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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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The Bible in Living English

Jeremiah 2:1-37

2*  And Jehovah’s word came to me 2  “Go and proclaim publicly at Jerusalem ‘Says Jehovah, I remember the friendship of your girlhood, the love of your honeymoon, your following me in the wilderness, in an unplanted country. 3  Israel was a thing sacred to Jehovah, the first of his crop, whose eaters all had to expiate it: mischief came upon them, quoth Jehovah. 4  “‘Listen to Jehovah’s word, house of Jacob and all clans of the house of Israel. 5  Says Jehovah, What unfairness did your fathers find in me that they went far away from me and ran into superstitions and became slaves to them, 6  and did not say “Where is Jehovah who brought us up out of Egypt, who led us on in the wilderness, in a country of desert and pitfall, a country of drought and gloom, a country where no man passed and no human beings lived there” 7  —and I brought you into the country of garden-soil to feed on its fruits and its good things, and you came in and defiled my country and made my estate an abomination. 8  The priests did not say “Where is Jehovah?”, those who had charge of giving rulings did not know me, the shepherds rebelled against me, and the prophets prophesied by the Baal and followed what did no good. 9  “‘So I will have it out with you again, quoth Jehovah, and with your children’s children. 10  For go over to the Cyprian coasts, and see, and send to Kedar and observe thoroughly, and see if there has occurred the like of this. 11  Has a nation changed gods? and those are not gods; but my people has changed its glory for what does no good. 12  Skies, stand aghast at this and shudder, go utterly blank, quoth Jehovah. 13  For my people has done two hurtful things: left me, a fount of living water, for cutting out cisterns of their own, broken cisterns that will not hold water. 14  “‘Is Israel a slave or is he a menial horn? how is it he has become an object of plunder? 15  Young lions roar at him, they have given tongue and have made his country a desolation, his cities are ruined, left without an inhabitant. 16*  The sons of Memphis and Tehaphnehes too have sheared you to the scalp. 17*  Is it not your leaving your God Jehovah at the time of his conducting you on the road that has done this to you? 18  And now what business have you on the road to Egypt to drink water of the Delta River? or what business have you on the road to Assyria to drink Euphrates water? 19  Your own wickedness will chastise you and your own backslidings correct you: see for yourself that your leaving your God Jehovah and not having the dread of me upon you is a bad and bitter thing, quoth Jehovah of Armies. 20  “‘For since ancient times you have broken your yoke and snapped your tether and said “I will not work,” but on every high hill and under every verdant tree you have been sprawling in prostitution. 21*  And I had planted you from Sorek stock, altogether genuine seed; how is it turned degenerate, a foreign vine, on my hands! 22  For even if you wash with soda and take quantities of lye, your guilt is a stain before me, quoth the Lord Jehovah. 23  “‘How can you say “I have not been defiled, have not followed the Baals”? See your course in the valley; know what you have done. 24  A she-camel in heat, running on this course and that; a wild ass wonted to wilderness, gulping the wind in its eagerness of appetite; who is to turn back her lust? any that look for her will not tire themselves out; in her month they will find her. 25*  Refuse to get your feet sore and your throat thirsty; but you said “Not I; no, I love outsiders and will follow them.” 26  “‘As a thief is ashamed when he is caught, so the house of Israel will come to shame, they, their kings, their generals, and their priests and prophets: 27  people that say to the wood “You are our father” and to the stone “It was you gave birth to us”; for they have turned their backs to me, not their faces, but in their time of trouble they will say “Stand up and save us.” 28*  And where are your gods you made for yourself? let them stand up if they will save you in your time of trouble, for your gods are as many as your cities, Judah. 29  “‘Why should you upbraid me? you have all rebelled against me, quoth Jehovah. 30  I have beaten your sons to no purpose, they have not learned by it. Swords have eaten up your prophets like a ravaging lion, and you have not been afraid; 31*  see Jehovah’s word! Says Jehovah, Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a country of murky gloom? how is it my people say “We are off, we will not come to you again”? 32  Will a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her ribbons? but my people have forgotten me for an incalculable time. 33  How fine you have made your course to look for love! so I have wonted your courses to bad times too. 34**  “‘On your garments was found, too, the lifeblood of innocent poor men; you had not found them breaking in, but it was for all these. 35  And you thought “Because I am innocent, it must be his anger has gone back from me.” Here I am going to plead my case against you for your saying “I have not sinned.” 36  How downright recklessly you change courses! you will be disappointed in Egypt the same as you were in Assyria; 37  from there too you will come out with your hands on your head, for Jehovah disdains what you rely on, you are not to be successful with it.

Footnotes

2:1-2 Var. omits down to Jerusalem. Conj. that verse 4 and two words of verse 5 belong here and not after verse 3
2:16 (sheared you to the scalp) Unc.; susp.; var. known you and done their will on you
2:17 Codd. Will not your . . . do this (but in ungrammatical form)
2:21 Or turned tainted Unc.
2:25 Lit. Check your feet from barefootness and your throat from thirstiness
2:28 Var. adds and they have made burnings to the Baal in as many streets as there are in Jerusalem
2:31 (first part) Susp.
2:34 Lit. On the front flaps of your garments Var. On your hands
2:34 Lit. without it was