[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)

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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)