[a]If my head were a spring of water,
my eyes a fountain of tears,
I would weep day and night(A)
over the slain of my dear[b] people.
[c]If only I had a traveler’s lodging place
in the wilderness,
I would abandon my people
and depart from them,
for they are all adulterers,(B)
a solemn assembly of treacherous people.(C)

They bent their tongues like their bows;
lies and not faithfulness prevail in the land,
for they proceed from one evil to another,
and they do not take Me into account.(D)
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Imminent Ruin and Exile

Everyone has to be on guard against his friend.
Don’t trust any brother,
for every brother will certainly deceive,
and every friend spread slander.(E)
Each one betrays his friend;
no one tells the truth.
They have taught their tongues to speak lies;
they wear themselves out doing wrong.
You live in a world of deception.[d]
In their deception they refuse to know Me.(F)
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Therefore, this is what the Lord of Hosts says:

I am about to refine them and test them,(G)
for what else can I do
because of My dear[e] people?[f]
Their tongues are deadly arrows—
they speak deception.(H)
With his mouth
a man speaks peaceably with his friend,
but inwardly he sets up an ambush.
Should I not punish them for these things?
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Should I not avenge Myself(I)
on such a nation as this?

10 I will raise weeping and a lament
over the mountains,
a dirge over the wilderness grazing land,
for they have been so scorched
that no one passes through.
The sound of cattle is no longer heard.
From the birds of the sky to the animals,(J)
everything has fled—they have gone away.
11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of rubble,(K)
a jackals’ den.(L)
I will make the cities of Judah a desolation,
an uninhabited place.

12 Who is the man wise enough to understand this?(M) Who has the Lord spoken to, that he may explain it? Why is the land destroyed and scorched like a wilderness, so no one can pass through?

13 The Lord said, “It is because they abandoned My instruction(N) that I set in front of them and did not obey My voice or walk according to it. 14 Instead, they followed the stubbornness of their hearts(O) and followed after the Baals as their fathers taught them.”(P) 15 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “I am about to feed this people wormwood(Q) and give them poisonous water to drink.(R) 16 I will scatter them among the nations(S) that they and their fathers have not known. I will send a sword after them until I have finished them off.”

Mourning over Judah

17 This is what the Lord of Hosts says:

Consider, and summon the women who mourn;(T)
send for the skillful women.
18 Let them come quickly to raise a lament over us
so that our eyes may overflow with tears,
our eyelids soaked with weeping.
19 For a sound of lamentation is heard from Zion:
How devastated we are.
We are greatly ashamed,(U)
for we have abandoned the land;
our dwellings have been torn down.

20 Now hear the word of the Lord, you women.
Pay attention to[g] the word of His mouth.
Teach your daughters a lament
and one another a dirge,
21 for Death(V) has climbed through our windows;
it has entered our fortresses,
cutting off children from the streets,
young men from the squares.

22 Speak as follows:

This is what the Lord says:

Human corpses will fall
like manure on the surface of the field,
like newly cut grain(W) after the reaper
with no one to gather it.

Boast in the Lord

23 This is what the Lord says:

The wise man must not boast in his wisdom;
the strong man must not boast in his strength;
the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth.
24 But the one who boasts should boast in this,
that he understands and knows Me(X)
that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

25 “The days are coming”—the Lord’s declaration—“when I will punish all the circumcised yet uncircumcised:(Y) 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all the inhabitants of the desert who clip the hair on their temples.[h] All these nations are uncircumcised, and the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.”(Z)

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 9:1 Jr 8:23 in Hb
  2. Jeremiah 9:1 Lit slain among the daughter of my
  3. Jeremiah 9:2 Jr 9:1 in Hb
  4. Jeremiah 9:6 LXX reads Oppression on oppression, deceit on deceit
  5. Jeremiah 9:7 Lit of the daughter of My
  6. Jeremiah 9:7 LXX, Tg read because of their evils
  7. Jeremiah 9:20 Lit Your ears must receive
  8. Jeremiah 9:26 Or who live in distant places

[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

Bible Gateway Sponsors