All this took place because the Israelites had sinned1 against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt2 from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods
and followed the practices of the nations3 the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced.
The Israelites secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city4 they built themselves high places in all their towns.
They set up sacred stones5 and Asherah poles6 on every high hill and under every spreading tree.711
At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the LORD had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that provoked the LORD to anger.
They worshiped idols,8 though the LORD had said, "You shall not do this."a13
The LORD warned9 Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers:10 "Turn from your evil ways.11 Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets."1214
But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked13 as their fathers, who did not trust in the LORD their God.
They rejected his decrees and the covenant14 he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols15 and themselves became worthless.16 They imitated the nations17 around them although the LORD had ordered them, "Do not do as they do," and they did the things the LORD had forbidden them to do.
They forsook all the commands of the LORD their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves,18 and an Asherah19 pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts,20 and they worshiped Baal.2117
They sacrificed22 their sons and daughters inb the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery23 and sold24 themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence.25 Only the tribe of Judah was left,
and even Judah did not keep the commands of the LORD their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced.2620
Therefore the LORD rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers,27 until he thrust them from his presence.28