¶ Moreover, the word of the LORD commanded me thus: Go thy way, cry in the ears of Ierusalem, and say: Thus sayeth the LORD: I remember thee for the kindness of thy youth, and because of thy steadfast love: in that thou followedst me thorow the wilderness, in an untilled land. Thou Israel wast hallowed unto the LORD, and so was his firstfruits. All they that devoured Israel, offended: misfortune fell upon them, sayeth the LORD. Hear therefore the word of the LORD, O thou house of Iacob, and all the generation of the house of Israel. Thus sayeth the LORD unto you. What unfaithfulness found your fathers in me, that they went so far away from me, falling to lightness, and being so vain? They thought not in their hearts: Where have we left the LORD, that brought us out of the land of Egypt, that led us thorow the wilderness, thorow a desert and rough land, thorow a dry and deadly land, yea a land that no man had gone thorow, and wherein no man had dwelt. And when I had brought you into a pleasant well builded land, that ye might enjoy the fruits and all the commodities of the same: ye went forth and defiled my land, and brought mine heritage to abomination. The priests themselves said not once: Where is the LORD? They that have the law in their hands, know me not: The shepherds offend against me. The Prophets do service unto Baal, and follow such things as shall bring them no profit.
¶ Wherefore I am constrained (sayeth the LORD) to make my complaint upon you, and upon your children. Go into the Isles of Cethim, and look well: and send unto Cedar, take diligent heed: and see, whether such things be done there, whether the Gentiles themselves deal so falsely and untruly with their gods, (which yet are no gods in deed) But my people hath given over their high honour, for a thing that may not help them. Be astonied (O ye heavens) be afraid, and abashed at such a thing, sayeth the LORD. For my people hath done two evils. They have forsaken me the well of the water of life, and digged them pits, yea vile and broken pits, that hold no water.
¶ Is Israel a bond servant, or one of the household? Why is he then so spoiled? Why do they roar and cry then upon him, as a lion? They have made his land waste, his cities are so brent up, that there is no man dwelling in them. Yea the children of Noph and Taphnes have defiled thy neck. Cometh not this unto thee, because thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, ever since he led thee by the way? And what hast thou now to do in the street of Egypt? to drink foul water? Either, what makest thou in the way to Assiria? To drink water of the flood? Thine own wickedness shall reprove thee, and thy turning away shall condemn thee: that thou mayest know and understand, how evil and hurtful a thing it is, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and not feared him, sayeth the Lord GOD of Hosts.
¶ I have ever broken thy yoke of old, and bursten thy bonds: yet sayest thou, I will no more serve, but (like an harlot) thou runnest about upon all high hills, and among all green trees where as I planted thee out of noble grapes and good roots. How art thou turned then into a bitter, unfruitful, and strange grape? Yea and that so sore: that though thou washest thee with Nitrus and makest thyself to savour with that sweet smelling herb of Borith: yet in my sight thou art stained with thy wickedness, sayeth the Lord thy GOD. Say not now: I am not unclean, and I have not followed the gods. Look upon thy own ways in the woods, valleys and dens: so shalt thou know, what thou hast done. Thou art like a swift Dromedary, that goeth easily his way: and thy wantonness is like a wild Ass, that useth the wilderness, and that snuffeth and bloweth at his will. Who can tame thee? All they that seek thee, shall not fail, but find thee in thy own uncleanness. Thou keepest thy foot from nakedness, and thy throat from thirst, and thinkest thus in thyself: tush: I will take no sorrow, I will love the strange gods, and hang upon them. Like as a thief that is taken with the deed cometh to shame, even so is the house of Israel come to confusion: the common people, their kings and rulers, their priests and prophets. For they say to a stock, thou art my father, and to a stone: thou hast begotten me, yea they have turned their back upon me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble, when they say: stond up, and help us, I shall answer them: Where are now thy gods, that thou hast made thee? bid them stond up, and help thee in the time of need? For look how many cities thou hast (O Iudah) so many gods hast thou also.
¶ Wherefore then will ye go to law with me, seeing ye all are sinners against me? sayeth the LORD. It is but lost labour, that I smite your children, for they receive not my correction. Your own sword destroyeth your prophets, like a devouring lion. If ye be the people of the LORD, then hearken unto his word: Am I then become a wilderness unto the people of Israel? or a land that hath no light? Wherefore sayeth my people then: we are fallen off, and we will come no more unto thee? Doth a maiden forget her raiment, or a bride her stomacher? And doth my people forget me so long? Why boastest thou thy ways so highly (to obtain favour there thorow) when thou hast yet stained them with blasphemies? Upon thy wings is found the blood of poor and innocent people, and that not in corners and holes only, but openly in all these places. Yet darest thou say: I am guiltless: Tush, his wrath can not come upon me. Behold, I will reason with thee because thou darest say: I have not offended. O how evil will it be for thee, to abide it: when it shall be known, how oft thou hast gone backward? For thou shalt be confounded, as well of Egypt, as of the Assirians: Yea thou shalt go thy way from them, and smite thine hands together upon thy head. Because the LORD shall bring that confidence and hope of thine to naught, and thou shalt not prosper with all.