¶ Commonly, when a man putteth away his wife, and she goeth from him, and marrieth with another, then the question is: should he resort unto her any more after that? Is not this field then defiled and unclean? But as for thee, thou hast played the harlot with many lovers, yet turn again to me, sayeth the LORD. Lift up thine eyes on every side, and look, if thou be not defiled. Thou hast waited for them in the streets, and as a murderer in the wilderness; thorow thy whoredoms and shameful blasphemies, is the land defiled. This is the cause, that the rain and evening dew hath ceased. Thou hast gotten thee an whore's forehead, and canst not be ashamed. Else wouldest thou say unto me: O my father, thou art he that hast brought me up, and led me from my youth: Wilt thou then put me away and cast me off for ever? Or wilt thou withdraw thyself clean from me? Nevertheless, thou speakest such words, but thou art ever doing worse and worse.
¶ The LORD said also unto me: in the time of Iosiah the king: Hast thou seen what that shrinking Israel hath done? how she hath run up upon all high hills, and among all thick trees, and there played the harlot: hast thou seen also (when she had done all this) how I said unto her: that she should turn again unto me, and yet she is not returned? Iudah that unfaithful sister of hers also saw this: Namely, that after I had well seen the advoutry of the shrinking harlot Israel, I put her away, and gave her a bill of divorcement. For all this, her unfaithful sister Iudah was not ashamed, but went back and played the whore also. Yea and the noise of her whoredom hath defiled the whole land. For she hath committed her advoutry with stones and stocks. Nevertheless, her unfaithful sister Iudah is not turned unto me again with her whole heart, but feignedly, sayeth the LORD. And the LORD said unto me. The backslider Israel is more righteous, then the unfaithful Iudah:
¶ and therefore go preach these words toward the north, and say: Thou shrinking Israel, turn again (sayeth the LORD) and I will not turn my face from you, for I am merciful, sayeth the LORD, and I will not alway bear displeasure against thee: but on this condition, that thou know thy great blasphemy: Namely, that thou hast unfaithfully forsaken the LORD thy God, and hast made thyself partaker of strange gods under all green trees, but hast had no will to hear my voice, sayeth the LORD. O ye shrinking children, turn again, sayeth the LORD: and I will be married with you. For I will take one out of the city, and two out of one generation from among you, and bring you out of Sion: and I will give you herdmen after mine own mind, which shall feed you with learning and wisdom. Moreover, when ye be increased and multiplied in the land, then (sayeth the LORD) there shall no more boost be made of the ark of the LORD's Testament: No man shall think upon it, neither shall any man make mention of it: for from thence forth it shall neither be visited, nor honoured with gifts. Then shall Ierusalem be called the LORD's seat, and all Heathen shall be gathered unto it, for the name of the LORD's sake, which shall be set up at Ierusalem. And from that time forth, they shall follow no more the imagination of their own froward heart. Then those that be of the house of Iudah shall go into the house of Israel: and they shall come together out of the North, into the same land that I have given your fathers. I have shewed also, how I took thee up being but a child, and gave thee a pleasant land for thine heritage, yea and a goodly Hosts of the Heathen: and how I commanded thee, that thou shouldest call me father only, and not to shrink from me.
¶ But like as a woman faileth her lover, so are ye unfaithful unto me (O ye house of Israel) sayeth the LORD. And therefore the voice of the children of Israel was heard on every side, weeping and wailing: for they have defiled their way, and forgotten God their LORD. O ye shrinking children, turn again (saying: lo, we are thine, for thou art the LORD our God:) And so shall I heal your backturnings. The hills fall, and all the high pride of the mountains, but the health of Israel stondeth only upon God our LORD. Confusion hath devoured our fathers' labour from our youth up: yea their sheep and bullocks, their sons and daughters. So do we also sleep in our confusion, and shame covereth us: for we and our fathers from our youth up unto this day have sinned against the LORD our God, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.