9 I wish 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. 2 I wish 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 are all turning against him.
3 “They use their tongues like a bow, shooting lies from their mouths like arrows. Lies, not truth, have grown strong in the land. They go from one evil thing to another. They do not know who I am,” says the Lord. 4 “Watch out for your friends, and don’t trust your own relatives, because every relative is a cheater, and every friend tells lies about you. 5 Everyone lies to his friend, and no one speaks the truth. The people of Judah have taught their tongues to lie. They have become tired from sinning. 6 Jeremiah, you live in the middle of lies. With their lies the people refuse to know me,” says the Lord.
7 So this is what the Lord All-Powerful says:
“I will test the people of Judah as a person tests metal in a fire. I have no other choice, because my people have sinned. 8 Their tongues are like sharp arrows. Their mouths speak lies. Everyone speaks nicely to his neighbor, but he is secretly planning to attack him. 9 Shouldn’t I punish the people for doing this?” says the Lord. “Shouldn’t I give a nation like this the punishment it deserves?”
10 I, Jeremiah, will cry loudly for the mountains and sing a funeral song for the empty fields. They are empty, and no one passes through. The mooing of cattle cannot be heard. The birds have flown away, and the animals 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 by the Lord who can explain them? Why was the land ruined? Why has it been made like an empty desert where no one goes?
13 The Lord answered, “It is because Judah quit following my teachings that I gave them. They have not obeyed me or done what I told them to do. 14 Instead, they were stubborn and followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them to do. 15 So this is what 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 them through other nations that they and their ancestors never knew about. I will chase the people of Judah with the sword until they are all killed.”
17 This is what the Lord All-Powerful says:
“Now, think about these things! Call for the women who cry at funerals to come. Send for those women who are good at that job. 18 Let them come quickly and cry loudly for us. Then our eyes will fill with tears, and streams of water will flow from our eyelids. 19 The sound of loud crying is heard from Jerusalem: ‘We are truly ruined! We are truly ashamed! We must leave our land, because our houses are in ruins.’”
20 Now, women of Judah, listen to the word of the Lord ; open your ears to hear the words of his mouth. Teach your daughters how to cry loudly. Teach one another a funeral song. 21 Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our strong cities. Death has taken away our children who play in the streets and the young men who meet in the city squares.
22 Say, “This is what the Lord says:
‘The dead bodies of people will lie in the open field like dung. They will lie 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 must not brag about their strength. The rich must not brag about their money. 24 But if people want to brag, let them brag that they understand and know me. Let them brag that I am the Lord, and that I am kind and fair, and that I do things that are right on earth. This kind of bragging pleases me,” says the Lord.
25 The Lord says, “The time is coming when I will punish all those who are circumcised only in the flesh: 26 the people of Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and the desert people who cut their hair short. The men in all those countries are not circumcised. And the whole family of Israel does not give itself to serving me.”
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.