Jeremiah 9

1 Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.
2 Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people.
3 “They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by truth that they triumph[a] in the land. They go from one sin to another; they do not acknowledge me,” declares the LORD.
4 “Beware of your friends; do not trust anyone in your clan. For every one of them is a deceiver,[b]and every friend a slanderer.
5 Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning.
6 You[c] live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,” declares the LORD.
7 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: “See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people?
8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully. With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors, but in their hearts they set traps for them.
9 Should I not punish them for this?” declares the LORD. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?”
10 I will weep and wail for the mountains and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands. They are desolate and untraveled, and the lowing of cattle is not heard. The birds have all fled and the animals are gone.
11 “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals; and I will lay waste the towns of Judah so no one can live there.”
12 Who is wise 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?
13 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.
14 Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.”
15 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water.
16 I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known, and I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them.”
17 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them.
18 Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids.
19 The sound of wailing is heard from Zion: ‘How ruined we are! How great is our shame! We must leave our land because our houses are in ruins.’ ”
20 Now, you women, hear the word of the LORD; open your ears to the words of his mouth. Teach your daughters how to wail; teach one another a lament.
21 Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has removed the children from the streets and the young men from the public squares.
22 Say, “This is what the LORD declares: “ ‘Dead bodies will lie like dung on the open field, like cut grain behind the reaper, with no one to gather them.’ ”
23 This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
25 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh—
26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.[d] For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised 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 59

  • 1. S Psalms 119:136
  • 2. Jeremiah 13:17; Jeremiah 14:17; Lamentations 2:11,18; Lamentations 3:48
  • 3. Isaiah 22:4
  • 4. Psalms 55:7
  • 5. S Numbers 25:1; Jeremiah 5:7-8; Jeremiah 23:10; Hosea 4:2; Hosea 7:4
  • 6. S 1 Kings 19:10; S Isaiah 24:16
  • 7. ver 8; S Exodus 20:16; Psalms 64:3; S Isaiah 44:20; Jeremiah 18:18; Micah 6:12
  • 8. S Isaiah 1:3
  • 9. S 2 Samuel 15:12
  • 10. Micah 7:5-6
  • 11. S Genesis 27:35
  • 12. S Exodus 20:16; S Leviticus 19:16
  • 13. S Leviticus 6:2
  • 14. S Psalms 15:2; S Isaiah 59:15
  • 15. S Psalms 52:3
  • 16. S Jeremiah 5:27
  • 17. S Job 28:1; S Isaiah 1:25
  • 18. S Jeremiah 6:27
  • 19. S ver 3; S Psalms 35:20
  • 20. S Isaiah 3:5
  • 21. S Jeremiah 5:26
  • 22. ver 4
  • 23. S Deuteronomy 32:43; S Isaiah 10:3; Jeremiah 5:9,29
  • 24. Jeremiah 23:10; Joel 1:19
  • 25. S Jeremiah 4:25; Jeremiah 12:4; Hosea 4:3; Joel 1:18
  • 26. Jeremiah 26:18
  • 27. S Job 30:29; S Isaiah 34:13
  • 28. S Jeremiah 1:15
  • 29. S Leviticus 26:31; Isaiah 25:2; S Jeremiah 4:13; Jeremiah 26:9; Jeremiah 33:10; Jeremiah 50:3,13; Jeremiah 51:62; Lamentations 1:4
  • 30. S Psalms 107:43; Hosea 14:9
  • 31. S 2 Chronicles 7:19; S Psalms 89:30-32
  • 32. S Jeremiah 2:8,23; Amos 2:4
  • 33. S Jeremiah 3:17; S Jeremiah 7:24
  • 34. Lamentations 3:15
  • 35. S Jeremiah 8:14
  • 36. S Leviticus 26:33
  • 37. S Deuteronomy 4:32; S Jeremiah 8:19; Deuteronomy 28:64
  • 38. Jeremiah 14:12; Jeremiah 24:10; Ezekiel 5:2
  • 39. Jeremiah 44:27; Ezekiel 5:12
  • 40. 2 Chronicles 35:25; S Ecclesiastes 12:5; Amos 5:16
  • 41. S Psalms 119:136; Lamentations 3:48; Jeremiah 14:17
  • 42. S Jeremiah 4:13
  • 43. Jeremiah 23:16
  • 44. Isaiah 32:9-13
  • 45. Joel 2:9
  • 46. S 2 Chronicles 36:17; S Isaiah 40:30; S Jeremiah 16:6
  • 47. S 2 Kings 9:37; Jeremiah 8:2
  • 48. S Job 4:12; S Ecclesiastes 9:11
  • 49. S 1 Kings 20:11
  • 50. Psalms 62:10; S Proverbs 11:28; Jeremiah 48:7; Jeremiah 49:4; Ezekiel 28:4-5
  • 51. S Psalms 34:2; 1 Corinthians 1:31*; Galatians 6:14
  • 52. S Psalms 36:10
  • 53. 2 Corinthians 10:17*
  • 54. Psalms 51:1; Micah 7:18
  • 55. Psalms 36:6
  • 56. S Leviticus 26:41; Romans 2:25; Romans 2:8-9
  • 57. Jeremiah 25:23; Jeremiah 49:32
  • 58. S 1 Samuel 14:6; Ezekiel 31:18
  • 59. Leviticus 26:41; Acts 7:51; Romans 2:28

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Or "lies;" / "they are not valiant for truth"
  • [b]. Or "a deceiving Jacob"
  • [c]. That is, Jeremiah (the Hebrew is singular)
  • [d]. Or "wilderness and who clip the hair by their foreheads"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 9

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