We will begin this lesson in Jeremiah 3:1 "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 the LORD."

     The reference of the husband and wife here, is most assuredly
speaking of the ordinance in Deuteronomy 24:1 "When a man hath taken a
wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in
his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him
write her a bill of divorcement, and give [it] in her hand, and send
her out of his house." Deuteronomy 24:2 "And when she is departed out
of his house, she may go and be another man's [wife]." Deuteronomy
24:3 "And [if] the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of
divorcement, and giveth [it] in her hand, and sendeth her out of his
house; or if the latter husband die, which took her [to be] his wife;"
Deuteronomy 24:4 "Her former husband, which sent her away, may not
take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that
[is] abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to
sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance." The
physical house of Israel {Jews} were the wife of God. We have been
studying in recent weeks how they had forgotten God, and started
worshipping false gods. This is spiritual adultery. From the above
Scripture in Deuteronomy, it seems God would not forgive them, and
take them back. God's love {Agape} is so much greater than man knows
how to love. God forgives them over and over, even though they have
been unfaithful to Him.

     Jeremiah 3:2 "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."

     This is just saying, take a look and see your sins. Look how
unfaithful you have been to God. Spiritual whoredom, or harlotry, is
even more serious than physical whoredom. It is like a contagious
disease that overcomes the whole land. He is also saying, you cannot
deny it, it is everywhere for all to see.

     Jeremiah 3:3 "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."

     We see that God has not just sat idly by, and He has withheld the
rain as punishment. A whore's forehead has a hardened look from
committing much sin. Repetitious sin has a way of making a person so
hardened, that they soon get to where they know no shame.

     Jeremiah 3:4 "Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My
father, thou [art] the guide of my youth?"

     This cry is from the sinner to the Father. Fathers are more
forgiving than husbands. Perhaps, this is why He is addressed as
Father, here. Israel was the family of Jacob, while they dwelt in
Egypt.  They became the nation of Israel on the journey to the
promised land.  God had given His law to the Israel nation, when they
were just formed.  He was their Guide, and their Instructor in
righteousness. They have wandered, but perhaps, if they repent, God
will take them back. They appeal to Him as a child would to a father.

     Jeremiah 3:5 "Will he reserve [his anger] for ever? will he keep
[it] to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou

     The big question is, will God forgive them? The answer is yes, if
they will truly repent. II Chronicles 7:14 "If my people, which are
called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my
face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

     Jeremiah 3:6  "The LORD 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."

     The Lord is explaining to Jeremiah exactly what He is angry
about. Backsliding Israel is speaking of those who once knew God, and
have gone away, {similar to the apostate church today}. It was not
enough that they removed themselves from worshipping God, they sought
false gods on the high mountain and "under every green tree". These
were two favorite places for the worship of false gods in that day.

     Jeremiah 3:7 "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]."

     Israel is spoken of as "she" in the verse above. The church has
always been spoken of as she, as well. The first "she" represents the
10 tribes of Israel. Judah is the 2 tribes of JUdah And Benjamin. They
are the treacherous sister.

     Jeremiah 3:8 "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."

     It appears that the captivity that came on the 10 tribes of
Israel, happened earlier than the Babylonian captivity of the tribe of
Judah, to show them what unfaithfulness to God would bring. God still
hoped they would repent and return to the worship of God. They did
not. They were unfaithful too, just as the 10 tribes. The same
punishment would come to them. The bill of divorce, meant God would no
longer protect her, and bless her as a wife. He would put her away
from Him.

     Jeremiah 3:9 "And it came to pass through the lightness of her
whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with
stones and with stocks."

     We got into this in the previous lesson. The stock was a part of
a tree. The idols were made of stone and wood stock. Again, the
adultery was spiritual.

     Jeremiah 3:10 "And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah
hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the

     Judah did not learn a lesson from the 10 tribes of Israel. They
remained in their sin, disregarding the punishment that lies ahead.
"Feignedly", in the verse above, means an untruth. The LORD is saying,
Judah had a form of Godliness, but it was not sincere. They were still
going through the motions of the sacrifices, etc. They were
worshipping idols all the time.

     Jeremiah 3:11 "And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel
hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah."

     The ten tribes had suffered greatly for their unfaithfulness to
God. It had been 100 years since they had gone into captivity. Judah
had things too good. They had been blessed abundantly and yet betrayed

     Jeremiah 3:12  "Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and
say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; [and] I will not
cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I [am] merciful, saith the
LORD, [and] I will not keep [anger] for ever."

     God is forgiving. He is loving. He is long-suffering. I John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our]
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." It appears that the
10 tribes' sins are less than those of Judah, and God is offering them
restoration. Micah 7:18 "Who [is] a God like unto thee, that pardoneth
iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his
heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth
[in] mercy."

     Jeremiah 3:13 "Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast
transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to
the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice,
saith the LORD."

     There is one condition to His forgiving them and restoring them.
They must admit their guilt, and ask for forgiveness. God must have
our obedience to Him. I Samuel 15:22 "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD
[as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying
the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice,
[and] to hearken than the fat of rams." To obey God is very little to
ask in return for His blessings.

     Jeremiah 3:14 "Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for
I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a
family, and I will bring you to Zion:"

     We see that the salvation offered is to individuals. He will
accept one at a time, or a whole village. They do not all have to
come.  Those who come, will receive His blessing. This is very much
like Christianity. It is offered to the masses, one at a time. God
saves individuals in those masses. Zion can be the holy mountain, or
symbolically mean the church.

     Jeremiah 3:15 "And I will give you pastors according to mine
heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding."

