31 They say, If a man puts away his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's, will he go back to her again? will not that land have been made unclean? but though you have been acting like a loose woman with a number of lovers, will you now come back to me? says the Lord. 2 Let your eyes be lifted up to the open hilltops, and see; where have you not been taken by your lovers? You have been seated waiting for them by the wayside like an Arabian in the waste land; you have made the land unclean with your loose ways and your evil-doing. 3 So the showers have been kept back, and there has been no spring rain; still your brow is the brow of a loose woman, you will not let yourself be shamed. 4 Will you not, from this time, make your prayer to me, crying, My father, you are the friend of my early years? 5 Will he be angry for ever? will he keep his wrath to the end? These things you have said, and have done evil and have had your way.
Israel and Judah Entreated to Repent
6 And the Lord said to me in the days of Josiah the king, Have you seen what Israel, turning away from me, has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every branching tree, acting like a loose woman there. 7 And I said, After she has done all these things she will come back to me; but she did not. And her false sister Judah saw it. 8 And though she saw that, because Israel, turning away from me, had been untrue to me, I had put her away and given her a statement in writing ending the relation between us, still Judah, her false sister, had no fear, but went and did the same. 9 So that through all her loose behaviour the land became unclean, and she was untrue, giving herself to stones and trees. 10 But for all this, her false sister Judah has not come back to me with all her heart, but with deceit, says the Lord. 11 And the Lord said to me, Israel in her turning away is seen to be more upright than false Judah.
12 Go, and give out these words to the north, and say, Come back, O Israel, though you have been turned away from me, says the Lord; my face will not be against you in wrath: for I am full of mercy, says the Lord, I will not be angry for ever. 13 Only be conscious of your sin, the evil you have done against the Lord your God; you have gone with strange men under every branching tree, giving no attention to my voice, says the Lord. 14 Come back, O children who are turned away, says the Lord; for I am a husband to you, and I will take you, one from a town and two from a family, and will make you come to Zion; 15 And I will give you keepers, pleasing to my heart, who will give you your food with knowledge and wisdom. 16 And it will come about, when your numbers are increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, that they will no longer say, The ark of the agreement of the Lord: it will not come into their minds, they will not have any memory of it, or be conscious of the loss of it, and it will not be made again. 17 At that time Jerusalem will be named the seat of the Lord's kingdom; and all the nations will come together to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: and no longer will their steps be guided by the purposes of their evil hearts. 18 In those days the family of Judah will go with the family of Israel, and they will come together out of the land of the north into the land which I gave for a heritage to your fathers. 19 But I said, How am I to put you among the children, and give you a desired land, a heritage of glory among the armies of the nations? and I said, You are to say to me, My father; and not be turned away from me.
20 Truly, as a wife is false to her husband, so have you been false to me, O Israel, says the Lord. 21 A voice is sounding on the open hilltops, the weeping and the prayers of the children of Israel; because their way is twisted, they have not kept the Lord their God in mind. 22 Come back, you children who have been turned away, and I will take away your desire for wandering. See, we have come to you, for you are the Lord our God. 23 Truly, the hills, and the noise of an army on the mountains, are a false hope: truly, in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel. 24 But the Baal has taken all the work of our fathers from our earliest days; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us be stretched on the earth in our downfall, covering ourselves with our shame: for we have been sinners against the Lord our God, we and our fathers, from our earliest years even till this day: and we have not given ear to the voice of the Lord our God.
41 If you will come back, O Israel, says the Lord, you will come back to me: and if you will put away your disgusting ways, you will not be sent away from before me. 2 And you will take your oath, By the living Lord, in good faith and wisdom and righteousness; and the nations will make use of you as a blessing, and in you will they take a pride.
3 For this is what the Lord says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: Get your unworked land ploughed up, do not put in your seeds among thorns. 4 Undergo a circumcision of the heart, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem: or my wrath may come out like fire, burning so that no one is able to put it out, because of the evil of your doings.
Judah Threatened with Invasion
5 Say openly in Judah, give it out in Jerusalem, and say, Let the horn be sounded in the land: crying out in a loud voice, Come together, and let us go into the walled towns. 6 Put up a flag for a sign to Zion: go in flight so that you may be safe, waiting no longer: for I will send evil from the north, and a great destruction. 7 A lion has gone up from his secret place in the woods, and one who makes waste the nations is on his way; he has gone out from his place, to make your land unpeopled, so that your towns will be made waste, with no man living in them. 8 For this put on haircloth, with weeping and loud crying: for the burning wrath of the Lord is not turned back from us. 9 And it will come about in that day, says the Lord, that the heart of the king will be dead in him, and the hearts of the rulers; and the priests will be overcome with fear, and the prophets with wonder. 10 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! your words were not true when you said to this people and to Jerusalem, You will have peace; when the sword has come even to the soul. 11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A burning wind from the open hilltops in the waste land is blowing on the daughter of my people, not for separating or cleaning the grain; 12 A full wind will come for me: and now I will give my decision against them. 13 See, he will come up like the clouds, and his war-carriages like the storm-wind: his horses are quicker than eagles. Sorrow is ours, for destruction has come on us. 14 O Jerusalem, make your heart clean from evil, so that you may have salvation. How long are evil purposes to have a resting-place in you? 15 For a voice is sounding from Dan, giving out evil from the hills of Ephraim: 16 Make this come to the minds of the nations, make a statement openly against Jerusalem, that attackers are coming from a far country and their voices will be loud against the towns of Judah. 17 Like keepers of a field they are against her on every side; because she has been fighting against me, says the Lord. 18 Your ways and your doings have made these things come on you; this is your sin; truly it is bitter, going deep into your heart.
