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Jeremiah 2–3

2The word of the Lord came to me, saying: 2Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord: I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. 3Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest. All who ate of it were held guilty; disaster came upon them, says the Lord. 4Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. 5Thus says the Lord: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves? 6They did not say, “Where is the Lord who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that no one passes through, where no one lives?” 7I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination. 8The priests did not say, “Where is the Lord?” Those who handle the law did not know me; the rulers transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after things that do not profit.

9Therefore once more I accuse you, says the Lord, and I accuse your children’s children. 10Cross to the coasts of Cyprus and look, send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has ever been such a thing. 11Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for something that does not profit. 12Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the Lord, 13for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.

14Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become plunder? 15The lions have roared against him, they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant. 16Moreover, the people of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head. 17Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the Lord your God, while he led you in the way? 18What then do you gain by going to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates? 19Your wickedness will punish you, and your apostasies will convict you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you, says the Lord God of hosts.

20For long ago you broke your yoke and burst your bonds, and you said, “I will not serve!” On every high hill and under every green tree you sprawled and played the whore. 21Yet I planted you as a choice vine, from the purest stock. How then did you turn degenerate and become a wild vine? 22Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, says the Lord God. 23How 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— a restive young camel interlacing her tracks, 24a wild ass at home in 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. 25Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, “It is hopeless, for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go.” 26As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed— they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, 27who say to a tree, “You are my father,” and to a stone, “You gave me birth.” For they have turned their backs to me, and not their faces. But in the time of their trouble they say, “Come and save us!” 28But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them come, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah.

29Why do you complain against me? You have all rebelled against me, says the Lord. 30In vain I have struck down your children; they accepted no correction. Your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion. 31And 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 to you no more”? 32Can a girl forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number. 33How well you direct your course to seek lovers! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways. 34Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things 35you say, “I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.” Now I am bringing you to judgment for saying, “I have not sinned.” 36How lightly you gad about, changing your ways! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria. 37From there also you will come away with your hands on your head; for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper through them.

3If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man’s wife, will he return to her? Would not such a land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the Lord. 2Look up to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been lain with? By the waysides you have sat waiting for lovers, like a nomad in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your whoring and wickedness. 3Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have the forehead of a whore, you refuse to be ashamed. 4Have you not just now called to me, “My Father, you are the friend of my youth— 5will he be angry forever, will he be indignant to the end?” This is how you have spoken, but you have done all the evil that you could.

6The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and played the whore there? 7And I thought, “After she has done all this she will return to me”; but she did not return, and her false sister Judah saw it. 8She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce; yet her false sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. 9Because she took her whoredom so lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10Yet for all this her false sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but only in pretense, says the Lord. 11Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah.

12Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: Return, faithless Israel, says the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, says the Lord; I will not be angry forever. 13Only acknowledge your guilt, that you have rebelled against the Lord your God, and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree, and have not obeyed my voice, says the Lord. 14Return, O faithless children, says the Lord, for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no longer say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another one be made. 17At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no longer stubbornly follow their own evil will. 18In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your ancestors for a heritage. 19I thought how I would set you among my children, and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful heritage of all the nations. And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn from following me.

20Instead, as a faithless wife leaves her husband, so you have been faithless to me, O house of Israel, says the Lord. 21A voice on the bare heights is heard, the plaintive weeping of Israel’s children, because they have perverted their way, they have forgotten the Lord their God: 22Return, O faithless children, I will heal your faithlessness. “Here we come to you; for you are the Lord our God. 23Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel. 24“But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our ancestors had labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us; for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our ancestors, from our youth even to this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”

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v 2.2.8
14 July 2018

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.8 14 July 2018.