Jeremiah 3

The divine appeal to the Northern Kingdom of Israel
.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. 
 2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.
.3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.
  1 - They say The word le'mor means "saying." The text is not clear. Here's my suggested translation by joining the end of the last verse of chapter 2 with this verse for one sentence, based on the NKJV. 
   "For the LORD has rejected your [Ahazes] trusted allies [Assyria and now Egypt], and you will not prosper by them They say [saying], if a man [The Lord] divorces his wife [Israel under Ahaz, for an unfaithful union with Assyria], and she goes from him [again] and becomes another man's [Egypt's], may [should] he [the Lord] return to her again?  Would not that land [Israel] be greatly polluted? 'But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to Me,' says the LORD."
  1 - Put away his wife v8.
  1 - Shall he return That is, take her back, as seen in Hosea ho02, ho0301.
  2 - High places See 2ki2103, je0220.
  2 - Lien with Or "taken down and sexually assaulted." In this metaphor, Israel sat waiting for this spiritual pollution.
.4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?
 5 Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.
  4 - Cry ... thou art the guide This "time" probably points to the reforms of Josiah which had not been taken seriously by the people. 2ch3403, 2ch3519. They had not invited the Lord to be their guide or husband but, v5, had been as wicked as possible.
 6 ¶ The LORD said also 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.
 7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
.8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
 9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. 
 10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD. 
 11 And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.
  9 - Stones and stocks Idols je0227.
  10 - Whole heart Their hearts were for their idols and after the king's death, they returned to full idolatry. 2ki2331, 2ch3605. The appeal is at je2913, ps119002.
 12 ¶ Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.
.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.
.14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
.15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
  12 - North The Northern kingdom needed the message.
  14 - One of a city ... Zion To be fulfilled for spiritual Israel before the return of Christ in glory. Zion is the mountain Jerusalem is on and as a metaphor it represents heaven. The final remnant is seen in re1217.
.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.   Those days When the remnant is taken to the heavenly Zion v14 they won't be looking to the sign of the divine presence in the ark but will live face to face with the Father and the Son re2122!
  Multiplied See je2303, ez3611.
.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 imagination of their evil heart. 
 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 have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. 
.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 nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me.
  17 - Jerusalem ... throne This was God's plan which the nation rejected.
  17 - All nations Compare is6618, zc1416. Finally fulfilled in re1115, re1504.
  18 - House of Judah ... out of ... north Return or go to the promised land ex0604.
  19 - How ... among the children We may see the "children" as in v21 where they are corrupt. Judah is pictured as the faithful remnant.
  19 - Goodly heritage of the hosts of nations Literally, "heritage of beauty of beauties of nations." Or "a most glorious inheritance." ez2006,15.
 20 ¶ Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. 
 21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.
.22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.
.23 Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.
 24 For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.
 25 We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.
  21 - Voice ... weeping Realization of guilt
  22 - Beautiful reconciliation.
  23 - In vain ... hills The concept is from ps12101.
  24 - Shame Confession of guilt. The Lord's response is at the beginning of the next chapter.
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