Jeremiah 2

Judah's Apostasy

1Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,

2“Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord,

“I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth,

The love of your betrothals,

Your following after Me in the wilderness,

Through a land not sown.

3“Israel was holy to the Lord,

The first of His harvest.

All who ate of it became guilty;

Evil came upon them,” declares the Lord.' ”

4Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel.

5Thus says the Lord,

“What injustice did your fathers find in Me,

That they went far from Me

And walked after emptiness and became empty?

6“They did not say, ‘Where is the Lord

Who brought us up out of the land of Egypt,

Who led us through the wilderness,

Through a land of deserts and of pits,

Through a land of drought and of deep darkness,

Through a land that no one crossed

And where no man dwelt?'

7“I brought you into the fruitful land

To eat its fruit and its good things.

But you came and defiled My land,

And My inheritance you made an abomination.

8“The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?'

And those who handle the law did not know Me;

The rulers also transgressed against Me,

And the prophets prophesied by Baal

And walked after things that did not profit.

9“Therefore I will yet contend with you,” declares the Lord,

“And with your sons' sons I will contend.

10“For cross to the coastlands of Kittim and see,

And send to Kedar and observe closely

And see if there has been such a thing as this!

11“Has a nation changed gods

When they were not gods?

But My people have changed their glory

For that which does not profit.

12“Be appalled, O heavens, at this,

And shudder, be very desolate,” declares the Lord.

13“For My people have committed two evils:

They have forsaken Me,

The fountain of living waters,

To hew for themselves cisterns,

Broken cisterns

That can hold no water.

14“Is Israel a slave? Or is he a homeborn servant?

Why has he become a prey?

15“The young lions have roared at him,

They have roared loudly.

And they have made his land a waste;

His cities have been destroyed, without inhabitant.

16“Also the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes

Have shaved the crown of your head.

17“Have you not done this to yourself

By your forsaking the Lord your God

When He led you in the way?

18“But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt,

To drink the waters of the Nile?

Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria,

To drink the waters of the Euphrates?

19“Your own wickedness will correct you,

And your apostasies will reprove you;

Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter

For you to forsake the Lord your God,

And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.

20“For long ago I broke your yoke

And tore off your bonds;

But you said, ‘I will not serve!'

For on every high hill

And under every green tree

You have lain down as a harlot.

21“Yet I planted you a choice vine,

A completely faithful seed.

How then have you turned yourself before Me

Into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine?

22“Although you wash yourself with lye

And use much soap,

The stain of your iniquity is before Me,” declares the Lord God.

23“How can you say, ‘I am not defiled,

I have not gone after the Baals'?

Look at your way in the valley!

Know what you have done!

You are a swift young camel entangling her ways,

24A wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness,

That sniffs the wind in her passion.

In the time of her heat who can turn her away?

All who seek her will not become weary;

In her month they will find her.

25“Keep your feet from being unshod

And your throat from thirst;

But you said, ‘It is hopeless!

No! For I have loved strangers,

And after them I will walk.'

26“As the thief is shamed when he is discovered,

So the house of Israel is shamed;

They, their kings, their princes

And their priests and their prophets,

27Who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,'

And to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.'

For they have turned their back to Me,

And not their face;

But in the time of their trouble they will say,

‘Arise and save us.'

28“But where are your gods

Which you made for yourself?

Let them arise, if they can save you

In the time of your trouble;

For according to the number of your cities

Are your gods, O Judah.

29“Why do you contend with Me?

You have all transgressed against Me,” declares the Lord.

30“In vain I have struck your sons;

They accepted no chastening.

Your sword has devoured your prophets

Like a destroying lion.

31“O generation, heed the word of the Lord.

Have I been a wilderness to Israel,

Or a land of thick darkness?

Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam;

We will no longer come to You'?

32“Can a virgin forget her ornaments,

Or a bride her attire?

Yet My people have forgotten Me

Days without number.

33“How well you prepare your way

To seek love!

Therefore even the wicked women

You have taught your ways.

34“Also on your skirts is found

The lifeblood of the innocent poor;

You did not find them breaking in.

But in spite of all these things,

35Yet you said, ‘I am innocent;

Surely His anger is turned away from me.'

Behold, I will enter into judgment with you

Because you say, ‘I have not sinned.'

36“Why do you go around so much

Changing your way?

Also, you will be put to shame by Egypt

As you were put to shame by Assyria.

37“From this place also you will go out

With your hands on your head;

For the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust,

And you will not prosper with them.”

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