Jeremiah 2:1-13*

Designation of oracles  and chiasmus follows  J R Lundbom – (“Jeremiah among the Prophets”, Cascade Books, Eugene, Oregon, 2012.) Lundbom  points out that the phrase “walked after vanity” is inverted in the Hebrew in v8. The poetic form only roughly comes through in the AV. 

1 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying,

Oracle 1
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.

Oracle 2
4 Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel:

A. 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?

B. 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?

C. 7 And I brought you into a plentiful country,
to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof;

C’. but when ye entered, ye defiled my land,
and made mine heritage an abomination.

B’. 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,

A’. and walked after things that do not profit.
9 Wherefore I will yet plead with you,
– saith the LORD,
and with your children’s children will I plead.

Oracle 3

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;
a. they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters,
b. and hewed them out cisterns,
b’. broken cisterns,
a’. that can hold no water.

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