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Jeremiah 9Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

If my head were filled with water,
    and if my eyes were a fountain of tears,
    I would cry day and night for my people who have been destroyed.

If only I had a place in the desert—
    a house where travelers spend the night—
so I could leave my people.
    I could go away from them,
because they are all unfaithful to God.
    They have all turned against him.

“They use their tongues like a bow;
    lies fly from their mouths like arrows.
Lies, not truth,
    have grown strong in this land.
They go from one sin to another.
    They don’t know me.”
    This is what the Lord said.

“Watch your neighbors!
    Don’t trust your own brothers,
because every brother is a cheat.
    Every neighbor talks behind your back.
Everyone lies to their neighbor.
    No one speaks the truth.
The people of Judah have taught
    their tongues to lie.
They sinned until they were too tired
    to come back.
One bad thing followed another,
    and lies followed lies.
The people refused to know me.”
    This is what the Lord said.

So the Lord All-Powerful says,
“A worker heats metal in a fire to test it and see if it is pure.
    I will test the people of Judah like that.
I have no other choice.
    My people have sinned.
The people of Judah have tongues as sharp as arrows.
    Their mouths speak lies.
They all speak kindly to their neighbors,
    but they are secretly planning ways to attack them.
Should I punish the people of Judah for doing these things?”
    This message is from the Lord.
“You know I should punish a nation such as this.
    I should give it the punishment it deserves.”

10 I, Jeremiah, will cry for the mountains.
    I will sing a funeral song for the empty fields,
    because all the animals were taken away.
No one travels there now.
    The sounds of cattle cannot be heard.
The birds have flown away,
    and the animals are gone.

11 The Lord says,[a] “I will make the city of Jerusalem a pile of garbage.
    It will be a home for jackals.
I will destroy the cities in the land of Judah,
    so no one will live there.”

12 Is there a man who is wise enough to understand these things? Is there someone who has been taught by the Lord? Can anyone explain his message? Why was the land ruined? Why was it made like an empty desert where no one goes?

13 The Lord answered, “It is because the people of Judah stopped following my teachings. I gave them my teachings, but they refused to listen to me. They did not follow my teachings. 14 The people of Judah lived their own way. They were stubborn. They followed the false god Baal. Their fathers taught them to follow those false gods.”

15 So the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says, “I will soon make the people of Judah eat bitter food and drink poisoned water. 16 I will scatter the people of Judah throughout other nations. They will live in strange nations that they and their fathers never knew about. I will send men with swords. They will kill the people of Judah. They will kill them until all the people are gone.”

17 This is what the Lord All-Powerful says:
    “Now think about these things!
Call for the women who get paid to cry at funerals.
    Send for the people who are good at that job.
18 The people say,
‘Let those women come quickly
    and cry for us.
Then our eyes will fill with tears
    that flow over our eyelids like streams of water.’

19 “The sound of loud crying is heard from Zion:
‘We are really ruined!
    We are so ashamed!
We must leave our land,
    because our houses have been destroyed.
    Now our houses are only piles of rock.’”

20 Now, women of Judah, listen to the message from the Lord.
    Listen to the words from his mouth.
Teach your daughters how to cry loudly.
    Each of them must learn to sing this funeral song:
21 “Death has climbed in through our windows
    and has come into our palaces.
Death has come to our children who play in the streets
    and to the young men who meet in the public places.”

22 This is what you should say: “The Lord says,
‘Dead bodies will lie
    in the fields like dung.
Their bodies will lie on the ground like grain a farmer has cut.
    But there will be no one to gather them.’”

23 This is what the Lord says:
“The wise must not brag about their wisdom.
    The strong men must not brag about their strength.
    The rich must not brag about their money.
24 But if someone wants to brag, then let them brag about this:
    Let them brag that they learned to know me.
Let them brag that they understand that I am the Lord,
    that I am kind and fair,
and that I do good things on earth.
    I love this kind of bragging.”
This message is from the Lord.

25 This is what the Lord says: “The time is coming when I will punish all those who are circumcised only in the body. 26 I am talking about the people of the nations of Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and all those who live in the desert. The circumcision they do is not the kind the Lord wants. But the people of Israel are not really circumcised either. They are not circumcised in their hearts.[b]

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 9:11 The Lord says This is implied from the context.
  2. Jeremiah 9:26 circumcised in their hearts See the note at Jer. 4:4.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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