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.

3 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?

6 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?'

7 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.

8 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.

9 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."