1The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
2“Go and cry out in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: This is what Yahweh says: “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, through a land that was not sown.
3Israel was holy to Yahweh, the firstfruits of his increase. All who ate of it were held guilty; evil came upon them, says Yahweh.”
4Hear the word of Yahweh, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel!
5This is what Yahweh says: “What unrighteousness did your fathers find in me, that they went far from me, and walked after worthlessness and became worthless?
6They did not ask, ‘Where is Yahweh who brought us up 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 none passed through, and where no man lived?’
7I brought you into a plentiful land, to eat its fruit and its goodness; but when you entered, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.
8The priests have not said ‘Where is Yahweh?’ And those who handle the law did not know me. The shepherdsa also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that do not profit.
9Therefore I will bring a case against you again, says Yahweh, and I will bring a case against your children’s children.
10Cross over to the coastlands of Cyprus and see, or send to Kedar and consider diligently, and see if there has been such a thing.
11Has a nation changed its gods, which are really not gods? But my people have changed their Glory for what does not profit.
12Be astonished, you heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid. Be very desolate, says Yahweh.
13For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
14Is Israel a servant? Is he a native–born slave? Why has he become a prey?
15The young lions have roared at him; they have raised their voices. They have made his land waste. His cities are burned up without inhabitant.
16Also, the people of Memphis and Tahpanhes have shaved the crown of your head.
17Have you not brought this upon yourself, by your forsaking Yahweh your God when he led you by the way?
18Now what are you doing, traveling on the road to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile?b Or what are you doing, traveling on the road to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River?c
19Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backsliding will reprove you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and a bitter one, that you have forsaken Yahweh your God and that my fear is not in you, says the Lord Yahweh of Armies.
20For from old time you have broken your yoke and burst your bonds, and you said, ‘I will not serve you,’ for on every high hill and under every green tree you spread yourself, prostituting yourself.
21Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a wholly faithful seed. How then have you turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine to me?
22For although you wash yourself with lye and use a great amount of soap, still the stain of your iniquity is before me,” says the Lord Yahweh.
23How can you say, ‘I am not defiled. I have not gone after the Baals’? See your way in the valley. Know what you have done. You are a swift dromedary traversing her ways,
24a wild donkey used to the wilderness that sniffs the wind in her passion. When she is in heat, who can turn her away? All those who seek her will not weary themselves. In her month, they will find her.
25Withhold your foot from being unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘It is in vain. No, for I have loved strangers, and I will go after them.’
26As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their officials, and their priests and their prophets,
27who tell wood, ‘You are my father,’ and a stone, ‘You have brought me out,’ 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.’
28But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? 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, Judah.
29Why will you contend with me? You all have transgressed against me, says Yahweh.
30I have struck your children in vain. They received no correction. Your own sword has devoured your prophets like a destroying lion.
31Generation, consider the word of Yahweh. Have I been a wilderness to Israel? Or a land of thick darkness? Why do my people say, ‘We have broken loose. We will come to you no more?’
32Can a virgin forget her jewelry, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me for days without number.
33How well you prepare your way to seek love! Therefore you have taught even the wicked women your ways.
34Also the blood of the souls of the innocent poor is found in your skirts. You did not find them breaking in; but it is because of all these things.
35Yet you said, ‘I am innocent. Surely his anger has turned away from me.’ “Behold, I will judge you, because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
36Why do you go about so much to change your way? You will be ashamed of Egypt also as you were ashamed of Assyria.
37You will also go out from there with your hands on your head, for Yahweh has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper with them.