Friday, June 28, 2013

Jeremiah 6-8 | Consequences of Idolatry - Steve Gregg




Steve teaches through a depressing time in the history of Judah. Chapters 6-8 continue with God's prophecy of judgment on Judah and Jerusalem via the great armies of the Babylonians. But God gives them a chance to repent of their idol worship, adultery, child sacrifice and other murder.

MP3 files of this lecture series are free to download here.

Jeremiah 6 

 

New King James Version (NKJV)

Impending Destruction from the North

 

“O you children of Benjamin,
Gather yourselves to flee from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
And set up a signal-fire in Beth Haccerem;
For disaster appears out of the north,
And great destruction.
I have likened the daughter of Zion
To a lovely and delicate woman.
The shepherds with their flocks shall come to her.
They shall pitch their tents against her all around.
Each one shall pasture in his own place.”

“Prepare war against her;
Arise, and let us go up at noon.
Woe to us, for the day goes away,
For the shadows of the evening are lengthening.
Arise, and let us go by night,
And let us destroy her palaces.”
For thus has the Lord of hosts said:
“Cut down trees,
And build a mound against Jerusalem.
This is the city to be punished.
She is full of oppression in her midst.
As a fountain wells up with water,
So she wells up with her wickedness.
Violence and plundering are heard in her.
Before Me continually are grief and wounds.
Be instructed, O Jerusalem,
Lest My soul depart from you;
Lest I make you desolate,
A land not inhabited.”
Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“They shall thoroughly glean as a vine the remnant of Israel;
As a grape-gatherer, put your hand back into the branches.”

10 To whom shall I speak and give warning,
That they may hear?
Indeed their ear is uncircumcised,
And they cannot give heed.
Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord.
I am weary of holding it in.
“I will pour it out on the children outside,
And on the assembly of young men together;
For even the husband shall be taken with the wife,
The aged with him who is full of days.
12 And their houses shall be turned over to others,
Fields and wives together;
For I will stretch out My hand
Against the inhabitants of the land,” says the Lord.
13 “Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is given to covetousness;
And from the prophet even to the priest,
Everyone deals falsely.
14 They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed;
Nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time I punish them,
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.
16 Thus says the Lord:
“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.
17 Also, I set watchmen over you, saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
18 Therefore hear, you nations,
And know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 Hear, O earth!
Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people—
The fruit of their thoughts,
Because they have not heeded My words
Nor My law, but rejected it.
20 For what purpose to Me
Comes frankincense from Sheba,
And sweet cane from a far country?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
Nor your sacrifices sweet to Me.”
21 Therefore thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people,
And the fathers and the sons together shall fall on them.
The neighbor and his friend shall perish.”
22 Thus says the Lord:
“Behold, a people comes from the north country,
And a great nation will be raised from the farthest parts of the earth.
23 They will lay hold on bow and spear;
They are cruel and have no mercy;
Their voice roars like the sea;
And they ride on horses,
As men of war set in array against you, O daughter of Zion.”

24 We have heard the report of it;
Our hands grow feeble.
Anguish has taken hold of us,
Pain as of a woman in labor.
25 Do not go out into the field,
Nor walk by the way.
Because of the sword of the enemy,
Fear is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people,
Dress in sackcloth
And roll about in ashes!
Make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation;
For the plunderer will suddenly come upon us.

27 “I have set you as an assayer and a fortress among My people,
That you may know and test their way.
28 They are all stubborn rebels, walking as slanderers.
They are bronze and iron,
They are all corrupters;
29 The bellows blow fiercely,
The lead is consumed by the fire;
The smelter refines in vain,
For the wicked are not drawn off.
30 People will call them rejected silver,
Because the Lord has rejected them.”

Jeremiah 7 

 

New King James Version (NKJV)

Trusting in Lying Words

 

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!’” Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’

“For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever.

“Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, 10 and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’? 11 Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says the Lord.

12 “But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these works,” says the Lord, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren—the whole posterity of Ephraim.

16 “Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. 19 Do they provoke Me to anger?” says the Lord. “Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces?”

20 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, My anger and My fury will be poured out on this place—on man and on beast, on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground. And it will burn and not be quenched.”

21 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat meat. 22 For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. 23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. 26 Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.

27 “Therefore you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you.

Judgment on Obscene Religion

28 “So you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth. 29 Cut off your hair and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on the desolate heights; for the Lord has rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath.’ 30 For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight,” says the Lord. “They have set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to pollute it. 31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.

