2 The Lord spoke his word to me, saying: 2 “Go and ·speak to the people of Jerusalem [L announce/proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem], saying: This is what the Lord says:
‘I remember ·how faithful you were to me when you were a young nation [L your loyalty/devotion as a youth/girl/child]. You loved me like a young bride. You ·followed [L went after] me through the ·desert [wilderness; C as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land], a land that had never been ·planted [sown]. 3 The people of Israel were holy to the Lord, like the firstfruits from his harvest [C both belonged to God; Ex. 23:19; Lev. 23:10–14; Num. 18:12–13; Deut. 26:1–11]. Those who tried to ·hurt Israel [L consume it] were judged guilty. ·Disasters [Troubles] ·struck [L came to] them,’” says the Lord.
4 Hear the word of the Lord, ·family [L house] of Jacob, all you ·family groups [L clans of the house] of Israel.
5 This is what the Lord says: “·I was fair to your ancestors, so why did they turn away from me? [L What wrong did your ancestors/fathers find in me that they removed themselves from me?] Your ·ancestors [fathers] ·worshiped [L went after] ·useless idols [worthless/meaningless things] and became ·useless [worthless; meaningless] themselves. 6 Your ·ancestors [fathers] didn’t say, ‘Where is the Lord who brought us out of Egypt? He led us through the ·desert [wilderness], through a ·dry [barren] and ·rocky [broken] land, through a dangerous [parched] and dark land. He led us where no one ·travels [passes through] or lives.’ 7 I brought you into a ·fertile land [orchard; land of plenty] so you could eat its fruit and produce. But you came and made my land unclean [C in a ritual sense]; you made ·it [L my inheritance] a ·hateful place [abomination]. 8 The priests didn’t ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ The people who ·know [handle; deal with] the ·teachings [laws; instructions; L Torah] didn’t know me. The ·leaders [L shepherds] turned against me. The prophets prophesied in the name of Baal [Deut. 13:1–5] and ·worshiped useless idols [L went after unprofitable things].
9 “So now I will ·again tell what I have against [accuse; charge] you,” says the Lord. “And I will ·tell what I have against [accuse; charge] ·your grandchildren [L the sons of your sons]. 10 ·Go across the sea [L Cross over] to the ·island [or coasts] of Cyprus [C to the west] and see. Send someone to the land of Kedar [C eastern desert nomads; Gen. 25:13; Jer. 49:28–29; Song 1:5] to look closely. See if there has ever been anything like this. 11 Has a nation ever exchanged its gods? (·Of course, its gods are not really gods at all [L And they are not gods].) But my people have exchanged their glory [C God] for ·idols worth nothing [L unprofitable things]. 12 ·Skies [Heavens], be shocked at the things that have happened and ·shake [shudder] with great fear!” says the Lord. 13 “My people have done two evils: They have ·turned away from [abandoned; forsaken] me, the ·spring [fountain] of living water [17:13]. And they have dug their own ·wells [cisterns], which are broken ·wells [cisterns] that cannot hold water [C the idols, like the wells, are useless]. 14 Have the people of Israel become slaves? Have they become like ·someone who was born a slave [a home-born servant; Ex. 21:4]? Why ·were they taken captive [L have they become plunder]? 15 ·Enemies have roared like lions at Israel [L The lions roar against him]; they have ·growled at Israel [L given forth their voice]. They have ·destroyed [L made a desolation of] the land of Israel. The cities of Israel lie in ruins, ·and all the people have left [and there are no inhabitants]. 16 The ·men from the cities [L sons] of ·Memphis [L Noph] and Tahpanhes [C two important Egyptian cities] have ·shaved [or broken] the top of your head [C disgracing them; Israel embarrassed itself by entering into alliances with Egypt; 41:5; 48:37; 2 Sam. 10:4; Is. 7:20; Ezek. 44:20]. 17 ·Haven’t you brought this on yourselves [L Did you not do this to yourself] by ·turning away from [abandoning; forsaking] the Lord your God when he was leading you in the ·right way [or path]? 18 ·It did not help to go to [L Why would you go on the path to…?] Egypt and drink from the Shihor River [C the Nile or one of its tributaries]. ·It did not help to [L Why would you…?] go to Assyria and drink from the River [C the Euphrates]. 19 Your evil will ·bring punishment to [instruct; discipline] you, and ·the wrong you have done [your apostasy/infidelity] will ·teach you a lesson [reprove/convict/rebuke you]. ·Think about it and understand [L Know and see] that it is ·a terrible evil [L evil and bitter] to ·turn away from [abandon; forsake] the Lord your God. It is wrong not to fear me,” says the Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].
