4 Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel.5 Thus says the Lord,
“What injustice did your fathers find in Me, That they went far from Me And walked after emptiness and became empty? 6 “They did not 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 [a]deep darkness, Through a land that no one crossed And where no man dwelt?’ 7 “I brought you into the fruitful land To eat its fruit and its good things. But you came and defiled My land, And My inheritance you made an abomination. 8 “The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ And those who handle the law did not know Me; The [b]rulers also transgressed against Me, And the prophets prophesied by Baal And walked after things that did not profit.
9 “Therefore I will yet contend with you,” declares the Lord, “And with your sons’ sons I will contend. 10 “For cross to the coastlands of [c]Kittim and see, And send to Kedar and observe closely And see if there has been such a thing as this! 11 “Has a nation changed gods When they were not gods? But My people have changed their glory For that which does not profit. 12 “Be appalled, O heavens, at this, And shudder, be very desolate,” declares the Lord. 13 “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water.
14 “Is Israel a slave? Or is he a homeborn servant? Why has he become a prey? 15 “The young lions have roared at him, They have [d]roared loudly. And they have made his land a waste; His cities have been destroyed, without inhabitant. 16 “Also the [e]men of Memphis and Tahpanhes Have [f]shaved the crown of your head. 17 “Have you not done this to yourself By your forsaking the Lord your God When He led you in the way? 18 “But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt, To drink the waters of the [g]Nile? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria, To drink the waters of the [h]Euphrates? 19 “Your own wickedness will correct you, And your apostasies will reprove you; Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter For you to forsake the Lord your God, And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord [i]God of hosts.
20 “For long ago [j]I broke your yoke And tore off your bonds; But you said, ‘I will not serve!’ For on every high hill And under every green tree You have lain down as a harlot. 21 “Yet I planted you a choice vine, A completely faithful seed. How then have you turned yourself before Me Into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine? 22 “Although you wash yourself with lye And [k]use much soap, The stain of your iniquity is before Me,” declares the Lord [l]God. 23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baals’? Look at your way in the valley! Know what you have done! You are a swift young camel entangling her ways, 24 A wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness, That sniffs the wind in her passion. In the time of her [m]heat who can turn her away? All who seek her will not become weary; In her month they will find her. 25 “Keep your feet from being unshod And your throat from thirst; But you said, ‘It is [n]hopeless! No! For I have loved strangers, And after them I will walk.’
26 “As the thief is shamed when he is discovered, So the house of Israel is shamed; They, their kings, their princes And 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 theirback to Me, And not their face; But in the time of their [o]trouble they will say, ‘Arise and save us.’ 28 “But where are your gods Which you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you In the time of your [p]trouble; For according to the number of your cities Are your gods, O Judah.
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