32 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when it will no more be called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Tophet until there is no room. 33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. And no one will frighten them away. 34 Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. For the land shall be desolate.

Jeremiah 8 

 

New King James Version (NKJV)

“At that time,” says the Lord, “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves. They shall spread them before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served and after which they have walked, which they have sought and which they have worshiped. They shall not be gathered nor buried; they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. Then death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of those who remain of this evil family, who remain in all the places where I have driven them,” says the Lord of hosts.

The Peril of False Teaching

“Moreover you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord:
“Will they fall and not rise?
Will one turn away and not return?
Why has this people slidden back,
Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding?
They hold fast to deceit,
They refuse to return.
I listened and heard,
But they do not speak aright.
No man repented of his wickedness,
Saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turned to his own course,
As the horse rushes into the battle.

“Even the stork in the heavens
Knows her appointed times;
And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow
Observe the time of their coming.
But My people do not know the judgment of the Lord.

“How can you say, ‘We are wise,
And the law of the Lord is with us’?
Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.
The wise men are ashamed,
They are dismayed and taken.
Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord;
So what wisdom do they have?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to others,
And their fields to those who will inherit them;
Because from the least even to the greatest
Everyone is given to covetousness;
From the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace.
12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed,
Nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
In the time of their punishment
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.

13 “I will surely consume them,” says the Lord.
“No grapes shall be on the vine,
Nor figs on the fig tree,
And the leaf shall fade;
And the things I have given them shall pass away from them.”’”

14 “Why do we sit still?
Assemble yourselves,
And let us enter the fortified cities,
And let us be silent there.
For the Lord our God has put us to silence
And given us water of gall to drink,
Because we have sinned against the Lord.

15 We looked for peace, but no good came;
And for a time of health, and there was trouble!
16 The snorting of His horses was heard from Dan.
The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of His strong ones;
For they have come and devoured the land and all that is in it,
The city and those who dwell in it.”

17 “For behold, I will send serpents among you,
Vipers which cannot be charmed,
And they shall bite you,” says the Lord.

The Prophet Mourns for the People

18 I would comfort myself in sorrow;
My heart is faint in me.
19 Listen! The voice,
The cry of the daughter of my people
From a far country:
Is not the Lord in Zion?
Is not her King in her?”

“Why have they provoked Me to anger
With their carved images—
With foreign idols?”

20 “The harvest is past,
The summer is ended,
And we are not saved!”

21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt.
I am mourning;
Astonishment has taken hold of me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead,
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
For the health of the daughter of my people?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jeremiah 4-5 | Jerusalem to be Destroyed by Babylonians | Steve Gregg



Steve Gregg teaches on the impending holocaust that would come upon the Jews in 587 BC. God warned the Israelites for centuries, and now God was going to bring judgment on them through the Babylonians for their idolatry/adultery, etc.

The audio for chapters 4-5 is here.

Jeremiah 4

New King James Version (NKJV)
“If you will return, O Israel,” says the Lord,
“Return to Me;
And if you will put away your abominations out of My sight,
Then you shall not be moved.
And you shall swear, ‘The Lord lives,’
In truth, in judgment, and in righteousness;
The nations shall bless themselves in Him,
And in Him they shall glory.”
For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Break up your fallow ground,
And do not sow among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
And take away the foreskins of your hearts,
You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Lest My fury come forth like fire,
And burn so that no one can quench it,
Because of the evil of your doings.”

An Imminent Invasion

Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:
“Blow the trumpet in the land;
Cry, ‘Gather together,’
And say, ‘Assemble yourselves,
And let us go into the fortified cities.’
Set up the standard toward Zion.
Take refuge! Do not delay!
For I will bring disaster from the north,
And great destruction.”
The lion has come up from his thicket,
And the destroyer of nations is on his way.
He has gone forth from his place
To make your land desolate.
Your cities will be laid waste,
Without inhabitant.
For this, clothe yourself with sackcloth,
Lament and wail.
For the fierce anger of the Lord
Has not turned back from us.
“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord,
That the heart of the king shall perish,
And the heart of the princes;
The priests shall be astonished,
And the prophets shall wonder.”

10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God!
Surely You have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem,
Saying, ‘You shall have peace,’
Whereas the sword reaches to the heart.”

