3 1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, will he return unto her again? will not that land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith Jehovah. 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. 3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; yet thou hast a harlot's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. 4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My Father, thou art the guide of my youth? 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.
Israel and Judah Entreated to Repent
6 Moreover Jehovah 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. 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. 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. 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. 10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not returned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith Jehovah. 11 And Jehovah said unto me, Backsliding Israel hath showed herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.
12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith Jehovah; I will not look in anger upon you; for I am merciful, saith Jehovah, I will not keep [anger] for ever. 13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against Jehovah thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith Jehovah. 14 Return, O backsliding children, saith Jehovah; 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: 15 and I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And it shall come to pass, when ye are multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith Jehovah, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of Jehovah; neither shall it come to mind; neither shall they remember it; neither shall they miss it; neither shall it be made any more. 17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness 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 gave for an inheritance unto your fathers. 19 But I said, How I will 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.
20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith Jehovah. 21 A voice is heard upon the bare heights, the weeping [and] the supplications of the children of Israel; because they have perverted their way, they have forgotten Jehovah their God. 22 Return, ye backsliding children, I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we are come unto thee; for thou art Jehovah our God. 23 Truly in vain is [the help that is looked for] from the hills, the tumult on the mountains: truly in Jehovah our God is the salvation of Israel. 24 But the shameful thing hath devoured the labor of our fathers from our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our confusion cover us; for we have sinned against Jehovah our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah our God.
4 1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith Jehovah, if thou wilt return unto me, and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight; then shalt thou not be removed; 2 and thou shalt swear, As Jehovah liveth, in truth, in justice, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.
3 For thus saith Jehovah to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn so that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
Judah Threatened with Invasion
5 Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry aloud and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities. 6 Set up a standard toward Zion: flee for safety, stay not; for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. 7 A lion is gone up from his thicket, and a destroyer of nations; he is on his way, he is gone forth from his place, to make thy land desolate, that thy cities be laid waste, without inhabitant. 8 For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and wail; for the fierce anger of Jehovah is not turned back from us. 9 And it shall come to pass at that day, saith Jehovah, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder. 10 Then said I, Ah, Lord Jehovah! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the life. 11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A hot wind from the bare heights in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to winnow, nor to cleanse; 12 a full wind from these shall come for me: now will I also utter judgments against them. 13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots [shall be] as the whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are ruined. 14 O Jerusalem, wash thy heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thine evil thoughts lodge within thee? 15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth evil from the hills of Ephraim: 16 make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, [that] watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah. 17 As keepers of a field are they against her round about, because she hath been rebellious against me, saith Jehovah. 18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness; for it is bitter, for it reacheth unto thy heart.
19 My anguish, my anguish! I am pained at my very heart; my heart is disquieted in me; I cannot hold my peace; because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is laid waste: suddenly are my tents destroyed, [and] my curtains in a moment. 21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet? 22 For my people are foolish, they know me not; they are sottish children, and they have no understanding; they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. 23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was waste and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved to and fro. 25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. 26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful field was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of Jehovah, [and] before his fierce anger. 27 For thus saith Jehovah, The whole land shall be a desolation; yet will I not make a full end. 28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black; because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and I have not repented, neither will I turn back from it. 29 Every city fleeth for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they go into the thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city is forsaken, and not a man dwelleth therein. 30 And thou, when thou art made desolate, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with scarlet, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou enlargest thine eyes with paint, in vain dost thou make thyself fair; [thy] lovers despise thee, they seek thy life. 31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that gaspeth for breath, that spreadeth her hands, [saying], Woe is me now! for my soul fainteth before the murderers.
The Sins of Jerusalem and Judah
5 1 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that doeth justly, that seeketh truth; and I will pardon her. 2 And though they say, As Jehovah liveth; surely they swear falsely. 3 O Jehovah, do not thine eyes look upon truth? thou hast stricken them, but they were not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. 4 Then I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish; for they know not the way of Jehovah, nor the law of their God: 5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they know the way of Jehovah, and the law of their God. But these with one accord have broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. 6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, a wolf of the evenings shall destroy them, a leopard shall watch against their cities; every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many, [and] their backslidings are increased. 7 How can I pardon thee? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery, and assembled themselves in troops at the harlots' houses. 8 They were as fed horses roaming at large; every one neighed after his neighbor's wife. 9 Shall I not visit for these things? saith Jehovah; and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
10 Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her branches; for they are not Jehovah's. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith Jehovah. 12 They have denied Jehovah, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine: 13 and the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them. 14 Wherefore thus saith Jehovah, the God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. 15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith Jehovah: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. 16 Their quiver is an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men. 17 And they shall eat up thy harvest, and thy bread, [which] thy sons and thy daughters should eat; they shall eat up thy flocks and thy herds; they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig-trees; they shall beat down thy fortified cities, wherein thou trustest, with the sword. 18 But even in those days, saith Jehovah, I will not make a full end with you. 19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore hath Jehovah our God done all these things unto us? then shalt thou say unto them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served foreign gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.
20 Declare ye this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; that have eyes, and see not; that have ears, and hear not: 22 Fear ye not me? saith Jehovah: will ye not tremble at my presence, who have placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it? and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it. 23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. 24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear Jehovah our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in its season; that preserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.
25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good from you. 26 For among my people are found wicked men: they watch, as fowlers lie in wait; they set a trap, they catch men. 27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxed rich. 28 They are waxed fat, they shine: yea, they overpass in deeds of wickedness; they plead not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, that they may prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. 29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith Jehovah; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 30 A wonderful and horrible thing is come to pass in the land: 31 the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
Prediction of Apostasy
4 1 But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron; 3 forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by them that believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 for it is sanctified through the word of God and prayer.
A Good Minister of Jesus Christ
6 If thou put the brethren in mind of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine which thou hast followed [until now]: 7 but refuse profane and old wives' fables. And exercise thyself unto godliness: 8 for bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come. 9 Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation. 10 For to this end we labor and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe. 11 These things command and teach. 12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an ensample to them that believe, in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15 Be diligent in these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy progress may be manifest unto all. 16 Take heed to thyself, and to thy teaching. Continue in these things; for in doing this thou shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee.