God's great mercy in Judah's vile whoredom.
Jeremiah 3:1 Commonly when a man putteth away his wyfe, and she goeth from hym & maryeth with another, then the question is: shoulde he resort vnto her any more after that? (Is not that lande then defiled and vncleane?) But as for thee thou hast played the harlot with many louers, yet turne agayne to me, saith the Lorde. Jeremiah 3:2 Lift vp thine eyes to the hygh places, and loke where thou hast not ben defiled: Thou hast wayted for them in the streetes, and as a murtherer in the wildernesse, through thy whoredome and shamefull blasphemies is the lande defiled. Jeremiah 3:3 This is the cause that the rayne and euenyng deawe hath ceassed: Thou hast gotten thee an whores forehead, and wylt not be ashamed. Jeremiah 3:4 Wylt thou not herafter say vnto me, O my father, thou art he that hast brought me vp, and led me from my youth? Jeremiah 3:5 Wyll God continue his wrath for euer? wyll he kepe our faultes in memorie to the ende? Neuerthelesse, thou speakest such wordes, but thou art euer doyng worse and worse to the vtmost of thy power.
Judah is worse than Israel.
Jeremiah 3:6 The Lorde sayde also vnto me in the tyme of Iosiah the kyng, Hast thou seene what that rebellion Israel hath done? howe she hath runne vp vpon all the hylles, and among all thicke trees, and there played the harlot? Jeremiah 3:7 Hast thou seene also when she had done all this, howe I sayde vnto her, that she shoulde turne agayne vnto me, and yet she is not returned? Iuda that vnfaithfull sister of hers also sawe this: Jeremiah 3:8 Namely, that after I had well seene the adulterie of the shrinckyng harlot Israel, I put her away, and gaue her a byll of deuorcement: For all this, her vnfaithfull sister Iuda was not ashamed, but went backe and played the whore. Jeremiah 3:9 Yea and the wantonnesse of her whoredome hath defyled the whole lande: For she hath comitted fornication with stones and stockes. Jeremiah 3:10 Neuerthelsse, her vnfaithfull sister Iuda is not turned vnto me agayne with her whole heart, but faignedlye saith the Lorde. Jeremiah 3:11 And the Lorde sayde vnto me, The backslyder Israel, is more righteous then the vnfaithfull Iuda.
The promises of the Gospel to the penitent.
Jeremiah 3:12 And therfore go preach these wordes towarde the north, and say, Thou disobedient Israel, turne agayne saith the Lorde, and I wyll not bring my wrath vpon you: for I am mercifull saith the Lorde, and I wyll not alway beare displeasure agaynst thee: Jeremiah 3:13 But on this condition, that thou know thy great blasphemie, namely that thou hast vnfaithfully forsaken the Lord thy God, and hast made thy selfe partaker of straunge gods vnder all greene trees, and hast had no wyll to heare my voyce, saith the Lorde. Jeremiah 3:14 O ye disobedient childre, turne againe saith the Lorde, and I wyll be maryed with you: for I wyll take one out of the citie, and two out of one generation from among you, and bryng you into Sion, Jeremiah 3:15 And wyll geue you heardmen after myne owne mynde, which shall feede you with learnyng and wisdome. Jeremiah 3:16 Moreouer, when ye be encreased and multiplied in the lande, then saith the Lorde, there shall no more boast be made of the arke of the Lordes testament: No man shall thinke vpon it, neither shall any man make mention of it: for from thencefoorth it shall neither be visited, neither shall such thyng be done any more. Jeremiah 3:17 Then shall Hierusalem be called the Lordes seate, and all heathen shalbe gathered vnto it for the name of the Lordes sake which shalbe set vp at Hierusalem: And from that tyme foorth they shall folowe no more the imagination of their owne frowarde heart. Jeremiah 3:18 Then those that be of the house of Iuda, shal go vnto the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the north, into the same lande that I haue geuen your fathers. Jeremiah 3:19 I haue thought thus: howe shall I take thee to be my children, and geue a pleasaunt lande for thine heritage, yea and a goodly hoast of the heathen? And I sayd, Call me father, and shrincke not from me.
Israel reproved, and called by God, maketh a solemn confession of their sins.
Jeremiah 3:20 Truely, lyke as a woman fayleth her husbande, so are ye vnfaithfull vnto me O ye house of Israel, saith the Lorde. Jeremiah 3:21 The voyce of the children of Israel was hearde on hye, weepyng and waylyng: for that they haue defiled their way, and forgotten God their Lorde. Jeremiah 3:22 O ye disobedient children, turne againe, & so shall I heale your backturnynges. Lo we come vnto thee, for thou art the Lorde our God. Jeremiah 3:23 Truely, in vayne is health hoped for from the hylles, be they neuer so many: but the health of Israel standeth only vpon God our Lorde. Jeremiah 3:24 Confusion hath deuoured our fathers labour from our youth vp, yea their sheepe and bullockes, their sonnes and daughters. Jeremiah 3:25 So do we also sleepe in our confusion, and shame couereth vs: for we & our fathers from our youth vp vnto this day haue sinned agaynst the Lord our God, and haue not obeyed the voyce of the Lorde our God.