9 ·I wish [Oh that] my head were like a spring of water and my eyes like a fountain of tears! Then I could cry day and night for ·my people who have been killed [L the corpses of the daughter of my people]. 2 ·I wish [Oh that] I had a place in the ·desert [wilderness]— a house where travelers spend the night— so I could ·leave [abandon; forsake] my people. I could go away from them, because they are all adulterers [C unfaithful to God; 2:20, 23–24; 3:1–5; Hos. 7:4]; ·they are all turning against him [L a band of traitors].
3 “They ·use [L bend] their tongues like a bow [C shooting lies from their mouths like arrows; Ps. 64:3–4]. Lies, not truth, have grown strong in the land. They go from one evil thing to another. They do not know ·who I am [L me],” says the Lord. 4 “·Watch out [Be on guard] for your ·friends [or neighbors], and don’t ·trust [have confidence in] your own ·relatives [L brothers], because every ·relative [L brother] is a ·cheater [L Jacob, who supplants; Gen. 25:19—35:29], and every ·friend [or neighbor] ·tells lies about [L goes around slandering] you. 5 Everyone ·lies to [deceives] his ·friend [or neighbor], and no one speaks ·the truth [honestly]. They [C the people of Judah] have taught their tongues to ·lie [L tell falsehoods]. They have become tired from ·sinning [their iniquity]. 6 You [C Jeremiah] live in the middle of lies. The people refuse to know me,” says the Lord.
7 So this is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says:
“I will test them [C the people of Judah] as a person ·tests [refines] metal in a fire [6:27–30]. ·I have no other choice [L For what else can I do…], because ·my people have sinned [L of the daughter of my people?]. 8 Their tongues are like ·sharp [L deadly] arrows. Their mouths speak ·lies [deceit]. Everyone speaks ·nicely [peace] to his ·neighbor [or friend], but he ·is secretly planning to attack him [L sets his ambush in his innards/inwardly]. 9 Shouldn’t I punish the people [C of Judah] for doing this?” says the Lord. “Shouldn’t I ·give a nation like this the punishment [L get revenge on a nation as] it deserves?”
10 I [C Jeremiah] will ·cry loudly [L take up crying and wailing] for the mountains and sing a ·funeral song [lamentation] for the ·empty fields [L pastures of the wilderness]. They are ·empty [scorched], and no one passes through. The ·mooing [L sound] of cattle cannot be heard. The birds of the ·air [heavens] and the animals have fled and are gone.
11 “I, the Lord, will make the city of Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a home for wild dogs. I will destroy the cities of Judah so no one can live there.”
12 What person is wise enough to understand these things? Is there someone who has been ·taught [L spoken to] by the Lord who can explain them [Hos. 14:9]? Why was the land ·ruined [scorched]? Why has it been made like an empty desert where no one goes?
13 The Lord answered, “It is because Judah ·quit following [abandoned; forsook] my ·teachings [laws; instructions] that I gave them. They have not ·obeyed me [L listened to my voice] or ·done what I told them to do [L walked in it]. 14 Instead, they ·were stubborn [L walked after their stubborn hearts] and ·followed [L walked after] the Baals, as their ·ancestors [fathers] taught them to do.” 15 So this is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], the God of Israel, says: “I will soon make the people of Judah eat ·bitter food [L wormwood; C the bitter tasting leaves of a shrub] and drink poisoned water. 16 I will scatter them through other nations that they and their ·ancestors [fathers] never knew about. I will ·chase [pursue; L send after] them [C the people of Judah] with the sword until they are all ·killed [consumed; finished].”
17 This is what the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] says:
“Now, ·think about these things [L reflect; consider]! Call for the women who ·cry at funerals [mourn; C professional mourners] to come. Send for those women who are ·good at that job [skilled; wise]. 18 Let them come quickly and ·cry loudly [wail; L raise a lament] for us. Then our eyes will ·fill [flow] with tears, and ·streams of water will flow from our eyelids [L eyelids will run with water]. 19 The sound of ·loud crying [lamentation] is heard from ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple]: ‘We are ·truly ruined [devastated; desolated]! We are truly ·ashamed [humiliated]! We must ·leave [abandon; forsake] our land, because our ·houses [residences] are ·in ruins [L thrown down].’”
20 Now, women [C of Judah], listen to the word of the Lord; ·open your ears to hear [L let your ears take in] the words of his mouth. Teach your daughters ·how to cry loudly [a lament]. Teach ·one another [L each her neighbor] a ·funeral song [dirge]. 21 Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our ·strong cities [palaces]. ·Death has taken away [L …to cut off] our children who play in the streets and the young men ·who meet in [L from] the city squares. 22 Say, “This is what the Lord says: ‘The ·dead bodies [corpses] of people will ·lie [L fall] in the open field like dung. They will lie like grain ·a farmer has cut [L after the harvester/reaper], but there will be no one to gather them.’” 23 This is what the Lord says: “The wise must not ·brag [boast] about their wisdom. The strong must not ·brag [boast] about their strength. The rich must not ·brag [boast] about their ·money [riches]. 24 But if people want to ·brag [boast], let them ·brag [boast] that they understand and know me. Let them ·brag [boast] that I am the Lord, and that I am ·kind [loyal] and ·fair [just], and ·that I do things that are right [righteous] on earth. ·This kind of bragging pleases me [L In this I am pleased],” says the Lord[1 Cor. 1:31; 2 Cor. 10:17; James 1:9–10].
25 The Lord says, “The ·time is [L days are] coming when I will punish all those who are circumcised only in the ·flesh [L foreskin; C observing external rituals (Gen. 17:9–14), but not from the heart; 4:4; 6:10]: 26 the people of Egypt, Judah, Edom, ·Ammon [L the sons of Ammon], Moab, and the ·desert [wilderness] people who ·cut their hair short [L shave their temples; Deut. 14:1]. ·The men in all those countries [L All these nations] are not circumcised. And the ·whole family [L house] of Israel ·does not give itself to serving me [L is uncircumcised in/of heart].”
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