1. 'If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and becomes someone else's, has he the right to go back to her? Has not that piece of land been totally polluted? And you, having played the whore with many lovers, you claim the right to come back to me! Yahweh demands.
2. 'Lift your eyes to the bare heights and look! Where have you not offered your sex! You waited by the roadside for them like an Arab in the desert. You have polluted the country with your prostitution and your vices:
3. this is why the showers have been withheld, the late rains have not come. 'But you maintained a prostitute's bold front, with no trace of a blush.
4. From now on, do not cry out at me, "My father! My beloved ever since I was young!
5. Will he keep up his anger for ever, maintain his wrath to the end?" You say this but still go on sinning, being so obstinate.'
6. In the days of King Josiah, Yahweh said to me, 'Have you seen what disloyal Israel has done? How she has made her way up every high hill and to every green tree, and played the whore there?
7. I thought, "After doing all this she will come back to me." But she did not come back. Her faithless sister Judah saw this.
8. She also saw that I had repudiated disloyal Israel for all her adulteries and given her her divorce papers. Her faithless sister Judah, however, was not afraid: she too went and played the whore.
9. And with her shameless whoring, she polluted the country; she committed adultery with stones and pieces of wood.
10. Worse than all this: Judah, her faithless sister, has come back to me not in sincerity, but only in pretence, Yahweh declares.'
11. And Yahweh said to me, 'Disloyal Israel is upright, compared with faithless Judah.
12. So go and shout words towards the north, and say: "Come back, disloyal Israel, Yahweh declares, I shall frown on you no more, since I am merciful, Yahweh declares. I shall not keep my anger for ever.
13. Only acknowledge your guilt: how you have rebelled against Yahweh your God, how you have prostituted yourself with the Strangers under every green tree and have not listened to my voice, Yahweh declares.
14. "Come back, disloyal children, Yahweh declares, for I alone am your Master, and I will take you, one from a town, two from a family, and bring you to Zion.
15. I shall give you shepherds after my own heart, who will pasture you wisely and discreetly.
16. Then, when you have increased and grown numerous in the country, Yahweh declares, no one will ever again say: The ark of the covenant of Yahweh! It will not enter their minds, they will not remember it or miss it, nor will another one be made.
17. When that time comes, Jerusalem will be called: The Throne of Yahweh, and all the nations will converge on her, on Yahweh's name, on Jerusalem, and will no longer follow their own stubborn and wicked inclinations.
18. "When those days come, the House of Judah will join the House of Israel; together they will come from the land of the north to the country I gave your ancestors as their heritage."
19. 'And I was thinking: How am I to rank you as my children? I shall give you a country of delights, the fairest heritage of all the nations! I thought: You will call me Father and will never cease to follow me.
20. But like a woman betraying her lover, House of Israel, you have betrayed me,' Yahweh declares.
21. A noise is heard on the bare heights: the weeping and entreaty of the Israelites, for they have gone wildly astray, have forgotten Yahweh their God.
22. 'Come back, disloyal sons, I want to cure your disloyalty.' 'We are here, we are coming to you, for you are Yahweh our God.
23. The hills are a delusion after all, so is the tumult of the mountains. Yahweh our God is, after all, the saving of Israel.
24. Shame has devoured what our ancestors worked for ever since we were young, their flocks and herds, their sons and their daughters.
25. Let us lie down in our shame, let our confusion cover us, for we have sinned against Yahweh our God, we and our ancestors, from our youth until today, and have not listened to the voice of Yahweh our God.'