Jeremiah 2

Israel Forsakes the  Lord

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

“I remember the devotion of a your youth,
your love b as a bride,
c how you followed me in the wilderness,
d in a land not sown.
e Israel was holy to the  Lord,
f the firstfruits of his harvest.
g All who ate of it incurred guilt;
disaster came upon them,

declares the  Lord.”

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

h What wrong did your fathers find in me
that they went far from me,
i and went after j worthlessness, and became worthless?
They did not say k Where is the  Lord
who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
who led us l in 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?’
m And I brought you into a plentiful land
to enjoy its fruits and its good things.
But when you came in n you defiled my land
and made my heritage an abomination.
The priests did not say, ‘Where is the  Lord?’
o Those who handle the law did not know me;
p the shepherds
Or rulers
transgressed against me;
r the prophets prophesied by Baal
and went after s things that do not profit.
Therefore t I still contend with you,

declares the  Lord,
and u with your children’s children I will contend.
10 For cross to the coasts of v Cyprus and see,
or send to w Kedar and examine with care;
see if there has been such a thing.
11  x Has a nation changed its gods,
y even though they are no gods?
But my people z have changed their glory
for aa that which does not profit.
12 Be appalled ab O heavens, at this;
be shocked, be utterly desolate,

declares the  Lord,
13 for my people have committed two evils:
ac they have forsaken ad me,
the fountain of ae living 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  ag The lions have roared against him;
they have roared loudly.
They have made his land a waste;
his cities are in ruins ah without inhabitant.
16 Moreover, the men of ai Memphis and aj Tahpanhes
ak have shaved
Hebrew grazed
the crown of your head.
17  am Have you not brought this upon yourself
by forsaking the  Lord your God,
when an he led you in the way?
18  ao And now what do you gain by going to Egypt
to drink the waters of ap the Nile?
aq Or what do you gain by going to Assyria
to drink the waters of ar the Euphrates?
Hebrew  the River

19  at Your evil will chastise you,
and au your apostasy will reprove you.
Know and see that it is evil and av bitter
for aw you 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 ax broke your yoke
and burst your bonds;
but you said, ay ‘I will not serve.’
Yes, az on every high hill
and under every green tree
you bowed down ba like a whore.
21  bb Yet I planted you a choice vine,
wholly of pure seed.
bc How then have you turned degenerate
and become a wild vine?
22 Though you wash yourself with lye
and use much soap,
bd the stain of your guilt is still before me,

declares the Lord  God.
23  be How can you say, ‘I am not unclean,
I have not gone after the Baals’?
Look at your way bf in the valley;
know what you have done
a restless young camel running here and there,
24  bg a 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.
25 Keep bh your feet from going unshod
and bi your throat from thirst.
But you said, ‘It is hopeless,
bj for 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:
bk they, their kings, their officials,
their priests, and their prophets,
27 who 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 bl in the time of their trouble they say,
Arise and save us!’
28 But bm where are your gods
that you made for yourself?
Let them arise bn if they can save you,
in your time of trouble;
for bo as 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.
30 In vain have I bp struck your children;
they took no correction;
bq your own sword devoured your prophets
like a ravening lion.
31 And 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  br Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
or a bride her attire?
Yet bs my 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.
34 Also on your skirts is found
bt the lifeblood of the guiltless poor;
you did not find them bu breaking in.
Yet in spite of all these things
35 you say, ‘I am innocent;
surely his anger has turned from me.’
bv Behold, I will bring you to judgment
for bw saying, ‘I have not sinned.’
36  bx How much you go about,
changing your way!
You shall be by put to shame by Egypt
as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37 From it too you will come away
with bz your 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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