Jeremiah 9:5-15 (Good News Translation)

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5 They all mislead their friends, and no one tells the truth; they have taught their tongues to lie and will not give up their sinning. They do one violent thing after another, and one deceitful act follows another. The Lord says that his people reject him. 7 Because of this the Lord Almighty says, "I will refine my people like metal and put them to the test. My people have done evil - what else can I do with them? 8 Their tongues are like deadly arrows; they always tell lies. Everyone speaks friendly words to their neighbors, but they are really setting a trap for them. 9 Will I not punish them for these things? Will I not take revenge on a nation like this? I, the Lord, have spoken." 10 I said, "I will mourn for the mountains and weep for the pastures, because they have dried up, and no one travels through them. The sound of livestock is no longer heard; birds and wild animals have fled and gone." 11 The Lord says, "I will make Jerusalem a pile of ruins, a place where jackals live; the cities of Judah will become a desert, a place where no one lives." 12 I asked, "Lord, why is the land devastated and dry as a desert, so that no one travels through it? Who is wise enough to understand this? To whom have you explained it so that they can tell others?" 13 The Lord answered, "This has happened because my people have abandoned the teaching that I gave them. They have not obeyed me or done what I told them. 14 Instead, they have been stubborn and have worshiped the idols of Baal as their ancestors taught them to do. 15 So then, listen to what I, the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, will do: I will give my people bitter plants to eat and poison to drink.
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