1 The complaint of the Prophet for the malice of the people. 24 In the knowledge of God ought we only to rejoice. 26 The uncircumcision of the heart.

Oh, that mine head were full of [a]water, and mine 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 [b]cottage of wayfaring men, that I might leave my people, and go from them: for they be all [c]adulterers, and an assembly of rebels.

And they bend their tongues like their bows for [d]lies: but they have no courage for the truth upon the earth, for they proceed from evil to worse, and they have not known me, saith the Lord.

Let everyone take heed of his neighbor, and trust you not in any [e]brother: for every brother will use deceit, and every friend will deal deceitfully,

And everyone will deceive his friend, and will not speak the truth: for they [f]have taught their tongue to speak lies, and take great pains to do wickedly.

Thine habitation is in the midst of deceivers: [g]because of their deceit they refuse to know me, saith the Lord.

Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will [h]melt them, and try them: for what should I else do for the daughter of my people?

Their tongue (A)is as an arrow shot out, and speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in his heart he layeth wait for him.

Shall I not visit them for these things, saith the Lord? or shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

10 Upon the [i]mountains will I take up a weeping and a lamentation, and upon the fair places of the wilderness a mourning, because they are burnt up, so that none can pass through them, neither can men hear the voice of the flock: both the fowl of the air, and the beast are fled away and gone.

11 And I will make Jerusalem an heap, and a den of dragons, and I will make the cities of Judah waste without an inhabitant.

12 Who is [j]wise to understand this? and to whom the mouth of the Lord hath spoken, even he shall declare it. Why doth the land perish, and is burnt up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?

13 And the Lord saith, because they have forsaken my Law, which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked thereafter,

14 But have walked after the stubbornness of their own heart, and after Baal, which [k]their fathers taught them.

15 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will feed this people with wormwood, and give them waters of gall [l]to drink:

16 I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.

17 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Take heed, and call for [m]the mourning women, that they may come, and send for skillful women, that they may come,

18 And let them make haste, and let them take up a lamentation for us, that our eyes may cast out tears, and our eyelids gush out of water.

19 For a lamentable noise is heard out of Zion, How are we destroyed, and utterly confounded, for we have forsaken the land, and our dwellings [n]have cast us out.

20 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, O ye women, and let your ears regard the words of his mouth, and [o]teach your daughters to mourn, and everyone her neighbor to lament.

21 For death is come up into our [p]windows, and is entered into our palaces, to destroy the children without, and the young men in the streets.

22 Speak, Thus saith the Lord, The carcasses of men shall lie, even as the dung upon the field, and as the handful after the mower, and none shall gather them.

23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the [q]wise man glory in his wisdom, nor the strong man glory in his strength, neither the rich man glory in his riches.

24 But let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me: for I am the Lord, which [r]show mercy, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.

25 Behold, the days come saith the Lord, that I will visit all them which are [s]circumcised with the uncircumcised:

26 Egypt and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all the utmost corners of them that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.


  1. Jeremiah 9:1 The Prophet showeth the great compassion that he had toward this people, seeing that he could never sufficiently lament the destruction that he saw to hang over them, which is a special note to discern the true pastors from the hirelings, read Jer. 4:19.
  2. Jeremiah 9:2 He showeth that this were more quietness and greater safety for him to dwell among the wild beasts than among this wicked people, save that God hath enjoined him this charge.
  3. Jeremiah 9:2 Utterly turned from God.
  4. Jeremiah 9:3 To belie and slander their neighbors.
  5. Jeremiah 9:4 Meaning, that all were corrupt, and none could find an honest man.
  6. Jeremiah 9:5 They have so practiced deceit, that they cannot forsake it.
  7. Jeremiah 9:6 They had rather forsake God, than leave their wicked trade.
  8. Jeremiah 9:7 With the fire of affliction.
  9. Jeremiah 9:10 Signifying, that all the places about Jerusalem should be destroyed.
  10. Jeremiah 9:12 Meaning, that they are all without sense and understanding, and that God hath taken his spirit from them.
  11. Jeremiah 9:14 He showeth that the children cannot excuse themselves by their fathers: for both father and child if they be wicked shall perish.
  12. Jeremiah 9:15 Read Jer. 8:14.
  13. Jeremiah 9:17 Seeing you cannot lament your own sins, call for those foolish women, whom of a superstition you have to lament for the dead, that they by their feigned tears may provoke you to some sorrow.
  14. Jeremiah 9:19 As though they were weary of us, because of our iniquities, Lev. 18:28 and 20:22.
  15. Jeremiah 9:20 He derideth the superstition of the women which made an art of mourning, and taught to weep with feigned tears.
  16. Jeremiah 9:21 Signifying, that there is no means to deliver the wicked from God’s judgments: but when they think to be most sure, and most far off, then they are soonest taken.
  17. Jeremiah 9:23 Forasmuch as none can save himself by his own labor, or any worldly means, he showeth that it is vain to put our trust therein, but that we trust in the Lord, and rejoice in him, who only can deliver us, 1 Cor. 1:31; 2 Cor. 10:17.
  18. Jeremiah 9:24 These three points are necessary to know aright: his mercy, wherein consisteth our salvation, his judgment, which he executeth continually against the wicked, and his justice, whereby he defendeth and maintaineth the faithful.
  19. Jeremiah 9:25 Meaning, both Jews and Gentiles, as in this next verse he showeth the cause, read Jer. 4:4.

