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Jeremiah Chapter 2 | Parsha: Mattot Mase'ei

1The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2Go proclaim to Jerusalem: Thus said the Lord:
I accounted to your favor
The devotion of your youth,
Your love as a bride—
How you followed Me in the wilderness,
In a land not sown.

3Israel was holy to the Lord,
The first fruits of His harvest.
All who ate of it were held guilty;
Disaster befell them
—declares the Lord.

4Hear the word of the Lord, O House of Jacob,
Every clan of the House of Israel!

5Thus said the Lord:
What wrong did your fathers find in Me
That they abandoned Me
And went after delusion and were deluded?

6They never asked themselves, “Where is the Lord,
Who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
Who led us through the wilderness,
A land of deserts and pits,
A land of drought and darkness,
A land no man had traversed,
Where no human being had dwelt?”

7I brought you to this country of farm land
To enjoy its fruit and its bounty;
But you came and defiled My land,
You made My possession abhorrent.

8The priests never asked themselves, “Where is the Lord?”
The guardians of the Teaching ignored Me;
The rulers rebelled against Me,
And the prophets prophesied by Baal
And followed what can do no good.

9Oh, I will go on accusing you
—declares the Lord—
And I will accuse your children’s children!

10Just cross over to the isles of the Kittim and look,
Send to Kedar and observe carefully;
See if aught like this has ever happened:

11Has any nation changed its gods
Even though they are no-gods?
But My people has exchanged its glory
For what can do no good.

12Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
Be horrified, utterly dazed!
—says the Lord.

13For My people have done a twofold wrong:
They have forsaken Me, the Fount of living waters,
And hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns,
Which cannot even hold water.

14Is Israel a bondman?
Is he a home-born slave?
Then why is he given over to plunder?

15Lions have roared over him,
Have raised their cries.
They have made his land a waste,
His cities desolate, without inhabitants.

16Those, too, in Noph and Tahpanhes
Will lay bare your head.

17See, that is the price you have paid
For forsaking the Lord your God
While He led you in the way.

18What, then, is the good of your going to Egypt
To drink the waters of the Nile?
And what is the good of your going to Assyria
To drink the waters of the Euphrates?

19Let your misfortune reprove you,
Let your afflictions rebuke you;
Mark well how bad and bitter it is
That you forsake the Lord your God,
That awe for Me is not in you
—declares the Lord God of Hosts.

20For long ago you broke your yoke,
Tore off your yoke-bands,
And said, “I will not work!”
On every high hill and under every verdant tree,
You recline as a whore.

21I planted you with noble vines,
All with choicest seed;
Alas, I find you changed
Into a base, an alien vine!

22Though you wash with natron
And use much lye,
Your guilt is ingrained before Me
—declares the Lord God.

23How can you say, “I am not defiled,
I have not gone after the Baalim”?
Look at your deeds in the Valley,
Consider what you have done!
Like a lustful she-camel,
Restlessly running about,

24Or like a wild ass used to the desert,
Snuffing the wind in her eagerness,
Whose passion none can restrain,
None that seek her need grow weary—
In her season, they’ll find her!

25Save your foot from going bare,
And your throat from thirst.
But you say, “It is no use.
No, I love the strangers,
And after them I must go.”

26Like a thief chagrined when he is caught,
So is the House of Israel chagrined—
They, their kings, their officers,
And their priests and prophets.

27They said to wood, “You are my father,”
To stone, “You gave birth to me,”
While to Me they turned their backs
And not their faces.
But in their hour of calamity they cry,
“Arise and save us!”

28And where are those gods
You made for yourself?
Let them arise and save you, if they can,
In your hour of calamity.
For your gods have become, O Judah,
As many as your towns!

29Why do you call Me to account?
You have all rebelled against Me
—declares the Lord.

30To no purpose did I smite your children;
They would not accept correction.
Your sword has devoured your prophets
Like a ravening lion.

31 O generation, behold the word of the Lord!
Have I been like a desert to Israel,
Or like a land of deep gloom?
Then why do My people say, “We have broken loose,
We will not come to You any more?”

32Can a maiden forget her jewels,
A bride her adornments?
Yet My people have forgotten Me—
Days without number.

33How skillfully you plan your way
To seek out love!
Why, you have even taught
The worst of women your ways.

34Moreover, on your garments is found
The lifeblood of the innocent poor—
You did not catch them breaking in.
Yet, despite all these things,

35You say, “I have been acquitted;
Surely, His anger has turned away from me.”
Lo, I will bring you to judgment
For saying, “I have not sinned.”

36How you cheapen yourself,
By changing your course!
You shall be put to shame through Egypt,
Just as you were put to shame through Assyria.

37From this way, too, you will come out
With your hands on your head;
For the Lord has rejected those you trust,
You will not prosper with them.

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