11 At that time it will be said
To this people and to Jerusalem,
“A dry wind of the desolate heights blows in the wilderness
Toward the daughter of My people—
Not to fan or to cleanse—
12 A wind too strong for these will come for Me;
Now I will also speak judgment against them.”

13 “Behold, he shall come up like clouds,
And his chariots like a whirlwind.
His horses are swifter than eagles.
Woe to us, for we are plundered!”

14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness,
That you may be saved.
How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?
15 For a voice declares from Dan
And proclaims affliction from Mount Ephraim:
16 “Make mention to the nations,
Yes, proclaim against Jerusalem,
That watchers come from a far country
And raise their voice against the cities of Judah.
17 Like keepers of a field they are against her all around,
Because she has been rebellious against Me,” says the Lord.
18 “Your ways and your doings
Have procured these things for you.
This is your wickedness,
Because it is bitter,
Because it reaches to your heart.”

Sorrow for the Doomed Nation

19 O my soul, my soul!
I am pained in my very heart!
My heart makes a noise in me;
I cannot hold my peace,
Because you have heard, O my soul,
The sound of the trumpet,
The alarm of war.
20 Destruction upon destruction is cried,
For the whole land is plundered.
Suddenly my tents are plundered,
And my curtains in a moment.
21 How long will I see the standard,
And hear the sound of the trumpet?

22 “For My people are foolish,
They have not known Me.
They are silly children,
And they have no understanding.
They are wise to do evil,
But to do good they have no knowledge.”

23 I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void;
And the heavens, they had no light.
24 I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled,
And all the hills moved back and forth.
25 I beheld, and indeed there was no man,
And all the birds of the heavens had fled.
26 I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness,
And all its cities were broken down
At the presence of the Lord,
By His fierce anger.
27 For thus says the Lord:
“The whole land shall be desolate;
Yet I will not make a full end.
28 For this shall the earth mourn,
And the heavens above be black,
Because I have spoken.
I have purposed and will not relent,
Nor will I turn back from it.
29 The whole city shall flee from the noise of the horsemen and bowmen.
They shall go into thickets and climb up on the rocks.
Every city shall be forsaken,
And not a man shall dwell in it.

30 “And when you are plundered,
What will you do?
Though you clothe yourself with crimson,
Though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,
Though you enlarge your eyes with paint,
In vain you will make yourself fair;
Your lovers will despise you;
They will seek your life.

31 “For I have heard a voice as of a woman in labor,
The anguish as of her who brings forth her first child,
The voice of the daughter of Zion bewailing herself;
She spreads her hands, saying,
‘Woe is me now, for my soul is weary
Because of murderers!’

Jeremiah 5


New King James Version (NKJV)

The Justice of God’s Judgment

“Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem;
See now and know;
And seek in her open places
If you can find a man,
If there is anyone who executes judgment,
Who seeks the truth,
And I will pardon her.
Though they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’
Surely they swear falsely.”

O Lord, are not Your eyes on the truth?
You have stricken them,
But they have not grieved;
You have consumed them,
But they have refused to receive correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
They have refused to return.

Therefore I said, “Surely these are poor.
They are foolish;
For they do not know the way of the Lord,
The judgment of their God.
I will go to the great men and speak to them,
For they have known the way of the Lord,
The judgment of their God.”
But these have altogether broken the yoke
And burst the bonds.

Therefore a lion from the forest shall slay them,
A wolf of the deserts shall destroy them;
A leopard will watch over their cities.
Everyone who goes out from there shall be torn in pieces,
Because their transgressions are many;
Their backslidings have increased.

“How shall I pardon you for this?
Your children have forsaken Me
And sworn by those that are not gods.
When I had fed them to the full,
Then they committed adultery
And assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.
They were like well-fed lusty stallions;
Every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife.
Shall I not punish them for these things?” says the Lord.
“And shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?

10 “Go up on her walls and destroy,
But do not make a complete end.
Take away her branches,
For they are not the Lord’s.
11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
Have dealt very treacherously with Me,” says the Lord.

