Jeremiah 9

Listen to Jeremiah 9
1 [a]1Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of 2the daughter of my people!
2 [b] Oh that I had in the desert a travelers' lodging place, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all 3adulterers, a company of 4treacherous men.
3 5They bend their tongue like a bow; falsehood and not truth has grown strong[c] in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, 6and they do not know me, declares the LORD.
4 7Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, for every 8brother is a deceiver, and every neighbor 9goes about as a slanderer.
5 Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity.
6 Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, 10they refuse to know me, declares the LORD.
7 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, 11I will refine them and 12test them, for what else can I do, 13because of my people?
8 14Their tongue is a deadly arrow; 15it speaks deceitfully; with his mouth 16each speaks peace to his neighbor, but in his heart 17he plans an ambush for him.
9 18Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?
10 "I will take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for 19the pastures of the wilderness, 20because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, and the lowing of cattle is not heard; 21both the birds of the air and the beasts have fled and are gone.
11 22I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, 23a lair of jackals, 24and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant."
12 25Who is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the LORD spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined 26and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through?
13 And the LORD says: 27"Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it,
14 but 28have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.
15 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 29Behold, I will feed this people with bitter food, and give them 30poisonous water to drink.
16 31I will scatter them among the nations 32whom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will 33send the sword after them, until I have consumed them."
17 Thus says the LORD of hosts: 34"Consider, and call for the mourning women to come; send for the skillful women to come;
18 let them make haste 35and raise a wailing over us, 36that our eyes may run down with tears and our eyelids flow with water.
19 For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion: 37'How we are ruined! We are utterly shamed, because we have left the land, because they have cast down our dwellings.'"
20 Hear, O women, the word of the LORD, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; teach to your daughters a lament, and each to her neighbor a dirge.
21 For death has come up into our windows; it has entered our palaces, 38cutting off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares.
22 Speak, "Thus declares the LORD: 39'The dead bodies of men shall fall like dung upon the open field, 40like sheaves after the reaper, and none shall gather them.'"
23 Thus says the LORD: 41"Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,
24 but 42let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. 43For in these things I delight, declares the LORD."
25 "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when 44I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh--
26 45Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and 46all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are 47uncircumcised in heart."

Jeremiah 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

The people are corrected, Jerusalem is destroyed. (1-11) The captives suffer in a foreign land. (12-22) God's loving-kindness, He threatens the enemies of his people. (23-26)

Verses 1-11 Jeremiah wept much, yet wished he could weep more, that he might rouse the people to a due sense of the hand of God. But even the desert, without communion with God, through Christ Jesus, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, must be a place for temptation and evil; while, with these blessings, we may live in holiness in crowded cities. The people accustomed their tongues to lies. So false were they, that a brother could not be trusted. In trading and bargaining they said any thing for their own advantage, though they knew it to be false. But God marked their sin. Where no knowledge of God is, what good can be expected? He has many ways of turning a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of those that dwell therein.

Verses 12-22 In Zion the voice of joy and praise used to be heard, while the people kept close to God; but sin has altered the sound, it is now the voice of lamentation. Unhumbled hearts lament their calamity, but not their sin, which is the cause of it. Let the doors be shut ever so fast, death steals upon us. It enters the palaces of princes and great men, though stately, strongly built, and guarded. Nor are those more safe that are abroad; death cuts off even the children from without, and the young men from the streets. Hearken to the word of the Lord, and mourn with godly sorrow. This alone can bring true comfort; and it can turn the heaviest afflictions into precious mercies.

Verses 23-26 In this world of sin and sorrow, ending soon in death and judgement, how foolish for men to glory in their knowledge, health, strength, riches, or in any thing which leaves them under the dominion of sin and the wrath of God! and of which an account must hereafter be rendered; it will but increase their misery. Those are the true Israel who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Let us prize the distinction which comes from God, and will last for ever. Let us seek it diligently.

