6 The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and played the whore there? 7And I thought, After she has done all this she will return to me; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. 8She* saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. 9Because she took her whoredom so lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but only in pretence, says the Lord.
11 Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah.
12Go, and proclaim these words towards the north, and say:
Return, faithless Israel,
says the Lord.
I will not look on you in anger,
for I am merciful,
says the Lord;
I will not be angry for ever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt,
that you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
and scattered your favours among strangers under every green tree,
and have not obeyed my voice,
says the Lord.
14 Return, O faithless children,
says the Lord,
for I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
and I will bring you to Zion.
15 I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
16And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no longer say, The ark of the covenant of the Lord. It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another one be made.
17At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no longer stubbornly follow their own evil will.
18In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your ancestors for a heritage.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011