The failure of Judah (Jer 3:7-3:10)

“I thought.

‘After she has done all this

She will return to me.’

But she did not return.

Her false sister Judah saw it.

She 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

To play the whore.

Because she took her whoredom so lightly,

She polluted the land.

She committed adultery

With a stone.

She committed adultery

With a tree.

Yet for all this

Her false sister Judah

Did not return to me

With her whole heart,

But only in pretense.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh spoke to Jeremiah, but this time it was about Judah, not the northern Israelite tribes. Yahweh had expected the northern tribes to return to him. However, the southern tribe of Judah saw what happened and did the same as her northern sisters. Judah had no fear, even though Yahweh had divorced northern Israel. Then Judah, the false sister, played the whore. She polluted the land as she turned to worshiping the stones and trees during the reigns of the preceding kings of Judah, King Manasseh (687-642 BCE) and King Amon (642-640 BCE) the father and grandfather of King Josiah. Thus they committed adultery with these false worship services. Judah only pretended to return to Yahweh. Thus Yahweh spoke to Jeremiah.

The days of King Josiah (Jer 3:6-3:6)

“Yahweh said to me

In the days of King Josiah.

‘Have you seen what she did?

That faithless one!

Israel!

She went up on every high hill.

She was under every green tree.

She played the whore there.”

During the days of King Josiah, 640-609 BCE, Yahweh spoke to Jeremiah. He asked Jeremiah if he had seen what Israel, the northern tribes, had done. They were the faithless ones who had been brought into captivity nearly a hundred years earlier. They went to every high hill and under every green oak tree, where they played the whore with these false idol worship services.