Jeremias 9

1 Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears. Then I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!

2 I wish I had a dwelling in the desert. I would abandon my people and go away from them. They are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.

3 They bend their tongue like their bow. Lies and not truth prevail in the land. They move from evil to evil. »They do not know me,« says Jehovah.

4 »Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor. Do not trust any brother because every brother deals craftily cunningly, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.

5 »Everyone deceives his neighbor and does not speak the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak lies. They wear themselves out committing sin.

6 »You live in the middle of deceit. Through deceit they refuse to know me,« says Jehovah.

7 Thus says Jehovah of Hosts: »Behold, I will refine them and assay them. What else can I do, because of the daughter of my people?

8 »Their tongue is a deadly arrow. It speaks deceit! With the mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor, but inwardly he sets an ambush for him.«

9 »I will punish them for these things,« declares Jehovah. »I will punish this nation and I will not be satisfied.«

10 I will cry and weep for the mountains. I will sing a funeral song for the pastures in the wilderness. They are destroyed so that no one can travel through them. No one can hear the sound of cattle. Birds and cattle have fled. They are gone.

11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins. It will be a gathering place of jackals. I will make the cities of Judah desolation, without inhabitant.

12 »Who is the wise man that may understand this? Who is he to whom the mouth of Jehovah has spoken? Let him declare it? Why is the land ruined, laid waste like a desert, so that no one passes through?«

13 Jehovah said: »They have forsaken the Law I set before them. They have not obeyed my voice nor walked according to it.

14 »They have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals as their fathers taught them.

15 »‘Therefore Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel says: ‘Behold! I will feed this people with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink.’

16 ‘I will scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. I will send the sword violence and warfare after them until I have annihilated them.’

17 »Jehovah of Hosts says: ‘Consider the mourning women that they may come. Send for the wailing women that they may come!

18 Let them hurry and take up a wailing for us. Let our eyes shed tears and our eyelids flow with water.

19 A voice of wailing is heard from Zion: »How we are ruined! We are put to great shame for we have left the land, because they have cast down our dwellings.«

20 Listen to the word of Jehovah, you women, and open your ears to hear his words. Teach your daughters how to cry. Teach your neighbors funeral songs.

21 Death has come through our windows and entered our palaces. Death has cut down the children in the streets and the young men in the market places.

22 »‘This is what Jehovah says: »Dead bodies will fall like manure on the field. They will be like grain that has been cut but not gathered.« ’«

23 This is what Jehovah says: »Do not let wise people brag about their wisdom. Do not let strong people brag about their strength. Do not let rich people brag about their riches.«

24 »If they want to brag, instead let them advocate glorycelebrate that they understand and know me. They should advocate that I, Jehovah, act out of love, righteousness, and justice on the earth. This kind of celebration pleases me,« declares Jehovah.

25 »The days are coming,« proclaims Jehovah, »when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh. Yet they are not circumcised in the heart.

26 »I will punish Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, and Moab. I will punish all who shave the hair on their foreheads or live in the desert. Even though all these nations are uncircumcised, all Israel has uncircumcised hearts.«