Judah’s Apostasy

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

“I remember concerning you the [a](B)devotion of your youth,
The love of your betrothals,
(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, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord,

(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 man dwelt?’
“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 My inheritance you made 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 transgressed against Me,
And the (O)prophets prophesied by Baal
And walked after (P)things that did not profit.

“Therefore I will yet (Q)contend with you,” declares the Lord,
“And with your sons’ sons I will contend.
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 such a thing as this!
11 “Has a nation changed gods
When (T)they were not gods?
But My people have (U)changed their glory
For that which does not profit.
12 “Be appalled, (V)O heavens, at this,
And shudder, be very desolate,” declares the Lord.
13 “For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The (W)fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves (X)cisterns,
Broken cisterns
That can hold no water.

14 “Is Israel (Y)a slave? Or is he a homeborn servant?
Why has he become a prey?
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 the (AC)crown of your head.
17 “Have you not (AD)done this to yourself
By your forsaking 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,
To drink the waters of the [h](AG)Nile?
Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria,
To drink the waters of the [i]Euphrates?
19 (AH)Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your (AI)apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and (AJ)bitter
For you to forsake the Lord your God,
And (AK)the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord [j]God of hosts.

20 “For long ago [k](AL)I broke your yoke
And tore off your bonds;
But you said, ‘I will not serve!’
For on every (AM)high hill
And under every green tree
You have lain down as a harlot.
21 “Yet I (AN)planted you 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 [l]use much soap,
The (AQ)stain of your iniquity is before Me,” declares the Lord [m]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)entangling her ways,
24 A (AV)wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness,
That sniffs the wind in her passion.
In the time of her [n]heat who can turn her away?
All who seek her will not become weary;
In her month they will find her.
25 “Keep your feet from being unshod
And your throat from thirst;
But you said, ‘(AW)It is [o]hopeless!
No! For I have (AX)loved strangers,
And after them I will walk.’

26 “As the (AY)thief is shamed when he is discovered,
So the house of Israel is shamed;
They, their kings, their princes
And 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)back to Me,
And not their face;
But in the (BA)time of their [p]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 [q]trouble;
For (BD)according to the number of your cities
Are your gods, O Judah.

29 “Why do you contend with Me?
You have (BE)all transgressed against Me,” declares the Lord.
30 (BF)In vain I have struck your sons;
They accepted no chastening.
Your (BG)sword has devoured your prophets
Like a destroying lion.
31 “O generation, heed 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 ornaments,
Or a bride her attire?
Yet My people have (BJ)forgotten Me
Days without number.
33 “How well you prepare your way
To seek love!
Therefore even [r]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 Yet 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
As you were put to shame by (BQ)Assyria.
37 “From this place also 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 lovingkindness
  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 Or sons
  7. Jeremiah 2:16 Lit grazed
  8. Jeremiah 2:18 Heb Shihor
  9. Jeremiah 2:18 Lit River
  10. Jeremiah 2:19 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  11. Jeremiah 2:20 Or you
  12. Jeremiah 2:22 Lit cause to be great to you
  13. Jeremiah 2:22 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  14. Jeremiah 2:24 Lit occasion
  15. Jeremiah 2:25 Or desperate
  16. Jeremiah 2:27 Or evil
  17. Jeremiah 2:28 Or evil
  18. Jeremiah 2:33 Or in wickedness

Israel Forsakes God

The word(A) of the Lord came to me: “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:

“This is what the Lord says:

“‘I remember the devotion of your youth,(B)
    how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the wilderness,(C)
    through a land not sown.
Israel was holy(D) to the Lord,(E)
    the firstfruits(F) of his harvest;
all who devoured(G) her were held guilty,(H)
    and disaster overtook them,’”
declares the Lord.

Hear the word of the Lord, you descendants of Jacob,
    all you clans of Israel.

