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1O that my head were waters,

and my eyes a fountain of tears,

that I might weep day and night

for the slain of the daughter of my people!

2O that I had in the desert

a wayfarers’ lodging place,

that I might leave my people

and go away from them!

For they are all adulterers,

a company of treacherous men.

3They bend their tongue like a bow;

falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land;

for they proceed from evil to evil,

and they do not know me, says the Lord.

4Let every one beware of his neighbor,

and put no trust in any brother;

for every brother is a supplanter,

and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.

5Every one deceives his neighbor,

and no one speaks the truth;

they have taught their tongue to speak lies;

they commit iniquity and are too weary to repent.

6Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit,

they refuse to know me, says the Lord.

7Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts:

“Behold, I will refine them and test them,

for what else can I do, because of my people?

8Their tongue is a deadly arrow;

it speaks deceitfully;

with his mouth each speaks peaceably to his neighbor,

but in his heart he plans an ambush for him.

9Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord;

and shall I not avenge myself

on a nation such as this?

10“Take up weeping and wailing for the mountains,

and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness,

because they are laid waste so that no one passes through,

and the lowing of cattle is not heard;

both the birds of the air and the beasts have fled and are gone.

11I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,

a lair of jackals;

and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation,

without inhabitant.”

12Who is the man so wise that he can 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? 13And the Lord says: “Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, or walked in accord with it, 14but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baʹals, as their fathers taught them. 15Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will feed this people with wormwood, and give them poisonous water to drink. 16I will scatter them among the nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.”

17Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“Consider, and call for the mourning women to come;

send for the skilful women to come;

18let them make haste and raise a wailing over us,

that our eyes may run down with tears,

and our eyelids gush with water.

19For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion:

‘How we are ruined!

We are utterly shamed,

because we have left the land,

because they have cast down our dwellings.’ ”

20Hear, O women, the word of the Lord,

and let your ear receive the word of his mouth;

teach to your daughters a lament,

and each to her neighbor a dirge.

21For death has come up into our windows,

it has entered our palaces,

cutting off the children from the streets

and the young men from the squares.

22Speak, “Thus says the Lord:

‘The dead bodies of men shall fall

like dung upon the open field,

like sheaves after the reaper,

and none shall gather them.’ ”

23Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; 24but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practice steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, says the Lord.”

25“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will punish all those who are circumcised but yet uncircumcised—26Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert that cut the corners of their hair; for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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