Jeremiah 2:8
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The priests did not ask, 'Where is the LORD?' Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols.

New Living Translation
The priests did not ask, 'Where is the LORD?' Those who taught my word ignored me, the rulers turned against me, and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal, wasting their time on worthless idols.

English Standard Version
The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.

New American Standard Bible
"The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?' And those who handle the law did not know Me; The rulers also transgressed against Me, And the prophets prophesied by Baal And walked after things that did not profit.

King James Bible
The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The priests quit asking, "Where is the LORD?" The experts in the law no longer knew Me, and the rulers rebelled against Me. The prophets prophesied by Baal and followed useless idols.

International Standard Version
"The priests didn't say, 'Where is the LORD?' and those handling the Law didn't know me. The rulers transgressed against me, the prophets prophesied by Baal, and they followed that which does not profit.

NET Bible
Your priests did not ask, 'Where is the LORD?' Those responsible for teaching my law did not really know me. Your rulers rebelled against me. Your prophets prophesied in the name of the god Baal. They all worshiped idols that could not help them.

New Heart English Bible
The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?' And those who handle the law did not know me. The rulers also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The priests didn't ask, "Where is the LORD?" Those who deal with my teachings didn't know me. The rulers rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied in the name of Baal and followed statues that couldn't help them.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The priests said not: 'Where is the LORD?' And they that handle the law knew Me not, And the rulers transgressed against Me; The prophets also prophesied by Baal, And walked after things that do not profit.

New American Standard 1977
“The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’
            And those who handle the law did not know Me;
            The rulers also transgressed against Me,
            And the prophets prophesied by Baal
            And walked after things that did not profit.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The priests did not say, Where is the LORD? and those that handled the law did not know me; the pastors also rebelled against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and walked after things that do not profit.

King James 2000 Bible
The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the rulers also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

American King James Version
The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

American Standard Version
The priests said not, Where is Jehovah? and they that handle the law knew me not: the rulers also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The priests did not say: Where is the Lord? and they that held the law knew me not, and the pastors transgressed against me: and the prophets prophesied in Baal, and followed idols.

Darby Bible Translation
The priests said not, Where is Jehovah? and they that handled the law knew me not; and the shepherds transgressed against me; and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after [things that] do not profit.

English Revised Version
The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the rulers also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

Webster's Bible Translation
The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

World English Bible
The priests didn't say, 'Where is Yahweh?' and those who handle the law didn't know me. The rulers also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

Young's Literal Translation
The priests have not said, 'Where is Jehovah?' And those handling the law have not known Me. And the shepherds transgressed against Me, And the prophets have prophesied by Baal, And after those who profit not have gone.
Study Bible
Israel has Forsaken God
7"I brought you into the fruitful land To eat its fruit and its good things. But you came and defiled My land, And My inheritance you made an abomination. 8"The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?' And those who handle the law did not know Me; The rulers also transgressed against Me, And the prophets prophesied by Baal And walked after things that did not profit. 9"Therefore I will yet contend with you," declares the LORD, "And with your sons' sons I will contend.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 2:12
Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the LORD

Jeremiah 4:22
"For My people are foolish, They know Me not; They are stupid children And have no understanding. They are shrewd to do evil, But to do good they do not know."

Jeremiah 9:14
but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them,"

Jeremiah 10:21
For the shepherds have become stupid And have not sought the LORD; Therefore they have not prospered, And all their flock is scattered.

Jeremiah 16:19
O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, And my refuge in the day of distress, To You the nations will come From the ends of the earth and say, "Our fathers have inherited nothing but falsehood, Futility and things of no profit."

Jeremiah 18:18
Then they said, "Come and let us devise plans against Jeremiah. Surely the law is not going to be lost to the priest, nor counsel to the sage, nor the divine word to the prophet! Come on and let us strike at him with our tongue, and let us give no heed to any of his words."

Jeremiah 23:13
"Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray.

Ezekiel 22:26
"Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

Ezekiel 34:2
"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?

Habakkuk 2:18
"What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, Or an image, a teacher of falsehood? For its maker trusts in his own handiwork When he fashions speechless idols.
Treasury of Scripture

The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.

priests

Jeremiah 2:6 Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the …

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their …

Jeremiah 8:10,11 Therefore will I give their wives to others, and their fields to …

Jeremiah 2:9-15 Why I will yet plead with you, said the LORD, and with your children's …

1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.

Isaiah 28:7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are …

Isaiah 29:10 For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and …

Isaiah 56:9-12 All you beasts of the field, come to devour, yes, all you beasts …

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected …

and they that

Jeremiah 8:8,9 How do you say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? …

Deuteronomy 33:10 They shall teach Jacob your judgments, and Israel your law: they …

Malachi 2:6-9 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in …

Luke 11:52 Woe to you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: …

John 8:55 Yet you have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, …

John 16:3 And these things will they do to you, because they have not known …

Romans 2:17-24 Behold, you are called a Jew, and rest in the law, and make your boast of God…

2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in …

the pastors

Jeremiah 10:21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: …

Jeremiah 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion …

Jeremiah 23:1,2 Woe be to the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! …

prophets

Jeremiah 23:13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied …

1 Kings 18:29,22,40 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until …

do not

Jeremiah 2:11 Has a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people …

Jeremiah 7:8 Behold, you trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

1 Samuel 12:21 And turn you not aside: for then should you go after vain things, …

Isaiah 30:5 They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor …

Habakkuk 2:18 What profits the graven image that the maker thereof has graven it; …

Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and …

(8) The priests said not . . .--As throughout the work of Jeremiah and most of the prophets of the Old Testament, that which weighed most heavily on their souls was that those who were called to be guides of the people were themselves the chief agents in the evil. The salt had lost its savour. The light had become darkness. The rebuke, we must remember, came from the lips of one who was himself a priest.