12 They have lied about the Lord,
And said, “It is not He.
Neither will evil come upon us,
Nor shall we see sword or famine.
13 And the prophets become wind,
For the word is not in them.
Thus shall it be done to them.”
14 Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts:
“Because you speak this word,
Behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire,
And this people wood,
And it shall devour them.
15 Behold, I will bring a nation against you from afar,
O house of Israel,” says the Lord.
“It is a mighty nation,
It is an ancient nation,
A nation whose language you do not know,
Nor can you understand what they say.
16 Their quiver is like an open tomb;
They are all mighty men.
17 And they shall eat up your harvest and your bread,
Which your sons and daughters should eat.
They shall eat up your flocks and your herds;
They shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;
They shall destroy your fortified cities,
In which you trust, with the sword.
18 “Nevertheless in those days,” says the Lord, “I will not make a complete end of you. 19 And it will be when you say, ‘Why does the Lord our God do all these things to us?’ then you shall answer them, ‘Just as you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve aliens in a land that is not yours.’

20 “Declare this in the house of Jacob
And proclaim it in Judah, saying,
21 ‘Hear this now, O foolish people,
Without understanding,
Who have eyes and see not,
And who have ears and hear not:
22 Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord.
‘Will you not tremble at My presence,
Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea,
By a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it?
And though its waves toss to and fro,
Yet they cannot prevail;
Though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.
23 But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart;
They have revolted and departed.
24 They do not say in their heart,
“Let us now fear the Lord our God,
Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season.
He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25 Your iniquities have turned these things away,
And your sins have withheld good from you.

26 ‘For among My people are found wicked men;
They lie in wait as one who sets snares;
They set a trap;
They catch men.
27 As a cage is full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit.
Therefore they have become great and grown rich.
28 They have grown fat, they are sleek;
Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the fatherless;
Yet they prosper,
And the right of the needy they do not defend.
29 Shall I not punish them for these things?’ says the Lord.
‘Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?’

30 “An astonishing and horrible thing
Has been committed in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule by their own power;
And My people love to have it so.
But what will you do in the end?

New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Jeremiah 1-3 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you" | Steve Gregg



Steve Gregg begins the text of Jeremiah, covering chapters 1-3. The section of scripture contains the calling of Jeremiah before he was born. The Lord knew him before and while he was still in the womb, and sanctified him while he was in the womb, biblically proving the personhood of unborn babies and showing that God knows the future. But does it mean God chose him for salvation before he was born? Jeremiah is called to be a prophet and he rebukes Israel in chapter 2 and calls them to repentance during the days of King Josiah in chapter 3.

The Book of

JEREMIAH


Chapter 1

1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.

The Prophet Is Called

4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
 
6 Then said I:

“Ah, Lord God!
Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”
 
7 But the Lord said to me:

“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:

“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms,
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down,
To build and to plant.”


11 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?”
And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.”

12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”

13 And the word of the Lord came to me the second time, saying, “What do you see?”
And I said, “I see a boiling pot, and it is facing away from the north.”

14 Then the Lord said to me:

“Out of the north calamity shall break forth
On all the inhabitants of the land.
15 For behold, I am calling
All the families of the kingdoms of the north,” says the Lord;
“They shall come and each one set his throne
At the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem,
Against all its walls all around,
And against all the cities of Judah.
16 I will utter My judgments
Against them concerning all their wickedness,
Because they have forsaken Me,
Burned incense to other gods,
And worshiped the works of their own hands.
17 “Therefore prepare yourself and arise,
And speak to them all that I command you.
Do not be dismayed before their faces,
Lest I dismay you before them.
18 For behold, I have made you this day
A fortified city and an iron pillar,
And bronze walls against the whole land—
Against the kings of Judah,
Against its princes,
Against its priests,
And against the people of the land.
19 They will fight against you,
But they shall not prevail against you.
For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you.”


Chapter 2

God's Case Against Israel

1 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord:

