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Jeremiah 9

A Lament over Zion

1 Oh, that my head were a spring of water,

and my eyes a fountain of tears!

I would weep day and night

over the slain daughter of my people.

2 If only I had a traveler’s lodge in the wilderness,

I would abandon my people and depart from them,

for they are all adulterers,

a crowd of faithless people.

3 “They bend their tongues like bows;

lies prevail over truth in the land.

For they proceed from evil to evil,

and they do not take Me into account,”

declares the LORD.

4 “Let everyone guard against his neighbor;

do not trust any brother,

for every brother deals craftily,

and every friend spreads slander.

5 Each one betrays his friend;

no one tells the truth.

They have taught their tongues to lie;

they wear themselves out committing iniquity.

6 You dwell a in the midst of deception;

in their deceit they refuse to know Me,”

declares the LORD.

7 Therefore this is what the LORD of Hosts says:

“Behold, I will refine them and test them,

for what else can I do

because of b the daughter of My people?

8 Their tongues are deadly arrows;

they speak deception.

With his mouth a man speaks peace to his neighbor,

but in his heart he sets a trap for him.

9 Should I not punish them for these things?

declares the LORD.

Should I not avenge Myself

on such a nation as this?”

10 I will take up a weeping and wailing for the mountains,

a dirge over the wilderness pasture,

for they have been scorched so no one passes through,

and the lowing of cattle is not heard.

Both the birds of the air and the beasts have fled;

they have gone away.

11 “And I will make Jerusalem a heap of rubble,

a haunt for jackals; c 

and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation,

without inhabitant.”

12 Who is the man wise enough to understand this? To whom has the mouth of the LORD spoken, that he may explain it? Why is the land destroyed and scorched like a desert, so no one can pass through it?

13 And the LORD answered, “It is because they have forsaken My law, which I set before them; they have not walked in it or obeyed My voice. 14 Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts and gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.”

15 Therefore this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Behold, I will feed this people wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink. 16 I will scatter them among the nations that neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send a sword after them until I have finished them off.”

17 This is what the LORD of Hosts says:

“Take note, and summon the wailing women;

send for the most skillful among them.

18 Let them come quickly

and take up a lament over us,

that our eyes may overflow with tears,

and our eyelids may gush with water.

19 For the sound of wailing

is heard from Zion:

‘How devastated we are!

How great is our shame!

For we have abandoned the land

because our dwellings have been torn down.’ ”

20 Now, O women, hear the word of the LORD.

Open your ears to the word of His mouth.

Teach your daughters to wail,

and one another to lament.

21 For death has climbed in through our windows;

it has entered our fortresses

to cut off the children from the streets,

the young men from the town squares.

22 Declare that this is what the LORD says:

“The corpses of men will fall like dung

upon the open field,

like newly cut grain behind the reaper,

with no one to gather it.”

23 This is what the LORD says:

“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom,

nor the strong man in his strength,

nor the wealthy man in his riches.

24 But let him who boasts boast in this,

that he understands and knows Me,

that I am the LORD, d 

who exercises loving devotion, e 

justice and righteousness on the earth—

for I delight in these things,”

declares the LORD.

25 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish all who are circumcised yet uncircumcised: 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and all the inhabitants of the desert who clip the hair of their temples. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.”



6 a That is, Jeremiah dwells (the Hebrew is singular)
7 b LXX because of the wickedness of
11 c Or serpents or dragons
24 d Cited in 1 Corinthians 1:31 and 2 Corinthians 10:17
24 e Forms of the Hebrew chesed are translated here and in most cases throughout the Scriptures as loving devotion ; the range of meaning includes love , goodness , kindness , faithfulness , and mercy , as well as loyalty to a covenant .

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