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Jeremiah 2:20–36

20 “For long ago you broke your yoke

and burst your bonds;

and you said, ‘I will not serve.’

Yea, upon every high hill

and under every green tree

you bowed down as a harlot.

21 Yet I planted you a choice vine,

wholly of pure seed.

How then have you turned degenerate

and become a wild vine?

22 Though you wash yourself with lye

and use much soap,

the stain of your guilt is still before me,

says the Lord God.

23 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—

a restive young camel interlacing her tracks,

24 a wild ass 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.

25 Keep your feet from going unshod

and your throat from thirst.

But you said, ‘It is hopeless,

for I have loved strangers,

and after them I will go.’

26 “As a thief is shamed when caught,

so the house of Israel shall be shamed:

they, their kings, their princes,

their priests, and their prophets,

27 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!’

28 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.

29 “Why do you complain against me?

You have all rebelled against me,

says the Lord.

30 In vain have I smitten your children,

they took no correction;

your own sword devoured your prophets

like a ravening lion.

31 And you, O generation, heed 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 thee’?

32 Can a maiden forget her ornaments,

or a bride her attire?

Yet my people have forgotten me

days without number.

33 “How well you direct your course

to seek lovers!

So that even to wicked women

you have taught your ways.

34 Also on your skirts is found

the lifeblood of guiltless poor;

you did not find them breaking in.

Yet in spite of all these things

35 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.’

36 How lightly you gad about,

changing your way!

You shall be put to shame by Egypt

as you were put to shame by Assyria.

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