Jeremiah 2

Tell Jerusalem I remember them  1
What wrong did your fathers find in me?  4
I will bring charges against you for two sins  9
If Israel is not a servant why is he in trouble? Wickedness  14
I have freed you but you played the harlot; I planted a vineyard  20
How can you say, I'm not polluted 23
Ashamed like a guilty thief; how can you plead innocence 26
Your children have not accepted correction; you have forgotten me  29
A series of prophecies begin with this chapter. They show how Israel's past influenced their present condition. Each is introduced like the first. See je0102.
.1 ¶ Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
 2  Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
.3  Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.
  2 - Go and cry ... Jerusalem He may have been in Anathoth je0101.
  2 - I remember thee Literally, "I remember for thee," in thy favor" or "to thy credit." Compare ne0519.
  2 - Kindness of thy youth Israel had rebelled, at times, in the wilderness but now they seemed to be constantly in rebellion. Espousals is the time of engagement or betrothal.
  3 - Firstfruits They were the first or choice part of the harvest of salvation and were thus dedicated to the Lord. They were to have led others to the Lord.
.4  Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel:
.5  Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
.6  Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that 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 the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.
.8  The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
  5 - What iniquity ... in me See mi0603, de3204.
  5 - Vanity Idolatry is attempted salvation by works and pride. je1015, je1422, je1619, de3221, 1co0804.
  7 - Plentiful country Literally, "the land of the orchard." It was planted with vines and fruit trees.
  7 - My land le2523, de1112.
  8 - Priests ... pastors ... prophets The three classes of leaders. The priests were to "handle the law" teaching it to the people de3109, pr0301, de3310. The pastors (literally "shepherds") were the civil and religious leaders je0315, je2222, 1ki2217, is4428.
.9 ¶ Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead.
 10  For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing.
.11  Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.
.12  Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD.
.13  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
  9 - Plead From the Hebrew rib, as appealing in court. is0313, is5716, ps07422.
  11 - Changed their glory Compare ps10620.
  13 - Two evils It seems to me that these two elements may be seen in all of our sin. We begin by simply neglecting spiritual activities like prayer and fellowship. Then our hearts go out to substitutes for the things of God. It's a double sin.
  13 - Living waters See Jesus statement to the woman of Samaria jn0410.
.14 ¶ Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled?
.15  The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant.
.16  Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head.
 17  Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when he led thee by the way?
.18  And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?
.19  Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
  16 - Noph Or "Memphis." "The ruins of it, though not to any great extent, are still found a few miles above Old Cairo, or Fostat, Isa 19:13; ... Jer. 44:1; Eze 30:13,16.
  "Memphis was the residence of the ancient kings of Egypt till the times of the Ptolemies, who commonly resided at Alexandria." (ATS Dictionary)
  18 - And now The words introduce a conclusion.
  18 - Way of Egypt Having lost confidence in God, they were making an alliance with Egypt. Compare similar warnings is3001, is3101.
.20 ¶ For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.
.21  Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?
.22  For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.
  20 - Wanderest God had freed them from pagan worship. See am0709.
  22 - Washed thee with nitre We cannot make ourselves clean. Compare re0714. Nitre was carbonate of soda used for making lye for washing pr2520. The word means something else today.
.23  How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways;
 24  A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her.
 25  Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.
  23 - How canst thou say? The people were justifying themselves v35. Josiah had instituted worship of the Lord but the people apparently didn't believe certain pagan practices were false worship. We have this risk today.
  23 - Baalim Plural for "Baal" and generally meant "other gods." je0116
  23 - Valley Probably the Valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem je0731, je1902, je3235. See map. A dromedary is a young female camel.
.26  As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets,
.27  Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.
.28  But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.
  26 - Ashamed ... Israel Also Judah as in verse 28.
  27 - Stock ... stone Material for idols. A "stock" is a piece of wood or a tree.
  28 - Where? See de3237,8; jg1014.
.29 ¶ Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the LORD.
 30  In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.
 31  O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee?
 32  Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.
 33  Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways.
.34  Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these.
  30 - Your children Speaking to the nation of Judah. The Lord provides trials for various reasons but generally to develop our characters.
  34 - In thy skirts The clause may be translated, "Not in the act of breaking in did you find them." In other words, the slain ones had performed no crime. Compare the wicked woman of re1824.
.35  Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned.
.36  Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of [or "by"] Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.
 37  Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.
  35 - Anger shall turn Maybe, because of their participation in true worship (along with idol worship) and because of Josiah's moves toward reform, they thought they were out of danger of punishment.
  36 - Ashamed of [by] Egypt Ahab's alliance with Egypt would bring shame as had his alliance with Assyria. For fulfillment see je3705.
  37 - Hands upon thy head Sorrow 2sa1319.
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