Jeremiah 2:1-37

Jeremiah 2:1-37 New International Version (NIV)

The word of the LORD came to me: “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: “This is what the LORD says: “ ‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to the LORD, the firstfruits of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,’ ” declares the LORD. Hear the word of the LORD, you descendants of Jacob, all you clans 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 idols and became worthless themselves. They did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and ravines, a land of drought and utter darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives?’ I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable. The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols. “Therefore I bring charges against you again,” declares the LORD. “And I will bring charges against your children’s children. Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus and look, send to Kedar and observe closely; see if there has ever been anything like this: Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, you heavens, and shudder with great horror,” declares the LORD. “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Is Israel a servant, a slave by birth? Why then has he become plunder? Lions have roared; they have growled at him. They have laid waste his land; his towns are burned and deserted. Also, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have cracked your skull. Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the LORD your God when he led you in the way? Now why go to Egypt to drink water from the Nile? And why go to Assyria to drink water from the Euphrates? Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty. “Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, ‘I will not serve you!’ Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute. I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against me into a corrupt, wild vine? Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me,” declares the Sovereign LORD. “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals’? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there, a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, 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. Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.’ “As a thief is disgraced when he is caught, so the people of Israel are disgraced— they, their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets. They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’ Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! For you, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns. “Why do you bring charges against me? You have all rebelled against me,” declares the LORD. “In vain I punished your people; they did not respond to correction. Your sword has devoured your prophets like a ravenous lion. “You of this generation, consider the word of the LORD: “Have I been a desert to Israel or a land of great darkness? Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam; we will come to you no more’? Does a young woman forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number. How skilled you are at pursuing love! Even the worst of women can learn from your ways. On your clothes is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all this you say, ‘I am innocent; he is not angry with me.’ But I will pass judgment on you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ Why do you go about so much, changing your ways? You will be disappointed by Egypt as you were by Assyria. You will also leave that place with your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those you trust; you will not be helped by them.

Jeremiah 2:1-3-36-37 The Message (MSG)