20 “Long ago you broke your yoke [C abandoning God]. You snapped off your ropes [C rejecting their dependence on God] and said, ‘I will not serve you!’ In fact, on every high hill and under every green tree you lay down as a prostitute [C worshiping at pagan altars in the hills; Deut. 12:2; 1 Kin. 14:13; 2 Kin. 17:10; Is. 57:5; 65:7; Ezek. 6:12; 20:28; Hos. 4:13]. 21 But I planted you as a ·special [choice] vine [Is. 5:1–7], ·as a very good seed [from good stock]. How then did you turn into a wild vine [C growing bad fruit]? 22 Although you wash yourself with ·cleanser [lye] and use much soap [Mal. 3:2], I can still see the stain of your guilt,” says the Lord God. 23 “How can you say to me, ‘I am not ·guilty [L defiled]. I have not ·worshiped [L gone after] the Baals [C idols]’? Look at ·the things you did [L your way/path] in the valley. ·Think about [Know] what you have done. You are like a she-camel that runs from place to place [C as if in heat]. 24 You are like a wild donkey that lives in the ·desert [wilderness] and sniffs the wind ·at mating time [when in heat]. At that time who can hold ·her back [back her lust]? None who ·chase [seek] her ·will easily catch her [L need to exert themselves]; ·at mating time [L in her month], it is easy to find her. 25 Stop before your feet are bare or your throat is dry [C from running after her]. But you say, ‘It’s no use! I love those strangers [C other gods], and I must ·chase [L go after] them!’
26 “A thief is ·ashamed [humiliated] when someone ·catches [discovers] him. In the same way, the ·family [L house] of Israel is ·ashamed [humiliated]— they, their kings, their ·officers [princes], their priests, and their prophets. 27 They say to ·things of wood [L a tree], ‘You are my father,’ and to a stone, ‘You gave birth to me [C idols were made out of wood and stone].’ Those people have turned their backs to me, not their faces. But when they get into trouble, they say, ‘·Come [L Rise up] and ·save [rescue] us!’ 28 Where are the gods you made for yourselves [C idols]? Let them ·come [L rise up] and ·save [rescue] you when you are in trouble [Deut. 32:37–38; Is. 43:8–13; 44:6–23]! People of Judah, you have as many gods [C idols] as you have towns!
29 “Why do you ·complain to [charge; accuse] me? All of you have ·turned [rebelled; transgressed] against me,” says the Lord. 30 “I ·punished [L struck] your ·people [L children], ·but it did not help [L in vain]. They didn’t ·come back when they were punished [L accept instruction/discipline]. With your swords you ·killed [devoured] your prophets like a ·hungry [ravenous] lion [Ps. 7:2; 10:9; Is. 5:29].
31 “·People of Judah [L Oh generation], ·pay attention [L look] to the word of the Lord:
Have I been a ·desert [wilderness] to the people of Israel or a dark land [C useless or even dangerous]? Why do my people say, ‘We are ·free to wander [our own masters]. We won’t come to you anymore’? 32 ·A young woman does not [L Does a virgin…?] forget her ·jewelry [ornaments], and ·a bride does not [L does a bride…?] forget the decorations for her dress. But my people have forgotten me for more days than can be counted. 33 ·You really know how to chase after love [L How well you know the path to seek lovers!]. Even ·the worst [evil] women can learn ·evil ways from you [L your ways/paths]. 34 Even on your clothes you have the blood of poor and innocent people, but ·they weren’t thieves you caught breaking in [L you did not find them breaking in; C in which case they could have killed them in self-defense; Ex. 22:2]. You do all these things, 35 but you say, ‘I am innocent. ·God is not angry with me [L His anger has turned from me].’ But I will judge you [C guilty of lying], because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ 36 It is so easy for you to change your ·mind [L way; path]. Even Egypt will ·let you down [L shame/embarrass you], as Assyria ·let you down [L shamed/embarrassed you]. 37 You will eventually ·leave that place [L go out] with your hands on your head [C like captives]. ·You trusted those countries [L For the Lord has rejected these in whom you had confidence], and you will not ·be helped by [find success with] them.
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