Jeremiah 21The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2"Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, 'Thus says the Lord, "I remember you, the devotion of your youth, the love of your weddings; how you went after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. 3Israel was holiness to the Lord, the first fruits of his increase. All who devour him shall be held guilty. Evil shall come on them,"' says 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 unrighteousness have your fathers found in me, that they have gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? 6Neither did they 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 the shadow of death, through a land that none passed through, and where no man lived?' 7I brought you into a plentiful land, to eat its fruit and its goodness; but when you entered, you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination. 8The 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 do not profit.
9"Therefore I will yet contend with you," says the Lord, "and I will contend with your children's children. 10For pass over to the islands of Kittim, and see; and send to Kedar, and consider diligently; and see if there has been such a thing. 11Has a nation changed its gods, which really are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.
12"Be astonished, you heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid. Be very desolate," says the Lord. 13"For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters, and cut them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. 14Is Israel a servant? Is he a native-born slave? Why has he become a prey? 15The young lions have roared at him, and yelled. They have made his land waste. His cities are burned up, without inhabitant. 16The children also of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head.
17"Haven't you brought this on yourself, in that you have forsaken the Lord your God, when he led you by the way? 18Now what have you to do in the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Shihor? Or what have you to do in the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River?
19"Your own wickedness shall correct you, and your backsliding shall reprove you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter that you have forsaken the Lord your God, and that my fear is not in you," says the Lord, God of Hosts. 20"For of old time I have broken your yoke, and burst your bonds; and you said, 'I will not serve;' for on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed yourself, playing the prostitute. 21Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed. How then have you turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine to me? 22For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before me," says the Lord God.
23"How can you say, 'I am not defiled. I have not gone after the Baals'? See your way in the valley. Know what you have done. You are a swift dromedary traversing her ways; 24a wild donkey used to the wilderness, that snuffs up the wind in her desire. When she is in heat, who can turn her away? All those who seek her will not weary themselves. In her month, they will find her.
25"Withhold your foot from being unshod, and your throat from thirst. But you said, 'It is in vain. No, for I have loved strangers, and I will go after them.' 26As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets; 27who tell wood, 'You are my father;' and a stone, 'You have brought me out:' 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 that you have made for yourselves? 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, Judah.
29"Why will you contend with me? You all have transgressed against me," says the Lord.
30"I have struck your children in vain. They received no correction. Your own sword has devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. 31Generation, consider the word of the Lord. Have I been a wilderness to Israel? Or a land of thick darkness? Why do my people say, 'We have broken loose. We will come to you no more?'
32"Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me for days without number. 33How well you prepare your way to seek love! Therefore you have taught even the wicked women your ways. 34Also the blood of the souls of the innocent poor is found in your skirts. You did not find them breaking in; but it is because of all these things.
35"Yet you said, 'I am innocent. Surely his anger has turned away from me.'
"Behold, I will judge you, because you say, 'I have not sinned.' 36Why do you go about so much to change your way? You will be ashamed of Egypt also, as you were ashamed of Assyria. 37From there also you shall go forth, with your hands on your head; for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust, and you shall not prosper with them.
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