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? Would not that land be utterly polluted? But thou hast committed fornication with many lovers; yet return to me, saith Jehovah. 2 Lift up thine eyes unto the heights and see, where hast thou not been lain with? In the ways hast thou sat for them, as an Arab in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy fornications and with thy wickedness. 3 And the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; but thou hast a harlot's forehead, thou refusest 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 keep [his anger] for ever? Will he preserve it perpetually? Behold, thou hast spoken and hast done evil things, and thou art [so] determined.
Israel and Judah Entreated to Repent
6 And Jehovah said unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen what backsliding Israel hath done? She hath gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath committed fornication. 7 And I said, After she hath done all these [things], she will return unto me; but she returned not. And her sister Judah, the treacherous, saw [it]. 8 And I saw that when for all the causes wherein backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce, yet the treacherous Judah, her sister, feared not, but went and committed fornication also. 9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her fornication that she polluted the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. 10 And even for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not returned unto me with her whole heart, but with falsehood, saith Jehovah. 11 And Jehovah said unto me, Backsliding Israel hath shewn herself more just than treacherous Judah.
12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith Jehovah: I will not make my face dark 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 turned thy ways hither and thither to the strangers under every green tree; and ye have not hearkened to my voice, saith Jehovah. 14 Return, 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, and they shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And it shall come to pass, when ye are multiplied in the land and become fruitful, in those days, saith Jehovah, they shall say no more, Ark of the covenant of Jehovah! neither shall it come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit [it]; neither shall it be done 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; and they shall no more walk 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 which I caused your fathers to inherit. 19 And as for me, I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee the pleasant land, the goodly inheritance of the hosts of the nations? And I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from following me.
20 Surely [as] a woman treacherously departeth from her companion, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith Jehovah. 21 A voice is heard upon the heights, the weeping supplications of the children of Israel; for they have perverted their way, they have forgotten Jehovah their God. 22 —Return, backsliding children; I will heal your backslidings. ... Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art Jehovah our God. 23 Truly in vain [is salvation looked for] from the hills, [and] the multitude of mountains; truly in Jehovah our God is the salvation of Israel. 24 But 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 Jehovah our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not hearkened to the voice of Jehovah our God.
4 1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith Jehovah, return unto me; and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not be a wanderer; 2 —and thou shalt in truth, in justice, and in righteousness swear, [As] Jehovah liveth! 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 Jerusalem: Break up for you a fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves for Jehovah, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my fury come forth like fire and burn, and there be none to quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
Judah Threatened with Invasion
5 Declare ye in Judah, and cause it to be heard in Jerusalem, and say, ... and blow the trumpet in the land, cry aloud and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the fenced cities. 6 Set up a banner toward Zion; take to flight, stay not! For I am bringing evil from the north, and a great destruction. 7 The lion is come up from his thicket, the destroyer of the nations is on his way; he is gone forth from his place, to make thy land desolate; thy cities shall be laid waste, without inhabitant. 8 For this, gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl! for the fierce anger of Jehovah is not turned away from us. 9 And it shall come to pass in 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 be amazed. 10 And I said, Alas, Lord Jehovah! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul. 11 At that time shall it be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A hot wind [cometh] from the heights in the wilderness, on the way of the daughter of my people, not for fanning, nor for cleansing. 12 A wind more vehement than that shall come from me: now will I also pronounce judgments against them. 13 Behold, he cometh up as clouds, and his chariots are as a whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are destroyed. 14 Wash thy heart, Jerusalem, from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee? 15 For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim. 16 Inform the nations; behold, make Jerusalem to hear: Besiegers come from a far country, and raise their voice against the cities of Judah. 17 As keepers of a field are they against her round about; for she hath been rebellious against me, saith Jehovah. 18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these [things] unto thee; this is thy wickedness, yea, it is bitter, yea, it reacheth unto thy heart.
