Judah Rebuked for Her Sins
1Again the word of Adonai came to me, saying:
2“Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, thus says Adonai: I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, and the way you followed Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.
3Israel was kadosh to Adonai, the firstfruits of the harvest. All who devoured him were held guilty. Catastrophe overtook them.” It is a declaration of Adonai.
4Hear the word of Adonai, O house of Jacob and all the families of the house of Israel.
5Thus says Adonai: “What fault did your fathers find in Me that they strayed so far from Me? They walked after worthless things, becoming worthless themselves?
6They did not ask ‘Where is Adonai, who brought us up from the land of Egypt and led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and rifts, through a land of drought and distress, through a land where no one travels, where no one lives?’
7Yet I brought you into a fertile land, to eat of its fruit and goodness. When you came, you defiled My land. You made My heritage an abomination.
8The kohanim did not ask, ‘Where is Adonai?’ The Torah experts did not know Me. The shepherds rebelled against Me. The prophets prophesied by Baal and went after unprofitable things.
9Therefore I will plead with you again!” It is a declaration of Adonai. “I will contend with your children’s children.
10Cross to the coasts of Kittim and see! Send to Kedar, and observe carefully. See if there has been anything like this.
11Has a nation changed its gods— even though they are not gods? Yet My people have exchanged their glory for worthless things.
12Be appalled at this, O heavens! Be utterly horrified and dumbfounded.” It is a declaration of Adonai.
13“My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me —the spring of living water— and they dug their own cisterns— cracked cisterns that hold no water.
14Is Israel a servant—a slave by birth? Then why has he become plunder?
15Young lions have roared at him they have roared loudly. They made his land a waste— his cities are in ruins and uninhabited.
16Even the sons of Noph and Tahpanhes have grazed on the crown of your head.
17Have you not brought this on yourself, when He led you in the way?
18But now, what is on the road to Egypt? Drinking the waters of the Nile? Or what is on the road to Assyria? Drinking the waters of the Euphrates?
19Your own wickedness will rebuke you and your backslidings will chide you. Know then and see how bad and bitter it is for you to forsake Adonai your God. Nor is fear of Me in you.” It is a declaration of the Lord Adonai-Tzva’ot.
20“Indeed, long ago I broke your yoke and tore off your bonds. You said, ‘I will not serve!’ Instead, on every high hill and under every green tree you sprawled out as a prostitute.
21Yet I had planted you as a choice vine from completely faithful seed. How then did you become to Me a wandering wild vine?
22Even though you wash with lye and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your iniquity is before Me.” It is a declaration of the Lord Adonai.
23“How can you say, ‘I am not defiled— I have not gone after the Baalim? Look at your behavior in the Valley! Recognize what you have done. You are a swift young camel galloping aimlessly,
24a wild donkey used to the wilderness— sniffing the wind in her passion— in her heat, who can restrain her? All males that pursue her will not tire themselves. At mating time they will find her.
25Do not run while your feet are bare and your throat is thirsty. But you said ‘There is no hope! No! For I have loved foreign gods and I will go after them.’
26As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel is shamed— they, their kings, their princes, their kohanim and their prophets.
27They say to wood, ‘You are my father’ and to a stone, ‘You birthed me.’ They have turned their back to Me and not their face. Yet when they are in trouble they say, ‘Rise up and save us!’
28Where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them come—if they can save you when you are in trouble! For you have as many gods as y0u have cities, O Judah.
29Why do you strive with Me? You have all rebelled against Me.” It is a declaration of Adonai.
30“In vain I struck your children. They took no correction. Your sword devoured your prophets like a ravaging lion.”
31You, generation, heed Adonai’s word! “Have I been a wilderness to Israel or a land of thick darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam. We won’t come to You any more’?
32Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me, days without number.
33How clever are your ways of seeking love. Therefore you even taught wicked women your ways.
34Moreover on your skirts is found the blood of the innocent poor —you did not find them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things,
35you say, ‘I am innocent— surely His anger is turned away from me?’ See, I will pass judgment on you, since you say: ‘I haven’t sinned!’
36Why do you make light of changing your way? You will be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37You will also go out from there with your hands on your head. For Adonai has rejected those in whom you trust— you will not prosper by them.”