GOD’s Message came to me. It went like this: “Get out in the streets and call to Jerusalem, ‘GOD’s Message! I remember your youthful loyalty, our love as newlyweds. You stayed with me through the wilderness years, stuck with me through all the hard places. Israel was GOD’s holy choice, the pick of the crop. Anyone who laid a hand on her would soon wish he hadn’t!’” GOD’s Decree. * * * Hear GOD’s Message, House of Jacob! Yes, you—House of Israel! GOD’s Message: “What did your ancestors find fault with in me that they drifted so far from me, Took up with Sir Windbag and turned into windbags themselves? It never occurred to them to say, ‘Where’s GOD, the God who got us out of Egypt, Who took care of us through thick and thin, those rough-and-tumble wilderness years of parched deserts and death valleys, A land that no one who enters comes out of, a cruel, inhospitable land?’ “I brought you to a garden land where you could eat lush fruit. But you barged in and polluted my land, trashed and defiled my dear land. The priests never thought to ask, ‘Where’s GOD?’ The religion experts knew nothing of me. The rulers defied me. The prophets preached god Baal And chased empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes. “Because of all this, I’m bringing charges against you” —GOD’s Decree— “charging you and your children and your grandchildren. Look around. Have you ever seen anything quite like this? Sail to the western islands and look. Travel to the Kedar wilderness and look. Look closely. Has this ever happened before, That a nation has traded in its gods for gods that aren’t even close to gods? But my people have traded my Glory for empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes. “Stand in shock, heavens, at what you see! Throw up your hands in disbelief—this can’t be!” GOD’s Decree. “My people have committed a compound sin: they’ve walked out on me, the fountain Of fresh flowing waters, and then dug cisterns— cisterns that leak, cisterns that are no better than sieves. “Isn’t Israel a valued servant, born into a family with place and position? So how did she end up a piece of meat fought over by snarling and roaring lions? There’s nothing left of her but a few old bones, her towns trashed and deserted. Egyptians from the cities of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken your skulls. And why do you think all this has happened? Isn’t it because you walked out on your God just as he was beginning to lead you in the right way? “And now, what do you think you’ll get by going off to Egypt? Maybe a cool drink of Nile River water? Or what do you think you’ll get by going off to Assyria? Maybe a long drink of Euphrates River water? Your evil ways will get you a sound thrashing, that’s what you’ll get. You’ll pay dearly for your disloyal ways. Take a long, hard look at what you’ve done and its bitter results. Was it worth it to have walked out on your God?” GOD’s Decree, Master GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies. “A long time ago you broke out of the harness. You shook off all restraints. You said, ‘I will not serve!’ and off you went, Visiting every sex-and-religion shrine on the way, like a common whore. You were a select vine when I planted you from completely reliable stock. And look how you’ve turned out— a tangle of rancid growth, a poor excuse for a vine. Scrub, using the strongest soaps. Scour your skin raw. The sin-grease won’t come out. I can’t stand to even look at you!” GOD’s Decree, the Master’s Decree. “How dare you tell me, ‘I’m not stained by sin. I’ve never chased after the Baal sex gods’! Well, look at the tracks you’ve left behind in the valley. How do you account for what is written in the desert dust— Tracks of a camel in heat, running this way and that, tracks of a wild donkey in rut, Sniffing the wind for the slightest scent of sex. Who could possibly corral her! On the hunt for sex, sex, and more sex— insatiable, indiscriminate, promiscuous. “Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? But you say, ‘I can’t help it. I’m addicted to alien gods. I can’t quit.’ * * * “Just as a thief is chagrined, but only when caught, so the people of Israel are chagrined, Caught along with their kings and princes, their priests and prophets. They walk up to a tree and say, ‘My father!’ They pick up a stone and say, ‘My mother! You bore me!’ All I ever see of them is their backsides. They never look me in the face. But when things go badly, they don’t hesitate to come running, calling out, ‘Get a move on! Save us!’ Why not go to your handcrafted gods you’re so fond of? Rouse them. Let them save you from your bad times. You’ve got more gods, Judah, than you know what to do with. “What do you have against me, running off to assert your ‘independence’?” GOD’s Decree. “I’ve wasted my time trying to train your children. They’ve paid no attention to me, ignored my discipline. And you’ve gotten rid of your God-messengers, treating them like dirt and sweeping them away. “What a generation you turned out to be! Didn’t I tell you? Didn’t I warn you? Have I let you down, Israel? Am I nothing but a dead-end street? Why do my people say, ‘Good riddance! From now on we’re on our own’? Young women don’t forget their jewelry, do they? Brides don’t show up without their veils, do they? But my people forget me. Day after day after day they never give me a thought. * * * “What an impressive start you made to get the most out of life. You founded schools of sin, taught graduate courses in evil! And now you’re sending out graduates, resplendent in cap and gown— except the gowns are stained with the blood of your victims! All that blood convicts you. You cut and hurt a lot of people to get where you are. And yet you have the nerve to say, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong. God doesn’t mind. He hasn’t punished me, has he?’ Don’t look now, but judgment’s on the way, aimed at you who say, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’ “You think it’s just a small thing, don’t you, to try out another sin-project when the first one fails? But Egypt will leave you in the lurch the same way that Assyria did. You’re going to walk away from there wringing your hands. I, GOD, have blacklisted those you trusted. You’ll get not a lick of help from them.”

