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Jeremiah 2

Israel Forsakes the Lord

1 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
2 "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, "I remember the devotion of 1your youth, your love 2as a bride, 3how you followed me in the wilderness, 4in a land not sown.
3 5Israel was holy to the LORD, 6the firstfruits of his harvest. 7All who ate of it incurred guilt; disaster came upon them, declares the LORD."
4 Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel.
5 Thus says the LORD: 8"What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, 9and went after 10worthlessness, and became worthless?
6 They did not say, 11'Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us 12in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that none passes through, where no man dwells?'
7 13And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, 14you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.
8 The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?' 15Those who handle the law did not know me; 16the shepherdsa transgressed against me; 17the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after 18things that do not profit.
9 "Therefore 19I still contend with you, declares the LORD, and 20with your children's children I will contend.
10 For cross to the coasts of 21Cyprus and see, or send to 22Kedar and examine with care; see if there has been such a thing.
11 23Has a nation changed its gods, 24even though they are no gods? But my people 25have changed their glory for 26that which does not profit.
12 Be appalled, 27O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD,
13 for my people have committed two evils: 28they have forsaken 29me, the fountain of 30living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
14 31"Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become a prey?
15 32The lions have roared against him; they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, 33without inhabitant.
16 Moreover, the men of 34Memphis and 35Tahpanhes 36have shavedb the crown of your head.
17 37Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the LORD your God, when 38he led you in the way?
18 39And now what do you gain by going to Egypt to drink the waters of 40the Nile? 41Or what do you gain by going to Assyria to drink the waters of 42the Euphrates?
19 43Your evil will chastise you, and 44your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and 45bitter for 46you to forsake the LORD your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
20 "For long ago I 47broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, 48'I will not serve.' Yes, 49on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down 50like a whore.
21 51Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. 52How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?
22 Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, 53the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord GOD.
23 54How can you say, 'I am not unclean, I have not gone after the Baals'? Look at your way 55in the valley; know what you have done-- a restless young camel running here and there,
24 56a wild donkey used to 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 57your feet from going unshod and 58your throat from thirst. But you said, 'It is hopeless, 59for I have loved foreigners, and after them I will go.'
26 "As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed: 60they, 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 back to me, and not their face. But 61in the time of their trouble they say, 'Arise and save us!'
28 But 62where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, 63if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for 64as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah.
29 "Why do you contend with me? You have all transgressed against me, declares the LORD.
30 In vain have I 65struck your children; they took no correction; 66your 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 no more to you'?
32 67Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet 68my people have forgotten me days without number.
33 "How well you direct your course to seek love! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways.
34 Also on your skirts is found 69the lifeblood of the guiltless poor; you did not find them 70breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things
35 you say, 'I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.' 71Behold, I will bring you to judgment for 72saying, 'I have not sinned.'
36 73How much you go about, changing your way! You shall be 74put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37 From it too you will come away with 75your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper by them.
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