Unfaithfulness, To God
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You shall make for yourselves no idols nor shall you erect a graven image, pillar, or obelisk, nor shall you place any figured stone in your land to which or on which to bow down; for I am the Lord your God.
When children shall be born to you, and children's children, and you have grown old in the land, if you corrupt yourselves by making a graven image in the form of anything, and do evil in the sight of the Lord your God, provoking Him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day that you shall soon utterly perish from the land which you are going over the Jordan to possess. You will not live long upon it but will be utterly destroyed. And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations to which the Lord will drive you.
And if you forget the Lord your God and walk after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. Like the nations which the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.
Son of man, when a land sins against Me by committing a trespass, and I stretch out My hand against it and break its staff of bread and send famine upon it and cut off from it man and beast,
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 said, After she has done all these things, she will return to Me; but she did not return, and her faithless and treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw, even though [Judah knew] that for this very cause of committing adultery (idolatry) I [the Lord] had put faithless Israel away and given her a bill of divorce; yet her faithless and treacherous sister Judah was not afraid, but she also went and played the harlot [following after idols].read more.
And through the infamy and unseemly frivolity of Israel's whoredom [because her immorality mattered little to her], she polluted and defiled the land, [by her idolatry] committing adultery with [idols of] stones and trees.
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 know, understand, and acknowledge your iniquity and guilt -- "that you have rebelled and transgressed against the Lord your God and have scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice, says the Lord. Return, O faithless children [of the whole twelve tribes], says the Lord, for I am Lord and Master and Husband to you, and I will take you [not as a nation, but individually] -- "one from a city and two from a tribal family -- "and I will bring you to Zion.
Oh, that I had in the wilderness a lodging place (a mere shelter) for wayfaring men, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers [rendering worship to idols instead of to the Lord, Who has espoused the people to Himself]; they are a gang of treacherous men [faithless even to each other].
Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was their Husband, says the Lord.
When the Lord first spoke with and through Hosea, the Lord said to him, Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of [her] harlotry, for the land commits great whoredom by departing from the Lord.
For they shall eat and not have enough; they shall play the harlot and beget no increase, because they have forsaken the Lord for harlotry; Harlotry and wine and new wine take away the heart and the mind and the spiritual understanding. My people [habitually] ask counsel of their [senseless] wood [idols], and their staff [of wood] gives them oracles and instructs them. For the spirit of harlotry has led them astray and they have played the harlot, withdrawing themselves from subjection to their God.
Rejoice not, O Israel, with exultation as do the peoples, for you have played the harlot, forsaking your God. You have loved [a harlot's] hire upon every threshing floor [ascribing the harvest to the Baals instead of to God].
And I will utter My judgments against them for all the wickedness of those who have forsaken Me, burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands [idols].
And when your people say, Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us? then you shall answer them, As you have forsaken Me, says the Lord, and have served strange gods in your land, so shall you serve strangers (gods) in a land that is not yours.
You have rejected and forsaken Me, says the Lord. You keep going in reverse. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of relenting [concerning your punishment].
If I have made gold my trust and hope or have said to fine gold, You are my confidence, If I rejoiced because my wealth was great and because my [powerful] hand [alone] had gotten much, If I beheld [as an object of worship] the sunlight when it shone or the moon walking in its brightness,read more.
And my heart has been secretly enticed by them or my mouth has kissed my hand [in homage to them], This also would have been [a heinous and principal] iniquity to demand the judges' action and punishment, for I would have denied and been false to the God Who is above.
Why do you boast of your valleys? Your valley flows away, O [Ammon] rebellious and faithless daughter, who trusted in her treasures, who said, Who can come against me?
And the Lord said to Moses, Say to the Israelites, When a man or woman commits any sin that men commit by breaking faith with the Lord, and that person is guilty,
How the faithful city has become an [idolatrous] harlot, she who was full of justice! Uprightness and right standing with God [once] lodged in her -- "but now murderers. Your silver has become dross, your wine is mixed with water. Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves; everyone loves bribes and runs after compensation and rewards. They judge not for the fatherless nor defend them, neither does the cause of the widow come to them [for they delay or turn a deaf ear].
For I desire and delight in dutiful steadfast love and goodness, not sacrifice, and the knowledge of and acquaintance with God more than burnt offerings. But they, like [less-privileged] men and like Adam, have transgressed the covenant; there have they dealt faithlessly and treacherously with Me.
And Shecaniah [II] son of Jehiel [one of the congregation], of the sons of Elam, said to Ezra: We have broken faith and dealt treacherously against our God and have married foreign women of the peoples of the land; yet now there is still hope for Israel in spite of this thing.
Afterward, the officials came to me and said, The Israelites and the priests and Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, but have committed the abominations of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. For they have taken as wives some of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy offspring have mixed themselves with the peoples of the lands. Indeed, the officials and chief men have been foremost in this wicked act and direct violation [of God's will]. When I heard this, I rent my undergarment and my mantle, I pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled.read more.
Then all those who trembled at the words of the God of Israel because of the offensive violation of His will by the returned exiles gathered around me as I sat astounded until the evening sacrifice.
Shall we then listen to you to do all this great evil and act treacherously against our God by marrying strange (heathen) women?
But the Israelites committed a trespass in regard to the devoted things; for Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the things devoted [for destruction]. And the anger of the Lord burned against Israel.
By offering polluted food upon My altar. And you ask, How have we polluted it and profaned You? By thinking that the table of the Lord is contemptible and may be despised. When you [priests] offer blind [animals] for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Present such a thing [a blind or lame or sick animal] now to your governor [in payment of your taxes, and see what will happen]. Will he be pleased with you? Or will he receive you graciously? says the Lord of hosts.
