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? shall not that land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 3:2 Lift up thine eyes unto the bare heights, and see; where hast thou not been lain with? By the ways hast thou sat for them, as an Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Jeremiah 3:3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; yet thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst 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 retain [his anger] for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and hast done evil things, and hast had thy way.
Judah is worse than Israel.
Jeremiah 3:6 Moreover the LORD said unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. Jeremiah 3:7 And I said after she had done all these things, She will return unto me; but she returned not: and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. Jeremiah 3:8 And I saw, when, for this very cause that backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorcement, yet treacherous Judah her sister feared not; but she also went and played the harlot. Jeremiah 3:9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that the land was polluted, and she committed adultery with stones and with stocks. Jeremiah 3:10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not returned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 3:11 And the LORD said unto me, Backsliding Israel hath shewn herself more righteous 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 the LORD; I will not look in anger upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, I will not keep [anger] for ever. Jeremiah 3:13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 3:14 Return, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; 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 mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased 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 to mind: 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 Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more 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 that I gave for an inheritance unto your fathers. Jeremiah 3:19 But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of the nations? and I said, Ye shall call me My father; and shall 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 wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 3:21 A voice is heard upon the bare heights, the weeping [and] the supplications of the children of Israel; for that they have perverted their way, they have forgotten the LORD their God. Jeremiah 3:22 Return, ye backsliding children, I will heal your backslidings, Behold, we are come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God. Jeremiah 3:23 Truly in vain is [the help that is looked for] from the hills, the tumult on the mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel. Jeremiah 3:24 But the shameful thing hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. Jeremiah 3:25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our confusion cover us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day: and we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.