God's great mercy in Judah's vile whoredom.
Jeremiah 3:1 Comenly, when a man putteth awaye his wife, and she goeth from him, and marieth with another, then the question is: should he resorte vnto her any more after that? Is not this felde then defiled and vnclean? But as for the thou hast played the harlot with many louers, yet turne againe to me, sayeth the Lorde. Jeremiah 3:2 Lyft vp thine eyes on euery side, and loke, yf thou be not defyled. Thou hast wayted for them in stretes, and as a murtherer in the wildernesse. Thorowe thy whordome and shameful blasphemies, is the lande defyled. Jeremiah 3:3 This is the cause, that the rayne and eueninge dew hath ceased. Thou hast gotten the an whores foreheade, and canst not be ashamed. Jeremiah 3:4 Els wouldest thou saye vnto me: O my father, thou art he that hast brought me vp, and led me from my youth. Jeremiah 3:5 Wilt thou then put me awaye, and cast me of for euer? Or wilt thou withdrawe thy selfe cleane from me? Neuertheles, thou speakest suche wordes, but thou art euer doynge worse and worse.
Judah is worse than Israel.
Jeremiah 3:6 The Lord sayd also vnto me: in the time of Iosiah the kinge, hast thou sene what that shrinkinge Israel hath done? howe she hathe runne vp vpon all the hilles, and amonge all thicke trees, and there playeth the harlot? Jeremiah 3:7 hast thou sene also (when she had done all thys) how I sayde vnto her: that she shoulde turne agayne vnto me, and yet she is not returned? Iuda that vnfaythfull syster of hers also saw this: Jeremiah 3:8 Namely, that after I had well sene the aduoutrye of the shrynkynge harlot Israel. I put her awaye, and gaue her a byl of deuorcement. For al this, her vnfaithfull syster Iuda was not ashamed, but went backe and plaied the whore also. Jeremiah 3:9 Yea and the noise of her whordome that defyled the whole lande. For she hath commytted her aduoutrye with stones and stocke. Jeremiah 3:10 Neuerthelesse, her vnfaythfull syster Iuda is not turned vnto me again with ther whole herte, but faynedly, sayeth the Lorde. Jeremiah 3:11 And the Lorde sayde vnto me. The bacslyder Israel is more ryghteous, then the vnfaythfull Iuda:
The promises of the Gospel to the penitent.
Jeremiah 3:12 and therfore go preache these wordes towarde the North, and saye: Thou shrenkinge Israel, turne agayne (sayeth the Lord) and I wyll not turne my face from you, for I am mercyfull, sayeth the Lorde, and I will not alwaye beare displeasure agaynste the: Jeremiah 3:13 but on this condicion, that thou knowe thy greate blasphemy: Namely, that thou haste vnfaithful forsaken the Lorde thy God, and hast made thy selfe partaker of straung goddes vnder all grene trees, but hast had no wil to heare my voyce, sayeth the Lorde. Jeremiah 3:14 O ye shrinkinge children, turne agayne, sayeth the Lorde: and I wilbe maried wyth you. For I will take one oute of the citie, and two oute of one generacyon from amonge you, and bring you out of Sion: Jeremiah 3:15 and wil geue you herdmen, after mine owne mynd, which shal fede you with learninge and wysedome. Jeremiah 3:16 Moreouer, when ye be increased and multyplied in the land, then (sayeth the Lorde) there shall no more boost be made of the arcke of the Lordes Testament: No man shal thincke vpon it, neyther shall any man make mencion of it: for from thence forth it shall neyther be visited, nor honoured with gyftes. Jeremiah 3:17 Then shal Ierusalem be called the Lordes seate, and all Heathen shalbe gathered vnto it, for the name of the Lordes sake, whyche shalbe set vp at Ierusalem. And from that tyme forth, they shal folow no more the ymaginacion of their owne frowarde herte. Jeremiah 3:18 Then those that be of the house of Iuda, shal go vnto the house of Israel, and they shal come together out of the North, into the same land, that I haue geuen youre fathers. Jeremiah 3:19 I haue shewed also, howe I toke the vp beynge but a chylde, & gaue the a pleasaunt lande for thyne heretage, yea & a goodly Hoste of the heathen: & how I commaunded the, that þu shouldest cal me father only, & not to shrynck from me.
Israel reproved, and called by God, maketh a solemn confession of their sins.
Jeremiah 3:20 But lyke as a woman fayleth her louer, so are ye vnfaithfull vnto me (O ye house of Israel) sayeth the Lorde. Jeremiah 3:21 And therfore the voyce of the chyldren of Israel was heard in euery side, wepinge & waylinge: for they haue defyled their waye, and forgotten God their Lorde. Jeremiah 3:22 O ye shrinkynge chyldren, turne agayne, (sayinge: lo, we are thyne, for thou arte the Lorde oure God:) And so shall I heale your bacturnynges. Jeremiah 3:23 The hylles fal, and al the hye pryde of the mountaynes, but the healthe of Israel standeth onely vpon God oure Lorde. Jeremiah 3:24 Confusion hath deuoured oure fathers laboure from our youth vp: yea their shepe and bullockes, their sonnes and doughters. Jeremiah 3:25 So do we also slepe in oure confusyon, and shame couereth vs: for we and oure fathers from oure youth vp vnto thys daye haue sinned agaynste the Lorde oure God, and haue not obeyed the voyce of the Lord oure God.