1The Lord’s word came to me, saying, 2“Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘The Lord says,
“I remember for you the kindness of your youth,
your love as a bride,
how you went after me in the wilderness,
in a land that was not sown.
3Israel was holiness to the Lord,
the first fruits of his increase.
All who devour him will be held guilty.
Evil will come on them,”’ says the Lord.”
4Hear the Lord’s word, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel! 5The Lord says,
“What unrighteousness have your fathers found in me,
that they have gone far from me,
and have walked after worthless vanity,
and have become worthless?
6They didn’t say, ‘Where is the Lord who brought us up out of the land of Egypt,
who led us through the wilderness,
through a land of deserts and of pits,
through a land of drought and of the shadow of death,
through a land that no one passed through,
and where no man lived?’
7I brought you into a plentiful land
to eat its fruit and its goodness;
but when you entered, you defiled my land,
and made my heritage an abomination.
8The priests didn’t say, ‘Where is the Lord?’
and those who handle the law didn’t know me.
The rulers also transgressed against me,
and the prophets prophesied by Baal
and followed things that do not profit.
9“Therefore I will yet contend with you,” says the Lord,
“and I will contend with your children’s children.
10For pass over to the islands of Kittim, and see.
Send to Kedar, and consider diligently,
and see if there has been such a thing.
11Has a nation changed its gods,
which really are no gods?
But my people have changed their glory for that which doesn’t profit.
12“Be astonished, you heavens, at this
and be horribly afraid.
Be very desolate,” says the Lord.
13“For my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters,
and cut out cisterns for themselves: broken cisterns that can’t hold water.
14Is Israel a slave?
Is he born into slavery?
Why has he become a captive?
15The young lions have roared at him and raised their voices.
They have made his land waste.
His cities are burnt up, without inhabitant.
16The children also of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head.
17“Haven’t you brought this on yourself,
in that you have forsaken the Lord your God,#2:17 The Hebrew word rendered “God” is “אֱלֹהִ֑ים” (Elohim). when he led you by the way?
18Now what do you gain by going to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Shihor?
Or why do you to go on the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River?#2:18 i.e., the Euphrates River
19“Your own wickedness will correct you,
and your backsliding will rebuke you.
Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing,
that you have forsaken the Lord your God,
and that my fear is not in you,” says the Lord, the Lord of Hosts.
20“For long ago I broke off your yoke,
and burst your bonds.
You said, ‘I will not serve;’
for on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed yourself,
playing the prostitute.
21Yet I had planted you a noble vine,
a pure and faithful seed.
How then have you turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine to me?
22For though you wash yourself with lye,
and use much soap,
yet your iniquity is marked before me,” says the Lord GOD.
23“How can you say, ‘I am not defiled.
I have not gone after the Baals’?
See your way in the valley.
Know what you have done.
You are a swift dromedary traversing her ways, 24a wild donkey used to the wilderness, that sniffs the wind in her craving.
When she is in heat, who can turn her away?
All those who seek her will not weary themselves. In her month, they will find her.
25“Keep your feet from being bare,
and your throat from thirst.
But you said, ‘It is in vain.
No, for I have loved strangers,
and I will go after them.’
26As the thief is ashamed when he is found,
so the house of Israel is ashamed—
they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets,
27who tell wood, ‘You are my father,’
and a stone, ‘You have given birth to me,’
for they have turned their back to me,
and not their face,
but in the time of their trouble they will say, ‘Arise, and save us!’
28“But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves?
Let them arise, if they can save you in the time of your trouble,
for you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah.
29“Why will you contend with me?
You all have transgressed against me,” says the Lord.
30“I have struck your children in vain.
They received no correction.
Your own sword has devoured your prophets,
like a destroying lion.
31Generation, consider the Lord’s word.
Have I been a wilderness to Israel?
Or a land of thick darkness?
Why do my people say, ‘We have broken loose.
We will come to you no more’?
32“Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
or a bride her attire?
Yet my people have forgotten me for days without number.
33How well you prepare your way to seek love!
Therefore you have even taught the wicked women your ways.
34Also the blood of the souls of the innocent poor is found in your skirts.
You didn’t find them breaking in,
but it is because of all these things.
35“Yet you said, ‘I am innocent.
Surely his anger has turned away from me.’
“Behold, I will judge you,
because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
36Why do you go about so much to change your ways?
You will be ashamed of Egypt also,
as you were ashamed of Assyria.
37You will also leave that place with your hands on your head;
for the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust,
and you won’t prosper with them.