Jeremiah 3 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 God's Message came to me as follows: "If a man's wife walks out on him And marries another man, can he take her back as if nothing had happened? Wouldn't that raise a huge stink in the land? And isn't that what you've done - 'whored' your way with god after god? And now you want to come back as if nothing had happened." God's Decree. 1 "If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again? Would not the land be completely defiled? But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers-- would you now return to me?" declares the LORD.
2 "Look around at the hills. Where have you not had sex? You've camped out like hunters stalking deer. You've solicited many lover-gods, Like a streetwalking whore chasing after other gods. 2 "Look up to the barren heights and see. Is there any place where you have not been ravished? By the roadside you sat waiting for lovers, sat like a nomad in the desert. You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness.
3 And so the rain has stopped. No more rain from the skies! But it doesn't even faze you. Brazen as whores, you carry on as if you've done nothing wrong. 3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains have fallen. Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute; you refuse to blush with shame.
4 Then you have the nerve to call out, 'My father! You took care of me when I was a child. Why not now? 4 Have you not just called to me: 'My Father, my friend from my youth,
5 Are you going to keep up your anger nonstop?' That's your line. Meanwhile you keep sinning nonstop." Admit Your God-Defiance 5 will you always be angry? Will your wrath continue forever?' This is how you talk, but you do all the evil you can."
6 God spoke to me during the reign of King Josiah: "You have noticed, haven't you, how fickle Israel has visited every hill and grove of trees as a whore at large? 6 During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there.
7 I assumed that after she had gotten it out of her system, she'd come back, but she didn't. Her flighty sister, Judah, saw what she did. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it.
8 She also saw that because of fickle Israel's loose morals I threw her out, gave her her walking papers. But that didn't faze flighty sister Judah. She went out, big as you please, and took up a whore's life also. 8 I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery.
9 She took up cheap sex-and-religion as a sideline diversion, an indulgent recreation, and used anything and anyone, flouting sanity and sanctity alike, stinking up the country. 9 Because Israel's immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood.
10 And not once in all this did flighty sister Judah even give me a nod, although she made a show of it from time to time." God's Decree. 10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense," declares the LORD.
11 Then God told me, "Fickle Israel was a good sight better than flighty Judah. 11 The LORD said to me, "Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah.
12 Go and preach this message. Face north toward Israel and say: "'Turn back, fickle Israel. I'm not just hanging back to punish you. I'm committed in love to you. My anger doesn't seethe nonstop. 12 Go, proclaim this message toward the north: " 'Return, faithless Israel,' declares the LORD, 'I will frown on you no longer, for I am merciful,' declares the LORD, 'I will not be angry forever.
13 Just admit your guilt. Admit your God-defiance. Admit to your promiscuous life with casual partners, pulling strangers into the sex-and-religion groves While turning a deaf ear to me.'" God's Decree. 13 Only acknowledge your guilt-- you have rebelled against the LORD your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,' " declares the LORD.
14 "Come back, wandering children!" God's Decree. "I, yes I, am your true husband. I'll pick you out one by one - This one from the city, these two from the country - and bring you to Zion. 14 "Return, faithless people," declares the LORD, "for I am your husband. I will choose you--one from a town and two from a clan--and bring you to Zion.
15 I'll give you good shepherd-rulers who rule my way, who rule you with intelligence and wisdom. 15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
16 "And this is what will happen: You will increase and prosper in the land. The time will come" - God's Decree! - "when no one will say any longer, 'Oh, for the good old days! Remember the Ark of the Covenant?' It won't even occur to anyone to say it - 'the good old days.' The so-called good old days of the Ark are gone for good. 16 In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land," declares the LORD, "men will no longer say, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made.
17 "Jerusalem will be the new Ark - 'God's Throne.' All the godless nations, no longer stuck in the ruts of their evil ways, will gather there to honor God. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.
18 "At that time, the House of Judah will join up with the House of Israel. Holding hands, they'll leave the north country and come to the land I willed to your ancestors. 18 In those days the house of Judah will join the house of Israel, and together they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your forefathers as an inheritance.
19 "I planned what I'd say if you returned to me: 'Good! I'll bring you back into the family. I'll give you choice land, land that the godless nations would die for.' And I imagined that you would say, 'Dear father!' and would never again go off and leave me. 19 "I myself said, " 'How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.' I thought you would call me 'Father' and not turn away from following me.
20 But no luck. Like a false-hearted woman walking out on her husband, you, the whole family of Israel, have proven false to me." God's Decree. 20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel," declares the LORD.
21 The sound of voices comes drifting out of the hills, the unhappy sound of Israel's crying, Israel lamenting the wasted years, never once giving her God a thought. 21 A cry is heard on the barren heights, the weeping and pleading of the people of Israel, because they have perverted their ways and have forgotten the LORD their God.
22 "Come back, wandering children! I can heal your wanderlust!" "We're here! We've come back to you. You're our own true God! 22 "Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding." "Yes, we will come to you, for you are the LORD our God.
23 All that popular religion was a cheap lie, duped crowds buying up the latest in gods. We're back! Back to our true God, the salvation of Israel. 23 Surely the [idolatrous] commotion on the hills and mountains is a deception; surely in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.
24 The Fraud picked us clean, swindled us of what our ancestors bequeathed us, Gypped us out of our inheritance - God-blessed flocks and God-given children. 24 From our youth shameful gods have consumed the fruits of our fathers' labor-- their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters.
25 We made our bed and now lie in it, all tangled up in the dirty sheets of dishonor. All because we sinned against our God, we and our fathers and mothers. From the time we took our first steps, said our first words, we've been rebels, disobeying the voice of our God." 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our disgrace cover us. We have sinned against the LORD our God, both we and our fathers; from our youth till this day we have not obeyed the LORD our God."