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Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?

And have not said, Where is Jehovah, Who bringeth us up out of the land of Egypt, Who leadeth us in a wilderness, In a land of deserts and pits, In a dry land, and of death-shade, In a land -- none hath passed through it, Nor dwelt hath man there?'

Yea, I bring you in to a land of fruitful fields, To eat its fruit and its goodness, And ye come in and defile My land, And Mine inheritance have made an abomination.

The priests have not said, 'Where is Jehovah?' And those handling the law have not known Me. And the shepherds transgressed against Me, And the prophets have prophesied by Baal, And after those who profit not have gone.

For pass over to the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there have been such a thing.

Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.

The young lions have roared upon him, and yelled; and they have made his land waste: his cities are burned up, without inhabitant.

And now what have you to gain by allying yourself with Egypt and going her way, to drink the [black and roiled] 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: [first,] you have forsaken the Lord your God; [second,] you are indifferent to Me and the fear of Me is not in you, says the Lord of hosts.

For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.

Yet I had planted you [O house of Israel] a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned into degenerate shoots of wild vine alien to Me?

How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways;

Or [you have the untamed and reckless nature of] a wild donkey used to the desert, in her heat sniffing the wind [for the scent of a male]. In her mating season who can restrain her? No males seeking her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her [seeking them].

Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.

As the shame of a thief when he is found, So put to shame have been the house of Israel, They, their kings, their heads, And their priests, and their prophets,

Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.

And where are thy gods, that thou hast made to thyself? Let them arise, if they may save thee, In the time of thy vexation, For -- the number of thy cities have been thy gods, O Judah,

O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee?

How you deck yourself and direct your way to procure [adulterous] love! Because of it even wicked women have learned [indecent] ways from you.

Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these.

Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned.

Truly, you will go out from him with your hands on your head: for the Lord has given up those in whom you have put your faith, and they will be of no help to you.

That is to say, If a man puts away his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's, will he return to her again? [Of course not!] Would not that land [where such a thing happened] be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot [against Me] with many lovers -- "yet would you now return to Me? says the Lord [or do you even think to return to Me?]

Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see. Where have you not been adulterously lain with? By the wayside you have sat waiting for lovers [eager for idolatry], like an Arabian [desert tribesman who waits to plunder] in the wilderness; and you have polluted the land with your vile harlotry and your wickedness (unfaithfulness and disobedience to God).

Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.

Have you not just now cried to Me: My Father, You were the guide and companion of my youth?

Will He retain His anger forever? Will He keep it to the end? Behold, you have so spoken, but you have done all the evil things you could and have had your way and have carried them through.

Moreover, the Lord said to me [Jeremiah] in the days of Josiah the king [of Judah], Have you seen what that faithless and backsliding Israel has done -- "how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree and there played the harlot?

And I see when (for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery) I have sent her away, and I give the bill of her divorce unto her, that treacherous Judah her sister hath not feared, and goeth and committeth fornication -- she also.

Go and proclaim these words toward the north [where the ten tribes have been taken as captives] and say, Return, faithless Israel, says the Lord, and I will not cause My countenance to fall and look in anger upon you, for I am merciful, says the Lord; I will not keep My anger forever.

Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.

And it hath come to pass, when ye are multiplied, And have been fruitful in the land, In those days -- an affirmation of Jehovah, They say not any more, 'The ark of the covenant of Jehovah,' Nor doth it go up on the heart, Nor do they remember concerning it, Nor do they inspect, nor is it made again.

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 for an inheritance unto your fathers.

And I have said, How do I put thee among the sons, And give to thee a desirable land, A beauteous inheritance of the hosts of nations, And I say, My father -- ye do call to Me, And from after Me ye do not turn back.

A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.

[We have been ruined as a nation by our faithlessness and idolatry] for the shameful thing has consumed all for which our fathers toiled from our youth -- "their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.

We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

If thou wilt return unto me, O Israel, said the LORD, thou shalt have rest; and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then thou shalt not go into captivity.

And thou hast sworn -- Jehovah liveth, In truth, in judgment, and in righteousness, And blessed themselves in Him have nations, And in Him they boast themselves.

Just as ritual circumcision cuts away the foreskin as an external symbol of dedicated covenant commitment, you must genuinely dedicate yourselves to the Lord and get rid of everything that hinders your commitment to me, people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. If you do not, my anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you that no one will be able to extinguish. That will happen because of the evil you have done."

