“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.
the first of his children.*
All who harmed his people were declared guilty,
and disaster fell on them.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
“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.
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?’
to enjoy its bounty and goodness,
you defiled my land and
corrupted the possession I had promised you.
‘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.
says the Lord.
“I will even bring charges against your children’s children
in the years to come.
10 “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?
even though they are not gods at all?
Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God*
for worthless idols!
and shrink back in horror and dismay,”
says the Lord.
They have abandoned me—
the fountain of living water.
And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns
that can hold no water at all!
14 “Why has Israel become a slave?
Why has he been carried away as plunder?
and the land has been destroyed.
The towns are now in ruins,
and no one lives in them anymore.
16 Egyptians, marching from their cities of Memphis* and Tahpanhes,
have destroyed Israel’s glory and power.
by rebelling against the Lord your God,
even though he was leading you on the way!
and your covenants with Assyria?
What good to you are the streams of the Nile*
or the waters of the Euphrates River?*
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!
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.
choosing a vine of the purest stock—the very best.
How did you grow into this corrupt wild vine?
I still see the stain of your guilt.
I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
23 “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.
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 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!’
who feels shame only when he gets caught.
They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets—
all are alike in this.
‘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!’
When trouble comes, let them save you if they can!
For you have as many gods
as there are towns in Judah.
You are the ones who have rebelled,”
says the Lord.
but they did not respond to my discipline.
You yourselves have killed your prophets
as a lion kills its prey.
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!’
or a bride her wedding dress?
Yet for years on end
my people have forgotten me.
Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you!
though you didn’t catch them breaking into your houses!
‘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.
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.
with your hands on your heads,
for the Lord has rejected the nations you trust.
They will not help you at all.
2:3 Hebrew the firstfruits of his harvest.
2:10 Hebrew Kittim.
2:11 Hebrew their glory.
2:16 Hebrew Noph.
2:18a Hebrew of Shihor, a branch of the Nile River.
2:18b Hebrew the river?