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Judah Rebuked for Her Sins

Again the word of Adonai came to me, saying: “Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, thus says Adonai:

I remember the devotion of your youth,
    your love as a bride,
    and the way you followed Me in the wilderness,
    in a land not sown.
Israel was kadosh to Adonai,
    the firstfruits of the harvest.[a]
All who devoured him were held guilty.
    Catastrophe overtook them.”
It is a declaration of Adonai.

Hear the word of Adonai, O house of Jacob and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says Adonai:

“What fault did your fathers find in Me
    that they strayed so far from Me?
They walked after worthless things,
    becoming worthless themselves?[b]
They did not ask ‘Where is Adonai,
    who brought us up from the land of Egypt
    and led us through the wilderness,
    through a land of deserts and rifts,
    through a land of drought and distress,
    through a land where no one travels,
        where no one lives?’
Yet I brought you into a fertile land,
        to eat of its fruit and goodness.
    When you came, you defiled My land.
    You made My heritage an abomination.
The kohanim did not ask,
        ‘Where is Adonai?’
    The Torah experts did not know Me.
    The shepherds rebelled against Me.
    The prophets prophesied by Baal
        and went after unprofitable things.
Therefore I will plead with you again!”
It is a declaration of Adonai.
    “I will contend with your children’s children.
10 Cross to the coasts of Kittim[c] and see!
    Send to Kedar, and observe carefully.
    See if there has been anything like this.
11 Has a nation changed its gods—
        even though they are not gods?
    Yet My people have exchanged their glory
    for worthless things.
12 Be appalled at this, O heavens!
    Be utterly horrified and dumbfounded.”

It is a declaration of Adonai.

13 “My people have committed two evils:
    They have forsaken Me
        —the spring of living water—
    and they dug their own cisterns—
        cracked cisterns that hold no water.
14 Is Israel a servant—a slave by birth?
    Then why has he become plunder?
15 Young lions have roared at him
        they have roared loudly.
    They made his land a waste—
        his cities are in ruins and uninhabited.
16 Even the sons of Noph and Tahpanhes
    have grazed on the crown of your head.
17 Have you not brought this on yourself,
        when He led you in the way?
18 But now, what is on the road to Egypt?
        Drinking the waters of the Nile?
    Or what is on the road to Assyria?
        Drinking the waters of the Euphrates?
19 Your own wickedness will rebuke you
        and your backslidings will chide you.
    Know then and see
    how bad and bitter it is for you
    to forsake Adonai your God.
    Nor is fear of Me in you.”
It is a declaration of the Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot.

20 “Indeed, long ago I broke your yoke
        and tore off your bonds.
    You said, ‘I will not serve!’
    Instead, on every high hill
        and under every green tree
        you sprawled out as a prostitute.
21 Yet I had planted you as a choice vine
from completely faithful seed.
    How then did you become to Me
        a wandering wild vine?
22 Even though you wash with lye
        and use an abundance of soap,
    the stain of your iniquity is before Me.”
It is a declaration of the Lord Adonai.
23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled—
        I have not gone after the Baalim[d]?
    Look at your behavior in the Valley!
        Recognize what you have done.
    You are a swift young camel
        galloping aimlessly,
24 a wild donkey used to the wilderness—
sniffing the wind in her passion—
in her heat, who can restrain her?
All males that pursue her will not tire themselves.
    At mating time they will find her.
25 Do not run while your feet are bare
        and your throat is thirsty.
    But you said ‘There is no hope!
No! For I have loved foreign gods
        and I will go after them.’
26 As a thief is shamed when caught,
        so the house of Israel is shamed—
    they, their kings, their princes,
        their kohanim and their prophets.
27 They say to wood, ‘You are my father’
        and to a stone, ‘You birthed me.’
    They have turned their back to Me
        and not their face.
    Yet when they are in trouble
        they say, ‘Rise up and save us!’
28 Where are your gods that you made for yourself?
    Let them come—if they can save you
        when you are in trouble!
    For you have as many gods
        as you have cities, O Judah.
29 Why do you strive with Me?
    You have all rebelled against Me.”
It is a declaration of Adonai.

30 “In vain I struck your children.
        They took no correction.
    Your sword devoured your prophets
        like a ravaging lion.”
31 You, generation, heed Adonai’s word!
    “Have I been a wilderness to Israel
        or a land of thick darkness?
    Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam.
        We won’t come to You any more’?
32 Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
        or a bride her attire?
    Yet My people have forgotten Me,
        days without number.
33 How clever are your ways of seeking love.
    Therefore you even taught wicked women your ways.
34 Moreover on your skirts is found
    the blood of the innocent poor
    —you did not find them breaking in.
    Yet in spite of all these things,
35 you say, ‘I am innocent—
        surely His anger is turned away from me?’
        See, I will pass judgment on you,
        since you say: ‘I haven’t sinned!’
36 Why do you make light of
        changing your way?
    You will be put to shame by Egypt
    as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37 You will also go out from there
    with your hands on your head.
For Adonai has rejected those in whom you trust—
    you will not prosper by them.”


  1. Jeremiah 2:3 cf. Jacob 1:18.
  2. Jeremiah 2:5 cf. Rom. 1:21.
  3. Jeremiah 2:10 Cyprus and nearby coasts.
  4. Jeremiah 2:23 Plural for Baal; gods.