In this vivid allegory the prophet seeks to break down the pride of Jerusalem. She appears as the bride of the Lord God, who loved her from infancy, and did everything for her, but whose love she requited with persistent and shameful idolatry. The chapter falls into four sections:
(i) Jerusalem as a child and as a bride (verses 1-14);
(ii) her sin (verses 15-34);
(iii) her judgment (verse 35-52);
(iv) her restoration (verses 53-63).
- What was God’s complaint against Jerusalem? With verses 22 and 32, cf. Deut. 32:15-18. Notice also that God regards her sin as greater than that of Samaria and of Sodom. See verses 46-52 and cf. Matt. 11:23, 24.
- How can the teaching in this chapter be applied to one who has been truly converted, but has backslidden? What can we learn here for our warning of the peril and folly of the sin of unfaithfulness? Cf. Jer. 2:13, 19; Jas. 4:4-10.