“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.”
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