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The Coming Destruction Calls For Mourning

9:10 I said,25

“I will weep and mourn26 for the grasslands on the mountains,27

I will sing a mournful song for the pastures in the wilderness

because they are so scorched no one travels through them.

The sound of livestock is no longer heard there.

Even the birds in the sky and the wild animals in the fields

have fled and are gone.”

9:11 The Lord said,28

“I will make Jerusalem29 a heap of ruins.

Jackals will make their home there.30

I will destroy the towns of Judah

so that no one will be able to live in them.”

9:12 I said,31

“Who is wise enough to understand why this has happened?32

Who has a word from the Lord that can explain it?33

Why does the land lie in ruins?

Why is it as scorched as a desert through which no one travels?”

9:13 The Lord answered, “This has happened because these people have rejected my laws which I gave them. They have not obeyed me or followed those laws.34 9:14 Instead they have followed the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts. They have paid allegiance to35 the gods called Baal,36 as their fathers37 taught them to do. 9:15 So then, listen to what I, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all,38 say.39 ‘I will make these people eat the bitter food of suffering and drink the poison water of judgment.40 9:16 I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors41 have known anything about. I will send people chasing after them with swords42 until I have destroyed them.’ ”43

9:17 The Lord who rules over all44 told me to say to this people,45

“Take note of what I say.46

Call for the women who mourn for the dead!

Summon those who are the most skilled at it!”47

9:18 I said, “Indeed,48 let them come quickly and sing a song of mourning for us.

Let them wail loudly until tears stream from our own eyes

and our eyelids overflow with water.

9:19 For the sound of wailing is soon to be heard in Zion.

They will wail,49 ‘We are utterly ruined!50 We are completely disgraced!

For our houses have been torn down

and we must leave our land.’ ”51

9:20 I said,52

“So now,53 you wailing women, hear what the Lord says.54

Open your ears to the words from his mouth.

Teach your daughters this mournful song,

and each of you teach your neighbor55 this lament.

9:21 ‘Death has climbed in56 through our windows.

It has entered into our fortified houses.

It has taken away our children who play in the streets.

It has taken away our young men who gather in the city squares.’

9:22 Tell your daughters and neighbors, ‘The Lord says,

“The dead bodies of people will lie scattered everywhere

like manure scattered on a field.

They will lie scattered on the ground

like grain that has been cut down but has not been gathered.” ’ ”57

9:23 58 The Lord says,

“Wise people should not boast that they are wise.

Powerful people should not boast that they are powerful.59

Rich people should not boast that they are rich.60

9:24 If people want to boast, they should boast about this:

They should boast that they understand and know me.

They should boast that they know and understand

that I, the Lord, act out of faithfulness, fairness, and justice in the earth

and that I desire people to do these things,”61

says the Lord.

9:25 The Lord says, “Watch out!62 The time is soon coming when I will punish all those who are circumcised only in the flesh.63 9:26 That is, I will punish the Egyptians, the Judeans, the Edomites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, and all the desert people who cut their hair short at the temples.64 I will do so because none of the people of those nations are really circumcised in the Lord’s sight.65 Moreover, none of the people of Israel66 are circumcised when it comes to their hearts.”67


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