The priests said not, Where is the Lord?--The same failure to seek as that condemned in Jeremiah 2:6. To them, too, all was a routine. Jehovah was absent from their thoughts even in the very act of worship.

They that handle the law.--These, probably, were also of the priestly order, to whom this function was assigned in Deuteronomy 33:10. The order of non-priestly scribes, in the sense of interpreters of the law, does not appear till after the captivity. Their sin was that they "dealt with the law" as interpreters and judges, and forgot Jehovah who had given it.

The pastors.--Better, shepherds, the English "pastors" having gained a too definitely religious connotation. The Hebrew word was general in its significance, but in its Old Testament use was applied chiefly to civil rulers, as in Psalm 78:71; 1Kings 22:17. Even in Ezekiel 34, where the spiritual aspect of rule is most prominent, the contrast between the false shepherds and the one true shepherd of the house of David (Jeremiah 2:23) shows that the kingly, not the priestly, office was in the prophet's mind.

The prophets prophesied by Baal.--The precise form of the sin described was probably connected with the oracular power ascribed to Baal-zebub, as in 2Kings 1:2. The evil was of long standing. It was one of the sins of the people in Isaiah's time that they were "soothsayers like the Philistines" (Isaiah 2:6). When Ahab first introduced the Phnician worship, it was by the prophets rather than the priests of Baal that the new cultus was propagated (1Kings 18:19; 1Kings 22:6).

Things that do not profit.--The word had acquired an almost proverbial force as applied to idols (1Samuel 12:21; Isaiah 44:9). So the phrase is repeated in Jeremiah 2:11.

Verse 8. - The priests, etc. The blame principally falls on the three leading classes (as in ver. 26; Micah 3:11). First on the priests who "handle the Law," i.e. who have a traditional knowledge of the details of the Law, and teach the people accordingly (Deuteronomy 17:9-11; Deuteronomy 33:10; Jeremiah 18:18; see also on Jeremiah 8:8); next on the "pastors," or "shepherds" (in the Homeric sense), the civil and not the spiritual authorities; so generally in the Old Testament (see Jeremiah 3:15; Jeremiah 10:21; Jeremiah 22:22; Jeremiah 25:34; Zechariah 10:3; Zechariah 11:5, 8, 16; Isaiah 44:28); and lastly on the prophets, who sought their inspiration, not from Jehovah (comp. note on ver. 30), but from Baal. To prophesy by (by means of) Baal or rather, the Baal, implies that prophecy is due to an impulse from the supernatural world; that it is not an objectifying of the imaginations of the prophet himself. Even the Baal prophets yielded to an impulse from without, but how that impulse was produced the prophet does not tell us. We are told in 1 Kings 22:19-23, that even prophets of Jehovah could be led astray by a "lying spirit;" much more presumably could prophets of the Baal. The Baal is here used as a representative of the idol-gods, in antithesis to Jehovah; sometimes "Baalim," or the Baals, is used instead (e.g. ver. 23; Jeremiah 9:13), each town or city having its own Baal ("lord"). Things that do not profit. A synonym for idols (comp. Jeremiah 16:19; Isaiah 44:9;. 1 Samuel 12:21). An enlightened regard for self-interest is encouraged by the religion of the Bible, at any rate educationally. Contrast Comtism. The priests said not, where is the Lord?.... Whose business it was to draw nigh to God, and offer the sacrifices of the people, and inquire of God for them; whose lips should keep knowledge, and at whose mouth the law should be sought, they being the messengers of the Lord of hosts, Malachi 2:7,

and they that handle the law knew me not; the sanhedrim, according to Jarchi; or the lawyers and scribes, the Rabbins and doctors of the law, whose business it was to read and explain it; these did not understand it, nor the mind of God in it; and much less did they know him in a spiritual and evangelical manner; or as he is in Christ, and revealed in the Gospel:

the pastors also transgressed against me; kings, as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi interpret it, who were pastors or shepherds in a civil sense; whose business it was to feed the people as the shepherd does his flock; that is, to guide and govern them by wholesome laws, by the laws of God; but, instead of this, they rebelled against the Lord, and transgressed his commands:

and the prophets prophesied by Baal; in his name; pretending to be inspired by that idol, and to receive the spirit of prophecy from him:

and walked after things that do not profit; the gods of the Gentiles, which could not supply them with the least temporal blessing, and much less give them spiritual and eternal ones; see Jeremiah 14:22. This is to be understood of false prophets, as Ben Melech. 8. The three leading classes, whose very office under the theocracy was to lead the people to God, disowned Him in the same language as the nation at large, "Where is the Lord?" (See Jer 2:6).

priests—whose office it was to expound the law (Mal 2:6, 7).

handle—are occupied with the law as the subject of their profession.

pastors—civil, not religious: princes (Jer 3:15), whose duty it was to tend their people.

prophets—who should have reclaimed the people from their apostasy, encouraged them in it by pretended oracles from Baal, the Phoenician false god.

by Baal—in his name and by his authority (compare Jer 11:21).

walked after things … not profit—answering to, "walked after vanity," that is, idols (Jer 2:5; compare Jer 2:11; Hab 2:18).2:1-8 Those who begin well, but do not persevere, will justly be upbraided with their hopeful and promising beginnings. Those who desert religion, commonly oppose it more than those who never knew it. For this they could have no excuse. God's spiritual Israel must own their obligations to him for safe conduct through the wilderness of this world, so dangerous to the soul. Alas, that many, who once appeared devoted to the Lord, so live that their professions aggravate their crimes! Let us be careful that we do not lose in zeal and fervency, as we gain knowledge.
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OT Prophets: Jeremiah 2:8 The priests didn't say Where is Yahweh? (Jer.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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