Jeremiah 2:1-37 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, The love of your betrothals, Your following after Me in the wilderness, Through a land not sown. Israel was holy to the LORD, The first of His harvest. All who ate of it became guilty; Evil came upon them,” declares the LORD.’ ” Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the LORD, “What injustice did your fathers find in Me, That they went far from Me And walked after emptiness and became empty? They did not 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 deep darkness, Through a land that no one crossed And where no man dwelt?’ I brought you into the fruitful land To eat its fruit and its good things. But you came and defiled My land, And My inheritance you made an abomination. The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ And those who handle the law did not know Me; The rulers also transgressed against Me, And the prophets prophesied by Baal And walked after things that did not profit. “Therefore I will yet contend with you,” declares the LORD, “And with your sons’ sons I will contend. For cross to the coastlands of Kittim and see, And send to Kedar and observe closely And see if there has been such a thing as this! Has a nation changed gods When they were not gods? But My people have changed their glory For that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this, And shudder, be very desolate,” declares the LORD. “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water. “Is Israel a slave? Or is he a homeborn servant? Why has he become a prey? The young lions have roared at him, They have roared loudly. And they have made his land a waste; His cities have been destroyed, without inhabitant. Also the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes Have shaved the crown of your head. Have you not done this to yourself By your forsaking the LORD your God When He led you in the way? But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt, To drink the waters of the Nile? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria, To drink the waters of the Euphrates? Your own wickedness will correct you, And your apostasies will reprove you; Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter For you to forsake the LORD your God, And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord GOD of hosts. “For long ago I broke your yoke And tore off your bonds; But you said, ‘I will not serve!’ For on every high hill And under every green tree You have lain down as a harlot. Yet I planted you a choice vine, A completely faithful seed. How then have you turned yourself before Me Into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine? Although you wash yourself with lye And use much soap, The stain of your iniquity is before Me,” declares the Lord GOD. “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baals’? Look at your way in the valley! Know what you have done! You are a swift young camel entangling her ways, A wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness, That sniffs the wind in her passion. In the time of her heat who can turn her away? All who seek her will not become weary; In her month they will find her. Keep your feet from being unshod And your throat from thirst; But you said, ‘It is hopeless! No! For I have loved strangers, And after them I will walk.’ “As the thief is shamed when he is discovered, So the house of Israel is shamed; They, their kings, their princes And their priests and their prophets, 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 in the time of their trouble they will say, ‘Arise and save us.’ But where are your gods Which you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you In the time of your trouble; For according to the number of your cities Are your gods, O Judah. “Why do you contend with Me? You have all transgressed against Me,” declares the LORD. “In vain I have struck your sons; They accepted no chastening. Your sword has devoured your prophets Like a destroying lion. O generation, heed the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, Or a land of thick darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam; We will no longer come to You’? Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me Days without number. How well you prepare your way To seek love! Therefore even the wicked women You have taught your ways. Also on your skirts is found The lifeblood of the innocent poor; You did not find them breaking in. But in spite of all these things, Yet you said, ‘I am innocent; Surely His anger is turned away from me.’ Behold, I will enter into judgment with you Because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ Why do you go around so much Changing your way? Also, you will be put to shame by Egypt As you were put to shame by Assyria. From this place also you will go out With your hands on your head; For the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust, And you will not prosper with them.”

Jeremiah 2:1-37 New Living Translation (NLT)