This is what the Lord says:

“What fault did your ancestors find in me,
    that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols(I)
    and became worthless(J) themselves.
They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord,
    who brought us up out of Egypt(K)
and led us through the barren wilderness,
    through a land of deserts(L) and ravines,(M)
a land of drought and utter darkness,
    a land where no one travels(N) and no one lives?’
I brought you into a fertile land
    to eat its fruit and rich produce.(O)
But you came and defiled my land
    and made my inheritance detestable.(P)
The priests did not ask,
    ‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who deal with the law did not know me;(Q)
    the leaders(R) rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,(S)
    following worthless idols.(T)

“Therefore I bring charges(U) against you again,”
declares the Lord.
    “And I will bring charges against your children’s children.
10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus(V) and look,
    send to Kedar[a](W) and observe closely;
    see if there has ever been anything like this:
11 Has a nation ever changed its gods?
    (Yet they are not gods(X) at all.)
But my people have exchanged their glorious(Y) God
    for worthless idols.
12 Be appalled at this, you heavens,
    and shudder with great horror,”
declares the Lord.
13 “My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken(Z) me,
    the spring of living water,(AA)
and have dug their own cisterns,
    broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
14 Is Israel a servant, a slave(AB) by birth?
    Why then has he become plunder?
15 Lions(AC) have roared;
    they have growled at him.
They have laid waste(AD) his land;
    his towns are burned(AE) and deserted.(AF)
16 Also, the men of Memphis(AG) and Tahpanhes(AH)
    have cracked your skull.
17 Have you not brought this on yourselves(AI)
    by forsaking(AJ) the Lord your God
    when he led you in the way?
18 Now why go to Egypt(AK)
    to drink water from the Nile[b]?(AL)
And why go to Assyria(AM)
    to drink water from the Euphrates?(AN)
19 Your wickedness will punish you;
    your backsliding(AO) will rebuke(AP) you.
Consider then and realize
    how evil and bitter(AQ) it is for you
when you forsake(AR) the Lord your God
    and have no awe(AS) of me,”
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

20 “Long ago you broke off your yoke(AT)
    and tore off your bonds;(AU)
    you said, ‘I will not serve you!’(AV)
Indeed, on every high hill(AW)
    and under every spreading tree(AX)
    you lay down as a prostitute.(AY)
21 I had planted(AZ) you like a choice vine(BA)
    of sound and reliable stock.
How then did you turn against me
    into a corrupt,(BB) wild vine?
22 Although you wash(BC) yourself with soap(BD)
    and use an abundance of cleansing powder,
    the stain of your guilt is still before me,”
declares the Sovereign Lord.(BE)
23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled;(BF)
    I have not run after the Baals’?(BG)
See how you behaved in the valley;(BH)
    consider what you have done.
You are a swift she-camel
    running(BI) here and there,
24 a wild donkey(BJ) accustomed to the desert,(BK)
    sniffing the wind in her craving—
    in her heat who can restrain her?
Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves;
    at mating time they will find her.
25 Do not run until your feet are bare
    and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!(BL)
    I love foreign gods,(BM)
    and I must go after them.’(BN)

26 “As a thief is disgraced(BO) when he is caught,
    so the people of Israel are disgraced—
they, their kings and their officials,
    their priests(BP) and their prophets.(BQ)
27 They say to wood,(BR) ‘You are my father,’
    and to stone,(BS) ‘You gave me birth.’
They have turned their backs(BT) to me
    and not their faces;(BU)
yet when they are in trouble,(BV) they say,
    ‘Come and save(BW) us!’
28 Where then are the gods(BX) you made for yourselves?
    Let them come if they can save you
    when you are in trouble!(BY)
For you, Judah, have as many gods
    as you have towns.(BZ)

29 “Why do you bring charges against me?
    You have all(CA) rebelled against me,”
declares the Lord.
30 “In vain I punished your people;
    they did not respond to correction.(CB)
Your sword has devoured your prophets(CC)
    like a ravenous lion.

31 “You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord:

“Have I been a desert to Israel
    or a land of great darkness?(CD)
Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam;
    we will come to you no more’?(CE)
32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry,
    a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten(CF) me,
    days without number.
33 How skilled you are at pursuing(CG) love!
    Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.
34 On your clothes is found
    the lifeblood(CH) of the innocent poor,
    though you did not catch them breaking in.(CI)
Yet in spite of all this
35     you say, ‘I am innocent;(CJ)
    he is not angry with me.’
But I will pass judgment(CK) on you
    because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’(CL)
36 Why do you go about so much,
    changing(CM) your ways?
You will be disappointed by Egypt(CN)
    as you were by Assyria.
37 You will also leave that place
    with your hands on your head,(CO)
for the Lord has rejected those you trust;
    you will not be helped(CP) by them.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 2:10 In the Syro-Arabian desert
  2. Jeremiah 2:18 Hebrew Shihor; that is, a branch of the Nile

Bible Gateway Sponsors