The Word of the Lord to Jeremiah

Chapter 2

God, having shown his former kindness, expostulates with the Jews on their causeless and unexampled revolt, 1-13. They are the causes of their own calamities, 14-17. The sins and idolatries of Judah, 18-34. Her confidence is rejected, 35-37.

1 Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Go, and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, 'Thus says the LORD:

"I remember you, the kindness of your youth,/
the love of your espousals,/
when you went after me in the wilderness,/
in a land that was not sown.

Israel was holiness to the LORD/
and the first-fruits of his increase./
All who devour him shall offend./
Evil shall 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 iniquity have your fathers found in me/
that they have gone far from me/
and have walked after vanity and have become vain?

They did not say,/
'Where is the LORD who brought us/
out of the land of Egypt,/
who led us through the wilderness,/
through a land of deserts and of pits,/
through a land of drought and of the shadow of death,/
through a land that no man passed through/
and where no man dwelt?'

And I brought you into a plentiful country/
to eat its fruit and its goodness,/
but when you entered, you defiled my land/
and made my heritage an abomination.

The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?'/
And those who handle the law did not know me./
The pastors also transgressed against me,/
and the prophets prophesied by Baal/
and walked after things that do not profit.

Therefore, I will yet plead with you,"/
says the LORD,/
"and with your children's children I will plead.

10 For pass over to the coastlands of Chittim and see./
And send to Kedar and consider diligently/
and see if there is such a thing.

11 Has a nation changed their gods/
which are yet no gods?/
But my people have changed their glory/
for that which 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 hewed out for themselves cisterns,/
broken cisterns that can hold no water.

14 Is Israel a servant?/
Is he a home-born slave?/
Why is he laid waste?

15 The young lions roared upon him/
and yelled and made his land waste./
His cities are burned/
without inhabitant.

16 Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes/
have broken the crown of your head.

17 Have you not procured this to yourself/
in that you have forsaken the LORD your God/
when he led you by the way?

18 And now what have you to do in the way of Egypt,/
to drink the waters of Sihor?/
Or what have you to do in the way of Assyria,/
to drink the waters of the river?

19 Your own wickedness shall correct you,/
and your backslidings shall reprove you./
Know therefore, and see that it is an evil and bitter thing/
that you have forsaken the LORD your God/
and that my fear is not in you,"/
says the Lord GOD of hosts.

20 "For of old time I have broken your yoke/
and torn off your bonds,/
and you said, 'I will not transgress,'/
when upon every high hill/
and under every green tree/
you wander, playing the harlot.

21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine,/
wholly a right seed./
How then are you turned into the degenerate plant/
of a strange vine to me?

22 For though you shall 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 Baalim'?/
See your way in the valley./
Know what you have done./
You are a swift dromedary traversing her ways.

24 A wild donkey used to the wilderness/
that snuffs up the wind at her pleasure,/
in her occasion, who can turn her away?/
All those who seek her will not weary themselves./
In her month they shall 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 strangers,/
and after them I will go.'

26 As the thief is ashamed when he is found,/
so is the house of Israel ashamed—/
they, their kings, their princes,/
their priests, and their prophets—

27 Saying to a stock, 'You are my father,'/
and to a stone, 'You have brought me forth.'/
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 yourself?/
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 smitten your children./
They have received no correction./
Your own 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?/
A land of darkness?/
Why do my people say, 'We are lords./
We will no longer come 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 trim your way to seek love?/
Therefore, you have also taught the wicked ones your ways.

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

35 Yet you say, 'Because I am innocent,/
surely his anger will turn from me.'/
Behold, I will plead with you/
because you say, 'I have not sinned.'

36 Why do you go around so much/
to change your way?/
You shall also be ashamed of Egypt,/
as you were ashamed of Assyria.

37 You shall even go forth from him,/
and your hands upon your head,/
for the LORD has rejected your confidences,/
and you shall not prosper in them."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Jeremiah, Chapter 2[➚]


[v.36] - "Why do you go around so much to change your way?" - LXX: "For you have been so exceedingly contemptuous as to repeat your ways."