Jeremiah 2 – “God Harangues Israel”

flower necklaceHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
God berates the people for worshiping idols and condemns them to servitude.

II. Photo
God laments his fate: “Can a maiden forget her jewels, a bride her adornments? Yet my people have forgotten me for days without number!” (v. 32)

III. Important Verses
2: Go 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.
3: Israel 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.
5-6: Thus said the LORD: What wrong did your fathers find in Me That they abandoned Me And went after delusion and were deluded? They 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?”
8: The 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.
10-11: Just cross over to the isles of the Kittim and look, Send to Kedar and observe carefully; See if aught like this has ever happened: Has any nation changed its gods Even though they are no-gods? But My people has exchanged its glory For what can do no good.
18: What, 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?
20: For 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.
34-35: Moreover, on your garments is found The lifeblood of the innocent poor — You did not catch them breaking in. Yet, despite all these things, You 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.”

IV. Outline

1-3. God’s love for Israel
    1-2a. Introduction to oracle
    2b-3. God’s love for Israel
4-9. Israel’s continuous sin
    4-5a. Introduction oracular sermon
    5b-7. Israel’s forebears chose to sin
    8. The priests, rulers, and prophets rebelled
    9. God will contend with Israel
10-19. Israel’s sin and punishment
    10-11. Israel is worse than other nations
    12. Poetic address
    13. Israel has abandoned God for non-gods
    14-16. Israel’s present and future calamities
    17-19. There is no aid from Egypt or Assyria
20-28. God confronts Israel for worshiping idols
    20. Israel’s effrontery
    21-22. Metaphors: Israel has gone bad
    23a. Israel’s sin: Baal worship
    23b-24. Metaphors: Israel is obstinate
    25-27a. Israel is entranced by their idols
    27b-28. Israel’s gods do not save them from danger
29-35a. God’s lament
    29. Israel has rebelled
    30. Rebuke serves no purpose
    31-32. Israel has forgotten God
    33. Israel’s adultery
    34-35a. Harming the poor
35b-37. Israel’s punishment
    35. Israel will be punished for falsely denying its guilt
    36-37. Egypt will dominate the people

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Craigie, Peter C. “Jeremiah 1-25” Word Biblical Commentary v. 26 (Dallas, Texas: Wordbooks, 1991).
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