[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)

God and Idols(BH)

10 Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. This is what the Lord says:

“Do not learn the ways of the nations(BI)
    or be terrified by signs(BJ) in the heavens,
    though the nations are terrified by them.
For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman(BK) shapes it with his chisel.(BL)
They adorn it with silver(BM) and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter.(BN)
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    their idols cannot speak;(BO)
they must be carried
    because they cannot walk.(BP)
Do not fear them;
    they can do no harm(BQ)
    nor can they do any good.”(BR)

No one is like you,(BS) Lord;
    you are great,(BT)
    and your name is mighty in power.
Who should not fear(BU) you,
    King of the nations?(BV)
    This is your due.
Among all the wise leaders of the nations
    and in all their kingdoms,
    there is no one like you.

They are all senseless(BW) and foolish;(BX)
    they are taught by worthless wooden idols.(BY)
Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish(BZ)
    and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made(CA)
    is then dressed in blue and purple—
    all made by skilled workers.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
    he is the living God,(CB) the eternal King.(CC)
When he is angry,(CD) the earth trembles;(CE)
    the nations cannot endure his wrath.(CF)

11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish(CG) from the earth and from under the heavens.’”[f]

12 But God made(CH) the earth(CI) by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom(CJ)
    and stretched out the heavens(CK) by his understanding.
13 When he thunders,(CL) the waters in the heavens roar;
    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning(CM) with the rain(CN)
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.(CO)

14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is shamed(CP) by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;(CQ)
    they have no breath in them.
15 They are worthless,(CR) the objects of mockery;
    when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 He who is the Portion(CS) of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the Maker of all things,(CT)
including Israel, the people of his inheritance(CU)
    the Lord Almighty is his name.(CV)

Coming Destruction

17 Gather up your belongings(CW) to leave the land,
    you who live under siege.
18 For this is what the Lord says:
    “At this time I will hurl(CX) out
    those who live in this land;
I will bring distress(CY) on them
    so that they may be captured.”

19 Woe to me because of my injury!
    My wound(CZ) is incurable!
Yet I said to myself,
    “This is my sickness, and I must endure(DA) it.”
20 My tent(DB) is destroyed;
    all its ropes are snapped.
My children are gone from me and are no more;(DC)
    no one is left now to pitch my tent
    or to set up my shelter.
21 The shepherds(DD) are senseless(DE)
    and do not inquire of the Lord;(DF)
so they do not prosper(DG)
    and all their flock is scattered.(DH)
22 Listen! The report is coming—
    a great commotion from the land of the north!(DI)
It will make the towns of Judah desolate,(DJ)
    a haunt of jackals.(DK)

Jeremiah’s Prayer

23 Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own;
    it is not for them to direct their steps.(DL)
24 Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—
    not in your anger,(DM)
    or you will reduce me to nothing.(DN)
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations(DO)
    that do not acknowledge you,
    on the peoples who do not call on your name.(DP)
For they have devoured(DQ) Jacob;
    they have devoured him completely
    and destroyed his homeland.(DR)

Footnotes

  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
  6. Jeremiah 10:11 The text of this verse is in Aramaic.