Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears!1 I would weep2 day and night for the slain of my people.32
Oh, that I had in the desert4 a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers,5 a crowd of unfaithful6 people.
"They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies;7 it is not by truth that they triumpha in the land. They go from one sin to another; they do not acknowledge8 me," declares the LORD.
"Beware of your friends;9 do not trust any of your people.10 For every one of them is a deceiver,b11 and every friend a slanderer.125
Friend deceives friend,13 and no one speaks the truth.14 They have taught their tongues to lie;15 they weary themselves with sinning.
Youc live in the midst of deception;16 in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me," declares the LORD.
Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: "See, I will refine17 and test18 them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people?
Their tongue19 is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully. With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors,20 but in their hearts they set traps21 for them.229
Should I not punish them for this?" declares the LORD. "Should I not avenge23 myself on such a nation as this?"
I will weep and wail for the mountains and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands.24 They are desolate and untraveled, and the lowing of cattle is not heard. The birds25 have all fled and the animals are gone.
"I will make Jerusalem a heap26 of ruins, a haunt of jackals;27 and I will lay waste the towns of Judah28 so no one can live there."2912
Who is wise30 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.3114
Instead, they have followed32 the stubbornness of their hearts;33 they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them."
Therefore, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "See, I will make this people eat bitter food34 and drink poisoned water.3516
I will scatter them among nations36 that neither they nor their ancestors have known,37 and I will pursue them with the sword38 until I have made an end of them."3917
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Consider now! Call for the wailing women40 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.4119
The sound of wailing is heard from Zion: 'How ruined42 we are! How great is our shame! We must leave our land because our houses are in ruins.' "
Now, you women, hear the word of the LORD; open your ears to the words of his mouth.43 Teach your daughters how to wail; teach one another a lament.4421
Death has climbed in through our windows45 and has entered our fortresses; it has removed the children from the streets and the youths46 from the public squares.
Say, "This is what the LORD declares: " 'Dead bodies will lie like dung47 on the open field, like cut grain behind the reaper, with no one to gather them.' "
This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise boast of their wisdom48 or the strong boast of their strength49 or the rich boast of their riches,5024
but let those who boast boast51 about this: that they understand and know52 me, that I am the LORD,53 who exercises kindness,54 justice and righteousness55 on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.
"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh56--
Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.d57 For all these nations are really uncircumcised,58 and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.59"