It was this [very] Moses who said to the children of Israel, God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as He raised me up. This is he who in the assembly in the wilderness (desert) was the go-between for the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai and our forefathers, and he received living oracles (words that still live) to be handed down to us. [And yet] our forefathers determined not to be subject to him [refusing to listen to or obey him]; but thrusting him aside they rejected him, and in their hearts yearned for and turned back to Egypt.read more.
And they said to Aaron, Make us gods who shall [be our leaders and] go before us; as for this Moses who led us forth from the land of Egypt -- "we have no knowledge of what has happened to him. And they [even] made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol and made merry and exulted in the work of their [own] hands.
But the Lord raised up judges, who delivered them out of the hands of those who robbed them. And yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed down to them. They turned quickly out of the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord, and they did not so.
Yet they were disobedient and rebelled against You and cast Your law behind their back and killed Your prophets who accused and warned them to turn to You again; and they committed great and contemptible blasphemies.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways (your previous and present conduct) and how you have fared. Go up to the hill country and bring lumber and rebuild [My] house, and I will take pleasure in it and I will be glorified, says the Lord [by accepting it as done for My glory and by displaying My glory in it]. You looked for much [harvest], and behold, it came to little; and even when you brought that home, I blew it away. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because of My house, which lies waste while you yourselves run each man to his own house [eager to build and adorn it].
Afterward, the officials came to me and said, The Israelites and the priests and Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, but have committed the abominations of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. For they have taken as wives some of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy offspring have mixed themselves with the peoples of the lands. Indeed, the officials and chief men have been foremost in this wicked act and direct violation [of God's will].
Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things. They have made no distinction between the sacred and the secular, neither have they taught people the difference between the unclean and the clean and have hid their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
For the priest's lips should guard and keep pure the knowledge [of My law], and the people should seek (inquire for and require) instruction at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have turned aside out of the way; you have caused many to stumble by your instruction [in the law]; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi [with Me], says the Lord of hosts.
For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not perfect (complete and whole) with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abominable idol of the Ammonites!
When Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. And in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, because they had transgressed and been unfaithful to the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem
But when [King Uzziah] was strong, he became proud to his destruction; and he trespassed against the Lord his God, for he went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him and with him eighty priests of the Lord, men of courage. They opposed King Uzziah and said to him, It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are set apart to burn incense. Withdraw from the sanctuary; you have trespassed, and that will not be to your credit and honor before the Lord God.
For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for Ahaz had dealt with reckless cruelty against Judah and had been faithless [had transgressed sorely] against the Lord. So Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria came to him and distressed him without strengthening him. For Ahaz took [treasure] from the house of the Lord and out of the house of the king and from the princes and gave it as tribute to the king of Assyria, but it did not help Ahaz.read more.
In the time of his distress he became still more unfaithful to the Lord -- "this same King Ahaz. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which had defeated him, for he said, Since the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel.
So Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the heathen whom the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.
Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, filling Jerusalem from one end to another -- "besides his sin in making Judah sin, by doing evil in the sight of the Lord!
Yet they tempted and provoked and rebelled against the Most High God and kept not His testimonies. But they turned back and dealt unfaithfully and treacherously like their fathers; they were twisted like a warped and deceitful bow [that will not respond to the archer's aim]. For they provoked Him to [righteous] anger with their high places [for idol worship] and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images.read more.
When God heard this, He was full of [holy] wrath; and He utterly rejected Israel, greatly abhorring and loathing [her ways],
So Saul died for his trespass against the Lord [in sparing Amalek], for his unfaithfulness in not keeping God's word, and also for consulting [a medium with] a spirit of the dead to inquire pleadingly of it,
And your children shall be wanderers and shepherds in the wilderness for forty years and shall suffer for your whoredoms (your infidelity to your espoused God), until your corpses are consumed in the wilderness.
After the number of the days in which you spied out the land [of Canaan], even forty days, for each day a year shall you bear and suffer for your iniquities, even for forty years, and you shall know My displeasure [the revoking of My promise and My estrangement]. I the Lord have spoken; surely this will I do to all this evil congregation who is gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed [by war, disease, plagues], and here they shall die.
And the nations shall know, understand, and realize positively that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they trespassed against Me; and I hid My face from them. So I gave them into the hand of their enemies and they all fell [into captivity or were slain] by the power of the sword.
O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us confusion and shame of face, as at this day -- "to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, to those who are near and those who are far off, through all the countries to which You have driven them because of the [treacherous] trespass which they have committed against You.
Therefore thus says the Lord God: Now will I reverse the captivity of Jacob and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel and will be jealous for My holy name. They shall forget their shame and self-reproach and all their treachery and unfaithfulness in which they have transgressed against Me, when they dwell securely in their land and there is none who makes them afraid.
But if they confess their own and their fathers' iniquity in their treachery which they committed against Me -- "and also that because they walked contrary to Me I also walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies -- "if then their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they then accept the punishment for their iniquity, Then will I [earnestly] remember My covenant with Jacob, My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham, and [earnestly] remember the land.
And when all these things have come upon you, the blessings and the curses which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, And shall return to the Lord your God and obey His voice according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your [mind and] heart and with all your being, Then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion upon you and will gather you again from all the nations where He has scattered you.
Remember [earnestly] what You commanded Your servant Moses: If you transgress and are unfaithful, I will scatter you abroad among the nations; But if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the farthest part of the heavens [the expanse of outer space], yet will I gather them from there and will bring them to the place in which I have chosen to set My Name.