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Jeremiah Mourns for His People

“At that time,” says the Lord, “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves. They shall spread them before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served and after which they have walked, which they have sought and (A)which they have worshiped. They shall not be gathered (B)nor buried; they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. Then (C)death shall be chosen rather than life by all the [a]residue of those who remain of this evil family, who remain in all the places where I have driven them,” says the Lord of hosts.

The Peril of False Teaching

“Moreover you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord:

“Will they fall and not rise?
Will one turn away and not return?
Why has this people (D)slidden back,
Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding?
(E)They hold fast to deceit,
(F)They refuse to return.
(G)I listened and heard,
But they do not speak aright.
(H)No man repented of his wickedness,
Saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turned to his own course,
As the horse rushes into the battle.

“Even (I)the stork in the heavens
Knows her appointed times;
And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow
Observe the time of their coming.
But (J)My people do not know the judgment of the Lord.

“How can you say, ‘We are wise,
(K)And the law of the Lord is with us’?
Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.
(L)The wise men are ashamed,
They are dismayed and taken.
Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord;
So (M)what wisdom do they have?
10 Therefore (N)I will give their wives to others,
And their fields to those who will inherit them;
Because from the least even to the greatest
Everyone is given to (O)covetousness;
From the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
11 For they have (P)healed the hurt of the daughter of My people [b]slightly,
Saying, (Q)‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace.
12 Were they (R)ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed,
Nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
In the time of their punishment
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.

13 “I will surely [c]consume them,” says the Lord.
“No grapes shall be (S)on the vine,
Nor figs on the (T)fig tree,
And the leaf shall fade;
And the things I have given them shall (U)pass away from them.” ’ ”

14 “Why do we sit still?
(V)Assemble yourselves,
And let us enter the fortified cities,
And let us be silent there.
For the Lord our God has put us to silence
And given us (W)water[d] of gall to drink,
Because we have sinned against the Lord.

15 We (X)looked for peace, but no good came;
And for a time of health, and there was trouble!
16 The snorting of His horses was heard from (Y)Dan.
The whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of His (Z)strong ones;
For they have come and devoured the land and all that is in it,
The city and those who dwell in it.”

17 “For behold, I will send serpents among you,
Vipers which cannot be (AA)charmed,
And they shall bite you,” says the Lord.

The Prophet Mourns for the People

18 I would comfort myself in sorrow;
My heart is faint in me.
19 Listen! The voice,
The cry of the daughter of my people
From (AB)a far country:
Is not the Lord in Zion?
Is not her King in her?”

“Why have they provoked Me to anger
With their carved images—
With foreign idols?”

20 “The harvest is past,
The summer is ended,
And we are not saved!”

21 (AC)For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt.
I am (AD)mourning;
Astonishment has taken hold of me.
22 Is there no (AE)balm in Gilead,
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
For the health of the daughter of my people?

Disobedience Brings God’s Judgment

Oh, (AF)that my head were waters,
And my eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night
For the slain of the daughter of my people!
Oh, that I had in the wilderness
A lodging place for travelers;
That I might leave my people,
And go from them!
For (AG)they are all adulterers,
An assembly of treacherous men.

“And like their bow (AH)they have bent their tongues for lies.
They are not valiant for the truth on the earth.
For they proceed from (AI)evil to evil,
And they (AJ)do not know Me,” says the Lord.
“Everyone(AK) take heed to his [e]neighbor,
And do not trust any brother;
For every brother will utterly supplant,
And every neighbor will (AL)walk with slanderers.
Everyone will (AM)deceive his neighbor,
And will not speak the truth;
They have taught their tongue to speak lies;
They weary themselves to commit iniquity.
Your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit;
Through deceit they refuse to know Me,” says the Lord.

Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts:

“Behold, (AN)I will refine them and [f]try them;
(AO)For how shall I deal with the daughter of My people?
Their tongue is an arrow shot out;
It speaks (AP)deceit;
One speaks (AQ)peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth,
But [g]in his heart he [h]lies in wait.
(AR)Shall I not punish them for these things?” says the Lord.
“Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?”

10 I will take up a weeping and wailing for the mountains,
And (AS)for the [i]dwelling places of the wilderness a lamentation,
Because they are burned up,
So that no one can pass through;
Nor can men hear the voice of the cattle.
(AT)Both the birds of the heavens and the beasts have fled;
They are gone.

11 “I will make Jerusalem (AU)a heap of ruins, (AV)a den of jackals.
I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.”

12 (AW)Who is the wise man who may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? Why does the land perish and burn up like a wilderness, so that no one can pass through?

13 And the Lord said, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have (AX)not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, 14 but they have (AY)walked according to the [j]dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, (AZ)which their fathers taught them,” 15 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will (BA)feed them, this people, (BB)with wormwood, and give them [k]water of gall to drink. 16 I will (BC)scatter them also among the Gentiles, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. (BD)And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.”

The People Mourn in Judgment

17 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“Consider and call for (BE)the mourning women,
That they may come;
And send for skillful wailing women,
That they may come.
18 Let them make haste
And take up a wailing for us,
That (BF)our eyes may run with tears,
And our eyelids gush with water.
19 For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion:
‘How we are plundered!
We are greatly ashamed,
Because we have forsaken the land,
Because we have been cast out of (BG)our dwellings.’ ”

20 Yet hear the word of the Lord, O women,
And let your ear receive the word of His mouth;
Teach your daughters wailing,
And everyone her neighbor a lamentation.
21 For death has come through our windows,
Has entered our palaces,
To kill off (BH)the children—[l]no longer to be outside!
And the young men—[m]no longer on the streets!

22 Speak, “Thus says the Lord:

‘Even the carcasses of men shall fall (BI)as refuse on the open field,
Like cuttings after the harvester,
And no one shall gather them.’ ”

23 Thus says the Lord:

(BJ)“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his (BK)might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
24 But (BL)let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, [n]judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
(BM)For in these I delight,” says the Lord.

25 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that (BN)I will punish all who are circumcised with the uncircumcised— 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab, and all who are in the (BO)farthest corners, who dwell in the wilderness. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are (BP)uncircumcised in the heart.”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 8:3 remnant
  2. Jeremiah 8:11 Superficially
  3. Jeremiah 8:13 Or take them away
  4. Jeremiah 8:14 Bitter or poisonous water
  5. Jeremiah 9:4 friend
  6. Jeremiah 9:7 test
  7. Jeremiah 9:8 Inwardly he
  8. Jeremiah 9:8 sets his ambush
  9. Jeremiah 9:10 Or pastures
  10. Jeremiah 9:14 stubbornness or imagination
  11. Jeremiah 9:15 Bitter or poisonous water
  12. Jeremiah 9:21 Lit. from outside
  13. Jeremiah 9:21 Lit. from the square
  14. Jeremiah 9:24 justice

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