19 My soul, my soul! I am pained to my inmost heart; my heart is troubled in me; I am not able to be quiet, because the sound of the horn, the note of war, has come to my ears. 20 News is given of destruction on destruction; all the land is made waste: suddenly my tents, straight away my curtains, are made waste. 21 How long will I go on seeing the flag and hearing the sound of the war-horn? 22 For my people are foolish, they have no knowledge of me; they are evil-minded children, without sense, all of them: they are wise in evil-doing, but have no knowledge of doing good. 23 Looking at the earth, I saw that it was waste and without form; and to the heavens, that they had no light. 24 Looking at the mountains, I saw them shaking, and all the hills were moved about. 25 Looking, I saw that there was no man, and all the birds of heaven had gone in flight. 26 Looking, I saw that the fertile field was a waste, and all its towns were broken down before the Lord and before his burning wrath. 27 For this is what the Lord has said: All the land will become a waste; I will make destruction complete. 28 The earth will be weeping for this, and the heavens on high will be black: because I have said it, and I will not go back from it; it is my purpose, and it will not be changed. 29 All the land is in flight because of the noise of the horsemen and the bowmen; they have taken cover in the woodland and up on the rocks: every town has been given up, not a man is living in them. 30 And you, when you are made waste, what will you do? Though you are clothed in red, though you make yourself beautiful with ornaments of gold, though you make your eyes wide with paint, it is for nothing that you make yourself fair; your lovers have no more desire for you, they have designs on your life. 31 A voice has come to my ears like the voice of a woman in birth-pains, the pain of one giving birth to her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, fighting for breath, stretching out her hands, saying, Now sorrow is mine! for my strength is gone from me before the takers of life.
The Sins of Jerusalem and Judah
51 Go quickly through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and get knowledge, and make a search in her wide places if there is a man, if there is one in her who is upright, who keeps faith; and she will have my forgiveness. 2 And though they say, By the living Lord; truly their oaths are false. 3 O Lord, do not your eyes see good faith? you have given them punishment, but they were not troubled; you have sent destruction on them, but they did not take your teaching to heart: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they would not come back. 4 Then I said, But these are the poor: they are foolish, for they have no knowledge of the way of the Lord or of the behaviour desired by their God. 5 I will go to the great men and have talk with them; for they have knowledge of the way of the Lord and of the behaviour desired by their God. But as for these, their one purpose is a broken yoke and burst bands. 6 And so a lion from the woods will put them to death, a wolf of the waste land will make them waste, a leopard will keep watch on their towns, and everyone who goes out from them will be food for the beasts; because of the great number of their sins and the increase of their wrongdoing. 7 How is it possible for you to have my forgiveness for this? your children have given me up, taking their oaths by those who are no gods: when I had given them food in full measure, they were false to their wives, taking their pleasure in the houses of loose women. 8 They were full of desire, like horses after a meal of grain: everyone went after his neighbour's wife. 9 Am I not to give punishment for these things? says the Lord: will not my soul take payment from such a nation as this?
10 Go up against her vines and make waste; let the destruction be complete: take away her branches, for they are not the Lord's. 11 For the people of Israel and the people of Judah have been very false to me, says the Lord. 12 They would have nothing to do with the Lord, saying, He will do nothing, and no evil will come to us; we will not see the sword or be short of food: 13 And the prophets will become wind, and the word is not in them; so it will be done to them. 14 For this reason the Lord, the God of armies, has said: Because you have said this, I will make my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and they will be burned up by it. 15 See, I will send you a nation from far away, O people of Israel, says the Lord; a strong nation and an old nation, a nation whose language is strange to you, so that you may not get the sense of their words. 16 Their arrows give certain death, they are all men of war. 17 They will take all the produce of your fields, which would have been food for your sons and your daughters: they will take your flocks and your herds: they will take all your vines and your fig-trees: and with the sword they will make waste your walled towns in which you put your faith. 18 But even in those days, says the Lord, I will not let your destruction be complete. 19 And it will come about, when you say, Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us? that you will say to them, As you gave me up, making yourselves servants to strange gods in your land, so will you be servants to strange men in a land which is not yours.
20 Say this openly in Jacob and give it out in Judah, saying, 21 Give ear now to this, O foolish people without sense; who have eyes but see nothing, and ears without the power of hearing: 22 Have you no fear of me? says the Lord; will you not be shaking with fear before me, who have put the sand as a limit for the sea, by an eternal order, so that it may not go past it? and though it is ever in motion, it is not able to have its way; though the sound of its waves is loud, they are not able to go past it. 23 But the heart of this people is uncontrolled and turned away from me; they are broken loose and gone. 24 And they do not say in their hearts, Now let us give worship to our God, who gives the rain, the winter and the spring rain, at the right time; who keeps for us the ordered weeks of the grain-cutting.
25 Through your evil-doing these things have been turned away, and your sins have kept back good from you. 26 For there are sinners among my people: they keep watch, like men watching for birds; they put a net and take men in it. 27 As the fowl-house is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: for this reason they have become great and have got wealth. 28 They have become fat and strong: they have gone far in works of evil: they give no support to the cause of the child without a father, so that they may do well; they do not see that the poor man gets his rights. 29 Am I not to give punishment for these things? says the Lord: will not my soul take payment from such a nation as this? 30 A thing of wonder and fear has come about in the land; 31 The prophets give false words and the priests give decisions by their direction; and my people are glad to have it so: and what will you do in the end?