There hath come up a lion out of his thicket, Yea, a destroyer of nations - hath set forward, hath come forth out of his place, - To make thy land a desolation, Thy cities, shall fall in ruins, so as to have no inhabitant.

And it hath come to pass, in that day, An affirmation of Jehovah: 'Perish doth the heart of the king, And the heart of the princes, And astonished have been the priests, And the prophets do wonder.'

Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.

Lo, as clouds he cometh up, And as a hurricane his chariots, Lighter than eagles have been his horses, Woe to us, for we have been spoiled.

O Jerusalem, make your heart clean from evil, so that you may have salvation. How long are evil purposes to have a resting-place in you?

Put ye in mind the nations Lo! publish ye against Jerusalem, Blockaders! are coming in from a land afar off, - And have uttered against the cities of Judah their voice:

As the keepers of a field They have been against her round about, For with Me she hath been rebellious, An affirmation of Jehovah.'

Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.

My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at the walls of my heart, Make a noise for me doth My heart, I am not silent, For the voice of a trumpet I have heard, O my soul -- a shout of battle!

Destruction on destruction is proclaimed, For spoiled hath been all the land, Suddenly spoiled have been my tents, In a moment -- my curtains.

I have looked upon the earth, and see, it is waste and void. I looked toward heaven, and it had no shine.

I have looked to the mountains, And lo, they are trembling. And all the hills moved themselves lightly.

I have looked, and lo, man is not, And all fowls of the heavens have fled.

I have looked, and lo, The fruitful place is a wilderness, And all its cities have been broken down, Because of Jehovah, Because of the fierceness of His anger.

For thus hath the LORD said, "The whole land shall be desolate, yet will I not then have done.

For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

From the voice of the horseman, And of him shooting with the bow, all the city is fleeing, They have come into thickets, And on cliffs they have gone up, All the city is forsaken, And there is no one dwelling in them.

And thou, O spoiled one, what dost thou? For thou puttest on scarlet, For thou adornest thyself with ornaments of gold. For thou rendest with pain thine eyes, In vain thou dost make thyself fair, Kicked against thee have doting ones, Thy life they do seek.

For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.

Go quickly through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and get knowledge, and make a search in her wide places if there is a man, if there is one in her who is upright, who keeps faith; and she will have my forgiveness.

O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.

And I -- I said, 'Surely these are poor, They have been foolish, For they have not known the way of Jehovah, The judgment of their God.

I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.

Therefore smitten them hath a lion out of the forest, A wolf of the deserts doth spoil them, A leopard is watching over their cities, Every one who is going out of them is torn, For many have been their transgressions, Mighty have been their backslidings.

How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses.

Fed horses -- they have been early risers, Each to the wife of his neighbour they neigh.

For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the LORD.

They have belied the LORD, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine:

Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: Because you [the people] have spoken this word, behold, I will make My words fire in your mouth [Jeremiah] and this people wood, and it will devour them.

They will take all the produce of your fields, which would have been food for your sons and your daughters: they will take your flocks and your herds: they will take all your vines and your fig-trees: and with the sword they will make waste your walled towns in which you put your faith.

Nevertheless, I will not then have done with you, sayeth the LORD.

And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.

Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?

And they have not said in their heart, 'Let us fear, we pray you, Jehovah our God, who is giving rain, The sprinkling and the gathered, in its season, The appointed weeks of harvest He keepeth for us.'

For the wicked have been found among My people. It looketh about the covering of snares, They have set up a trap -- men they capture.

As a cage full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and have enriched themselves.

They have been fat, they have shone, Yea, they have overpassed the acts of the evil, Judgment they have not judged, The judgment of the fatherless -- and they prosper, And the judgment of the needy they have not judged.

The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Unto her come do shepherds and their droves, They have stricken tents by her round about, They have fed each in his own station.

To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.

And with the fury of Jehovah I have been filled, (I have been weary of containing,) To pour it on the suckling in the street, And on the assembly of youths together, For even husband with wife are captured, An elder with one full of days,

And their houses have been turned to others, Fields and wives together, For I stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land, An affirmation of Jehovah.

Are they ashamed that they have committed abomination? Nay, they are not at all ashamed, neither know they what it is to blush. Therefore they shall fall among them that fall; at the time that I visit them they shall stumble, saith Jehovah.

This is what the Lord has said: Take your place looking out on the ways; make search for the old roads, saying, Where is the good way? and go in it that you may have rest for your souls. But they said, We will not go in it.

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