The rich and the poor (Jer 5:4-5:5)

“Then I said.

‘These are only the poor.

They have no sense.

They do not know

The way of Yahweh.

They do not know

The law of their God.

Let me go to the rich!

I will speak to them.

They know

The way of Yahweh.

They know

The law of their God.’

But they all alike

Had broken the yoke.

They had burst the bonds.”

Jeremiah went to both the rich and the poor people in Jerusalem. At first, he thought that the little poor people had no sense. They did not know Yahweh or the law of God. However, he found the same thing among the privileged rich people also. He had expected the rich to know Yahweh and the law. However, they both turned out the same. They had both broken the yoke of Yahweh and burst out of his bonds.

Unfaithful Israel (Jer 2:20-2:22)

“‘Long ago you broke your yoke.

You burst your bonds.

You said.

‘I will not serve.’

On every high hill,

Under every green tree,

You sprawled.

You played the whore.

Yet I planted you

As a choice vine.

You were from the purest stock.

How then did you turn degenerate?

How did you become a wild vine?

Though you wash yourself with lye,

Even if you use much soap,

The stain of your guilt is still before me.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Jeremiah has another oracle of Yahweh about the unfaithfulness of Israel. It is just not recently. Long ago, they threw off the yoke of Yahweh and burst out of their bonds, since they said that they would not serve. They ran to every high mountain and under the green oak trees to worship false gods. They lay there sprawling and playing the whore or prostitute. Yahweh had planted them as a vineyard from the purest stock. However, they had become degenerate and a wild vine. No amount of lye or soap could cleanse them from this stain of guilt. What was he to do with these unfaithful Israelites?