1 OH, THAT my head were waters and my eyes a reservoir of tears, 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 (a mere shelter) for wayfaring men, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers [rendering worship to idols instead of to the Lord, Who has espoused the people to Himself]; they are a gang of treacherous men [faithless even to each other].
3 And they bend their tongue, [which is] their bow for the lies [they shoot]. And not according to faithfulness do they rule and become strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know and understand and acknowledge Me, says the Lord.
4 Let everyone beware of his neighbor and put no trust in any brother. For every brother is an utter and complete supplanter (one who takes by the heel and trips up, a deceiver, a Jacob), and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer. [Gen. 25:26.]
5 And they deceive and mock every one his neighbor and do not speak the truth. They have taught their tongues to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity.
6 Your habitation is in the midst of deceit [oppression upon oppression and deceit upon deceit]; through deceit they refuse to know and understand Me, says the Lord.
7 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will melt them [by the process of affliction to remove the dross] and test them, for how else should I deal with the daughter of My people?
8 Their tongue is a murderous arrow; it speaks deceitfully; one speaks peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in his heart he lays snares and waits in ambush for him.
9 Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord. Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?
10 For the mountains I will take up a weeping and wailing and for the pastures of the wilderness a lament, because they are burned up and desolated, so that no one passes through [them]; neither can men hear [any longer] the lowing of cattle. Both the fowls of the air and the beasts have fled, they are gone!
11 I will make Jerusalem heaps [of ruins], a dwelling place of jackals; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.
12 Who is the wise man who may understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through it?
13 And the Lord says, Because they have forsaken My law, which I set before them, and have not listened to and obeyed My voice or walked in accordance with it
14 But have walked stubbornly after their own hearts and after the Baals, as 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 bitter and poisonous water to drink.
16 I will scatter them also among nations that neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send the sword among them and after them until I have consumed them.
17 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider and call for the mourning women to come; send for the skillful women to come.
18 Let them make haste and raise a wailing over us and for us, that our eyes may run down with tears and our eyelids gush with water.
19 For a sound of wailing is heard [coming] out of Zion: How we are plundered and ruined! We are greatly confounded and utterly put to shame, because we have forsaken the land, because they have cast down our dwellings [our dwellings that have cast us out].
20 Yet hear the word of the Lord, O you women, and let your ears receive the word of His mouth; teach your daughters a lament, and each one [teach] her neighbor a dirge.
21 For death has come up into our windows; it has entered into our palaces, cutting off the children from outdoors and the young men from the streets.
22 Speak, Thus says the Lord: The dead bodies of men shall fall like dung on the open field and like sheaves [of grain] behind the reaper, and none shall gather them. [Jer. 8:2.]
23 Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise and skillful person glory and boast in his wisdom and skill; let not the mighty and powerful person glory and boast in his strength and power; let not the person who is rich [in physical gratification and earthly wealth] glory and boast in his [temporal satisfactions and earthly] riches;
24 But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally and practically, directly discerning and recognizing My character], that I am the Lord, Who practices loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord. [I Cor. 1:31; II Cor. 10:17.]
25 Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will punish all who though circumcised [outwardly, in the flesh] are still uncircumcised [in corresponding inward purity]–[Rom. 2:25-29.]
26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the children of Ammon, Moab [all of whom are related except Egypt], and all who live in the desert and who clip off the corners of their hair and beards; for all these nations are uncircumcised [in heart], and all the house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.