God's great mercy in Judah's vile whoredom.
Jeremiah 3:1 It is commonly said: If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and marry another man, shall he return to her any more? shall not that woman be polluted, and defiled? but thou hast prostituted thyself to many lovers: nevertheless return to me, saith the Lord, and I will receive thee. Jeremiah 3:2 Lift up thy eyes on high: and see where thou hast not prostituted thyself: thou didst sit in the ways, waiting for them as a robber in the wilderness: and thou hast polluted the land with thy fornications, and with thy wickedness. Jeremiah 3:3 Therefore the showers were withholden, and there was no lateward rain: thou hadst a harlot's forehead, thou wouldst not blush. Jeremiah 3:4 Therefore at the least from this time call to me: Thou art my father, the guide of my virginity: Jeremiah 3:5 Wilt thou be angry for ever, or wilt thou continue unto the end? Behold, thou hast spoken, and hast done evil things, and hast been able.
Judah is worse than Israel.
Jeremiah 3:6 And the Lord said to me in the days of king Josias: Hast thou seen what rebellious Israel hath done? she hath gone of herself upon every high mountain, and under every green tree, and hath played the harlot there. Jeremiah 3:7 And when she had done all these things, I said: Return to me, and she did not return. And her treacherous sister Juda saw, Jeremiah 3:8 That because the rebellious Israel had played the harlot, I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce: yet her treacherous sister Juda was not afraid, but went and played the harlot also herself. Jeremiah 3:9 And by the facility of her fornication she defiled the land, and played the harlot with stones and with stocks. Jeremiah 3:10 And after all this, her treacherous sister Juda hath not returned to me with her whole heart, but with falsehood, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 3:11 And the Lord said to me: The rebellious Israel hath justified her soul, in comparison of the treacherous Juda.
The promises of the Gospel to the penitent.
Jeremiah 3:12 Go, and proclaim these words towards the north, and thou shalt say: Return, O rebellious Israel, saith the Lord, and I will not turn away my face from you: for I am holy, saith the Lord, and I will not be angry for ever. Jeremiah 3:13 But yet acknowledge thy iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God: and thou hast scattered thy ways to strangers under every green tree, and hast not heard my voice, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 3:14 Return, O ye revolting children, saith the Lord: for I am your I husband: and I will take you, one of a city, and two of a kindred, and will bring you into Sion. Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to my own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine. Jeremiah 3:16 And when you shall be multiplied, and increase in the land in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more: The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come upon the heart, neither shall they remember it, neither shall it be visited, neither shall that be done any more. Jeremiah 3:17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord: and all the nations shall be gathered together to it, in the name of the Lord to Jerusalem, and they shall not walk after the perversity of their most wicked heart. Jeremiah 3:18 In those days the house of Juda shall go to the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land which I gave to your fathers. Jeremiah 3:19 But I said: How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a lovely land, the goodly inheritance of the armies of the Gentiles? And I said: Thou shalt call me father and shalt not cease to walk after me.
Israel reproved, and called by God, maketh a solemn confession of their sins.
Jeremiah 3:20 But as a woman that despiseth her lover, so hath the house of Israel despised me, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 3:21 A voice was heard in the highways, weeping and howling of the children of Israel: because they have made their way wicked, they have forgotten the Lord their God. Jeremiah 3:22 Return, you rebellious children, and I will heal your rebellions. Behold we come to thee: for thou art the Lord our God. Jeremiah 3:23 In very deed the hills were liars, and the multitude of the mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel. Jeremiah 3:24 Confusion hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. Jeremiah 3:25 We shall sleep in our confusion, and our shame shall cover us, because we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers from our youth even to this day, and we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God.