Cross References 47

  • 1. See Jeremiah 13:17
  • 2. [See Jeremiah 8:21 above]
  • 3. Jeremiah 5:7, 8; Jeremiah 23:10; Hosea 7:4
  • 4. Isaiah 21:2
  • 5. [Psalms 64:3]
  • 6. [Judges 2:10; Hosea 4:1]
  • 7. Jeremiah 12:6; Psalms 41:9; Micah 7:5
  • 8. [Genesis 27:36]
  • 9. Jeremiah 6:28; [Leviticus 19:16]
  • 10. Jeremiah 8:5
  • 11. Isaiah 1:25
  • 12. Jeremiah 6:27
  • 13. [See Jeremiah 8:21 above]
  • 14. [Psalms 57:4]
  • 15. [Psalms 12:2; Psalms 120:3]
  • 16. Psalms 28:3
  • 17. Hosea 7:6
  • 18. Jeremiah 5:9, 29
  • 19. Jeremiah 12:4; Psalms 65:12
  • 20. ver. 12
  • 21. Jeremiah 4:25
  • 22. Isaiah 25:2
  • 23. Jeremiah 10:22; Jeremiah 49:33; Jeremiah 51:37
  • 24. Jeremiah 34:22; Jeremiah 44:6
  • 25. Jeremiah 23:18; Psalms 107:43; Hosea 14:9
  • 26. ver. 10
  • 27. [Psalms 89:30-32]
  • 28. See Jeremiah 3:17
  • 29. Deuteronomy 29:18; [Psalms 80:5]
  • 30. See Jeremiah 8:14
  • 31. Leviticus 26:33; Deuteronomy 28:64
  • 32. Jeremiah 15:14
  • 33. Jeremiah 14:12; [Jeremiah 49:37; Ezekiel 5:2, 12]
  • 34. [2 Chronicles 35:25]
  • 35. Amos 5:16; [Matthew 9:23; Mark 5:38]
  • 36. ver. 1; Jeremiah 14:17
  • 37. Jeremiah 4:13
  • 38. Jeremiah 6:11
  • 39. See Jeremiah 8:2
  • 40. [Leviticus 23:22; Job 5:26]
  • 41. Proverbs 3:5; Proverbs 21:30; Ecclesiastes 9:11
  • 42. [Psalms 34:2; 1 Corinthians 1:31; 2 Corinthians 10:17]
  • 43. [Micah 6:8; Micah 7:18]
  • 44. [Isaiah 24:21]
  • 45. [Jeremiah 25:19-21]
  • 46. Jeremiah 25:23; Jeremiah 49:32; [Leviticus 19:27]
  • 47. Leviticus 26:41; Deuteronomy 10:16; Ezekiel 44:7; Romans 2:28, 29; [Jeremiah 4:4]

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Ch 8:23 in Hebrew
  • [b]. Ch 9:1 in Hebrew
  • [c]. Septuagint; Hebrew and not for truth they have grown strong

Chapter Summary


This chapter is a continuation of the judgments of God upon the Jews for their sins and transgressions herein mentioned; illustrated by the lamentation of the prophet; by calling for the mourning women, and upon other women that had lost their husbands or children, with an intimation that none of any rank and class should escape. The prophet is introduced mourning over the destruction of his people, Jer 9:1, and as uneasy at his stay with them, because of their uncleanness, treachery, lying, unfaithfulness, and deceit, Jer 9:2-6, wherefore the Lord threatens to melt and try them; and for their deceitfulness particularly to visit them, and avenge himself on them, Jer 9:7-9, the destruction is described by the desolation of the mountains and habitations of the wilderness; they being so burnt up, that there were neither grass upon them, nor beasts nor birds to be seen or heard about them; and of Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, so that there was no inhabitant in them, Jer 9:10,11, upon which a wise man is inquired after, to give the true reason of all this, Jer 9:12 but none appearing, the Lord gives it himself; which were their disobedience to his law, and their worship of idols, following the imagination of their own hearts, Jer 9:13,14 wherefore they are threatened to be fed with wormwood and gall; to be scattered among the nations, and a sword sent after them to their utter consumption, Jer 9:15,16, hence, for the certainty of it, mourning women are ordered to be called for in haste, to assist them in their mourning, on account of their distress, Jer 9:17-19, and such as were mothers of children are bid to teach their daughters and neighbours lamentation, because of the children and young men cut off by death, and for the carcasses of men that should fall as dung in the field, and as the handful after the harvestman, Jer 9:20-22, and it is suggested that none should escape; not the wise man by any art or cunning he was master of; nor the strong man by his strength; nor the rich man by his riches; and therefore ought not either of them to glory in these things, but in the Lord, as exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, Jer 9:23,24, and the chapter is concluded with a strong asseveration, that the wicked, both circumcised and uncircumcised, should be punished, Jer 9:25,26.

Jeremiah 9 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.