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Yahweh Remembers Israel’s Faithfulness

And the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,[a] “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying,[b] ‘Thus says Yahweh,

“I remember concerning you the loyal love of your childhood,[c]
    the love of your betrothal-time,
your going[d] after me in the desert,[e]
    in the land not sown.
Israel was holy to Yahweh,
    the first fruit of his produce.
All those who ate it were held guilty;
    disaster came to them,” declares[f] Yahweh.’”

The Unfaithfulness of Israel’s Ancestors

Hear the word of Yahweh, O house of Jacob, and all the clans[g] of the house of Israel. Thus says Yahweh:

“What injustice did your ancestors[h] find in me
    that they were far from me,
and they went after the vanity,
    and they became vain?
And they did not say,
    ‘Where is Yahweh,
the one who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
    the one who led us in the desert,[i]
in a land of desert plains and gorges,[j]
    in a land of dryness and deep darkness,
in a land that no one passes through,[k]
    and no human lives there?’
And I brought you to the land of the orchard,
    to eat its fruit, and its good things.[l]
But you entered and defiled my land,
    and my inheritance you made a detestable thing.[m]
The priests did not say, ‘Where is Yahweh?’
    and those who handle the law did not know me,
and the shepherds have rebelled against me,[n]
    and the prophets prophesied by Baal,
and they went after things which do not profit.

The Unfaithfulness of Contemporary Israel

Therefore[o] I again bring a lawsuit against you,” declares[p] Yahweh,
    “and with your children[q] I bring a lawsuit.
10 For go over to the coasts of Cyprus and look,
    and send to Kedar and consider very closely,
    and see if there has been a thing like this:
11 Has a nation exchanged gods? And they are not gods!
    But my people have exchanged their glory for that which does not profit.
12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this, and shudder;
    be utterly desolate,” declares[r] Yahweh.
13 “For my people have committed two evils:
    they have forsaken me, the source[s] of living water,
    to hew out for themselves cisterns, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.
14 Is Israel a slave? Or a slave born in a house?[t]
    Why has he become plunder?
15 The young lions have roared against him,
    they have raised[u] their voices.[v]
And they have made his land as horror;
    his cities are destroyed, without[w] an inhabitant.
16 Moreover, people of Memphis and Tahpanhes
    will shave[x] your skull.[y]
17 Did you not do this to yourself,
    by forsaking Yahweh, your God,
    at the time of your leading in the way?
18 And now why do you go[z] the way of Egypt
    to drink the waters of the Shihor?
And why do you go[aa] the way of Assyria
    to drink the waters of the Euphrates?[ab]
19 Your wickedness will chastise you,
    and your apostasies will reprove you.
Therefore know and see that it is evil and bitter,
    your forsaking of Yahweh, your God,
and fear of me is not in you,”
    declares[ac] the Lord, Yahweh of hosts.
20 “For from long ago you have broken your yoke,
    you tore to pieces your bonds.
And you said, ‘I will not serve!’
    But on every high hill and under every leafy tree
    you were lying down as a prostitute.
21 Yet I planted you as a choice vine,
    all of it a seed of trustworthiness.
How then have you altered before me
    into something that is degenerate, the foreign vine?
22 For if you wash with natron,
    and you use much soap,[ad]
your guilt is sticking as a stain before[ae] me,”
    declares[af] the Lord Yahweh.
23 “How can you say, ‘I have not defiled myself,
    I have not gone after the Baals?’
Look at your way in the valley,
    know what you have done.
You are a young she-camel,
    interweaving her ways.
24 A wild ass accustomed to the desert,[ag]
    in the desire of her soul.
She gasps for wind in her rutting time.
    Who can quell[ah] her lust?
All those who seek her will not grow weary,
    in her month they will find her.
25 Restrain your foot from being barefoot,
    and your throat from thirst.
But you said, ‘It is hopeless.
    No! For I have loved strangers,
    and after them I will go.’[ai]
26 As the shame of a thief when he is caught in the act,
    so the house of Israel will be ashamed.
They, their kings, their officials,
    and their priests, and their prophets.
27 Those who say to the tree, ‘You are my father,’
    and to the stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’
For they have turned their backs[aj] to me, and not their faces.
    But in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Arise and save us.’
28 But where are your gods that 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 towns
    are your gods, O Judah.
29 Why do you complain to me?
    All of you have rebelled against me,”[ak] declares[al] Yahweh.
30 “For in vain[am] I have struck your children.
    They accepted no discipline.
Your sword devoured your prophets,
    like a ravening[an] lion.
31 O generation, you see the word of Yahweh.
    Have I been a desert[ao] to Israel? Or a land of great darkness?
Why do my people say, ‘We roam about freely,
    we will not come again to you’?
32 Can a young woman forget her ornaments?[ap] Or a bride her sashes?
    Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
33 How well you do on your way to seek love!
    Therefore[aq] even to the wicked woman you can teach your ways.
34 Also on your skirts is found
    the blood of the life of the innocent, the poor.
You did not find them in the act of breaking into a house.
    But in spite of all these things,
35 yet you say, ‘But I am innocent,
    surely his anger has turned away from me.’
Look, I am entering into judgment with you
    because of your saying, ‘I have not sinned.’
36 How you go about so much changing your way!
    Also by Egypt you will be put to shame,
    just as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37 Also from there you will come out
    with your hands on your head,
for Yahweh has rejected those in whom you trust,[ar]
    and you will not prosper through them.


