4 Hear the word of the Lord, you descendants of Jacob,
all you clans of Israel.
5 This is what the Lord says:
“What fault did your ancestors find in me,
that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols(A)
and became worthless(B) themselves.
6 They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord,
who brought us up out of Egypt(C)
and led us through the barren wilderness,
through a land of deserts(D) and ravines,(E)
a land of drought and utter darkness,
a land where no one travels(F) and no one lives?’
7 I brought you into a fertile land
to eat its fruit and rich produce.(G)
But you came and defiled my land
and made my inheritance detestable.(H)
8 The priests did not ask,
‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who deal with the law did not know me;(I)
the leaders(J) rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,(K)
following worthless idols.(L)
9 “Therefore I bring charges(M) against you again,”
declares the Lord.
“And I will bring charges against your children’s children.
10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus(N) and look,
send to Kedar[a](O) and observe closely;
see if there has ever been anything like this:
11 Has a nation ever changed its gods?
(Yet they are not gods(P) at all.)
But my people have exchanged their glorious(Q) God
for worthless idols.
12 Be appalled at this, you heavens,
and shudder with great horror,”
declares the Lord.
13 “My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken(R) me,
the spring of living water,(S)
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
14 Is Israel a servant, a slave(T) by birth?
Why then has he become plunder?
15 Lions(U) have roared;
they have growled at him.
They have laid waste(V) his land;
his towns are burned(W) and deserted.(X)
16 Also, the men of Memphis(Y) and Tahpanhes(Z)
have cracked your skull.
17 Have you not brought this on yourselves(AA)
by forsaking(AB) the Lord your God
when he led you in the way?
18 Now why go to Egypt(AC)
to drink water from the Nile[b]?(AD)
And why go to Assyria(AE)
to drink water from the Euphrates?(AF)
19 Your wickedness will punish you;
your backsliding(AG) will rebuke(AH) you.
Consider then and realize
how evil and bitter(AI) it is for you
when you forsake(AJ) the Lord your God
and have no awe(AK) of me,”
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.
20 “Long ago you broke off your yoke(AL)
and tore off your bonds;(AM)
you said, ‘I will not serve you!’(AN)
Indeed, on every high hill(AO)
and under every spreading tree(AP)
you lay down as a prostitute.(AQ)
21 I had planted(AR) you like a choice vine(AS)
of sound and reliable stock.
How then did you turn against me
into a corrupt,(AT) wild vine?
22 Although you wash(AU) yourself with soap(AV)
and use an abundance of cleansing powder,
the stain of your guilt is still before me,”
declares the Sovereign Lord.(AW)
23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled;(AX)
I have not run after the Baals’?(AY)
See how you behaved in the valley;(AZ)
consider what you have done.
You are a swift she-camel
running(BA) here and there,
24 a wild donkey(BB) accustomed to the desert,(BC)
sniffing the wind in her craving—
in her heat who can restrain her?
Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves;
at mating time they will find her.
25 Do not run until your feet are bare
and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!(BD)
I love foreign gods,(BE)
and I must go after them.’(BF)
26 “As a thief is disgraced(BG) when he is caught,
so the people of Israel are disgraced—
they, their kings and their officials,
their priests(BH) and their prophets.(BI)
27 They say to wood,(BJ) ‘You are my father,’
and to stone,(BK) ‘You gave me birth.’
They have turned their backs(BL) to me
and not their faces;(BM)
yet when they are in trouble,(BN) they say,
‘Come and save(BO) us!’
28 Where then are the gods(BP) you made for yourselves?
Let them come if they can save you
when you are in trouble!(BQ)
For you, Judah, have as many gods
as you have towns.(BR)