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Jeremiah: Chapter 9

Jeremiah laments the Jews for their manifold sins, 1-8; and for their judgment, 9-11. Disobedience is the cause of their bitter calamity, 12-16. He exhorts to mourn for their destruction, 17-22; and to trust not in themselves, but in God, 23, 24. He threatens both Jews and Gentiles, 25, 26.

1 Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!

2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging-place of way-faring men, so that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.

3 "And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies, but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth, for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me," says the LORD.

4 "Everyone take heed of his neighbor, and do not trust in any brother, for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbor will walk with slanders.

5 And they will each deceive his neighbor, and will not speak the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.

6 Your habitation is in the midst of deceit. Through deceit they refuse to know me," says the LORD.

7 Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, I will melt them, and try them. For what else shall I do for the daughter of my people?

8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out. It speaks deceit. One speaks peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in his heart he lays in wait.

9 Shall I not visit them for these things?" says the LORD. "Shall my soul not be avenged on such a nation as this?

10 For the mountains I will take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that no one can pass through them, neither can men hear the voice of the cattle. Both the bird of the heavens and the beast have fled. They are gone.

11 And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of jackals, and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant."

12 Who is the wise man who may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, so that he may declare it? For why has the land perished and burned up like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? 13 And the LORD says, "Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein, 14 But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them," 15 Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. 16 I will also scatter them among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them, until I have consumed them."

17 Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Consider, and call for the mourning women, so that they may come, and send for skillful women, so that they may come.

18 And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, so that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.

19 For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, 'How we are laid waste! We are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out.'"

20 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and each her neighbor lamentation.

21 For death has come up into our windows, and has entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from outside, and the young men from the streets.

22 Speak, "Thus says the LORD: 'Even the carcasses of men shall fall as dung upon the open field, and as the handful after the harvester, and no one shall gather them.'"

23 Thus says the LORD: "Do not let the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might. Do not let the rich man glory in his riches. 24 But let him who glories, glory in this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth, for in these things I delight," says the LORD.

25 "Behold, the days come," says the LORD, "that I will punish all those who are circumcised with the uncircumcised: 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the children of Ammon, Moab, and all who are in the utmost corners, who dwell in the wilderness. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart."