2. “Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothals, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.
3. Israel was holiness to the LORD, and the firstfruits of His increase. All that devour him shall be held guilty; evil shall come on them,” says the LORD.’ ”
4. Hear the Word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel.
5. Thus says the LORD, “What injustice have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me and have walked after vanity, and have become vain?
6. Nor did they 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 dry places, and of deep darkness, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man lived?’
7. And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat its fruit and its goodness; but when you entered, you defiled My land and made My inheritance an abomination.
8. The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ And they who handle the law did not know Me; the rulers also rebelled against Me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that do not profit.
9. Therefore I will contend with you,” says the LORD, “and against your children’s children I will contend.
10. For pass over the coasts of Kittim, and see; and send to Kedar, and carefully consider, and see if there has ever been such a thing as this.
11. Has a nation changed their gods who are yet no gods? But My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.
12. Be amazed, O heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be utterly desolated,” says the LORD,
13. “For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
14. Is Israel a servant? Or is he a servant of the house? Why has he become a prey?
15. The young lions roared against him; they gave their voice. And they made his land a waste; his cities are burned without inhabitant.
16. Also the sons of Noph and Tahpanhes have shaved the crown of your head.
17. Have you not brought this on yourself, in that you have forsaken the LORD your God, when He led you by the way?
18. And now what profit is there in going the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? Or what have you to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the River?
19. Your own evil shall correct you, and your backslidings shall reprove you; therefore know 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 GOD of hosts.
20. “For of old time you broke your yoke and tore up your bonds; and you said, ‘I will not serve,’ yea, upon every high hill and under every green tree you lay down like a harlot.
21. Yet I planted you a noble vine, wholly a true seed. How then have you turned into the degenerate shoots of an alien vine to Me?
22. For though you wash yourself with potash, and multiply soap for yourself, yet your iniquity is marked before Me,” declares the Lord GOD.
23. “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled; I have not gone after the Baalim’? See your way in the valley, know what you have done! You are a swift camel traversing its ways;
24. A wild donkey used to the wilderness; in the desire of her passion she snuffs at the wind; in her time of mating who can turn her away? All those who seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they will find her.
25. Withhold your foot from being unshod, and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘There is no hope; no; for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go.’
26. As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their rulers, and their priests, and their prophets;
27. Saying 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!’
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 according to the number of your cities are your gods, O Judah.
29. Why will you contend with Me? You all have sinned against Me,” says the LORD.
30. “In vain I have stricken your children; they received no correction. Your own sword has devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.
31. O generation, see the Word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We roam freely; we will come no more to You’?
32. Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.
33. How you carefully plan your way to seek love. Therefore, even the wicked women you have taught your ways.
34. Also in your skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents; though you did not catch them breaking in.
35. Yet, in spite of all these things you say, ‘Because I am innocent, surely His anger shall turn from me.’ Behold, I will pass judgment on you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
36. Why do you go about so much to change your way? You also shall be ashamed of Egypt, as you were ashamed of Assyria.
37. Yes, you shall go out from this place , with your 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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