New English Translation
1 (8:23) I wish that my head were a well full of water and my eyes were a fountain full of tears! If they were, I could cry day and night for those of my dear people who have been killed.
2 (9:1) I wish I had a lodging place in the desert where I could spend some time like a weary traveler. Then I would desert my people and walk away from them because they are all unfaithful to God, a congregation of people that has been disloyal to him.
The LORD Laments That He Has No Choice But to Judge Them
3 The LORD says, "These people are like soldiers who have readied their bows. Their tongues are always ready to shoot out lies. They have become powerful in the land, but they have not done so by honest means. Indeed, they do one evil thing after another and do not pay attention to me.
4 Everyone must be on his guard around his friends. He must not even trust any of his relatives. For every one of them will find some way to cheat him. And all of his friends will tell lies about him.
5 One friend deceives another and no one tells the truth. These people have trained themselves to tell lies. They do wrong and are unable to repent.
6 They do one act of violence after another, and one deceitful thing after another. They refuse to pay attention to me," says the LORD.
7 Therefore the LORD who rules over all says, "I will now purify them in the fires of affliction and test them. The wickedness of my dear people has left me no choice. What else can I do?
8 Their tongues are like deadly arrows. They are always telling lies. Friendly words for their neighbors come from their mouths. But their minds are thinking up ways to trap them.
9 I will certainly punish them for doing such things!" says the LORD. "I will certainly bring retribution on such a nation as this!"
The Coming Destruction Calls For Mourning
10 I said, "I will weep and mourn for the grasslands on the mountains, 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."
11 The LORD said, "I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins. Jackals will make their home there. I will destroy the towns of Judah so that no one will be able to live in them."
12 I said, "Who is wise enough to understand why this has happened? Who has a word from the LORD that can explain it? Why does the land lie in ruins? Why is it as scorched as a desert through which no one travels?"
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. 14 Instead they have followed the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts. They have paid allegiance to the gods called Baal, as their fathers taught them to do. 15 So then, listen to what I, the LORD God of Israel who rules over all, say. 'I will make these people eat the bitter food of suffering and drink the poison water of judgment. 16 I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known anything about. I will send people chasing after them with swords until I have destroyed them.'"
17 The LORD who rules over all told me to say to this people, "Take note of what I say. Call for the women who mourn for the dead! Summon those who are the most skilled at it!"
18 I said, "Indeed, 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.
19 For the sound of wailing is soon to be heard in Zion. They will wail, 'We are utterly ruined! We are completely disgraced! For our houses have been torn down and we must leave our land.'"
20 I said, "So now, you wailing women, hear what the LORD says. Open your ears to the words from his mouth. Teach your daughters this mournful song, and each of you teach your neighbor this lament.
21 'Death has climbed in 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.'
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."'"
23 The LORD says, "Wise people should not boast that they are wise. Powerful people should not boast that they are powerful. Rich people should not boast that they are rich.
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," says the LORD.
25 The LORD says, "Watch out! The time is soon coming when I will punish all those who are circumcised only in the flesh. 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. I will do so because none of the people of those nations are really circumcised in the LORD's sight. Moreover, none of the people of Israel are circumcised when it comes to their hearts."
King James Version
1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain 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 of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be 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 know not me, saith the LORD.
4 Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.
5 And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
6 Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD.
7 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?
8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.
9 ¶ Shall I not visit them for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
10 For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they are gone.
11 And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.
12 ¶ Who is the wise man, that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?
13 And the LORD saith, 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 saith 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 scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.
17 ¶ Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come:
18 And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, 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 are we spoiled! 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 ye women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and every one her neighbour lamentation.
21 For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from without, and the young men from the streets.
22 Speak, Thus saith the LORD, Even the carcases of men shall fall as dung upon the open field, and as the handful after the harvestman, and none shall gather them.
23 ¶ Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
25 ¶ Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised;
26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.