oremus Bible Browser




Jeremiah 2.14-4.27


14 Is Israel a slave? Is he a home-born servant?
   Why then has he become plunder?
15 The lions have roared against him,
   they have roared loudly.
They have made his land a waste;
   his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant.
16 Moreover, the people of Memphis and Tahpanhes
   have broken the crown of your head.
17 Have you not brought this upon yourself
   by forsaking the Lord your God,
   while he led you in the way?
18 What 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?
19 Your 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.


20 For 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.
21 Yet I planted you as a choice vine,
   from the purest stock.
How then did you turn degenerate
   and become a wild vine?
22 Though you wash yourself with lye
   and use much soap,
   the stain of your guilt is still before me,

says the Lord 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—
a restive young camel interlacing her tracks,
24   a 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.
25 Keep 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.’


26 As a thief is shamed when caught,
   so the house of Israel shall be shamed—
they, 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 backs to me,
   and not their faces.
But in the time of their trouble they say,
   ‘Come and save us!’
28 But 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.


29 Why do you complain against me?
   You have all rebelled against me,

says the Lord.
30 In vain I have struck down your children;
   they accepted no correction.
Your 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 to you no more’?
32 Can a girl forget her ornaments,
   or a bride her attire?
Yet my people have forgotten me,
   days without number.


33 How well you direct your course
   to seek lovers!
So that even to wicked women
   you have taught your ways.
34 Also 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*
35 you say, ‘I am innocent;
   surely his anger has turned from me.’
Now I am bringing you to judgement
   for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’
36 How lightly you gad about,
   changing your ways!
You shall be put to shame by Egypt
   as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37 From 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.

Unfaithful Israel

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.
2 Look 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.
3 Therefore 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.
4 Have you not just now called to me,
   ‘My Father, you are the friend of my youth—
5 will he be angry for ever,
   will he be indignant to the end?’
This is how you have spoken,
   but you have done all the evil that you could.

A Call to Repentance

6 The 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 pretence, says the Lord.

11 Then the Lord said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah. 12Go, and proclaim these words towards 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 for ever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt,
   that you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
and scattered your favours among strangers under every green tree,
   and have not obeyed my voice,

says the Lord.
14 Return, 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.

15 I 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.


19 I 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.
20 Instead, as a faithless wife leaves her husband,
   so you have been faithless to me, O house of Israel,

says the Lord.


21 A 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:
22 Return, O faithless children,
   I will heal your faithlessness.


‘Here we come to you;
   for you are the Lord our God.
23 Truly 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 laboured, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonour 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.’

4If you return, O Israel,

says the Lord,
   if you return to me,
if you remove your abominations from my presence,
   and do not waver,
2 and if you swear, ‘As the Lord lives!’
   in truth, in justice, and in uprightness,
then nations shall be blessed* by him,
   and by him they shall boast.

3 For thus says the Lord to the people of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
Break up your fallow ground,
   and do not sow among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
   remove the foreskin of your hearts,
   O people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or else my wrath will go forth like fire,
   and burn with no one to quench it,
   because of the evil of your doings.

Invasion and Desolation of Judah Threatened

5 Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:
Blow the trumpet through the land;
   shout aloud* and say,
‘Gather together, and let us go
   into the fortified cities!’
6 Raise a standard towards Zion,
   flee for safety, do not delay,
for I am bringing evil from the north,
   and a great destruction.
7 A lion has gone up from its thicket,
   a destroyer of nations has set out;
   he has gone out from his place
to make your land a waste;
   your cities will be ruins
   without inhabitant.
8 Because of this put on sackcloth,
   lament and wail:
‘The fierce anger of the Lord
   has not turned away from us.’


9On that day, says the Lord, courage shall fail the king and the officials; the priests shall be appalled and the prophets astounded. 10Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God, how utterly you have deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, “It shall be well with you”, even while the sword is at the throat!’

11 At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights* in the desert towards my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse— 12a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgement against them.
13 Look! He comes up like clouds,
   his chariots like the whirlwind;
his horses are swifter than eagles—
   woe to us, for we are ruined!
14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart clean of wickedness
   so that you may be saved.
How long shall your evil schemes
   lodge within you?
15 For a voice declares from Dan
   and proclaims disaster from Mount Ephraim.
16 Tell the nations, ‘Here they are!’
   Proclaim against Jerusalem,
‘Besiegers come from a distant land;
   they shout against the cities of Judah.
17 They have closed in around her like watchers of a field,
   because she has rebelled against me,

says the Lord.
18 Your ways and your doings
   have brought this upon you.
This is your doom; how bitter it is!
   It has reached your very heart.’

Sorrow for a Doomed Nation


19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!
   Oh, the walls of my heart!
My heart is beating wildly;
   I cannot keep silent;
for I* hear the sound of the trumpet,
   the alarm of war.
20 Disaster overtakes disaster,
   the whole land is laid waste.
Suddenly my tents are destroyed,
   my curtains in a moment.
21 How long must I see the standard,
   and hear the sound of the trumpet?
22 ‘For my people are foolish,
   they do not know me;
they are stupid children,
   they have no understanding.
They are skilled in doing evil,
   but do not know how to do good.’


23 I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void;
   and to the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking,
   and all the hills moved to and fro.
25 I looked, and lo, there was no one at all,
   and all the birds of the air had fled.
26 I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert,
   and all its cities were laid in ruins
   before the Lord, before his fierce anger.

27 For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.

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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.