1 If my head were water, my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night over the slain of my dear people. 2 If only I had a traveler's lodging place in the wilderness, I would abandon my people and depart from them, for they are all adulterers, a solemn assembly of treacherous people.
3 They bent their tongues [like] their bows; lies and not faithfulness prevail in the land, for they proceed from one evil to another, and they do not take Me into account. [This is] the Lord's declaration.
Imminent Ruin and Exile
4 Everyone has to be on guard against his friend. Don't trust any brother, for every brother will certainly deceive, and every friend spread slander. 5 Each one betrays his friend; no one tells the truth. They have taught their tongues to speak lies; they wear themselves out doing wrong. 6 You live in [a world] of deception. In [their] deception they refuse to know Me. [This is] the Lord's declaration.
7 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Hosts says: I am about to refine them and test them, for what else can I do because of My dear people? 8 Their tongues are deadly arrows- they speak deception. With his mouth a man speaks peaceably with his friend, but inwardly he sets up an ambush. 9 Should I not punish them for these things? [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. Should I not take My revenge against a nation such as this?
10 I will raise weeping and a lament over the mountains, a dirge over the wilderness grazing land, for they have been so scorched that no one passes through. The sound of cattle is no longer heard. From the birds of the sky to the animals, [everything] has fled-they have gone away. 11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of rubble, a jackals' den. I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, an uninhabited place.
12 Who is the man wise enough to understand this? Who has the Lord spoken to, that he may explain it? Why is the land destroyed and scorched like a wilderness, so no one can pass through?
13 The Lord said, "It is because they abandoned My law I set in front of them and did not obey My voice or walk according to it. 14 Instead, they followed the stubbornness of their hearts and the Baals, as their fathers taught them." 15 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: "I am about to feed this people wormwood and give them poisonous waters to drink. 16 I will scatter them among nations that they and their fathers have not known. I will send a sword after them until I have finished them off."
Mourning over Judah
17 This is what the Lord of Hosts says: Consider, and summon the women who mourn; send for the skillful women. 18 Let them come quickly to raise a lament over us so that our eyes may overflow with tears, our eyelids soaked with weeping. 19 For a sound of lamentation is heard from Zion: How devastated we are. We are greatly ashamed, for we have abandoned the land; our dwellings have been torn down.
20 Now hear the word of the Lord, you women. Pay attention to the word of His mouth. Teach your daughters a lament and one another a dirge, 21 for Death has climbed through our windows; it has entered our fortresses, cutting off children from the streets, young men from the squares.
22 Speak as follows: This is what the Lord says: Human corpses will fall like manure on the surface of the field, like newly cut grain after the reaper with no one to gather [it].
Boast in the Lord
23 This is what the Lord says: The wise must not boast in his wisdom; the mighty must not boast in his might; the rich must not boast in his riches. 24 But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me- that I am the Lord, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. [This is] the Lord's declaration.
25 "The days are coming"-the Lord's declaration-"when I will punish all the circumcised yet uncircumcised: 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, all those who clip the hair on their temples and reside in the wilderness. All these nations are uncircumcised, and the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart."