Israel Accused of Apostasy
1The word of the Lord came to me:
2“Go and announce directly to Jerusalem that this is what the Lord says:
I remember the loyalty of your youth,2:2 Ezk 16:8,60; Hs 2:15; Rv 2:4
your love as a bride —
how you followed me in the wilderness,
in a land not sown.
3Israel was holy to the Lord,2:3 Dt 7:6
the firstfruits of his harvest.2:3 Jms 1:18
All who ate of it found themselves guilty;2:3 Gn 12:3; Ps 105:14–15; Is 41:11
disaster came on them.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.

4Hear the word of the Lord, house of Jacob
and all families of the house of Israel.
5This is what the Lord says:
What fault did your ancestors find in me2:5 Is 5:4; Mc 6:3
that they went so far from me,
followed worthless idols,2:5 2Kg 17:15; Jr 2:25; Hs 2:5
and became worthless themselves?2:5 Ps 115:8; Hs 9:10; Rm 1:21
6They stopped asking, “Where is the Lord2:6 Jdg 6:13; Jb 35:10
who brought us from the land of Egypt,
who led us through the wilderness,2:6 Dt 8:15; 32:10
through a land of deserts and ravines,
through a land of drought and darkness,2:6 Or shadow of death
a land no one traveled through
and where no one lived?”
7I brought you to a fertile land2:7 Ex 3:8; Dt 8:7–10; Jr 4:26
to eat its fruit and bounty,
but after you entered, you defiled my land;2:7 Nm 35:33; Ezk 36:17
you made my inheritance2:7 Jr 16:18 detestable.
8The priests quit asking, “Where is the Lord?”
The experts in the law no longer knew me,2:8 Hs 4:6; Mal 2:7; Lk 11:52
and the rulers2:8 Jr 23:1–4; Ezk 34 rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by2:8 = in the name of Baal2:8 Jr 2:23; 9:14
and followed useless idols.2:8 Hab 2:8

9Therefore, I will bring a case against you again.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
I will bring a case against your children’s children.2:9 Ex 20:5; Is 3:13; Mc 6:1–8
10Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus2:10 Lit to the islands of Kittim2:10 Gn 10:4; Nm 24:24; Is 23:1,12; Am 6:2; Ac 13:4 and take a look.
Send someone to Kedar2:10 Ps 120:5 and consider carefully;
see if there has ever been anything like this:
11Has a nation ever exchanged its gods?2:11 Mc 4:5
(But they were not gods!2:11 Jr 16:20; Gl 4:8)
Yet my people have exchanged their2:11 Alt Hb tradition reads my Glory
for useless idols.2:11 Ps 106:20; Hs 4:7; Rm 1:23; 1Pt 1:18
12Be appalled at this, heavens;2:12 Dt 32:1; Is 1:2; Mc 6:1
be shocked and utterly desolated!
This is the Lord’s declaration.

13For my people have committed a double evil:
They have abandoned me,2:13 Jdg 10:13
the fountain of living water,2:13 Ps 36:9; Jr 17:13; Jn 4:10
and dug cisterns for themselves — 
cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.2:13 Is 55:2; Gl 1:6–7
Consequences of Apostasy
14Is Israel a slave?
Was he born into slavery?2:14 Lit born of a house
Why else has he become a prey?
15The young lions have roared at him;2:15 Is 5:29
they have roared loudly.
They have laid waste his land.2:15 Is 1:7
His cities are in ruins, without inhabitants.
16The men of Memphis and Tahpanhes2:16 Jr 44:1; 46:14,19; Ezk 30:13,16,18
have also broken your skull.
17Have you not brought this on yourself2:17 Jr 4:18
by abandoning the Lord your God
while he was leading you along the way?
18Now what will you gain
by traveling along the way to Egypt2:18 Is 30:1–2; 31:1
to drink the water of the Nile?2:18 Lit of Shihor
What will you gain
by traveling along the way to Assyria2:18 Hs 7:11
to drink the water of the Euphrates?2:18 Is 8:7
19Your own evil will discipline you;2:19 Is 3:9; Hs 5:5
your own apostasies will reprimand you.
Recognize2:19 Lit Know and see how evil and bitter2:19 Jr 4:18 it is
for you to abandon the Lord your God
and to have no fear of me.
This is the declaration of the Lord God of Armies.

20For long ago I2:20 LXX reads you broke your yoke;2:20 Lv 26:13; Is 10:27; Nah 1:13
I2:20 LXX reads you tore off your chains.
You insisted, “I will not serve!”
On every high hill
and under every green tree2:20 Dt 12:2; 1Kg 14:23; 2Kg 17:10; Is 57:5; Jr 3:6; Ezk 6:13; Hs 4:13
you lay down like a prostitute.2:20 Ezk 16:28; Hs 2:5

21I planted you, a choice vine2:21 Gn 49:11; Ps 80:8; Is 5:2
from the very best seed.
How then could you turn into
a degenerate, foreign vine?2:21 Is 5:4

22Even if you wash with lye
and use a great amount of bleach,2:22 Lit cleansing agent2:22 Ps 51:2,7; Mal 3:2; Eph 5:26
the stain of your iniquity is still in front of me.2:22 Ps 90:8
This is the Lord God’s declaration.
23How can you protest, “I am not defiled;
I have not followed the Baals”?2:23 Jr 2:8; 9:14
Look at your behavior in the valley;
acknowledge what you have done.2:23 Gn 3:13; 1Sm 15:13; Pr 28:13; Jr 3:13; 1Jn 1:8
You are a swift young camel
twisting and turning on her way,
24a wild donkey2:24 Jb 39:5; Hs 8:9 at home2:24 Lit donkey taught in the wilderness.
She sniffs the wind in the heat of her desire.
Who can control her passion?
All who look for her will not become weary;
they will find her in her mating season.2:24 Lit her month
25Keep your feet from going bare
and your throat from thirst.
But you say, “It’s hopeless;2:25 Jr 18:12
I love strangers,2:25 Dt 32:16; Jr 3:13
and I will continue to follow them.”

26Like the shame of a thief when he is caught,
so the house of Israel has been put to shame.2:26 Jr 2:36; 6:15; 8:9,12; Rm 6:21
They, their kings, their officials,
their priests, and their prophets2:26 Ezr 9:7
27say 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,2:27 2Ch 29:6; Jr 18:17; 32:33; Ezk 8:16
yet in their time of disaster2:27 Jdg 10:9–10; Is 26:16 they beg,
“Rise up and save us!”
28But where are your gods you made for yourself?
Let them rise up and save you2:28 Dt 32:37–38; Jdg 10:14; Is 45:20
in your time of disaster if they can,
for your gods are as numerous as your cities, Judah.
Judgment Deserved
29Why do you bring a case against me?2:29 Jr 2:9
All of you have rebelled against me.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
30I have struck down your children in vain;
they would not accept discipline.2:30 Pr 3:11; Is 1:5; 9:13; Jr 5:3; 17:23; 32:33; Am 4:10
Your own sword has devoured your prophets2:30 Mt 23:34
like a ravaging lion.
31Evil generation,2:31 Dt 1:35; Mt 12:45; Lk 11:29
pay attention to the word of the Lord!
Have I been a wilderness to Israel
or a land of dense darkness?2:31 Jr 50:12; Hs 2:3
Why do my people claim,
“We will go where we want;2:31 Or “We have taken control, or “We can roam
we will no longer come to you”?
32Can a young woman forget her jewelry2:32 Is 61:10
or a bride her wedding sash?
Yet my people have forgotten me2:32 Ps 106:21; Jr 13:25; 18:15; Ezk 22:12; 23:35; Hs 8:14
for countless days.
33How skillfully you pursue love;
you also teach evil women your ways.
34Moreover, your skirts are stained
with the blood of the innocent poor.2:34 2Kg 21:16; 24:4; Ps 106:38; Jr 19:4; 22:3,17
You did not catch them breaking and entering.2:34 Ex 22:2
But in spite of all these things
35you claim, “I am innocent.2:35 Jb 33:9
His anger is sure to turn away from me.”
But I will certainly judge you
because you have said, “I have not sinned.”2:35 Pr 28:13; 1Jn 1:8,10
36How unstable you are,2:36 Jms 1:8
constantly changing your ways!
You will be put to shame by Egypt2:36 Is 30:3
just as you were put to shame by Assyria.
37Moreover, you will be led out from here
with your hands on your head2:37 2Sm 13:19
since the Lord has rejected those you trust;2:37 1Sm 15:23,26; 2Kg 17:20; Jr 7:29
you will not succeed even with their help.2:37 Lit with them