Jeremiah 3:4

Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?

Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me,.... These words are either a confirmation and proof of that impudence with which these people are charged; for had they not been impudent, or had not a forehead like a whorish woman; or were they truly ashamed, they would have cried to the Lord henceforward; called upon him; claimed their relation to him; and owned his favours in time past: or, if they had not been impudent, they would not have dared from this time to have called God their Father and their guide, when they had so wickedly sinned against him; so that this is a charge of hypocrisy and deceit, calling God their Father and guide, when they were at the same time worshipping idols: or rather they are expressive of the wondrous grace and goodness of God towards this people, that had so highly offended him, yet he expostulates with them, puts words into their mouths to return unto him with, saying:

my father; I have sinned against thee, and am not worthy of the relation, yet receive me as a returning prodigal:

thou art the guide of my youth; or, "hast been": I acknowledge the favours I have received in time past, which is an aggravation of my sin; reject me not, but receive me graciously into thy favour; see

Hosea 14:2, so the Targum interprets the words as a prayer,

"wilt thou not from this time pray before me, saying, thou art my Lord, my Redeemer, which art of old?''

or else they point to them their duty, what they ought to do from henceforward; that seeing the Lord had withheld from them the former and latter rain for their idolatry, it became them to return to him by repentance; and to call upon him, who had been their Father and their guide in time past, to have mercy on them, and avert his judgments from them.