Israel Forsakes God

The word(A) of the Lord came to me: “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:

“This is what the Lord says:

“‘I remember the devotion of your youth,(B)
    how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the wilderness,(C)
    through a land not sown.
Israel was holy(D) to the Lord,(E)
    the firstfruits(F) of his harvest;
all who devoured(G) her were held guilty,(H)
    and disaster overtook them,’”
declares the Lord.

Hear the word of the Lord, you descendants of Jacob,
    all you clans of Israel.

This is what the Lord says:

“What fault did your ancestors find in me,
    that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols(I)
    and became worthless(J) themselves.
They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord,
    who brought us up out of Egypt(K)
and led us through the barren wilderness,
    through a land of deserts(L) and ravines,(M)
a land of drought and utter darkness,
    a land where no one travels(N) and no one lives?’
I brought you into a fertile land
    to eat its fruit and rich produce.(O)
But you came and defiled my land
    and made my inheritance detestable.(P)
The priests did not ask,
    ‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who deal with the law did not know me;(Q)
    the leaders(R) rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,(S)
    following worthless idols.(T)

“Therefore I bring charges(U) against you again,”
declares the Lord.
    “And I will bring charges against your children’s children.
10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus(V) and look,
    send to Kedar[a](W) and observe closely;
    see if there has ever been anything like this:
11 Has a nation ever changed its gods?
    (Yet they are not gods(X) at all.)
But my people have exchanged their glorious(Y) God
    for worthless idols.
12 Be appalled at this, you heavens,
    and shudder with great horror,”
declares the Lord.
13 “My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken(Z) me,
    the spring of living water,(AA)
and have dug their own cisterns,
    broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
14 Is Israel a servant, a slave(AB) by birth?
    Why then has he become plunder?
15 Lions(AC) have roared;
    they have growled at him.
They have laid waste(AD) his land;
    his towns are burned(AE) and deserted.(AF)
16 Also, the men of Memphis(AG) and Tahpanhes(AH)
    have cracked your skull.
17 Have you not brought this on yourselves(AI)
    by forsaking(AJ) the Lord your God
    when he led you in the way?
18 Now why go to Egypt(AK)
    to drink water from the Nile[b]?(AL)
And why go to Assyria(AM)
    to drink water from the Euphrates?(AN)
19 Your wickedness will punish you;
    your backsliding(AO) will rebuke(AP) you.
Consider then and realize
    how evil and bitter(AQ) it is for you
when you forsake(AR) the Lord your God
    and have no awe(AS) of me,”
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

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  1. Jeremiah 2:10 In the Syro-Arabian desert
  2. Jeremiah 2:18 Hebrew Shihor; that is, a branch of the Nile

The Lord, Not Idols

“This is what the Lord says—
    Israel’s King(A) and Redeemer,(B) the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;(C)
    apart from me there is no God.(D)
Who then is like me?(E) Let him proclaim it.
    Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
    and what is yet to come—
    yes, let them foretell(F) what will come.
Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
    Did I not proclaim(G) this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God(H) besides me?
    No, there is no other Rock;(I) I know not one.”

All who make idols(J) are nothing,
    and the things they treasure are worthless.(K)
Those who would speak up for them are blind;(L)
    they are ignorant, to their own shame.(M)
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,(N)
    which can profit nothing?(O)
11 People who do that will be put to shame;(P)
    such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
    they will be brought down to terror and shame.(Q)

12 The blacksmith(R) takes a tool
    and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
    he forges it with the might of his arm.(S)
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
    he drinks no water and grows faint.(T)
13 The carpenter(U) measures with a line
    and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
    and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,(V)
    human form in all its glory,
    that it may dwell in a shrine.(W)
14 He cut down cedars,
    or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
    or planted a pine,(X) and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel(Y) for burning;
    some of it he takes and warms himself,
    he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships(Z) it;
    he makes an idol and bows(AA) down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
    over it he prepares his meal,
    he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
    “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.(AB)
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
    he bows down to it and worships.(AC)
He prays(AD) to it and says,
    “Save(AE) me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand(AF) nothing;
    their eyes(AG) are plastered over so they cannot see,
    and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
    no one has the knowledge or understanding(AH) to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;(AI)
    I even baked bread over its coals,
    I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable(AJ) thing from what is left?
    Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”(AK)
20 Such a person feeds on ashes;(AL) a deluded(AM) heart misleads him;
    he cannot save himself, or say,
    “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?(AN)

21 “Remember(AO) these things, Jacob,
    for you, Israel, are my servant.(AP)
I have made you, you are my servant;(AQ)
    Israel, I will not forget you.(AR)
22 I have swept away(AS) your offenses like a cloud,
    your sins like the morning mist.
Return(AT) to me,
    for I have redeemed(AU) you.”

23 Sing for joy,(AV) you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
    shout aloud, you earth(AW) beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,(AX)
    you forests and all your trees,(AY)
for the Lord has redeemed(AZ) Jacob,
    he displays his glory(BA) in Israel.

Jerusalem to Be Inhabited

24 “This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer,(BB) who formed(BC) you in the womb:(BD)

I am the Lord,
    the Maker of all things,
    who stretches out the heavens,(BE)
    who spreads out the earth(BF) by myself,
25 who foils(BG) the signs of false prophets
    and makes fools of diviners,(BH)
who overthrows the learning of the wise(BI)
    and turns it into nonsense,(BJ)
26 who carries out the words(BK) of his servants
    and fulfills(BL) the predictions of his messengers,

who says of Jerusalem,(BM) ‘It shall be inhabited,’
    of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’
    and of their ruins,(BN) ‘I will restore them,’(BO)
27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry,
    and I will dry up(BP) your streams,’
28 who says of Cyrus,(BQ) ‘He is my shepherd
    and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem,(BR) “Let it be rebuilt,”
    and of the temple,(BS) “Let its foundations(BT) be laid.”’

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14 The Word became flesh(A) and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory,(B) the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace(C) and truth.(D)

15 (John testified(E) concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”)(F) 16 Out of his fullness(G) we have all received grace(H) in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses;(I) grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.(J) 18 No one has ever seen God,(K) but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[a](L) is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

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  1. John 1:18 Some manuscripts but the only Son, who

Are we beginning to commend ourselves(A) again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation(B) to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.(C) You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God,(D) not on tablets of stone(E) but on tablets of human hearts.(F)

Such confidence(G) we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves(H) to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.(I) He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant(J)—not of the letter(K) but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.(L)

The Greater Glory of the New Covenant

Now if the ministry that brought death,(M) which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory,(N) transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation(O) was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!(P) 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

12 Therefore, since we have such a hope,(Q) we are very bold.(R) 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face(S) to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull,(T) for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant(U) is read.(V) It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord,(W) the veil is taken away.(X) 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit,(Y) and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.(Z) 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a](AA) the Lord’s glory,(AB) are being transformed into his image(AC) with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.


  1. 2 Corinthians 3:18 Or reflect

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