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ESV — Jeremiah 2

Israel Forsakes the Lord

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord,

“I remember the devotion of kyour youth,

your love las a bride,

mhow you followed me in the wilderness,

nin a land not sown.

oIsrael was holy to the Lord,

pthe firstfruits of his harvest.

qAll who ate of it incurred guilt;

disaster came upon them,

declares the Lord.”

Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord:

r“What wrong did your fathers find in me

that they went far from me,

sand went after tworthlessness, and became worthless?

They did not say, u‘Where is the Lord

who brought us up from the land of Egypt,

who led us vin the wilderness,

in a land of deserts and pits,

in a land of drought and deep darkness,

in a land that none passes through,

where no man dwells?’

wAnd I brought you into a plentiful land

to enjoy its fruits and its good things.

But when you came in, xyou defiled my land

and made my heritage an abomination.

The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’

yThose who handle the law did not know me;

zthe shepherds1 transgressed against me;

athe prophets prophesied by Baal

and went after bthings that do not profit.

“Therefore cI still contend with you,

declares the Lord,

and dwith your children's children I will contend.

10  For cross to the coasts of eCyprus and see,

or send to fKedar and examine with care;

see if there has been such a thing.

11  gHas a nation changed its gods,

heven though they are no gods?

But my people ihave changed their glory

for bthat which does not profit.

12  Be appalled, jO heavens, at this;

be shocked, be utterly desolate,

declares the Lord,

13  for my people have committed two evils:

kthey have forsaken lme,

the fountain of mliving waters,

and hewed out cisterns for themselves,

broken cisterns that can hold no water.

14  n“Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?

Why then has he become a prey?

15  oThe lions have roared against him;

they have roared loudly.

They have made his land a waste;

his cities are in ruins, pwithout inhabitant.

16  Moreover, the men of qMemphis and rTahpanhes

shave shaved2 the crown of your head.

17  tHave you not brought this upon yourself

by forsaking the Lord your God,

when uhe led you in the way?

18  vAnd now what do you gain by going to Egypt

to drink the waters of wthe Nile?

xOr what do you gain by going to Assyria

to drink the waters of ythe Euphrates?3

19  zYour evil will chastise you,

and ayour apostasy will reprove you.

Know and see that it is evil and bbitter

for cyou to forsake the Lord your God;

the fear of me is not in you,

declares the Lord God of hosts.

20  “For long ago I dbroke your yoke

and burst your bonds;

but you said, e‘I will not serve.’

Yes, fon every high hill

and under every green tree

you bowed down glike a whore.

21  hYet I planted you a choice vine,

wholly of pure seed.

iHow then have you turned degenerate

and become a wild vine?

22  Though you wash yourself with lye

and use much soap,

jthe stain of your guilt is still before me,

declares the Lord God.

23  kHow can you say, ‘I am not unclean,

I have not gone after the Baals’?

Look at your way lin the valley;

know what you have done—

a restless young camel running here and there,

24  ma wild donkey used to the wilderness,

in her heat sniffing the wind!

Who can restrain her lust?

None who seek her need weary themselves;

in her month they will find her.

25  Keep nyour feet from going unshod

and oyour throat from thirst.

But you said, ‘It is hopeless,

pfor I have loved foreigners,

and after them I will go.’

26  “As a thief is shamed when caught,

so the house of Israel shall be shamed:

qthey, their kings, their officials,

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 back to me,

and not their face.

But rin the time of their trouble they say,

‘Arise and save us!’

28  But swhere are your gods

that you made for yourself?

Let them arise, tif they can save you,

in your time of trouble;

for uas many as your cities

are your gods, O Judah.

29  “Why do you contend with me?

You have all transgressed against me,

declares the Lord.

30  In vain have I vstruck your children;

they took no correction;

wyour own sword devoured your prophets

like a ravening lion.

31  And you, O generation, behold the word of the Lord.

Have I been a wilderness to Israel,

or a land of thick darkness?

Why then do my people say, ‘We are free,

we will come no more to you’?

32  xCan a virgin forget her ornaments,

or a bride her attire?

Yet ymy people have forgotten me

days without number.

33  “How well you direct your course

to seek love!

So that even to wicked women

you have taught your ways.

34  Also on your skirts is found

zthe lifeblood of the guiltless poor;

you did not find them abreaking in.

Yet in spite of all these things

35  you say, ‘I am innocent;

surely his anger has turned from me.’

bBehold, I will bring you to judgment

for csaying, ‘I have not sinned.’

36  dHow much you go about,

changing your way!

You shall be eput to shame by Egypt

as you were put to shame by Assyria.

37  From it too you will come away

with fyour hands on your head,

for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust,

and you will not prosper by them.

Footnotes

[1] 2:8 Or rulers
[2] 2:16 Hebrew grazed
[3] 2:18 Hebrew the River