  1. Jeremiah 2:1 Literally “to say”
  2. Jeremiah 2:2 Literally “to say”
  3. Jeremiah 2:2 Or “youth”
  4. Jeremiah 2:2 Or “walking”
  5. Jeremiah 2:2 Or “wilderness”
  6. Jeremiah 2:3 Literally “a declaration of”
  7. Jeremiah 2:4 Or “families”
  8. Jeremiah 2:5 Or “fathers”
  9. Jeremiah 2:6 Or “wilderness”
  10. Jeremiah 2:6 Hebrew “gorge”
  11. Jeremiah 2:6 Literally “no man passes through in it”
  12. Jeremiah 2:7 Hebrew “good thing”
  13. Jeremiah 2:7 Or “abomination”
  14. Jeremiah 2:8 Literally “broken with me”
  15. Jeremiah 2:9 Literally “To thus”
  16. Jeremiah 2:9 Literally “a declaration of”
  17. Jeremiah 2:9 Literally “sons of your sons”
  18. Jeremiah 2:12 Literally “a declaration of”
  19. Jeremiah 2:13 Or “fountain”
  20. Jeremiah 2:14 Literally “born of a house”
  21. Jeremiah 2:15 Literally “given”
  22. Jeremiah 2:15 Hebrew “voice”
  23. Jeremiah 2:15 Literally “from not”
  24. Jeremiah 2:16 Literally “pasture”
  25. Jeremiah 2:16 Or “crown of your head”
  26. Jeremiah 2:18 Literally “what for you”
  27. Jeremiah 2:18 Literally “what for you”
  28. Jeremiah 2:18 Literally “river”
  29. Jeremiah 2:19 Literally “a declaration of”
  30. Jeremiah 2:22 Literally “make numerous for yourself alkaline salt”
  31. Jeremiah 2:22 Literally “to the face of”
  32. Jeremiah 2:22 Literally “a declaration of”
  33. Jeremiah 2:24 Or “wilderness”
  34. Jeremiah 2:24 Or “restrain”
  35. Jeremiah 2:25 Or “walk”
  36. Jeremiah 2:27 Literally “neck”
  37. Jeremiah 2:29 Literally “broken with me”
  38. Jeremiah 2:29 Literally “a declaration of”
  39. Jeremiah 2:30 Literally “the vanity”
  40. Jeremiah 2:30 Or “destroying”
  41. Jeremiah 2:31 Or “wilderness”
  42. Jeremiah 2:32 Or “jewelry”
  43. Jeremiah 2:33 Literally “To thus”
  44. Jeremiah 2:37 Literally “in your objects of trust”