Jeremiah 2

Israel Forsakes the  Lord

1The word of the  Lord came to me, saying, 2Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the  Lord,

“I remember the devotion of ayour youth,
your love bas a bride,
chow you followed me in the wilderness,
din a land not sown.
3 eIsrael was holy to the  Lord,
fthe firstfruits of his harvest.
gAll who ate of it incurred guilt;
disaster came upon them,

declares the  Lord.”

4Hear the word of the  Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. 5Thus says the  Lord:

hWhat wrong did your fathers find in me
that they went far from me,
iand went after jworthlessness, and became worthless?
6They did not say kWhere is the  Lord
who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
who led us lin the wilderness,
in a land of deserts and pits,
in a land of drought and deep darkness,
in a land that none passes through,
where no man dwells?’
7 mAnd I brought you into a plentiful land
to enjoy its fruits and its good things.
But when you came in nyou defiled my land
and made my heritage an abomination.
8The priests did not say, ‘Where is the  Lord?’
oThose who handle the law did not know me;
pthe shepherds
Or rulers
transgressed against me;
rthe prophets prophesied by Baal
and went after sthings that do not profit.
9 Therefore tI still contend with you,

declares the  Lord,
and uwith your children’s children I will contend.
10For cross to the coasts of vCyprus and see,
or send to wKedar and examine with care;
see if there has been such a thing.
11 xHas a nation changed its gods,
yeven though they are no gods?
But my people zhave changed their glory
for aathat which does not profit.
12Be appalled abO heavens, at this;
be shocked, be utterly desolate,

declares the  Lord,
13for my people have committed two evils:
acthey have forsaken adme,
the fountain of aeliving waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.
14 af“Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?
Why then has he become a prey?
15 agThe lions have roared against him;
they have roared loudly.
They have made his land a waste;
his cities are in ruins ahwithout inhabitant.
16Moreover, the men of aiMemphis and ajTahpanhes
akhave shaved
Hebrew grazed
the crown of your head.
17 amHave you not brought this upon yourself
by forsaking the  Lord your God,
when anhe led you in the way?
18 aoAnd now what do you gain by going to Egypt
to drink the waters of apthe Nile?
aqOr what do you gain by going to Assyria
to drink the waters of arthe Euphrates?
Hebrew  the River

19 atYour evil will chastise you,
and auyour apostasy will reprove you.
Know and see that it is evil and avbitter
for awyou to forsake the  Lord your God;
the fear of me is not in you,

declares the Lord  God of hosts.
20 For long ago I axbroke your yoke
and burst your bonds;
but you said, ay‘I will not serve.’
Yes, azon every high hill
and under every green tree
you bowed down balike a whore.
21 bbYet I planted you a choice vine,
wholly of pure seed.
bcHow then have you turned degenerate
and become a wild vine?
22Though you wash yourself with lye
and use much soap,
bdthe stain of your guilt is still before me,

declares the Lord  God.
23 beHow can you say, ‘I am not unclean,
I have not gone after the Baals’?
Look at your way bfin the valley;
know what you have done
a restless young camel running here and there,
24 bga wild donkey used to the wilderness,
in her heat sniffing the wind!
Who can restrain her lust?
None who seek her need weary themselves;
in her month they will find her.
25Keep bhyour feet from going unshod
and biyour throat from thirst.
But you said, ‘It is hopeless,
bjfor I have loved foreigners,
and after them I will go.’
26 “As a thief is shamed when caught,
so the house of Israel shall be shamed:
bkthey, their kings, their officials,
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 blin the time of their trouble they say,
Arise and save us!’
28But bmwhere are your gods
that you made for yourself?
Let them arise bnif they can save you,
in your time of trouble;
for boas many as your cities
are your gods, O Judah.
29 Why do you contend with me?
You have all transgressed against me,

declares the  Lord.
30In vain have I bpstruck your children;
they took no correction;
bqyour own sword devoured your prophets
like a ravening lion.
31And you, O generation, behold the word of the  Lord.
Have I been a wilderness to Israel,
or a land of thick darkness?
Why then do my people say, ‘We are free,
we will come no more to you’?
32 brCan a virgin forget her ornaments,
or a bride her attire?
Yet bsmy people have forgotten me
days without number.
33 How well you direct your course
to seek love!
So that even to wicked women
you have taught your ways.
34Also on your skirts is found
btthe lifeblood of the guiltless poor;
you did not find them bubreaking in.
Yet in spite of all these things
35you say, ‘I am innocent;
surely his anger has turned from me.’
bvBehold, I will bring you to judgment
for bwsaying, ‘I have not sinned.’
36 bxHow much you go about,
changing your way!
You shall be byput to shame by Egypt
as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37From it too you will come away
with bzyour hands on your head,
for the  Lord has rejected those in whom you trust,
and you will not prosper by them.
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