The LORD gave me another message. He said, “Go and shout this message to Jerusalem. This is what the LORD says: “I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago, how you loved me and followed me even through the barren wilderness. In those days Israel was holy to the LORD, the first of his children. All who harmed his people were declared guilty, and disaster fell on them. I, the LORD, have spoken!” Listen to the word of the LORD, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! This is what the LORD says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves. They did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness— a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought and death, where no one lives or even travels?’ “And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness, you defiled my land and corrupted the possession I had promised you. The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who taught my word ignored me, the rulers turned against me, and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal, wasting their time on worthless idols. Therefore, I will bring my case against you,” says the LORD. “I will even bring charges against your children’s children in the years to come. “Go west and look in the land of Cyprus; go east and search through the land of Kedar. Has anyone ever heard of anything as strange as this? Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones, even though they are not gods at all? Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols! The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay,” says the LORD. “For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all! “Why has Israel become a slave? Why has he been carried away as plunder? Strong lions have roared against him, and the land has been destroyed. The towns are now in ruins, and no one lives in them anymore. Egyptians, marching from their cities of Memphis and Tahpanhes, have destroyed Israel’s glory and power. And you have brought this upon yourselves by rebelling against the LORD your God, even though he was leading you on the way! “What have you gained by your alliances with Egypt and your covenants with Assyria? What good to you are the streams of the Nile or the waters of the Euphrates River? Your wickedness will bring its own punishment. Your turning from me will shame you. You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is to abandon the LORD your God and not to fear him. I, the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken! “Long ago I broke the yoke that oppressed you and tore away the chains of your slavery, but still you said, ‘I will not serve you.’ On every hill and under every green tree, you have prostituted yourselves by bowing down to idols. But I was the one who planted you, choosing a vine of the purest stock—the very best. How did you grow into this corrupt wild vine? No amount of soap or lye can make you clean. I still see the stain of your guilt. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken! “You say, ‘That’s not true! I haven’t worshiped the images of Baal!’ But how can you say that? Go and look in any valley in the land! Face the awful sins you have done. You are like a restless female camel desperately searching for a mate. You are like a wild donkey, sniffing the wind at mating time. Who can restrain her lust? Those who desire her don’t need to search, for she goes running to them! When will you stop running? When will you stop panting after other gods? But you say, ‘Save your breath. I’m in love with these foreign gods, and I can’t stop loving them now!’ “Israel is like a thief who feels shame only when he gets caught. They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets— all are alike in this. To an image carved from a piece of wood they say, ‘You are my father.’ To an idol chiseled from a block of stone they say, ‘You are my mother.’ They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me, ‘Come and save us!’ But why not call on these gods you have made? When trouble comes, let them save you if they can! For you have as many gods as there are towns in Judah. Why do you accuse me of doing wrong? You are the ones who have rebelled,” says the LORD. “I have punished your children, but they did not respond to my discipline. You yourselves have killed your prophets as a lion kills its prey. “O my people, listen to the words of the LORD! Have I been like a desert to Israel? Have I been to them a land of darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘At last we are free from God! We don’t need him anymore!’ Does a young woman forget her jewelry, or a bride her wedding dress? Yet for years on end my people have forgotten me. “How you plot and scheme to win your lovers. Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you! Your clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor, though you didn’t catch them breaking into your houses! And yet you say, ‘I have done nothing wrong. Surely God isn’t angry with me!’ But now I will punish you severely because you claim you have not sinned. First here, then there— you flit from one ally to another asking for help. But your new friends in Egypt will let you down, just as Assyria did before. In despair, you will be led into exile with your hands on your heads, for the LORD has rejected the nations you trust. They will not help you at all.

Jeremiah 2:1-37 King James Version (KJV)

Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD. Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that 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 man passed through, and where no man dwelt? And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead. For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled? The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant. Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head. Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when he led thee by the way? And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river? Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts. For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot. Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD. How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways; a wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her. Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go. As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets, saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah. Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD. In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee? Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number. Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways. Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these. Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned. Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria. Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.

Jeremiah 2:1-37 New Century Version (NCV)

