"But now, call Israel a to account, for she is no longer my wife, and I am no longer her husband. Tell her to take off her garish makeup and suggestive clothing and to stop playing the prostitute.
If she doesn't, I will strip her as naked as she was on the day she was born. I will leave her to die of thirst, as in a desert or a dry and barren wilderness.
And I will not love her children as I would my own because they are not my children! They were conceived in adultery.
For their mother is a shameless prostitute and became pregnant in a shameful way. She said, 'I'll run after other lovers and sell myself to them for food and drink, for clothing of wool and linen, and for olive oil.'
"But I will fence her in with thornbushes. I will block the road to make her lose her way.
When she runs after her lovers, she won't be able to catch up with them. She will search for them but not find them. Then she will think, 'I might as well return to my husband because I was better off with him than I am now.'
She doesn't realize that it was I who gave her everything she has -- the grain, the wine, the olive oil. Even the gold and silver she used in worshiping the god Baal were gifts from me!
"But now I will take back the wine and ripened grain I generously provided each harvest season. I will take away the linen and wool clothing I gave her to cover her nakedness.
I will strip her naked in public, while all her lovers look on. No one will be able to rescue her from my hands.
I will put an end to her annual festivals, her new moon celebrations, and her Sabbath days -- all her appointed festivals.
I will destroy her vineyards and orchards, things she claims her lovers gave her. I will let them grow into tangled thickets, where only wild animals will eat the fruit.
I will punish her for all the times she deserted me, when she burned incense to her images of Baal, put on her earrings and jewels, and went out looking for her lovers," says the LORD.
"But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her out into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.
I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble b into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
"In that coming day," says the LORD, "you will call me 'my husband' instead of 'my master.' c17
O Israel, I will cause you to forget your images of Baal; even their names will no longer be spoken.
At that time I will make a covenant with all the wild animals and the birds and the animals that scurry along the ground so that they will not harm you. I will remove all weapons of war from the land, all swords and bows, so you can live unafraid in peace and safety.
I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion.
I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as LORD.
"In that day," says the LORD, "I will answer the pleading of the sky for clouds, which will pour down water on the earth in answer to its cries for rain.
Then the earth will answer the thirsty cries of the grain, the grapes, and the olive trees for moisture. And the whole grand chorus will sing together, 'Jezreel' -- 'God plants!'
"At that time I will plant a crop of Israelites and raise them for myself! I will show love to those I called 'Not loved.' d And to those I called 'Not my people,' e I will say, 'Now you are my people.' Then they will reply, 'You are our God!'"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)