In vain have I smitten your children
Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
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.
The word of God said to me, 
Go cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying,
This is what God says,
I remember when you were my young bride and you loved me in the wilderness.
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.
Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of
the house of Israel:
You were faithful and I protected you.
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
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?
Why did your ancestors abandon me?
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.
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.
I brought you to a good land, but you defiled it and made it an abomination.
Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your
children's children will I plead.
For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and
consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing.
Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people
have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.
Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very
desolate, saith the LORD.
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.
Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled?
The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste:
his cities are burned without inhabitant.
Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head.
Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the
LORD thy God, when he led thee by the way?
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
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.
So I'm pleading with you and your childrens' children.
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.
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?
For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine
iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.
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;
You've played the harlot under every high hill and under every green tree.
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.
Like a female donkey in heat, you sniff the air looking for sex.
All the males will easily find you.
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.
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
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.
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.
Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me,
saith the LORD.
You've worn yourself out chasing after strangers to have sex with them.
In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your
own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.
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?
I punished you by killing your children.
But it didn't help.
Can a maid forget her
ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days
Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught
the wicked ones thy ways.
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.
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.
Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be
ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.
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.
Can a woman forget about her clothing and jewelry?
Yet you have long forgotten about me.
- The word of the LORD came to me, saying.... (v.1)
Much of what God says to Jeremiah is unintelligible. I'll do my best to summarize it, but I recommend that
you skip over the parts that are not highlighted in the biblical text.