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The Blue Letter Bible

Jeremiah 2 :: New Living Translation (NLT)

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The LORD’s Case against His People
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:1 - The LORD gave me another message. He said,
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:2 - “Go and shout this message to Jerusalem. This is what the LORD says:
“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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:3 - In those days Israel was holy to the LORD,
the first of his children.[fn]
All who harmed his people were declared guilty,
and disaster fell on them.
I, the LORD, have spoken!”
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:4 - Listen to the word of the LORD, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel!
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:5 - This is what the LORD says:
“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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:6 - They did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD
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?’
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:7 - “And when I brought you into a fruitful land
to enjoy its bounty and goodness,
you defiled my land and
corrupted the possession I had promised you.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:8 - The priests did not ask,
‘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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:9 - Therefore, I will bring my case against you,”
says the LORD.
“I will even bring charges against your children’s children
in the years to come.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:10 - “Go west and look in the land of Cyprus[fn];
go east and search through the land of Kedar.
Has anyone ever heard of anything
as strange as this?
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:11 - Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones,
even though they are not gods at all?
Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God[fn]
for worthless idols!
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:12 - The heavens are shocked at such a thing
and shrink back in horror and dismay,”
says the LORD.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:13 - “For my people have done two evil things:
They have abandoned me—
the fountain of living water.
And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns
that can hold no water at all!
The Results of Israel’s Sin
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:14 - “Why has Israel become a slave?
Why has he been carried away as plunder?
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:15 - Strong lions have roared against him,
and the land has been destroyed.
The towns are now in ruins,
and no one lives in them anymore.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:16 - Egyptians, marching from their cities of Memphis[fn] and Tahpanhes,
have destroyed Israel’s glory and power.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:17 - And you have brought this upon yourselves
by rebelling against the LORD your God,
even though he was leading you on the way!
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:18 - “What have you gained by your alliances with Egypt
and your covenants with Assyria?
What good to you are the streams of the Nile[fn]
or the waters of the Euphrates River?[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:19 - Your wickedness will bring its own punishment.
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!
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:20 - “Long ago I broke the yoke that oppressed you
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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:21 - But I was the one who planted you,
choosing a vine of the purest stock—the very best.
How did you grow into this corrupt wild vine?
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:22 - No amount of soap or lye can make you clean.
I still see the stain of your guilt.
I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!
Israel, an Unfaithful Wife
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:23 - “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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:24 - You are like a wild donkey,
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!
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:25 - When will you stop running?
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!’
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:26 - “Israel is like a thief
who feels shame only when he gets caught.
They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets—
all are alike in this.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:27 - To an image carved from a piece of wood they say,
‘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!’
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:28 - But why not call on these gods you have made?
When trouble comes, let them save you if they can!
For you have as many gods
as there are towns in Judah.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:29 - Why do you accuse me of doing wrong?
You are the ones who have rebelled,”
says the LORD.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:30 - “I have punished your children,
but they did not respond to my discipline.
You yourselves have killed your prophets
as a lion kills its prey.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:31 - “O my people, listen to the words of the LORD!
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!’
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:32 - Does a young woman forget her jewelry?
Does a bride hide her wedding dress?
Yet for years on end
my people have forgotten me.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:33 - “How you plot and scheme to win your lovers.
Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you!
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:34 - Your clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor,
though you didn’t catch them breaking into your houses!
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:35 - And yet you say,
‘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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:36 - First here, then there—
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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJer 2:37 - In despair, you will be led into exile
with your hands on your heads,
for the LORD has rejected the nations you trust.
They will not help you at all.
NLT Footnotes
Hebrew the firstfruits of his harvest.
Hebrew Kittim.
Hebrew their glory.
Hebrew Noph.
Hebrew of Shihor, a branch of the Nile River.
Hebrew the river?

Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Full copyright information is provided here. Visit the New Living Translation website.

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