Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus says the Lord: I remember the kindness and devotion of your youth, your love after your betrothal and marriage when you followed Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.
Israel was holiness to the Lord, the firstfruits of His harvest ; all who ate of it offended and became guilty; evil came upon 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 unrighteousness did your fathers find in Me, that they went far from Me and went after emptiness, falseness, and futility and themselves became fruitless and worthless?
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 pits, through a land of drought and of the shadow of death and deep darkness, through a land that no man passes through and where no man dwells?
And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and good things. But when you entered, you defiled My land and made My heritage an abomination .
the priests did not say, Where is the Lord? And those who handle the law knew Me not. The rulers and secular shepherds also transgressed against Me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and followed after things that do not profit.
Therefore I will still contend with you , says the Lord, and with your children's children will I contend.
For cross over to the coasts of Cyprus and see, send also to Kedar and carefully consider; and see whether there has been such a thing as this:
Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory for that which does not profit.
Be astonished and appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked and shrivel up with horror, says the Lord .
For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and they have hewn for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns which cannot hold water.
Is Israel a servant? Is he a homeborn slave? Why has he become a captive and a prey?
The young lions have roared over him and made their voices heard. And they have made his land a waste; his cities are burned ruins without inhabitant.
Moreover, the children of Memphis and Tahpanhes (Egypt) have broken and fed on the crown of your head --so do not rely on them as an ally now.
Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the Lord your God when He led you in the way?
And now what have you to gain by allying yourself with Egypt and going her way, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what have you to gain in going the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
Your own wickedness shall chasten and correct you, and your backslidings and desertion of faith shall reprove you. Know therefore and recognize that this is an evil and bitter thing: you have forsaken the Lord your God; you are indifferent to Me and the fear of Me is not in you, says the Lord of hosts.
For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds Another translation of the previous statement.and long ago you shattered the yoke and snapped the bonds ; you said, I will not serve and obey You! For upon every high hill and under every green tree you prostrated yourself , playing the harlot.
Yet I had planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned into degenerate shoots of wild vine alien to Me?
For though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, yet your iniquity and guilt are still spotted, dirty, and stained before Me, says the Lord.
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 restive young female camel running hither and thither,
Or a wild donkey used to the desert, in her heat sniffing the wind . In her mating season who can restrain her? No males seeking her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her .
Keep your feet from being unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, It is hopeless! For I have loved strangers and foreigners, and after them I will go.
As the thief is brought to shame when he is caught, so shall the house of Israel be brought to shame--they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets--
they 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 say, Arise and save us!
But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise if they can save you in the time of your trouble! For the number of your cities are your gods, O Judah.
Why do you complain and remonstrate against My wrath? You all have rebelled and revolted against Me, says the Lord.
In vain have I stricken your children (your people); they received no discipline (no correction). Your own sword devoured your prophets like a destroying lion.
O generation ! Behold, consider, and regard the word of the Lord: Have I been a wilderness to Israel ? A land of deep darkness ? Why do My people say, We have broken loose ; we will come no more to You?
Can a maid forget and neglect her ornaments, or a bride her girdle ? Yet My people have forgotten Me, days without number.
How you deck yourself and direct your way to procure love! Because of it even wicked women have learned ways from you.
Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the persons of the innocent poor; you did not find them housebreaking, nor have I found it out by secret search. But it is because of all these things--
Yet you keep saying, I am innocent; surely His anger has turned away from Me. Behold, I will bring you to judgment and will plead against you because you say, I have not sinned.
Why do you gad or wander about so much to change your way? You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria.
From also you will come away with your hands upon your head, for the Lord has rejected those in whom you confide, and you will not prosper with them.
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