What man is wise1 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?
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.214
Instead, they have followed3 the stubbornness of their hearts;4 they have followed the Baals, as their fathers taught them."
Therefore, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "See, I will make this people eat bitter food5 and drink poisoned water.616
I will scatter them among nations7 that neither they nor their fathers have known,8 and I will pursue them with the sword9 until I have destroyed them."1017
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Consider now! Call for the wailing women11 to come; send for the most skillful of them.
Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids.1219
The sound of wailing is heard from Zion: 'How ruined13 we are! How great is our shame! We must leave our land because our houses are in ruins.' "
Now, O women, hear the word of the LORD; open your ears to the words of his mouth.14 Teach your daughters how to wail; teach one another a lament.1521
Death has climbed in through our windows16 and has entered our fortresses; it has cut off the children from the streets and the young men17 from the public squares.
Say, "This is what the LORD declares: " 'The dead bodies of men will lie like refuse18 on the open field, like cut grain behind the reaper, with no one to gather them.' "