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9 a Oh, that my head were a spring of water

and my eyes a fountain of tears!g

I would weeph day and night

for the slain of my people.i

Oh, that I had in the desertj

a lodging place for travelers,

so that I might leave my people

and go away from them;

for they are all adulterers,k

a crowd of unfaithfull people.

“They make ready their tongue

like a bow, to shoot lies;m

it is not by truth

that they triumphb in the land.

They go from one sin to another;

they do not acknowledgen me,”

declares the Lord.

“Beware of your friends;o

do not trust anyone in your clan.p

For every one of them is a deceiver,c q

and every friend a slanderer.r

Friend deceives friend,s

and no one speaks the truth.t

They have taught their tongues to lie;u

they weary themselves with sinning.

Youd live in the midst of deception;v

in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,”

declares the Lord.

Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says:

“See, I will refinew and testx them,

for what else can I do

because of the sin of my people?

Their tonguey is a deadly arrow;

it speaks deceitfully.

With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors,z

but in their hearts they set trapsa for them.b

Should I not punish them for this?”

declares the Lord.

“Should I not avengec 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.d

They are desolate and untraveled,

and the lowing of cattle is not heard.

The birdse have all fled

and the animals are gone.

11 “I will make Jerusalem a heapf of ruins,

a haunt of jackals;g

and I will lay waste the towns of Judahh

so no one can live there.”i

12 Who is wisej 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.k 14 Instead, they have followedl the stubbornness of their hearts;m 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 foodn and drink poisoned water.o 16 I will scatter them among nationsp that neither they nor their ancestors have known,q and I will pursue them with the swordr until I have made an end of them.”s

17 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Consider now! Call for the wailing woment 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.u

19 The sound of wailing is heard from Zion:

‘How ruinedv we are!

How great is our shame!

We must leave our land

because our houses are in ruins.’ ”

20 Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord;

open your ears to the words of his mouth.w

Teach your daughters how to wail;

teach one another a lament.x

21 Death has climbed in through our windowsy

and has entered our fortresses;

it has removed the children from the streets

and the young menz from the public squares.

22 Say, “This is what the Lord declares:

“ ‘Dead bodies will lie

like dunga on the open field,

like cut grain behind the reaper,

with no one to gather them.’ ”

23 This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdomb

or the strong boast of their strengthc

or the rich boast of their riches,d

24 but let the one who boasts boaste about this:

that they have the understanding to knowf me,

that I am the Lord,g who exercises kindness,h

justice and righteousnessi on earth,

for in these I delight,”

declares the Lord.

25 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the fleshj26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.e k For all these nations are really uncircumcised,l and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.m


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