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CHAPTER 2 Ju1. 12 
Israel's Unfaithfulness
The word of Yahweh came to me saying, 2Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh, I remember the kindness of your youth, the love at the time of your marriage; how you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. 3Israel was holiness to Yahweh, the first fruits of His increase. All who devour him shall be held guilty. Evil shall come on them’, says Yahweh. 4Hear the word of Yahweh O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel! 5Thus says Yahweh, What unrighteousness have your fathers found in Me, that they have gone far from Me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? 6Neither did they say, ‘Where is Yahweh who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, who 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 none passed through, and where no man lived?’. 7I brought you into a plentiful land, to eat its fruit and its goodness; but when you entered, you defiled My land and made My heritage an abomination. 8The priests didn’t say, ‘Where is Yahweh?’ and those who handle the law didn’t come to know Me. The rulers also transgressed against Me, the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that do not profit. 9Therefore I will yet contend with you, says Yahweh, and I will contend with your children’s children. 10For pass over to the islands of Kittim, and see; and send to Kedar, and consider diligently; and see if there has been such a thing. 11Has a nation changed its gods, which really are no gods? But My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. 12Be astonished, you heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid. Be very desolate, says Yahweh. 13For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the spring of living waters, and cut them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
Results of Israel's Unfaithfulness
14Is Israel a servant? Is he a native-born slave? Why has he become a prey? 15The young lions have roared at him and yelled, they have desolated his land. His cities are burned up without inhabitant. 16The children also of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head. 17Haven’t you procured this to yourself, in that you have forsaken Yahweh your God, when He led you by the way? 18Now what have you to do in the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Shihor? Or what have you to do in the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River? 19Your own wickedness shall correct you, and your backsliding shall reprove you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and a bitter, that you have forsaken Yahweh your God, and that My fear is not in you, says the Lord, Yahweh of Armies. 20For of old time I have broken your yoke and burst your bonds; and you said, ‘I will not serve;’ for on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed yourself, playing the prostitute. 21Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed. How then have you turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine to Me? 22For though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me, says the Lord Yahweh. 23How can you say, ‘I am not defiled. I have not gone after the Baals’? See your way in the valley. Know what you have done. You are a swift dromedary traversing her ways; 24a wild donkey used to the wilderness, that snuffs up the wind in her desire. When she is in heat, who can turn her away? All those who seek her will not weary themselves. In her month, they will find her. 25Withhold your foot from being unshod, and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘It is in vain. No, for I have loved strangers, and I will go after them’. 26As 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 prophets; 27who tell wood, ‘You are my father;’ and a stone, ‘You have brought me forth’; for they have turned their back to Me, and not their face; but in the time of their trouble they will say, ‘Arise, and save us’. 28But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise, if they can save you in the time of your trouble: for according to the number of your cities are your gods, Judah.     
Israel Rebels against God
29Why will you contend with Me? You all have transgressed against Me, says Yahweh. 30I have struck your children in vain. They received no correction. Your own sword has devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. 31Generation, consider the word of Yahweh. Have I been a wilderness to Israel? Or a land of thick darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We have broken loose. We will come to You no more?’. 32Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me for days without number. 33How well you prepare your way to seek love! Therefore you have taught even the wicked women your ways. 34Also the blood of the souls of the innocent poor is found in your skirts, even though you did not catch them in the act of burglary. 35Yet you said, ‘I am innocent. Surely His anger has turned away from me’. Behold, I will judge you, because you say, ‘I have not sinned’. 36Why do you go about so much, ever  changing your way? You will be shamed by Egypt, just as you were shamed by Assyria. 37From there also you shall go forth, with your hands on your head; for Yahweh has rejected those in whom you trust, and you shall not prosper with them.


2:5 Walked after vanity, and are become vain- We become like what we worship (Ps. 115:8; 135:18). The prophets emphasize that the idols are empty and vain. Whilst we may not be tempted to worship pieces of stone or wood, we are surrounded by the vain things of the modern world which can become our gods; sport, endless surfing the internet, frivolous obsession with tickling our taste buds, these and so much else are mere vanity. And as we worship them, we become vain and empty too, with no real substance to our personality. Whilst the richness and depth of Yahweh is thereby ignored by us. See on 2:11.
2:6 The wilderness is described as an awful place, just as Moses likewise spoke of it when reflecting on the journeys of Israel in Deuteronomy. Israel crossing the Red Sea represents our baptism into Christ (1 Cor. 10:1,2), and their wilderness journey afterwards equates with our lives now as we walk toward the promised land of God’s Kingdom. The world is a terrifying place spiritually; in spiritual terms it isn’t the nice safe place it can appear.
2:8 Those who handle the law didn’t come to know Me- We can be faithful Bible readers, familiar with the text, and yet not know God in the sense of having a personal relationship with Him; rather like the rejected of the last day who will call Jesus “Lord” and have been associated with Him in their lives, but who never knew Him (Mt. 7:22,23; 25:12; Lk. 13:25). 
2:11 Israel never officially changed their gods; they never rejected Yahweh nor were they atheists. But worshipping any other god in addition to the one true God as they did is effectively doing this. See on 2:5.
2:19 God has a wonderful way of not turning away in disgust from sinful people, but rather working through their sin to try to bring them to repentance. The traditional understanding of Satan is unable to explain this; for if a personal, sinful entity called ‘satan’ makes people sin, then how come that sin actually results in some becoming righteous? Sin comes from within (James 1:13-15), it is solely our fault that we sin; but God in His grace often works through human failure in order to bring sinners to Himself. Our real ‘satan’ or adversary is ourselves, and not any external, cosmic being.
2:26 Worshipping other gods is likened here to stealing. Not giving God our entire worship is in fact robbing Him; even though the analogy seems extreme at first sight, if we really accept that we are created by Him and are His, then to not give Him all of ourselves is to rob Him (Mal. 3:8). Significantly, the people are mentioned as punishing innocent people for the crime of stealing when they hadn’t committed it (:34). Those who robbed God knew subconsciously what they were doing; and so unconsciously, they transferred their guilt onto others, falsely accusing them of the very kind of sin theyhad committed, and then strictly condemning and punishing those innocent people for it, exercising the judgment against themselves which was their due on others, onto whom they had transferred their guilt. This is why people gossip, malign, falsely accuse and judge harshly. If we face up to our sins in the first place and accept God’s forgiveness, then we will show grace to others rather than act in this way.
2:30 It’s tragic that people can suffer so much, as Israel have throughout their history, and yet not respond to it as God intended.