The accusations (Jer 2:9-2:12)

“‘Therefore once more

I accuse you.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I accuse

Your children’s children.

Cross to the coasts of Cyprus!

See!

Send to Kedar!

Examine with care!

See if there has ever been

Such a thing!

Has a nation changed its gods?

Even though

They are no gods.

But my people have changed their glory.

They prefer something that does not profit.

Be appalled!

O heavens!

At this!

Be shocked!

Be utterly desolate!’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has Yahweh accuse his people and their children of changing from Yahweh God to go after false gods. Yahweh wanted them to go to the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea or the desert tribe of Kedar on the eastern side of the Jordan. Did those people change their deities? Why did his own people change from the glory of Yahweh to these false useless gods. The heavens are appalled, shocked, and desolate at this turn of events. Yahweh was upset.

Religious hypocrites (Isa 1:13-1:16)

“I cannot endure

Solemn assemblies

With iniquity.

I cannot endure

New moon convocations.

I cannot endure

Sabbath convocations.

My soul hates

Your new moon celebrations.

My soul hates

Your appointed festivals.

They have become a burden to me.

I am weary of bearing them.

When you spread forth your hands,

I will hide my eyes from you.

Even though you make many prayers,

I will not listen.

Your hands are full of blood.

Wash yourselves!

Make yourselves clean!

Remove the evil

Of your doings

From before my eyes.

Cease to do evil!”

Yahweh via Isaiah continues to reject all convocations and assemblies for the new moon and the various festivals, even for the Sabbath because of their iniquity. What a striking turn of events! The kings and priests loved these assemblies for fulfilling the law in the Torah. Isaiah and Yahweh seem to be calling out the hypocrisy of these worship assemblies where evil iniquitous people gathered for these festivals. Yahweh could not endure them any longer. His soul hated them. He was weary of their burden on him.   He was going to hide his eyes and not listen to their prayers. Then in surprisingly priestly language he talks about the unclean bloody hands that need to be washed. Somehow the idea of clean and unclean was acceptable. However, these worshippers had to change their evil habits. They had to cease to do evil. Maybe, this rebuke against offerings and festivals was not absolute.