1 Then you will call your brother, “My People” (Ammi)! You will call your sister, “Pity” (Ruhamah)!
Idolatrous Israel Will Be Punished Like a Prostitute
2 Plead earnestly with your mother
(for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband),
so that she might put an end to her adulterous lifestyle,
and turn away from her sexually immoral behavior.
3 Otherwise, I will strip her naked,
and expose her like she was when she was born.
I will turn her land into a wilderness
and make her country a parched land,
so that I might kill her with thirst.
4 I will have no pity on her children,
because they are children conceived in adultery.
5 For their mother has committed adultery;
she who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For she said, “I will seek out my lovers;
they are the ones who give me my bread and my water,
my wool, my flax, my olive oil, and my wine.
The Lord’s Discipline Will Bring Israel Back
6 Therefore, I will soon fence her in with thorns;
I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
7 Then she will pursue her lovers, but she will not catch them;
she will seek them, but she will not find them.
Then she will say,
“I will go back to my husband,
because I was better off then than I am now.”
Agricultural Fertility Withdrawn from Israel
8 Yet until now she has refused to acknowledge that I was the one
who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil;
and that it was I who lavished on her the silver and gold –
which they used in worshiping Baal!
9 Therefore, I will take back my grain during the harvest time
and my new wine when it ripens;
I will take away my wool and my flax
which I had provided in order to clothe her.
10 Soon I will expose her lewd nakedness in front of her lovers,
and no one will be able to rescue her from me!
11 I will put an end to all her celebration:
her annual religious festivals,
monthly new moon celebrations,
and weekly Sabbath festivities –
all her appointed festivals.
12 I will destroy her vines and fig trees,
about which she said, “These are my wages for prostitution
that my lovers gave to me!”
I will turn her cultivated vines and fig trees into an uncultivated thicket,
so that wild animals will devour them.
13 “I will punish her for the festival days
when she burned incense to the Baal idols;
she adorned herself with earrings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers,
but she forgot me!” says the Lord.
Future Repentance and Restoration of Israel
14 However, in the future I will allure her;
I will lead her back into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
15 From there I will give back her vineyards to her,
and turn the “Valley of Trouble” into an “Opportunity for Hope.”
There she will sing as she did when she was young,
when she came up from the land of Egypt.
16 “At that time,” declares the Lord,
“you will call, ‘My husband’;
you will never again call me, ‘My master.’
17 For I will remove the names of the Baal idols from your lips,
so that you will never again utter their names!”
New Covenant Relationship with Repentant Israel
18 “At that time I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals,
the birds of the air, and the creatures that crawl on the ground.
I will abolish the warrior’s bow and sword
– that is, every weapon of warfare – from the land,
and I will allow them to live securely.”
19 I will commit myself to you forever;
I will commit myself to you in righteousness and justice,
in steadfast love and tender compassion.
20 I will commit myself to you in faithfulness;
then you will acknowledge the Lord.”
Agricultural Fertility Restored to the Repentant Nation
21 “At that time, I will willingly respond,” declares the Lord.
“I will respond to the sky,
and the sky will respond to the ground;
22 then the ground will respond to the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil;
and they will respond to ‘God Plants’ (Jezreel)!
23 Then I will plant her as my own in the land.
I will have pity on ‘No Pity’ (Lo-Ruhamah).
I will say to ‘Not My People’ (Lo-Ammi), ‘You are my people!’
And he will say, ‘You are my God!’ ”