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Jeremiah 2 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Israel Accused of Apostasy

The word of the Lord came to me: “Go and announce directly to Jerusalem that this is what the Lord says:

I remember the loyalty 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 found themselves guilty;
disaster came on them.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Hear the word of the Lord, house of Jacob
and all families of the house of Israel.
This is what the Lord says:
What fault did your ancestors find in me
that they went so far from me,
followed worthless idols,
and became worthless themselves?
They stopped asking, “Where is the Lord
who brought us from the land of Egypt,
who led us through the wilderness,
through a land of deserts and ravines,
through a land of drought and darkness,[a]
a land no one traveled through
and where no one lived?”
I brought you to a fertile land
to eat its fruit and bounty,
but after you entered, you defiled my land;
you made my inheritance detestable.
The priests quit asking, “Where is the Lord?”
The experts in the law no longer knew me,
and the rulers rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by[b] Baal
and followed useless idols.

Therefore, I will bring a case against you again.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
I will bring a case against your children’s children.
10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus[c] and take a look.
Send someone to Kedar and consider carefully;
see if there has ever been anything like this:
11 Has a nation ever exchanged its gods?
(But they were not gods!)
Yet my people have exchanged their[d] Glory
for useless idols.
12 Be appalled at this, heavens;
be shocked and utterly desolated!
This is the Lord’s declaration.

13 For my people have committed a double evil:
They have abandoned me,
the fountain of living water,
and dug cisterns for themselves—
cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.

Consequences of Apostasy

14 Is Israel a slave?
Was he born into slavery?[e]
Why else has he become a prey?
15 The young lions have roared at him;
they have roared loudly.
They have laid waste his land.
His cities are in ruins, without inhabitants.
16 The men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
have also broken your skull.
17 Have you not brought this on yourself
by abandoning the Lord your God
while he was leading you along the way?
18 Now what will you gain
by traveling along the way to Egypt
to drink the water of the Nile?[f]
What will you gain
by traveling along the way to Assyria
to drink the water of the Euphrates?
19 Your own evil will discipline you;
your own apostasies will reprimand you.
Recognize[g] how evil and bitter it is
for you to abandon the Lord your God
and to have no fear of me.
This is the declaration of the Lord God of Armies.

20 For long ago I[h] broke your yoke;
I[i] tore off your chains.
You insisted, “I will not serve!”
On every high hill
and under every green tree
you lay down like a prostitute.

21 I planted you, a choice vine
from the very best seed.
How then could you turn into
a degenerate, foreign vine?

22 Even if you wash with lye
and use a great amount of bleach,[j]
the stain of your iniquity is still in front of me.
This is the Lord God’s declaration.
23 How can you protest, “I am not defiled;
I have not followed the Baals”?
Look at your behavior in the valley;
acknowledge what you have done.
You are a swift young camel
twisting and turning on her way,
24 a wild donkey at home[k] in the wilderness.
She sniffs the wind in the heat of her desire.
Who can control her passion?
All who look for her will not become weary;
they will find her in her mating season.[l]
25 Keep your feet from going bare
and your throat from thirst.
But you say, “It’s hopeless;
I love strangers,
and I will continue to follow them.”

26 Like the shame of a thief when he is caught,
so the house of Israel has been put to shame.
They, their kings, their officials,
their priests, and their prophets
27 say to a tree, “You are my father,”
and to a stone, “You gave birth to me.”
For they have turned their back to me
and not their face,
yet in their time of disaster they beg,
“Rise up and save us!”
28 But where are your gods you made for yourself?
Let them rise up and save you
in your time of disaster if they can,
for your gods are as numerous as your cities, Judah.

Judgment Deserved

29 Why do you bring a case against me?
All of you have rebelled against me.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
30 I have struck down your children in vain;
they would not accept discipline.
Your own sword has devoured your prophets
like a ravaging lion.
31 Evil generation,
pay attention to the word of the Lord!
Have I been a wilderness to Israel
or a land of dense darkness?
Why do my people claim,
“We will go where we want;[m]
we will no longer come to you”?
32 Can a young woman forget her jewelry
or a bride her wedding sash?
Yet my people have forgotten me
for countless days.
33 How skillfully you pursue love;
you also teach evil women your ways.
34 Moreover, your skirts are stained
with the blood of the innocent poor.
You did not catch them breaking and entering.
But in spite of all these things
35 you claim, “I am innocent.
His anger is sure to turn away from me.”
But I will certainly judge you
because you have said, “I have not sinned.”
36 How unstable you are,
constantly changing your ways!
You will be put to shame by Egypt
just as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37 Moreover, you will be led out from here
with your hands on your head
since the Lord has rejected those you trust;
you will not succeed even with their help.[n]

Footnotes:

  1. 2:6 Or shadow of death
  2. 2:8 = in the name of
  3. 2:10 Lit to the islands of Kittim
  4. 2:11 Alt Hb tradition reads my
  5. 2:14 Lit born of a house
  6. 2:18 Lit of Shihor
  7. 2:19 Lit Know and see
  8. 2:20 LXX reads you
  9. 2:20 LXX reads you
  10. 2:22 Lit cleansing agent
  11. 2:24 Lit donkey taught
  12. 2:24 Lit her month
  13. 2:31 Or “We have taken control, or “We can roam
  14. 2:37 Lit with them
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Jeremiah 2 New International Version (NIV)

Israel Forsakes God

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.
10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus and look,
    send to Kedar[a] and observe closely;
    see if there has ever been anything like this:
11 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.
12 Be appalled at this, you heavens,
    and shudder with great horror,”
declares the Lord.
13 “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.
14 Is Israel a servant, a slave by birth?
    Why then has he become plunder?
15 Lions have roared;
    they have growled at him.
They have laid waste his land;
    his towns are burned and deserted.
16 Also, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
    have cracked your skull.
17 Have you not brought this on yourselves
    by forsaking the Lord your God
    when he led you in the way?
18 Now why go to Egypt
    to drink water from the Nile[b]?
And why go to Assyria
    to drink water from the Euphrates?
19 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.

20 “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.
21 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?
22 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.
23 “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,
24 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.
25 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.’

26 “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.
27 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!’
28 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.

29 “Why do you bring charges against me?
    You have all rebelled against me,”
declares the Lord.
30 “In vain I punished your people;
    they did not respond to correction.
Your sword has devoured your prophets
    like a ravenous lion.

31 “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’?
32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry,
    a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten me,
    days without number.
33 How skilled you are at pursuing love!
    Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.
34 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
35     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.’
36 Why do you go about so much,
    changing your ways?
You will be disappointed by Egypt
    as you were by Assyria.
37 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 2:10 In the Syro-Arabian desert
  2. Jeremiah 2:18 Hebrew Shihor; that is, a branch of the Nile
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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