Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away. Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.
In a heart-to-heart talk with Israel, Jehovah reminded them that it was not for some trifling whim that He divorced them nor did He deliver them to the Chaldeans because of any debt to that Gentile nation. The cause was their own iniquities and transgressions. No one in the nation welcomed Him and no one answered His call. They doubted that He was powerful enough to deliver them, though He had dried up the Red Sea and the Jordan River and had clothed the heavens in mourning.