3:1 They a say, If a man shall put away his wife, and she
shall go from him, and become another man's, shall he return
to her again? shall not that land b be greatly polluted?
but thou hast played the harlot with many c lovers; yet
d return again to me, saith the LORD.
(a) According as it is written, (De 24:4).
(b) If he take such a one to wife again.
(c) That is, with idols, and with them whom you have put
your confidence in.
(d) And I will not cast you off, but receive you, according
to my mercy.
3:2 Lift up thy eyes to the high places, and see where thou hast
not been lain with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as
the e Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted
the land with thy harlotry and with thy wickedness.
(e) Who dwells in tent and waits for them that pass by to
3:3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there hath
been no f latter rain; and thou hadst an g harlot's
forehead, thou didst refuse to be ashamed.
(f) As God threatened by his law, (De 28:24).
(g) You would never be ashamed of your acts and repent: and
this impudency is common to idolaters, who will not
cease, though they are openly convicted.
3:4 Wilt thou not from this time cry h to me, My father, thou
[art] the guide of my youth?
(h) He shows that the wicked in their miseries will cry to
God and use outward prayer as the godly do, but because
they do not turn from their evil, they are not heard,
3:6 The LORD said also to me in the days of Josiah the king,
Hast thou seen [that] which backsliding i Israel hath
done? she hath gone up upon every high mountain and under
every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.
(i) Meaning the ten tribes.
3:8 And I saw, when for all the causes by which backsliding
Israel committed adultery I had put k her away, and given
her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah
feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
(k) And gave her into the hands of the Assyrians.
3:9 And it came to pass through the l lightness of her
harlotry, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery
with stones and with trees.
(l) The Hebrew word may either signify lightness and
wantonness, or noise and brute.
3:10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not
turned to me with m her whole heart, but deceitfully,
saith the LORD.
(m) Judah pretended for a time that she returned, as under
Josiah and other good kings, but she was never truly
touched, or wholly reformed, as appeared when
opportunity was offered by any wicked prince.
3:11 And the LORD said to me, The backsliding Israel hath n
justified herself more than treacherous Judah.
(n) Israel has not declared herself as wicked as Judah, who
yet has had more admonitions and examples to call her
3:12 Go and proclaim these words toward o the north, and say,
Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; [and] I
will not cause my anger to fall upon you: for I [am]
merciful, saith the LORD, [and] I will not keep [anger] for
(o) While the Israelites were now kept in captivity by the
Assyrians, to whom he promises mercy, if they will
3:13 Only acknowledge thy iniquity, that thou hast transgressed
against the LORD thy God, and hast p scattered thy ways
to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not
obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.
(p) There was no way which you did not hunt to seek after
the idols, and to go on a pilgrimage.
3:16 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall be multiplied and
increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they
shall say no more, The q ark of the covenant of the LORD:
neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember
it; neither shall they miss [it]; neither shall [that] be
done any more.
(q) This is to be understood of the coming of Christ: for
then they will not seek the Lord by ceremonies, and all
figures will cease.
3:17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem r the throne of
the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to
the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk
any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
(r) Meaning, the Church, where the Lord will be present to
the world's end, (Mt 28:20).
3:18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house
of Israel, and they shall come together from the land of
the s north to the land that I have given for an
inheritance to your fathers.
(s) Where they are now in captivity.
3:20 Surely [as] a wife treacherously departeth from her t
husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of
Israel, saith the LORD.
(t) The Hebrew word signifies a friend or companion, and
here may be taken for a husband, as it is used also in
3:21u A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping [and]
supplications of the children of Israel: for they have
perverted their way, [and] they have forgotten the LORD
(u) Signifying, that God, whom they had forsaken, would
bring their enemies to them, who would lead them
captive, and make them to cry and lament.
3:22 Return, ye backsliding children, [and] I will heal your
backslidings. x Behold, we come to thee; for thou [art]
the LORD our God.
(x) This is spoken in the person of Israel to the shame of
Judah, who stayed so long to turn to God.
3:24 For shame hath devoured the labour of our y fathers from
our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and
(y) For their idolatry God's vengeance has light on them
3:25 We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us:
z for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our
fathers, from our youth even to this day, and have not
obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.
(z) They justify not themselves, or say that they would
follow their fathers, but condemn their wicked doings
and desire forgiveness for the same, as in
(Ezr 9:7, Ps 106:6, Isa 64:6).