Israel's Unfaithfulness Punished
2“Plead with your mother, plead—
for she is not my wife,
and I am not her husband—
that she put away her whoring from her face,
and her adultery from between her breasts;
3lest I strip her naked
and make her as in the day she was born,
and make her like a wilderness,
and make her like a parched land,
and kill her with thirst.
4Upon her children also I will have no mercy,
because they are children of whoredom.
5For their mother has played the whore;
she who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
who give me my bread and my water,
my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’
6Therefore I will hedge up her3 way with thorns,
and I will build a wall against her,
so that she cannot find her paths.
7She shall pursue her lovers
but not overtake them,
and she shall seek them
but shall not find them.
Then she shall say,
‘I will go and return to my first husband,
for it was better for me then than now.’
8And she did not know
that it was I who gave her
the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and who lavished on her silver and gold,
which they used for Baal.
9Therefore I will take back
my grain in its time,
and my wine in its season,
and I will take away my wool and my flax,
which were to cover her nakedness.
10Now I will uncover her lewdness
in the sight of her lovers,
and no one shall rescue her out of my hand.
11And I will put an end to all her mirth,
her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths,
and all her appointed feasts.
12And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,
of which she said,
‘These are my wages,
which my lovers have given me.’
I will make them a forest,
and the beasts of the field shall devour them.
13And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals
when she burned offerings to them
and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry,
and went after her lovers
and forgot me, declares the Lord.
The Lord's Mercy on Israel
14“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
15And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor4 a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
16“And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. 18And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish5 the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. 19And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.
21“And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord,
I will answer the heavens,
and they shall answer the earth,
22and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and they shall answer Jezreel,6
23and I will sow her for myself in the land.
And I will have mercy on No Mercy,7
and I will say to Not My People,8 ‘You are my people’;
and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.