I wish I had a place to stay in the desert. I would abandon my people and go away from them. They are all adulterers, a mob of traitors.
They use their tongues like bows that shoot arrows. Lies and dishonesty rule the land. They go from one evil thing to another, and they don't know me," declares the LORD.
"Beware of your neighbors. Don't trust your relatives. Every relative cheats. Every neighbor goes around slandering.
Everyone cheats his neighbor. No one speaks the truth. My people train their tongues to speak lies. They wear themselves out doing wrong.
Oppression follows oppression. Deceit follows deceit. They refuse to acknowledge me," declares the LORD.
This is what the LORD of Armies says: I will now refine them with fire and test them. What else can I do for my dear people?
Their tongues are like deadly arrows. They speak deceitfully. People speak politely to their neighbors, but they think of ways to set traps for them.
I will punish them for these things, declares the LORD. I will punish this nation. I still won't be satisfied.
I will cry and weep for the mountains. I will sing a funeral song for the pastures in the wilderness. They are destroyed so that no one can travel through them. No one can hear the sound of cattle. Birds and cattle have fled. They are gone.
I will turn Jerusalem into a pile of rubble, a home for jackals. I will destroy the cities of Judah so that no one can live there.
No one is wise enough to understand this. To whom has the LORD revealed this so that they can explain it? The land dies; it has been ruined like the desert so that no one can travel through it.