The LORD spoke his word to me, saying: “Go and speak to the people of Jerusalem, saying: This is what the LORD says: ‘I remember how faithful you were to me when you were a young nation. You loved me like a young bride. You followed me through the desert, a land that had never been planted. The people of Israel were holy to the LORD, like the first fruits from his harvest. Those who tried to hurt Israel were judged guilty. Disasters struck them,’ ” says the LORD. Hear the word of the LORD, family of Jacob, all you family groups of Israel. This is what the LORD says: “I was fair to your ancestors, so why did they turn away from me? Your ancestors worshiped useless idols and became useless themselves. Your ancestors didn’t say, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us out of Egypt? He led us through the desert, through a dry and rocky land, through a dark and dangerous land. He led us where no one travels or lives.’ I brought you into a fertile land so you could eat its fruit and produce. But you came and made my land unclean; you made it a hateful place. The priests didn’t ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’ The people who know the teachings didn’t know me. The leaders turned against me. The prophets prophesied in the name of Baal and worshiped useless idols. “So now I will again tell what I have against you,” says the LORD. “And I will tell what I have against your grandchildren. Go across the sea to the island of Cyprus and see. Send someone to the land of Kedar to look closely. See if there has ever been anything like this. Has a nation ever exchanged its gods? (Of course, its gods are not really gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their glorious God for idols worth nothing. Skies, be shocked at the things that have happened and shake with great fear!” says the LORD. “My people have done two evils: They have turned away from me, the spring of living water. And they have dug their own wells, which are broken wells that cannot hold water. Have the people of Israel become slaves? Have they become like someone who was born a slave? Why were they taken captive? Enemies have roared like lions at Israel; they have growled at Israel. They have destroyed the land of Israel. The cities of Israel lie in ruins, and all the people have left. The men from the cities of Memphis and Tahpanhes have disgraced you by shaving the top of your head. Haven’t you brought this on yourselves by turning away from the LORD your God when he was leading you in the right way? It did not help to go to Egypt and drink from the Shihor River. It did not help to go to Assyria and drink from the Euphrates River. Your evil will bring punishment to you, and the wrong you have done will teach you a lesson. Think about it and understand that it is a terrible evil to turn away from the LORD your God. It is wrong not to fear me,” says the Lord GOD All-Powerful. “Long ago you refused to obey me as an ox breaks its yoke. You broke the ropes I used to hold you and said, ‘I will not serve you!’ In fact, on every high hill and under every green tree you lay down as a prostitute. But I planted you as a special vine, as a very good seed. How then did you turn into a wild vine that grows bad fruit? Although you wash yourself with cleanser and use much soap, I can still see the stain of your guilt,” says the Lord GOD. “How can you say to me, ‘I am not guilty. I have not worshiped the Baal idols’? Look at the things you did in the valley. Think about what you have done. You are like a she-camel in mating season that runs from place to place. You are like a wild donkey that lives in the desert and sniffs the wind at mating time. At that time who can hold her back? Any male who chases her will easily catch her; at mating time, it is easy to find her. Don’t run until your feet are bare or until your throat is dry. But you say, ‘It’s no use! I love those other gods, and I must chase them!’ “A thief is ashamed when someone catches him stealing. In the same way, the family of Israel is ashamed— they, their kings, their officers, their priests, and their prophets. They say to things of wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to idols of stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’ Those people won’t look at me; they have turned their backs to me. But when they get into trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’ Where are the idols you made for yourselves? Let them come and save you when you are in trouble! People of Judah, you have as many idols as you have towns! “Why do you complain to me? All of you have turned against me,” says the LORD. “I punished your people, but it did not help. They didn’t come back when they were punished. With your swords you killed your prophets like a hungry lion. “People of Judah, pay attention to the word of the LORD: Have I been like a desert to the people of Israel or like a dark and dangerous land? Why do my people say, ‘We are free to wander. We won’t come to you anymore’? A young woman does not forget her jewelry, and a bride does not forget the decorations for her dress. But my people have forgotten me for more days than can be counted. You really know how to chase after love. Even the worst women can learn evil ways from you. Even on your clothes you have the blood of poor and innocent people, but they weren’t thieves you caught breaking in. You do all these things, but you say, ‘I am innocent. God is not angry with me.’ But I will judge you guilty of lying, because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ It is so easy for you to change your mind. Even Egypt will let you down, as Assyria let you down. You will eventually leave that place with your hands on your head, like captives. You trusted those countries, but you will not be helped by them, because the LORD has rejected them.

Jeremiah 2:1-37 American Standard Version (ASV)

