The last decades of Judah and the beginning of the Exile were accompanied by the preaching of many prophets

The last decades of Judah and the beginning of the Exile were accompanied by the preaching of many prophets

These crimes led to the greatest threats the prophets could hurl against Israel and Judah: the Lord will reject his people. 220 This will lead to the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, where his beneficent and protecting presence dwells. 221

But the Lord had never resigned himself to accepting this rupture

Like Hosea, Jeremiah enumerates sins 222 and shows that abandoning the lordis the root of all evil (2:13); he brands idolatry as adultery and prostitution. 223 Ezechiel does the same in lengthy chapters (Ezk 16; 23) and calls the Israelites a “brood of rebels” (2:5,6,7,8), “stubborn and hard-hearted” (2:4;3:7). The force of the prophetic accusations is astonishing. What is surprising is that Israel gave them such a large place in its Scriptures, which shows a sincerity and humility that is exemplary.

During the Exile and after, the Judean and Jewish community acknowledged their sins through liturgies and prayers in a national confession

When they contemplated their past, the people of the Sinai covenant could only pass a severe judgement on themselves: their history had been a long succession of infidelities. The punishments were deserved. The covenant had been broken. 225 He had always offered the grace of conversion and resumption of relations, in a more intimate and stable form. 226

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