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Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes? and I will weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.

Who will give me in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men, and I will leave my people, and depart from them? because they are all adulterers, an assembly of transgressors.

And they have bent their tongue, as a bow, for lies, and not for truth: they have strengthened themselves upon the earth, for they have proceeded from evil to evil, and me they have not known, saith the Lord.

Let every man take heed of his neighbour, and let him not trust in any brother of his: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every friend will walk deceitfully.

And a man shall mock his brother, and they will not speak the truth: for they have taught their tongue to speak lies: they have laboured to commit iniquity.

Thy habitation is in the midst of deceit: Through deceit they have refused to know me, saith the Lord.

Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts: Behold I will melt, and try them: for what else shall I do before the daughter of my people?

Their tongue is a piercing arrow, it hath spoken deceit: with his mouth one speaketh peace with his friend, and secretly he lieth in wait for him.

Shall I not visit them for these things, saith the Lord? or shall not my soul be revenged on such a nation?

10 For the mountains I will take up weeping and lamentation, and for the beautiful places of the desert, mourning: because they are burnt up, for that there is not a man that passeth through them: and they have not heard the voice of the owner: from the fowl of the air to the beasts they are gone away and departed.

11 And I will make Jerusalem to be heaps of sand, and dens of dragons: and I will make the cities of Juda desolate, for want of an inhabitant.

12 Who is the wise man, that may understand this, and to whom the word of the mouth of the Lord may come that he may declare this, why the land hath perished, and is burnt up like a wilderness, which none passeth through?

13 And the Lord said: Because they have forsaken my law, which I gave them, and have not heard my voice, and have not walked in it.

14 But they have gone after the perverseness of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them.

15 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Behold I will feed this people with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

16 And I will scatter them among the nations, which they and their fathers have not known: and I will send the sword after them till they be consumed.

17 Thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel: Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, and let them come: and send to them that are wise women, and let them make haste:

18 Let them hasten and take up a lamentation for us: let our eyes shed tears, and our eyelids run down with waters.

19 For a voice of wailing is heard out of Sion: How are we wasted and greatly confounded? because we have left the land, because our dwellings are cast down.

20 Hear therefore, ye women, the word of the Lord: and let your ears receive the word of his mouth: and teach your daughters wailing: and every one her neighbour mourning.

21 For death is come up through our windows, it is entered into our houses to destroy the children from without, the young men from the streets.

22 Speak: Thus saith the Lord: Even the carcass of man shall fall as dung upon the face of the country, and as grass behind the back of the mower, and there is none to gather it.

23 Thus saith the Lord: Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the strong man glory in his strength, and let not the rich man glory in his riches:

24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, for I am the Lord that exercise mercy, and judgment, and justice in the earth: for these things please me, saith the Lord.

25 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, and I will visit upon every one that hath the foreskin circumcised.

26 Upon Egypt, and upon Juda, and upon Edom, and upon the children of Ammon, and upon Moab, and upon all that have their hair polled round, that dwell in the desert: for all the nations are uncircumcised in the flesh, but all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.

[a]Oh, that my head were a spring of water
    and my eyes a fountain of tears!(A)
I would weep(B) day and night
    for the slain of my people.(C)
Oh, that I had in the desert(D)
    a lodging place for travelers,
so that I might leave my people
    and go away from them;
for they are all adulterers,(E)
    a crowd of unfaithful(F) people.

“They make ready their tongue
    like a bow, to shoot lies;(G)
it is not by truth
    that they triumph[b] in the land.
They go from one sin to another;
    they do not acknowledge(H) me,”
declares the Lord.
“Beware of your friends;(I)
    do not trust anyone in your clan.(J)
For every one of them is a deceiver,[c](K)
    and every friend a slanderer.(L)
Friend deceives friend,(M)
    and no one speaks the truth.(N)
They have taught their tongues to lie;(O)
    they weary themselves with sinning.
You[d] live in the midst of deception;(P)
    in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,”
declares the Lord.

Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says:

“See, I will refine(Q) and test(R) them,
    for what else can I do
    because of the sin of my people?
Their tongue(S) is a deadly arrow;
    it speaks deceitfully.
With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors,(T)
    but in their hearts they set traps(U) for them.(V)
Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge(W) myself
    on such a nation as this?”

10 I will weep and wail for the mountains
    and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands.(X)
They are desolate and untraveled,
    and the lowing of cattle is not heard.
The birds(Y) have all fled
    and the animals are gone.

11 “I will make Jerusalem a heap(Z) of ruins,
    a haunt of jackals;(AA)
and I will lay waste the towns of Judah(AB)
    so no one can live there.”(AC)

12 Who is wise(AD) enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross?

13 The Lord said, “It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law.(AE) 14 Instead, they have followed(AF) the stubbornness of their hearts;(AG) they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.” 15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “See, I will make this people eat bitter food(AH) and drink poisoned water.(AI) 16 I will scatter them among nations(AJ) that neither they nor their ancestors have known,(AK) and I will pursue them with the sword(AL) until I have made an end of them.”(AM)

17 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Consider now! Call for the wailing women(AN) to come;
    send for the most skillful of them.
18 Let them come quickly
    and wail over us
till our eyes overflow with tears
    and water streams from our eyelids.(AO)
19 The sound of wailing is heard from Zion:
    ‘How ruined(AP) we are!
    How great is our shame!
We must leave our land
    because our houses are in ruins.’”

20 Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord;
    open your ears to the words of his mouth.(AQ)
Teach your daughters how to wail;
    teach one another a lament.(AR)
21 Death has climbed in through our windows(AS)
    and has entered our fortresses;
it has removed the children from the streets
    and the young men(AT) from the public squares.

22 Say, “This is what the Lord declares:

“‘Dead bodies will lie
    like dung(AU) on the open field,
like cut grain behind the reaper,
    with no one to gather them.’”

23 This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom(AV)
    or the strong boast of their strength(AW)
    or the rich boast of their riches,(AX)
24 but let the one who boasts boast(AY) about this:
    that they have the understanding to know(AZ) me,
that I am the Lord,(BA) who exercises kindness,(BB)
    justice and righteousness(BC) on earth,
    for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

25 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh(BD) 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.[e](BE) For all these nations are really uncircumcised,(BF) and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.(BG)

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 9:1 In Hebrew texts 9:1 is numbered 8:23, and 9:2-26 is numbered 9:1-25.
  2. Jeremiah 9:3 Or lies; / they are not valiant for truth
  3. Jeremiah 9:4 Or a deceiving Jacob
  4. Jeremiah 9:6 That is, Jeremiah (the Hebrew is singular)
  5. Jeremiah 9:26 Or wilderness and who clip the hair by their foreheads

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