And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith Jehovah, I remember for thee the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals; how thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. Israel was holiness unto Jehovah, the first-fruits of his increase: all that devour him shall be held guilty; evil shall come upon them, saith Jehovah. Hear ye the word of Jehovah, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: Thus saith Jehovah, What unrighteousness have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? Neither said they, Where is Jehovah that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that 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 none passed through, and where no man dwelt? And I brought you into a plentiful land, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination. The priests said not, Where is Jehovah? and they that handle the law knew me not: the rulers also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. Wherefore I will yet contend with you, saith Jehovah, and with your children’s children will I contend. For pass over to the isles of Kittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently; and see if there hath been such a thing. Hath a nation changed its gods, which yet are no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith Jehovah. For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Is Israel a servant? is he a home-born slave? why is he become a prey? The young lions have roared upon him, and yelled; and they have made his land waste: his cities are burned up, without inhabitant. The children also of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of thy head. Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken Jehovah thy God, when he led thee by the way? And now what hast thou to do in the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Shihor? or what hast thou to do in the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River? Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and a bitter, that thou hast forsaken Jehovah thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord, Jehovah of hosts. For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bonds; and thou saidst, I will not serve; for upon every high hill and under every green tree thou didst bow thyself, playing the harlot. Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine unto me? For though thou wash thee with lye, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord Jehovah. How canst thou say, I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways; a wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind in her desire; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her. Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst. But thou saidst, It is in vain; no, for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go. As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets; who say to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face; but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah. Wherefore will ye contend with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith Jehovah. In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. O generation, see ye the word of Jehovah. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? or a land of thick darkness? wherefore say my people, We are broken loose; we will come no more unto thee? Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number. How trimmest thou thy way to seek love! therefore even the wicked women hast thou taught thy ways. Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the innocent poor: thou didst not find them breaking in; but it is because of all these things. Yet thou saidst, I am innocent; surely his anger is turned away from me. Behold, I will enter into judgment with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned. Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou shalt be ashamed of Egypt also, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria. From thence also shalt thou go forth, with thy hands upon thy head: for Jehovah hath rejected those in whom thou trustest, and thou shalt not prosper with them.

