If my head were a flowing spring,
my eyes a fountain of tears,
I would weep day and night(A)
over the slain of my dear[a] people.
If only I had a traveler’s lodging place
in the wilderness,(B)
I would abandon my people
and depart from them,
for they are all adulterers,(C)
a solemn assembly of treacherous people.(D)

They bent their tongues like their bows;
lies and not faithfulness prevail in the land,
for they proceed from one evil to another,
and they do not take me into account.(E)
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Imminent Ruin and Exile

Everyone has to be on guard against his friend.
Don’t trust any brother,
for every brother will certainly deceive,(F)
and every friend spread slander.(G)
Each one betrays his friend;(H)
no one tells the truth.
They have taught their tongues to speak lies;
they wear themselves out doing wrong.
You live in a world of deception.[b](I)
In their deception they refuse to know me.(J)
This is the Lord’s declaration.

Therefore, this is what the Lord of Armies says:

I am about to refine them and test them,(K)
for what else can I do
because of my dear[c] people?[d]
Their tongues are deadly arrows—
they speak deception.(L)
With his mouth
one speaks peaceably with his friend,
but inwardly he sets up an ambush.
Should I not punish them for these things?
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Should I not avenge myself(M)
on such a nation as this?

10 I will raise weeping and a lament
over the mountains,
a dirge over the wilderness grazing land,
for they have been so scorched
that no one passes through.
The sound of cattle is no longer heard.
From the birds of the sky to the animals,(N)
everything has fled—they have gone away.
11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of rubble,(O)
a jackals’ den.(P)
I will make the cities of Judah a desolation,
an uninhabited place.

12 Who is the person wise enough to understand this?(Q) Who has the Lord spoken to, that he may explain it? Why is the land destroyed and scorched like a wilderness, so no one can pass through?

13 The Lord said, “It is because they abandoned my instruction,(R) which I set before them, and did not obey my voice or walk according to it. 14 Instead, they followed the stubbornness of their hearts(S) and followed the Baals as their ancestors taught them.”(T) 15 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: “I am about to feed this people wormwood(U) and give them poisonous water to drink.(V) 16 I will scatter them among the nations(W) that they and their ancestors have not known. I will send a sword after them until I have finished them off.”

Mourning over Judah

17 This is what the Lord of Armies says:

Consider, and summon the women who mourn;(X)
send for the skillful women.
18 Let them come quickly to raise a lament over us
so that our eyes may overflow with tears,
our eyelids be soaked with weeping.
19 For a sound of lamentation is heard from Zion:
How devastated we are.
We are greatly ashamed,(Y)
for we have abandoned the land;
our dwellings have been torn down.

20 Now hear the word of the Lord, you women.
Pay attention to[e] the words from his mouth.
Teach your daughters a lament
and one another a dirge,
21 for Death(Z) has climbed through our windows;
it has entered our fortresses,
cutting off children from the streets,
young men from the squares.

22 “Speak as follows: ‘This is what the Lord declares: Human corpses will fall like manure on the surface of the field,(AA) like newly cut grain(AB) after the reaper with no one to gather it.

Boast in the Lord

23 “‘This is what the Lord says:

The wise person should not boast in his wisdom;
the strong should not boast in his strength;
the wealthy should not boast in his wealth.
24 But the one who boasts should boast in this:
that he understands and knows me(AC)
that I am the Lord, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
This is the Lord’s declaration.

25 “‘Look, the days are coming—this is the Lord’s declaration—when I will punish all the circumcised yet uncircumcised:(AD) 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all the inhabitants of the desert who clip the hair on their temples.[f] All these nations are uncircumcised, and the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.’”(AE)

False Gods Contrasted with the Creator

10 Hear the word that the Lord has spoken to[g] you, house of Israel. This is what the Lord says:

Do not learn the way of the nations(AF)
or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
although the nations are terrified by them,
for the customs of the peoples are worthless.
Someone cuts down a tree from the forest;
it is worked by the hands of a craftsman with a chisel.
He decorates it with silver and gold.(AG)
It is fastened with hammer and nails,(AH)
so it won’t totter.
Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch,
their idols cannot speak.(AI)
They must be carried(AJ) because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them for they can do no harm(AK)
and they cannot do any good.(AL)

Lord, there is no one like you.(AM)
You are great;
your name is great in power.(AN)
Who should not fear you,
King of the nations?(AO)
It is what you deserve.
For among all the wise people of the nations
and among all their kingdoms,
there is no one like you.
They are both stupid and foolish,
instructed by worthless idols
made of wood!
Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish(AP)
and gold from Uphaz.[h](AQ)
The work of a craftsman
and of a goldsmith’s hands
is clothed in blue and purple,
all the work of skilled artisans.
10 But the Lord is the true God;(AR)
he is the living God(AS) and eternal King.(AT)
The earth quakes at his wrath,(AU)
and the nations cannot endure his fury.

11 You are to say this to them: “The gods that did not make the heavens(AV) and the earth will perish from the earth(AW) and from under these heavens.”[i]

12 He made the earth by his power,
established the world(AX) by his wisdom,(AY)
and spread out the heavens by his understanding.(AZ)
13 When he thunders,[j]
the waters in the heavens are in turmoil,(BA)
and he causes the clouds to rise
from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain
and brings the wind from his storehouses.(BB)

14 Everyone is stupid and ignorant.
Every goldsmith is put to shame
by his carved image,(BC)
for his cast images are a lie;(BD)
there is no breath in them.(BE)
15 They are worthless, a work to be mocked.
At the time of their punishment
they will be destroyed.(BF)
16 Jacob’s Portion[k] is not like these
because he is the one who formed all things.(BG)
Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;(BH)
the Lord of Armies is his name.(BI)

Exile after the Siege

17 Gather up your belongings[l] from the ground,(BJ)
you who live under siege.

18 For this is what the Lord says:

Look, I am flinging away(BK)
the land’s residents at this time
and bringing them such distress
that they will feel it.

Jeremiah Grieves

19 Woe to me because of my brokenness—
I am severely wounded!(BL)
I exclaimed, “This is my intense suffering,
but I must bear it.”
20 My tent is destroyed;(BM)
all my tent cords are snapped.
My sons have departed from me and are no more.
I have no one to pitch my tent again
or to hang up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds are stupid:
They don’t seek the Lord.(BN)
Therefore they have not prospered,
and their whole flock is scattered.
22 Listen! A noise—it is coming—
a great commotion(BO) from the land to the north.
The cities of Judah will be made desolate,
a jackals’ den.(BP)

23 I know, Lord,
that a person’s way of life is not his own;
no one who walks determines his own steps.(BQ)
24 Discipline me, Lord, but with justice—
not in your anger,(BR)
or you will reduce me to nothing.
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations
that don’t recognize you
and on the families
that don’t call on your name,
for they have consumed Jacob;
they have consumed him and finished him off
and made his homeland desolate.(BS)


  1. 9:1 Lit slain among the daughter of my
  2. 9:6 LXX reads Oppression on oppression, deceit on deceit
  3. 9:7 Lit of the daughter of my
  4. 9:7 LXX, Tg read because of their evils
  5. 9:20 Lit Your ears must receive
  6. 9:26 Or who live in distant places
  7. 10:1 Or against
  8. 10:9 Or Ophir
  9. 10:11 This is the only Aramaic v. in Jr.
  10. 10:13 Lit At his giving of the voice
  11. 10:16 = the Lord
  12. 10:17 Lit bundle

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