[a]Oh, that my head were a spring of water
    and my eyes a fountain of tears!(A)
I would weep(B) day and night
    for the slain of my people.(C)
Oh, that I had in the desert(D)
    a lodging place for travelers,
so that I might leave my people
    and go away from them;
for they are all adulterers,(E)
    a crowd of unfaithful(F) people.

“They make ready their tongue
    like a bow, to shoot lies;(G)
it is not by truth
    that they triumph[b] in the land.
They go from one sin to another;
    they do not acknowledge(H) me,”
declares the Lord.
“Beware of your friends;(I)
    do not trust anyone in your clan.(J)
For every one of them is a deceiver,[c](K)
    and every friend a slanderer.(L)
Friend deceives friend,(M)
    and no one speaks the truth.(N)
They have taught their tongues to lie;(O)
    they weary themselves with sinning.
You[d] live in the midst of deception;(P)
    in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,”
declares the Lord.

Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says:

“See, I will refine(Q) and test(R) them,
    for what else can I do
    because of the sin of my people?
Their tongue(S) is a deadly arrow;
    it speaks deceitfully.
With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors,(T)
    but in their hearts they set traps(U) for them.(V)
Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge(W) 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.(X)
They are desolate and untraveled,
    and the lowing of cattle is not heard.
The birds(Y) have all fled
    and the animals are gone.

11 “I will make Jerusalem a heap(Z) of ruins,
    a haunt of jackals;(AA)
and I will lay waste the towns of Judah(AB)
    so no one can live there.”(AC)

12 Who is wise(AD) 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.(AE) 14 Instead, they have followed(AF) the stubbornness of their hearts;(AG) 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(AH) and drink poisoned water.(AI) 16 I will scatter them among nations(AJ) that neither they nor their ancestors have known,(AK) and I will pursue them with the sword(AL) until I have made an end of them.”(AM)

17 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Consider now! Call for the wailing women(AN) 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.(AO)
19 The sound of wailing is heard from Zion:
    ‘How ruined(AP) 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.(AQ)
Teach your daughters how to wail;
    teach one another a lament.(AR)
21 Death has climbed in through our windows(AS)
    and has entered our fortresses;
it has removed the children from the streets
    and the young men(AT) from the public squares.

22 Say, “This is what the Lord declares:

“‘Dead bodies will lie
    like dung(AU) 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(AV)
    or the strong boast of their strength(AW)
    or the rich boast of their riches,(AX)
24 but let the one who boasts boast(AY) about this:
    that they have the understanding to know(AZ) me,
that I am the Lord,(BA) who exercises kindness,(BB)
    justice and righteousness(BC) 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(BD) 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.[e](BE) For all these nations are really uncircumcised,(BF) and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.(BG)


  1. Jeremiah 9:1 In Hebrew texts 9:1 is numbered 8:23, and 9:2-26 is numbered 9:1-25.
  2. Jeremiah 9:3 Or lies; / they are not valiant for truth
  3. Jeremiah 9:4 Or a deceiving Jacob
  4. Jeremiah 9:6 That is, Jeremiah (the Hebrew is singular)
  5. Jeremiah 9:26 Or wilderness and who clip the hair by their foreheads