The word1 of the LORD came to me:
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"Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: "This is what the LORD says: " 'I remember the devotion of your youth,2 how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness,3 through a land not sown.
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Israel was holy4 to the LORD,5 the firstfruits6 of his harvest; all who devoured7 her were held guilty,8 and disaster overtook them,' " declares the LORD.
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Hear the word of the LORD, house of Jacob, all you clans of the house 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 idols9 and became worthless10 themselves.
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They did not ask, 'Where is the LORD, who brought us up out of Egypt11 and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts12 and ravines,13 a land of drought and utter darkness, a land where no one travels14 and no one lives?'
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I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce.15 But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.16
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The priests did not ask, 'Where is the LORD?' Those who deal with the law did not know me;17 the leaders18 rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal,19 following worthless idols.20
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"Therefore I bring charges21 against you again," declares the LORD. "And I will bring charges against your children's children.
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Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus22 and look, send to Kedar23 and observe closely; see if there has ever been anything like this:
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Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods24 at all.) But my people have exchanged their glorious25 God for worthless idols.
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Be appalled at this, you heavens, and shudder with great horror," declares the LORD.
"My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken26 me, the spring of living water,27 and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
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Is Israel a servant, a slave28 by birth? Why then has he become plunder?
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Lions29 have roared; they have growled at him. They have laid waste30 his land; his towns are burned31 and deserted.32
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Also, the men of Memphis33 and Tahpanhes34 have cracked your skull.
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Have you not brought this on yourselves35 by forsaking36 the LORD your God when he led you in the way?
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Now why go to Egypt37 to drink water from the Nile ?38 And why go to Assyria39 to drink water from the Euphrates?40
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Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding41 will rebuke42 you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter43 it is for you when you forsake44 the LORD your God and have no awe45 of me," declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
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"Long ago you broke off your yoke46 and tore off your bonds;47 you said, 'I will not serve you!'48 Indeed, on every high hill49 and under every spreading tree50 you lay down as a prostitute.51
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I had planted52 you like a choice vine53 of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against me into a corrupt,54 wild vine?
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Although you wash55 yourself with soap56 and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me," declares the Sovereign LORD.57
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"How can you say, 'I am not defiled;58 I have not run after the Baals'?59 See how you behaved in the valley;60 consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running61 here and there,
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a wild donkey62 accustomed to the desert,63 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.
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Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, 'It's no use!64 I love foreign gods,65 and I must go after them.'66
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"As a thief is disgraced67 when he is caught, so the house of Israel is disgraced-- they, their kings and their officials, their priests68 and their prophets.69
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They say to wood,70 'You are my father,' and to stone,71 'You gave me birth.' They have turned their backs72 to me and not their faces;73 yet when they are in trouble,74 they say, 'Come and save75 us!'
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Where then are the gods76 you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble!77 For you, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns.78
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"Why do you bring charges against me? You have all79 rebelled against me," declares the LORD.
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"In vain I punished your people; they did not respond to correction.80 Your sword has devoured your prophets81 like a ravenous lion.
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"You of this generation, consider the word of the LORD: "Have I been a desert to Israel or a land of great darkness?82 Why do my people say, 'We are free to roam; we will come to you no more'?83
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Does a young woman forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten84 me, days without number.
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How skilled you are at pursuing85 love! Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.
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On your clothes is found the lifeblood86 of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in.87 Yet in spite of all this
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you say, 'I am innocent;88 he is not angry with me.' But I will pass judgment89 on you because you say, 'I have not sinned.'90
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Why do you go about so much, changing91 your ways? You will be disappointed by Egypt92 as you were by Assyria.
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You will also leave that place with your hands on your head,93 for the LORD has rejected those you trust; you will not be helped94 by them.
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