19 My bowels! my bowels! I am in travail! [Oh,] the walls of my heart! My heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace: for thou hearest, my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the clamour of war. 20 Destruction upon destruction is proclaimed; for the whole land is wasted: suddenly are my tents laid waste, my curtains, in a moment. 21 How long shall I see the standard, [and] hear the sound of the trumpet? 22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have no intelligence; 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 empty; and the heavens, and they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and lo, they trembled, and all the hills shook violently. 25 I beheld, and lo, man was not, and all the fowl of the heavens were fled. 26 I beheld, and lo, the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down, before Jehovah, before his fierce anger. 27 For thus saith Jehovah: The whole land shall be a desolation; but I will 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 will not repent, neither will I turn back therefrom. 29 At the noise of the horsemen and bowmen, every city fleeth; they go into the thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city is forsaken and no man dwelleth therein. 30 —And thou, wasted one, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rendest thine eyes with paint, in vain dost thou make thyself fair: [thy] lovers despise thee, they seek thy life. 31 For I hear a voice, as of a woman in travail, anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion: she moaneth, she spreadeth forth her hands, [saying], Woe unto me! for my soul faileth because of 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 broadways thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be [any] that doeth justice, that seeketh fidelity; and I will pardon it. 2 And if they say, [As] Jehovah liveth! surely they swear falsely. 3 Jehovah, are not thine eyes upon fidelity? Thou hast smitten them, but they are not sore; thou hast consumed them, they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. 4 And I said, Surely these are the wretched ones, they are foolish; for they know not the way of Jehovah, the judgment of their God. 5 I will go unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they know the way of Jehovah, the judgment of their God; but these have altogether broken the yoke, have burst the bonds. 6 Therefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, a wolf of the evenings shall waste them; the leopard lurketh against their cities, every one that goeth out thence is torn in pieces: for their transgressions are multiplied, their backslidings are increased. 7 Wherefore should I pardon thee? Thy children have forsaken me, and swear by them that are not God. I have satiated them, and they have committed adultery, and they troop to the harlots' house. 8 [As] well fed horses, they roam about, every one neigheth after his neighbour'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 up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end; take away her battlements, 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 say, He is not; and evil shall not come upon us, nor 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 Therefore 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 Behold, I bring a nation upon you from afar, house of Israel, saith Jehovah: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest thou what they say. 16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre; they are all mighty men. 17 And they shall eat up thy harvest and thy bread, they shall eat up thy sons and thy daughters, they shall eat up thy flocks and thy herds, they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig-trees; they shall destroy with the sword thy strong cities, wherein thou trustedst. 18 Nevertheless 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 to them, As ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.
20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 21 Hear now this, O foolish and heartless people, who have eyes and see not; who have ears, and hear not. 22 Will ye not fear me? saith Jehovah. Will ye not tremble at my presence, who have set the sand a bound for the sea by a perpetual decree, and it shall not pass it? and its waves toss themselves, but they do not prevail; and they roar, yet can they not pass over it? 23 But this people hath a stubborn and a rebellious heart; they have turned aside and are gone. 24 And they say not in their heart, Let us now fear Jehovah our God, that giveth rain, both the early and the latter, in its season; who preserveth unto us the appointed weeks of harvest.
25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden from you what is good. 26 For among my people are found wicked [men]: they lay wait, as fowlers stoop down; they set a trap, they catch men. 27 As a cage full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and have enriched themselves. 28 They are become fat, they shine, yea, they surpass in deeds of wickedness; they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, and they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not adjudge. 29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith Jehovah; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 30 An appalling and horrible thing is committed in the land: 31 the prophets prophesy falsehood, and the priests rule by their means; and my people love [to have it] so. But what will ye do in the end thereof?
Prediction of Apostasy
4 1 But the Spirit speaks expressly, that in latter times some shall apostatise from the faith, giving their mind to deceiving spirits and teachings of demons 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, cauterised as to their own conscience, 3 forbidding to marry, [bidding] to abstain from meats, which God has created for receiving with thanksgiving for them who are faithful and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing [is] to be rejected, being received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by God's word and freely addressing [him].
A Good Minister of Jesus Christ
6 Laying these things before the brethren, thou wilt be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished with the words of the faith and of the good teaching which thou hast fully followed up. 7 But profane and old wives' fables avoid, but exercise thyself unto piety; 8 for bodily exercise is profitable for a little, but piety is profitable for everything, having promise of life, of the present one, and of that to come. 9 The word [is] faithful and worthy of all acceptation; 10 for, for this we labour and suffer reproach, because we hope in a living God, who is preserver of all men, specially of those that believe. 11 Enjoin and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise thy youth, but be a model of the believers, in word, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give thyself to reading, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Be not negligent of the gift [that is] in thee, which has been given to thee through prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the elderhood. 15 Occupy thyself with these things; be wholly in them, that thy progress may be manifest to all. 16 Give heed to thyself and to the teaching; continue in them; for, doing this, thou shalt save both thyself and those that hear thee.