but shee returned not, and her treacherous sister Iudah saw [it]. Jeremiah 3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adulterie, I had put her away and giuen her a bill of diuorce: yet her treacherous sister Iudah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. Jeremiah 3:9 And it came to passe thorow the lightnes of her whoredome, that shee defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stockes. Jeremiah 3:10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Iudah hath not turned vnto mee with her whole heart, but fainedly, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 3:11 And the LORD said vnto mee, The backesliding Israel hath iustified her selfe more then treacherous Iudah.
The promises of the Gospel to the penitent.
Jeremiah 3:12 Go and proclaime these words toward the North, and say, Returne thou backesliding Israel, sayeth the LORD, [and] I will not cause mine anger to fall vpon you: for I [am] mercifull, saith the LORD, [and] I will not keepe [anger] for euer. Jeremiah 3:13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy wayes to the strangers vnder euery greene tree, and ye haue not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 3:14 Turne, O backesliding children, saith the LORD, for I am maried vnto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I wil bring you to Zion. Jeremiah 3:15 And I will giue you Pastours according to mine heart, which shall feede you with knowledge and vnderstanding. Jeremiah 3:16 And it shall come to passe when yee bee multiplied and increased in the land; in those dayes, saith the LORD, they shal say no more; The Arke of the Couenant of the LORD: neither shal it come to minde, neither shall they remember it, neither shall they visit [it], neither shall [that] be done any more. Jeremiah 3:17 At that time they shall call Ierusalem the Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shalbe gathered vnto it, to the Name of the LORD, to Ierusalem: neither shall they walke any more after the imagination of their euill heart. Jeremiah 3:18 In those dayes the house of Iudah shall walke with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the North to the land that I haue giuen for an inheritance vnto your fathers. Jeremiah 3:19 But I said; How shall I put thee among the children, and giue thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hostes of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me; My father, and shalt not turne away from me.
Israel reproved, and called by God, maketh a solemn confession of their sins.
Jeremiah 3:20 Surely [as] a wife treacherously departeth from her husband: so haue you dealt treacherously with mee, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 3:21 A voice was heard vpon the high places, weeping [and] supplications of the children of Israel: for they haue peruerted their way, [and] they haue forgotten the LORD their God. Jeremiah 3:22 Returne ye backsliding children, [and] I wil heale your backslidings: Beholde, wee come vnto thee, for thou [art] the LORD our God. Jeremiah 3:23 Truely in vaine [is saluation hoped for] from the hilles, [and from] the multitude of mountaines: truely in the LORD our God [is] the saluation of Israel. Jeremiah 3:24 For shame hath deuoured the labour of our fathers from our youth: their flockes and their heards, their sonnes and their daughters. Jeremiah 3:25 We lie downe in our shame, and our confusion couereth vs: for we haue sinned against the LORD our God, wee and our fathers from our youth euen vnto this day, and haue not obeied the voice of the LORD our God.