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 againe vnto her? Shall not this land be polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many louers: yet turne againe to mee, sayeth the Lord. Jeremiah 3:2 Lift vp thine eyes vnto the hie places, and beholde, where thou hast not plaied the harlot: thou hast sit waiting for them in the waies, as the Arabian in the wildernesse: and thou hast polluted the lande with thy whoredomes, and with thy malice. Jeremiah 3:3 Therefore the showres haue beene restrained, and the latter raine came not, and thou haddest a whores forehead: thou wouldest not bee ashamed. Jeremiah 3:4 Diddest thou not stil crie vnto me, Thou art my father, and the guide of my youth? Jeremiah 3:5 Wil he keepe his anger for euer? Will he reserue it to the ende? Thus hast thou spoken, but thou doest euill, euen more and more.
Judah is worse than Israel.
Jeremiah 3:6 The Lord saide also vnto me, in the daies of Iosiah the King, Hast thou seene what this rebell Israel hath done? for she hath gone vp vpon euery high mountaine, and vnder euery greene tree, and there plaied the harlot. Jeremiah 3:7 And I sayde, when shee had done all this, Turne thou vnto me: but she returned not, as her rebellious sister Iudah sawe. Jeremiah 3:8 When I sawe, howe that by all occasions rebellious Israel had plaied the harlot, I cast her away, and gaue her a bill of diuorcement: yet her rebellious sister Iudah was not afraied, but shee went also, and plaied the harlot. Jeremiah 3:9 So that for the lightnesse of her whoredome shee hath euen defiled the lande: for shee hath committed fornication with stones and stockes. Jeremiah 3:10 Neuerthelesse for all this, her rebellious sister Iudah hath not returned vnto mee with her whole heart, but fainedly, sayth the Lord. Jeremiah 3:11 And the Lord said vnto me, The rebellious Israel hath iustified her selfe more then the rebellious Iudah.
The promises of the Gospel to the penitent.
Jeremiah 3:12 Goe and crie these woordes towarde the North and say, Thou disobedient Israel, returne, sayeth the Lorde, and I will not let my wrath fall vpon you: for I am mercifull, sayeth the Lord, and I will not always keepe mine anger. Jeremiah 3:13 But knowe thine iniquitie: for thou hast rebelled against the Lord thy God, & hast scattered thy waies to the straunge gods vnder euery greene tree, but yee woulde not obey my voyce, sayeth the Lord. Jeremiah 3:14 O yee disobedient children, turne againe, sayeth the Lorde, for I am your Lorde, and I will take you one of a citie, and two of a tribe and wil bring you to Zion, Jeremiah 3:15 And I will giue you pastours according to mine heart, which shal feede you with knowledge and vnderstanding. Jeremiah 3:16 Moreouer, when yee be increased and multiplied in the land, in those daies, saieth the Lorde, they shall say no more, The Arke of the couenant of the Lorde: for it shall come no more to minde, neither shall they remember it, neither shal they visite it, for that shalbe no more done. Jeremiah 3:17 At that time they shal cal Ierusalem, The throne of the Lord, & all the nations shall be gathered vnto it, euen to the Name of the Lorde in Ierusalem: and thence foorth they shal followe no more the hardnesse of their wicked heart. Jeremiah 3:18 In those daies ye house of Iudah shall walke with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the lande of the North, into the lande, that I haue giuen for an inheritance vnto your fathers. Jeremiah 3:19 But I sayde, Howe did I take thee for children and giue thee a pleasant lande, euen the glorious heritage of the armies of the heathen, and saide, Thou shalt call mee, saying, My father, and shalt not turne from me?
Israel reproved, and called by God, maketh a solemn confession of their sins.
Jeremiah 3:20 But as a woman rebelleth against her husband: so haue yee rebelled against me, O house of Israel, sayeth the Lord. Jeremiah 3:21 A voice was heard vpon the hie places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they haue peruerted their way, and forgotten the Lord their God. Jeremiah 3:22 O yee disobedient children, returne and I wil heale your rebellions. Behold, we come vnto thee, for thou art the Lord our God. Jeremiah 3:23 Truly the hope of the hilles is but vaine, nor the multitude of mountaines: but in the Lorde our God is the health of Israel. Jeremiah 3:24 For confusion hath deuoured our fathers labour, from our youth their sheepe and their bullocks, their sonnes and their daughters. Jeremiah 3:25 Wee lie downe in our confusion, and our shame couereth vs: for we haue sinned against the Lorde our God, we and our fathers from our youth, euen vnto this day, and haue not obeyed the voyce of the Lord our God.