God's great mercy in Judah's vile whoredom.
Jeremiah 3:1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? Would not that land be utterly polluted? But thou hast committed fornication with many lovers; yet return to me, saith Jehovah. Jeremiah 3:2 Lift up thine eyes unto the heights and see, where hast thou not been lain with? In the ways hast thou sat for them, as an Arab in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy fornications and with thy wickedness. Jeremiah 3:3 And the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; but thou hast a harlot's forehead, thou refusest to be ashamed. Jeremiah 3:4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth? Jeremiah 3:5 Will he keep [his anger] for ever? Will he preserve it perpetually? Behold, thou hast spoken and hast done evil things, and thou art [so] determined.
Judah is worse than Israel.
Jeremiah 3:6 And Jehovah said unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen what backsliding Israel hath done? She hath gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath committed fornication. Jeremiah 3:7 And I said, After she hath done all these [things], she will return unto me; but she returned not. And her sister Judah, the treacherous, saw [it]. Jeremiah 3:8 And I saw that when for all the causes wherein backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce, yet the treacherous Judah, her sister, feared not, but went and committed fornication also. Jeremiah 3:9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her fornication that she polluted the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. Jeremiah 3:10 And even for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not returned unto me with her whole heart, but with falsehood, saith Jehovah. Jeremiah 3:11 And Jehovah said unto me, Backsliding Israel hath shewn herself more just than treacherous Judah.
The promises of the Gospel to the penitent.
Jeremiah 3:12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith Jehovah: I will not make my face dark upon you; for I am merciful, saith Jehovah; I will not keep [anger] for ever. Jeremiah 3:13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against Jehovah thy God, and hast turned thy ways hither and thither to the strangers under every green tree; and ye have not hearkened to my voice, saith Jehovah. Jeremiah 3:14 Return, backsliding children, saith Jehovah; for I am a husband unto you, and I will take you, one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion. Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you shepherds according to my heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:16 And it shall come to pass, when ye are multiplied in the land and become fruitful, in those days, saith Jehovah, they shall say no more, Ark of the covenant of Jehovah! neither shall it come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit [it]; neither shall it be done any more. Jeremiah 3:17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem; and they shall no more walk after the stubbornness of their evil heart. Jeremiah 3:18 In 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 which I caused your fathers to inherit. Jeremiah 3:19 And as for me, I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee the pleasant land, the goodly inheritance of the hosts of the nations? And I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from following me.
Israel reproved, and called by God, maketh a solemn confession of their sins.
Jeremiah 3:20 Surely [as] a woman treacherously departeth from her companion, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith Jehovah. Jeremiah 3:21 A voice is heard upon the heights, the weeping supplications of the children of Israel; for they have perverted their way, they have forgotten Jehovah their God. Jeremiah 3:22 Return, backsliding children; I will heal your backslidings. ... Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art Jehovah our God. Jeremiah 3:23 Truly in vain [is salvation looked for] from the hills, [and] the multitude of mountains; truly in Jehovah our God is the salvation of Israel. Jeremiah 3:24 But shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. Jeremiah 3:25 We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us; for we have sinned against Jehovah our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not hearkened to the voice of Jehovah our God.