Jeremiah 2:1-37 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I remember [earnestly] the lovingkindness and devotion of your youth, Your time of betrothal [like that of a bride during the early years in Egypt and again at Sinai], When you followed Me in the wilderness, Through a land not sown. Israel was holy [something set apart from ordinary purposes, consecrated] to the LORD, The first fruits of His harvest [in which no outsider was allowed to share]. All who ate of it [injuring Israel] became guilty; Evil came on them,” says the LORD.’ ” Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the LORD, “What injustice or unrighteousness did your fathers find in Me, That they have wandered far from Me And [habitually] walked after emptiness and futility and became empty? They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD Who brought us up from 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 deep darkness [of the shadow of death], Through a land that no man passed through And where no man lived?’ I brought you into a plentiful land To eat its fruit and [enjoy] its good things. But you came and defiled My land And you made My inheritance repulsive. [Even] the priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ And those who deal with the law [given to Moses] did not know Me. The rulers and shepherds also transgressed against Me, And the prophets prophesied by [the authority and in the name of] Baal And walked after [idolatrous] things that did not benefit [them]. “Therefore I will still contend (struggle) with you [by bringing judgment on you],” says the LORD, “And I will contend with your children’s children.” “For cross over to the coasts of Kittim (Cyprus) [to the west] and see, Send also to Kedar (Arabia) [to the east] and carefully observe and consider And see whether there has been such [a thing] as this! Has a nation [ever] changed gods Even though they were not gods [but merely man-made objects]? But My people have exchanged their Glory (the true God) For that [man-made idol] which does not benefit [them]. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; Be shocked and shudder with horror [at the behavior of the people],” says the LORD. “For My people have committed two evils: They have abandoned (rejected) Me, The fountain of living water, And they have carved out their own cisterns, Broken cisterns That cannot hold water. “Is Israel a servant? Is he a slave by birth? Why has he become a captive and a prey? The young lions have roared at him, They have made their voices heard and roared loudly. And they have made his land a waste; His cities have been destroyed and are burned ruins, without inhabitant. Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes [as powerful enemies] Have shaved the crown of your head [to degrade you]. Have you not brought this on yourself By abandoning (rejecting) the LORD your God When He led you in the way? Now what are you doing by going to Egypt [in search of an ally], To drink the [muddy] waters of the Nile? Or what are you doing by going to Assyria [in search of an ally], To drink the [muddy] waters of the Euphrates? Your own wickedness will discipline you, And your desertion of the faith will punish you. Know therefore that it is an evil and bitter thing For you to abandon (reject) the LORD your God, And for you to be indifferent to Me and dismiss the [reverent] fear of Me,” says the Lord GOD of hosts. “For long ago you broke your yoke [in deliberate disobedience] And tore off your bonds [of the law that I gave you]; You said, ‘I will not serve and obey You!’ For on every high hill And under every green tree You have lain down [in idolatrous worship] like a [compliant] prostitute. Yet I had planted you [O house of Israel as] a choice vine, A completely faithful seed. How then have you turned against Me Into degenerate shoots of a foreign and wild vine [alien to Me]? For though you wash yourself with lye And use much soap, The stain of your guilt is [still] before Me [and you are soiled and dirty],” says the Lord GOD. “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled, I have not gone after [man-made gods like] the Baals’? Look at your way in the valley; Know [without any doubt] what you have done! You are a swift and restless young [female] camel [in the heat of her passion] running here and there, Or [you have the untamed and reckless nature of] a wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness, That sniffs the wind in her passion [for the scent of a mate]. In her mating season who can restrain her? No males seeking her need to weary themselves; In her month they will find her [looking for them]. [Cease your mad running after idols to] Keep your feet from becoming bare And your throat from becoming dry; But you said, ‘It is hopeless! For I have loved strangers and foreign gods, And I will walk after them.’ “As the thief is shamed when he is caught, So the house of Israel is shamed— They, their kings, their leaders, Their priests, and their prophets— Who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ And to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ For they have turned their backs to Me, And not their faces; But in the time of their trouble they will say, ‘Arise [O LORD] and save us.’ But where are your gods Which you made for yourself? Let them get up, if they can save you In the time of your trouble! For [as many as] the number of your cities Are your gods, O Judah. [Why do not your many man-made idols run to help you?] “Why do you complain and contend with Me? You have all rebelled (transgressed) against Me,” says the LORD. “In vain I have punished your people [with the consequences of their disobedience]; They received no insight from correction [and refused to change]. Your [own] sword has devoured your prophets Like a destroying lion. O generation [that you are], consider and regard carefully the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel [like a land without food], A land of thick and deep darkness [like a path without light]? Why do My people say, ‘We [have broken loose and we] are free to roam [at will]; We will no longer come to You’? Can a virgin forget [to wear] her ornaments, Or a bride her attire [that identifies her as a married woman]? Yet My people have forgotten Me Days without number. How well you prepare your path To seek and obtain [adulterous] love! Even the most wicked of women Have learned [indecent] ways from you. Also on your skirts is found The lifeblood of the innocent poor; You did not find them breaking in [a house]. But in spite of all these things [your disobedience, your love of idolatry, your lack of compassion]— Yet you keep saying, ‘I am innocent; Surely His anger has turned away from me.’ Behold (listen very carefully), I will bring you to judgment and will plead my case against you Because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ Why do you go around and wander so much Changing your way? Also, you will be shamed by Egypt As you were shamed by Assyria. From Egypt also you will come away [as captives] With your hands on your head; For the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust (confide), And you will not be successful with them.”

Jeremiah 2:1-37 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holy to the LORD, the firstfruits of his harvest. All who ate of it incurred guilt; disaster came upon them, declares the LORD.” Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says the LORD: “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless? They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in 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?’ And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination. The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit. “Therefore I still contend with you, declares the LORD, and with your children’s children I will contend. For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see, or send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has been such a thing. Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. “Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become a prey? The lions have roared against him; they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant. Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have shaved the crown of your head. Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the LORD your God, when he led you in the way? And now what do you gain by going to Egypt to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates? Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the LORD your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord GOD of hosts. “For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, ‘I will not serve.’ Yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore. Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine? Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord GOD. How can you say, ‘I am not unclean, I have not gone after the Baals’? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done— a restless young camel running here and there, a 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. Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘It is hopeless, for I have loved foreigners, and after them I will go.’ “As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed: they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, 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 in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Arise and save us!’ But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah. “Why do you contend with me? You have all transgressed against me, declares the LORD. In vain have I struck your children; they took no correction; your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion. 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’? Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number. “How well you direct your course to seek love! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways. Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the guiltless poor; you did not find them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things you say, ‘I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.’ Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’ How much you go about, changing your way! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria. From it too you will come away with your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper by them.