But where are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them save you when you are in trouble. The sad fact is that 1 you have as many gods as you have towns, Judah.
The Lord asked, 1 “How can I leave you unpunished, Jerusalem? 2 Your people 3 have rejected me and have worshiped gods that are not gods at all. 4 Even though I supplied all their needs, 5 they were like an unfaithful wife to me. 6 They went flocking 7 to the houses of prostitutes. 8
Children are gathering firewood, fathers are building fires with it, and women are mixing dough to bake cakes to offer to the goddess they call the Queen of Heaven. 1 They are also pouring out drink offerings to other gods. They seem to do all this just 2 to trouble me.
They have gone back to the evil ways 1 of their ancestors of old who refused to obey what I told them. They, too, have paid allegiance to 2 other gods and worshiped them. Both the nation of Israel and the nation of Judah 3 have violated the covenant I made with their ancestors.
These wicked people refuse to obey what I have said. 1 They follow the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts and pay allegiance 2 to other gods by worshiping and serving them. So 3 they will become just like these linen shorts which are good for nothing.
So I will throw you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your ancestors have ever known. There you must worship other gods day and night, for I will show you no mercy.’”
The houses in Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled by dead bodies 1 just like this place, Topheth. For they offered sacrifice to the stars 2 and poured out drink offerings to other gods on the roofs of those houses.’”
You must no longer say that the Lord’s message is burdensome. 1 For what is ‘burdensome’ 2 really pertains to what a person himself says. 3 You are misrepresenting 4 the words of our God, the living God, the Lord who rules over all. 5
This will happen because the people of Israel and Judah have repeatedly done what displeases me 1 from their earliest history until now 2 and because they 3 have repeatedly made me angry by the things they have done. 4 I, the Lord, affirm it! 5
Then all the men who were aware that their wives were sacrificing to other gods, as well as all their wives, answered Jeremiah. There was a great crowd of them representing all the people who lived in northern and southern Egypt. 1 They answered,
“The Lord did indeed remember and call to mind what you did! He remembered the sacrifices you and your ancestors, your kings, your leaders, and all the rest of the people of the land offered to other gods 1 in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. 2
“‘But you trusted in your beauty and capitalized on your fame by becoming a prostitute. You offered your sexual favors to every man who passed by so that your beauty 1 became his.
You also took your beautiful jewelry, made of my gold and my silver I had given to you, and made for yourself male images and engaged in prostitution 1 with them.
As for my food that I gave you – the fine flour, olive oil, and honey I fed you – you placed it before them as a soothing aroma. That is exactly what happened, declares the sovereign Lord.
When you built your chamber at the head of every street and put up your pavilion in every public square, you were not like a prostitute, because you scoffed at payment. 1
It is sharpened for slaughter, it is polished to flash like lightning! “‘Should we rejoice in the scepter of my son? No! The sword despises every tree! 1
When they placed their threshold by my threshold and their doorpost by my doorpost, with only the wall between me and them, they profaned my holy name by the abominable deeds they committed. So I consumed them in my anger.
They sacrifice on the mountaintops, and burn offerings on the hills; they sacrifice 1 under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is so pleasant. As a result, your daughters have become cult prostitutes, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery!
Although you, O Israel, commit adultery, do not let Judah become guilty! Do not journey to Gilgal! Do not go up to Beth Aven! 1 Do not swear, “As surely as the Lord lives!”