Judah’s Apostasy

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Go and (A)proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“I remember regarding you the [a](B)devotion of your youth,
Your love when you were a bride,
(C)Your following after Me in the wilderness,
Through a land not sown.
Israel was (D)holy to the Lord,
The (E)first of His harvest.
(F)All who ate of it became guilty;
Evil came upon them,” declares the Lord.’”

Hear the word of the Lord, house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. This is what the Lord says:

(G)What injustice did your fathers find in Me,
That they went far from Me,
And walked after (H)emptiness and became empty?
They did not say, ‘Where is the Lord
Who (I)brought us up out of the land of Egypt,
Who (J)led us through the wilderness,
Through a land of deserts and of pits,
Through a land of drought and of [b]deep darkness,
Through a land that no one crossed
And where no person lived?’
I brought you into the (K)fruitful land
To eat its fruit and its good things.
But you came and (L)defiled My land,
And you made My inheritance an abomination.
The (M)priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’
And those who handle the Law (N)did not know Me;
The [c]rulers also revolted against Me,
And the (O)prophets prophesied by Baal
And walked after (P)things that were of no benefit.

“Therefore I will still (Q)contend with you,” declares the Lord,
“And I will contend with your sons’ sons.
10 For (R)cross to the coastlands of [d]Kittim and see,
And send to (S)Kedar and observe closely,
And see if there has been anything like this!
11 Has a nation changed gods,
When (T)they were not gods?
But My people have (U)exchanged their glory
For that which is of no benefit.
12 Be appalled at this, (V)you heavens,
And shudder, be very desolate,” declares the Lord.
13 “For My people have committed two evils:
They have abandoned Me,
The (W)fountain of living waters,
To carve out for themselves (X)cisterns,
Broken cisterns
That do not hold water.

14 “Is Israel (Y)a slave? Or is he a servant born in the home?
Why has he become plunder?
15 The young (Z)lions have roared at him,
They have [e]roared loudly.
And they have (AA)made his land a waste;
His cities have been destroyed, without inhabitant.
16 Also the [f]men of (AB)Memphis and Tahpanhes
Have [g]shaved (AC)your head.
17 Have you not (AD)done this to yourself
By your abandoning the Lord your God
When He (AE)led you in the way?
18 But now what are you doing (AF)on the road to Egypt,
Except to drink the waters of the [h](AG)Nile?
Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria,
Except to drink the waters of the Euphrates River?
19 (AH)Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your (AI)apostasies will punish you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and (AJ)bitter
For you to abandon the Lord your God,
And (AK)the fear of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord [i]God of armies.

20 “For long ago [j](AL)I broke your yoke
And tore off your restraints;
But you said, ‘I will not serve!’
For on every (AM)high hill
And under every leafy tree
You have lain down as a prostitute.
21 Yet I (AN)planted you as a choice vine,
A completely faithful seed.
How then have you turned yourself before Me
Into the (AO)degenerate shoots of a foreign vine?
22 Although you (AP)wash yourself with lye
And [k]use much soap,
The (AQ)stain of your guilt is before Me,” declares the Lord [l]God.
23 (AR)How can you say, ‘I am not defiled,
I have not gone after the (AS)Baals’?
Look at your way in the (AT)valley!
Know what you have done!
You are a swift young camel (AU)running about senselessly on her ways,
24 A (AV)wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness,
That sniffs the wind in her passion.
Who can turn her away in her mating season?
None who seek her will grow weary;
In her month they will find her.
25 Keep your feet from being bare,
And your throat from thirst;
But you said, ‘(AW)It is [m]hopeless!
No! For I have (AX)loved strangers,
And I will walk after them.’

26 “Like the shame of a (AY)thief when he is discovered,
So the house of Israel is shamed;
They, their kings, their leaders,
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 their (AZ)backs to Me,
And not their faces;
But in the (BA)time of their [n]trouble they will say,
‘Arise and save us!’
28 But where are your (BB)gods
Which you made for yourself?
Let them arise, if they can (BC)save you
In the time of your [o]trouble!
For (BD)as many as the number of your cities
Are your gods, Judah.

29 “Why do you contend with Me?
You have (BE)all revolted against Me,” declares the Lord.
30 (BF)In vain I have struck your sons;
They did not accept discipline.
Your (BG)sword has devoured your prophets
Like a destroying lion.
31 You generation, look to the word of the Lord.
Have I been a wilderness to Israel,
Or a (BH)land of thick darkness?
Why do My people say, ‘(BI)We are free to roam;
We will no longer come to You’?
32 Can a virgin forget her jewelry,
Or a bride her attire?
Yet My people have (BJ)forgotten Me
For days without number.
33 How well you prepare your way
To seek love!
Therefore even to the wicked women
You have taught your ways.
34 Also on your skirts is found
The (BK)lifeblood of the innocent poor;
You did not find them (BL)breaking in.
But in spite of all these things,
35 You said, ‘I am innocent;
Surely His anger is turned away from me.’
Behold, I will (BM)enter into judgment with you
Because you (BN)say, ‘I have not sinned.’
36 Why do you (BO)go around so much
Changing your way?
Also, (BP)you will be put to shame by Egypt,
Just as you were put to shame by (BQ)Assyria.
37 From this place as well you will go out
With (BR)your hands on your head;
For the Lord has rejected (BS)those in whom you trust,
And you will not prosper with them.”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 2:2 Or faithfulness
  2. Jeremiah 2:6 Or the shadow of death
  3. Jeremiah 2:8 Lit shepherds
  4. Jeremiah 2:10 I.e., Cyprus and other islands
  5. Jeremiah 2:15 Lit given their voice
  6. Jeremiah 2:16 Lit sons
  7. Jeremiah 2:16 Lit grazed
  8. Jeremiah 2:18 Heb Shihor
  9. Jeremiah 2:19 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  10. Jeremiah 2:20 Or you
  11. Jeremiah 2:22 Lit acquire much soap for yourself
  12. Jeremiah 2:22 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  13. Jeremiah 2:25 Or desperate
  14. Jeremiah 2:27 Or evil
  15. Jeremiah 2:28 Or evil