     The pastors are to feed them spiritual food. Notice, it is
knowledge and understanding of God they will be taught by the pastors.
God will choose the pastors.

     Jeremiah 3:16 "And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied
and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall
say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it
come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit
[it]; neither shall [that] be done any more."

     This is speaking of the time when the law will be replaced by
grace. The Ark was the resting place for the law of God. Jesus {their
Messiah} will bring in the age of grace. Jesus fulfilled the law in
His life, crucifixion, and resurrection. There would be no need for
further sacrifice. This is why they would not talk about the Ark

     Jeremiah 3:17 "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne
of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the
name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after
the imagination of their evil heart."

     From the time of the LORD, Jerusalem has been the spiritual
center of the world. Jerusalem, in the sense it is used here, could be
speaking of the church of the LORD. This will be the time when God's
law will be in their hearts, not on tables of stone. All who love God
will be drawn to fellowship in the church. This will be that special
time when Christ will live within us. Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified
with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the
Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

     Jeremiah 3:18 "In those days the house of Judah shall walk with
the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of
the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your

     This is really speaking of the time when the physical and
spiritual house of Israel come together in Jesus Christ. The following
Scriptures are speaking of the same thing.  Ezekiel 37:20 "And the
sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes."
Ezekiel 37:21 "And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I
will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they
be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their
own land:" Ezekiel 37:22 "And I will make them one nation in the land
upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all:
and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided
into two kingdoms any more at all:"  Ezekiel 37:23 "Neither shall they
defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable
things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out
of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will
cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God."
Ezekiel 37:24 "And David my servant [shall be] king over them; and
they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my
judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them."  David, in verse 24,
is of course, speaking of Jesus. We will all be saved by Jesus and in

     Jeremiah 3:19 "But I said, How shall I put thee among the
children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the
hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt
not turn away from me."

     Notice, nations is plural. This is speaking of those from all
nations who accept Jesus as their Saviour. Galatians 3:8 "And the
scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through
faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee
shall all nations be blessed."  Revelation 7:9 "After this I beheld,
and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations,
and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and
before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;"
These are the saved in Christ.

     Jeremiah 3:20  "Surely [as] a wife treacherously departeth from
her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of
Israel, saith the LORD."

     Now this has jumped back to the physical house of Israel {Jews},
who have been unfaithful to God. God is reminding them of their

     Jeremiah 3:21 "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 their God."

     This is in the area where the practice of idolatry was. Now this
is the very place they cry and repent of their unfaithfulness to God.

     Jeremiah 3:22 "Return, ye backsliding children, [and] I will heal
your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou [art] the LORD
our God."

     God is inviting them back, if they will repent and return to Him.
The last part of this is the people answering, and promising God they
will return to the One true God.

     Jeremiah 3:23 "Truly in vain [is salvation hoped for] from the
hills, [and from] the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our
God [is] the salvation of Israel."

     There is no salvation in the worship of idols, or false gods.
Jesus is salvation for all mankind. The pagan worship on the mountains
had brought no help at all. In fact, it had angered God. Romans 3:24
"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in
Christ Jesus:"  Ephesians 1:7 "In whom we have redemption through his
blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"
Hebrews 9:12 "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own
blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal
redemption [for us]." There is no redemption in anyone or anything but
Jesus Christ.

     Jeremiah 3:24 "For shame hath devoured the labour of our fathers
from our youth; their flocks and their herds, their sons and their

     All of this had been taken away, because of their unfaithfulness
to God. All they had worked for was gone, because they committed
spiritual adultery.

     Jeremiah 3:25 "We lie down in our shame, and our confusion
covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our
fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the
voice of the LORD our God."

     It seems that God's people have finally realized that they
brought the destruction upon themselves by worshipping false gods.
They lie down defeated. They realize they cannot help themselves. The
very first step to restoration, is to repent and ask for God's help.
They realize, here, they have sinned. They realize they have disobeyed
God. They are ashamed of what they have done. God loves an humble
heart. He will rescue them from their despair.

                         Jeremiah 4 Questions

1.  What ordinance is verse 1 speaking of?
2.  Who is the harlot in verse 1?
3.  Who were the wife of God?
4.  What had they done wrong?
5.  What is the name for God's love?
6.  How does it differ from man's love?
7.  What is more serious than physical whoredom?
8.  What had been withholden, because of their sin?
9.  How does a whore's forehead look?
10. Why do they feel no shame for their sin?
11. Fathers are more forgiving than ____________.
12. When did the family of Jacob become the nation of Israel?
13. What is the big question in verse 5?
14. Quote 2 Chronicles chapter 7 verse 14.
15. What kind of Israel did He call them in verse 6?
16. What is this like today?
17. Why did He mention "under every green tree"?
18. What was Judah called in verse 7?
19. Why had God put her away?
20. When Judah saw Israel fall, what did they do?
21. What does the word "feignedly" mean?
22. What was God saying about Judah?
23. In verse 11, Judah is described as being _______________.
24. God is __________, __________, and ________________.
25. What did God want them to do in verse 13?
26. Quote 1 Samuel chapter 15 verse 22.
27. Salvation is offered to _______________.
28. What is Zion symbolic of?
29. What are the pastors to do?
30. What time is verse 16 speaking of?
31. Why would they remember the Ark no more?
32. Where will be called the throne of the LORD?
33. Quote Galatians chapter 2 verse 20.
34. What 2 houses will walk together in that day?
35. What does the author believe this is referring to?
36. Quote Galatians chapter 3 verse 8.
37. Does Israel repent?
38. Quote Ephesians chapter 1 verse 7.