The Meaning of Jeremiah 3:8 Explained

Jeremiah 3:8

KJV: 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.

YLT: And I see when (for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery) I have sent her away, and I give the bill of her divorce unto her, that treacherous Judah her sister hath not feared, and goeth and committeth fornication -- she also.

Darby: And I saw that when for all the causes wherein backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce, yet the treacherous Judah, her sister, feared not, but went and committed fornication also.

ASV: And I saw, when, for this very cause that backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorcement, yet treacherous Judah her sister feared not; but she also went and played the harlot.

What does Jeremiah 3:8 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Yahweh decided to put away His unfaithful "wife" Israel, to divorce her. So He sent her off to Assyria in captivity. But observing the consequences of Israel"s conduct did not discourage Judah from following in her sister"s footsteps. She too became a spiritual harlot and betrayed the trust of her "husband." Yahweh"s relationship to both Israel and Judah was the same in that both kingdoms were His chosen people. We should not press the illustration too far or we come out with a picture of God as a bigamist.

Chapter Summary: Jeremiah 3

1  God's great mercy to Judah the polluted land
6  Judah is worse than Israel
12  The promises of the gospel to the penitent
20  Israel reproved, and called by God, makes a solemn confession of their sins

What do the individual words in Jeremiah 3:8 mean?

And I saw that for all the causes for which had committed adultery backsliding Israel I had put her away and given - a certificate of divorce her and yet not did fear treacherous Judah her sister but went and played the harlot also she
וָאֵ֗רֶא כִּ֤י עַל־ כָּל־ אֹדוֹת֙ אֲשֶׁ֤ר נִֽאֲפָה֙ מְשֻׁבָ֣ה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל שִׁלַּחְתִּ֕יהָ וָאֶתֵּ֛ן אֶת־ סֵ֥פֶר כְּרִיתֻתֶ֖יהָ אֵלֶ֑יהָ וְלֹ֨א יָֽרְאָ֜ה בֹּֽגֵדָ֤ה יְהוּדָה֙ אֲחוֹתָ֔הּ וַתֵּ֖לֶךְ וַתִּ֥זֶן גַּם־ הִֽיא

וָאֵ֗רֶא  And  I  saw 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, first person common singular
Root: רָאָה 
Sense: to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider.
כִּ֤י  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: כִּי 
Sense: that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since.
אֹדוֹת֙  the  causes 
Parse: Noun, feminine plural
Root: אֹדֹות  
Sense: cause.
אֲשֶׁ֤ר  for  which 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
נִֽאֲפָה֙  had  committed  adultery 
Parse: Verb, Piel, Perfect, third person feminine singular
Root: נָאַף  
Sense: to commit adultery.
מְשֻׁבָ֣ה  backsliding 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular
Root: מְשׁוּבָה  
Sense: turning away, turning back, apostasy, backsliding.
יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
שִׁלַּחְתִּ֕יהָ  I  had  put  her  away 
Parse: Verb, Piel, Perfect, first person common singular, third person feminine singular
Root: שָׁלַח  
Sense: to send, send away, let go, stretch out.
וָאֶתֵּ֛ן  and  given 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, first person common singular
Root: יָתַן 
Sense: to give, put, set.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
סֵ֥פֶר  a  certificate 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: סֵפֶר 
Sense: book.
כְּרִיתֻתֶ֖יהָ  of  divorce 
Parse: Noun, feminine plural construct, third person feminine singular
Root: כְּרִיתוּת  
Sense: divorce, dismissal, divorcement.
אֵלֶ֑יהָ  her 
Parse: Preposition, third person feminine singular
Root: אֶל  
Sense: to, toward, unto (of motion).
וְלֹ֨א  and  yet  not 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
יָֽרְאָ֜ה  did  fear 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person feminine singular
Root: יָרֵא 
Sense: to fear, revere, be afraid.
בֹּֽגֵדָ֤ה  treacherous 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, feminine singular
Root: בָּגַד  
Sense: to act treacherously, deceitfully, deal treacherously.
יְהוּדָה֙  Judah 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יְהוּדָה  
Sense: the son of Jacob by Leah.
אֲחוֹתָ֔הּ  her  sister 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct, third person feminine singular
Root: אָחֹות  
Sense: sister.
וַתֵּ֖לֶךְ  but  went 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person feminine singular
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.
וַתִּ֥זֶן  and  played  the  harlot 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person feminine singular
Root: זָנָה 
Sense: to commit fornication, be a harlot, play the harlot.
גַּם־  also 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: גַּם  
Sense: also, even, indeed, moreover, yea.
הִֽיא  she 
Parse: Pronoun, third person feminine singular
Root: הוּא 
Sense: he, she, it.