“I remember you,
The kindness of your youth,
The love of your betrothal,
When you went after Me in the wilderness,
In a land not sown.
3 Israel was holiness to the Lord,
The firstfruits of His increase.
All that devour him will offend;
Disaster will come upon 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,
Have followed idols,
And have become idolaters?
6 Neither 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 the shadow of death,
Through a land that no one crossed
And where no one dwelt?’
7 I brought you into a bountiful country,
To eat its fruit and its goodness.
But when you entered, you defiled My land
And made My heritage an abomination.
8 The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’
And those who handle the law did not know Me;
The rulers also transgressed against Me;
The prophets prophesied by Baal,
And walked after things that do not profit.
9 “Therefore I will yet bring charges against you,” says the Lord,
“And against your children's children I will bring charges.
10 For pass beyond the coasts of Cyprusa and see,
Send to Kedarb and consider diligently,
And see if there has been such a thing.
11 Has a nation changed its gods,
Which are not gods?
But My people have changed their Glory
For what does not profit.
12 Be astonished, O heavens, at this,
And be horribly afraid;
Be very desolate,” says the Lord.
13 “For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.
14 Is Israel a servant?
Is he a homeborn slave?
Why is he plundered?
15 The young lions roared at him, and growled;
They made his land waste;
His cities are burned, without inhabitant.
16 Also the people of Nophc and Tahpanhes
Have broken 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 in the way?
18 And now why take the road to Egypt,
To drink the waters of Sihor?
Or why take the road to Assyria,
To drink the waters of the River?d
19 Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your backslidings will rebuke you.
Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing
That you have forsaken the Lord your God,
And the fear of Me is not in you,”
Says the Lord God of hosts.
20 “For of old I have broken your yoke and burst your bonds;
And you said, ‘I will not transgress,’
When on every high hill and under every green tree
You lay down, playing the harlot.
21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality.
How then have you turned before Me
Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?
22 For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap,
Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,” says the Lord God.
23 “How can you say, ‘I am not polluted,
I have not gone after the Baals’?
See your way in the valley;
Know what you have done:
You are a swift dromedary breaking loose in her ways,
24 A wild donkey used to the wilderness,
That sniffs at the wind in her desire;
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 aliens, and after them I will go.’
26 “As the thief is ashamed when he is found out,
So is the house of Israel ashamed;
They and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets,
27 Saying to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
And to a stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’
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 plead with Me?
You all have transgressed against Me,” says the Lord.
30 “In vain I have chastened your children;
They received no correction.
Your 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 darkness?
Why do My people say, ‘We are lords;
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 “Why do you beautify your way to seek love?
Therefore you have also taught
The wicked women your ways.
34 Also on your skirts is found
The blood of the lives of the poor innocents.
I have not found it by secret search,
But plainly on all these things.
35 Yet you say, ‘Because I am innocent,
Surely His anger shall turn from me.’
Behold, I will plead My case against you,
Because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
36 Why do you gad about so much to change your way?
Also you shall be ashamed of Egypt as you were ashamed of Assyria.
37 Indeed you will go forth from him
With your hands on your head;
For the Lord has rejected your trusted allies,
And you will not prosper by them.

Chapter 3

Israel Is Shameless

1 “They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife,

And she goes from him
And becomes another man's,
May he return to her again?’
Would not that land be greatly polluted?
But you have played the harlot with many lovers;
Yet return to Me,” says the Lord.
2 “Lift up your eyes to the desolate heights and see:
Where have you not lain with men?
By the road you have sat for them
Like an Arabian in the wilderness;
And you have polluted the land
With your harlotries and your wickedness.
3 Therefore the showers have been withheld,
And there has been no latter rain.
You have had a harlot's forehead;
You refuse to be ashamed.
4 Will you not from this time cry to Me,
‘My Father, You are the guide of my youth?
5 Will He remain angry forever?
Will He keep it to the end?’
Behold, you have spoken and done evil things,
As you were able.”

A Call to Repentance

6 The Lord said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: “Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. 7 And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. 9 So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. 10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,” says the Lord.

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say:

‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord;
‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you.
For I am merciful,’ says the Lord;
‘I will not remain angry forever.
13 Only acknowledge your iniquity,
That you have transgressed against the Lord your God,
And have scattered your charms
To alien deities under every green tree,
And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord.


14 “Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15 And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.

16 “Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,” says the Lord, “that they will say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.

17 “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.

18 “In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given as an inheritance to your fathers.

19 “But I said:

‘How can I put you among the children
And give you a pleasant land,
A beautiful heritage of the hosts of nations?’
 
“And I said:

‘You shall call Me, “My Father,”
And not turn away from Me.’
20 Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband,
So have you dealt treacherously with Me,
O house of Israel,” says the Lord.
21 A voice was heard on the desolate heights,
Weeping and supplications of the children of Israel.
For they have perverted their way;
They have forgotten the Lord their God.
22 “Return, you backsliding children,
And I will heal your backslidings.”
“Indeed we do come to You,
For You are the Lord our God.
23 Truly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills,
And from the multitude of mountains;
Truly, in the Lord our God
Is the salvation of Israel.
24 For shame has devoured
The labor of our fathers from our youth—
Their flocks and their herds,
Their sons and their daughters.
25 We lie down in our shame,
And our reproach covers us.
For we have sinned against the Lord our God,
We and our fathers,
From our youth even to this day,
And have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.”