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1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith Yahweh.
2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.
3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.
4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?
5 Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.
6 Yahweh said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.
7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.
10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith Yahweh.
11 And Yahweh said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.
12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith Yahweh; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith Yahweh, and I will not keep anger for ever.
13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against Yahweh thy elohim, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith Yahweh.
14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith Yahweh; for I am [was] married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
Throughout the Bible, we encounter terms and metaphors relating to marriage and its vicissitudes. All of them relate to the intimate relationship God has made with Israel.
We read in verse 8 that God had put away (shalach) the children of Israel and gave her a bill of divorce (keriythuwth, a complete cutting off) yet; He says He is still married to them! How can this be? Please note that the word, "married" is Strong's # <1166>. baal, and is the same word used in Deut 24:4 for "her former husband," or ex-husband. Here the word, "husband" is Strong's # <1167>, from <1166>, baal. This is in sharp contrast to the "latter husband" in verse 3 where the present "husband" is Strong's # <376>, iysh (ish)!
God is not saying He is married to them, but that He was married to them! He is their former husband; He was (past tense) "an husband unto them" (Jer 31:32).
This passage of Scripture literally reads thus:
"For I have been married with (or to) thee."
God explicitly tells Israel: "I married you," and charges that she turned away from her God, and her Husband by turning to spiritual adultery in worshipping other gods. Jeremiah citing the northern house of Israel's adulterous example, warned Judah, the southern house, to repent and return to God, or suffer the same fate.
He warned Judah (verse 10) of how the former was given a "bill of divorcement and was "put away." To "turn" and "repent," they would have had to put away their idols and completely cut themselves off from worshipping other gods in order to be spiritually married to God. Otherwise, He would put them away and divorce them according to His own Law!
Those from both houses, who stayed rebellious and unrepentant, were completely cut off. Nevertheless, because of the promise God made to Abraham, these two nations shall not cease to exist, they shall once again be healed, and shall be united with each other and with their God when He makes a new Kingdom covenant with them (Jer 31:28,31-34).
Sis Valerie Mello
17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Yahweh; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of Yahweh, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
When these promises become accomplished facts, AN ISRAELITISH KINGDOM AND EMPIRE will exist upon the earth, transcending in the greatness of its power, the extent of its dominion, the splendor of its majesty, and the justice and beneficence of its rule, any sovereignty existent since nations occupied the earth.
This is that dominion of which the gospel of the kingdom treats.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, August 1853.