9:1 (8:23)1 I wish that my head were a well full of water2
and my eyes were a fountain full of tears!
If they were, I could cry day and night
for those of my dear people3 who have been killed.
9:2 (9:1) I wish I had a lodging place in the desert
where I could spend some time like a weary traveler.4
Then I would desert my people
and walk away from them
because they are all unfaithful to God,
a congregation5 of people that has been disloyal to him.6
The Lord Laments That He Has No Choice But to Judge Them
“These people are like soldiers who have readied their bows.
Their tongues are always ready to shoot out lies.8
They have become powerful in the land,
but they have not done so by honest means.9
Indeed, they do one evil thing after another10
and do not pay attention to me.11
9:4 Everyone must be on his guard around his friends.
He must not even trust any of his relatives.12
For every one of them will find some way to cheat him.13
And all of his friends will tell lies about him.
9:5 One friend deceives another
and no one tells the truth.
These people have trained themselves14 to tell lies.
They do wrong and are unable to repent.
9:6 They do one act of violence after another,
and one deceitful thing after another.15
They refuse to pay attention to me,”16
9:7 Therefore the
“I will now purify them in the fires of affliction18 and test them.
The wickedness of my dear people19 has left me no choice.
What else can I do?20
9:8 Their tongues are like deadly arrows.21
They are always telling lies.22
Friendly words for their neighbors come from their mouths.
But their minds are thinking up ways to trap them.23
9:9 I will certainly punish them for doing such things!” says the
“I will certainly bring retribution on such a nation as this!”24
The Coming Destruction Calls For Mourning
9:10 I said,25
“I will weep and mourn26 for the grasslands on the mountains,27
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.”
“I will make Jerusalem29 a heap of ruins.
Jackals will make their home there.30
I will destroy the towns of Judah
so that no one will be able to live in them.”
9:12 I said,31
“Who is wise enough to understand why this has happened?32
Who has a word from the
Why does the land lie in ruins?
Why is it as scorched as a desert through which no one travels?”
“Take note of what I say.46
Call for the women who mourn for the dead!
Summon those who are the most skilled at it!”47
9:18 I said, “Indeed,48 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.
9:19 For the sound of wailing is soon to be heard in Zion.
They will wail,49 ‘We are utterly ruined!50 We are completely disgraced!
For our houses have been torn down
and we must leave our land.’”51
9:20 I said,52
“So now,53 you wailing women, hear what the
Open your ears to the words from his mouth.
Teach your daughters this mournful song,
and each of you teach your neighbor55 this lament.
9:21 ‘Death has climbed in56 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.’
9:22 Tell your daughters and neighbors, ‘The
“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.”’”57
“Wise people should not boast that they are wise.
Powerful people should not boast that they are powerful.59
Rich people should not boast that they are rich.60
9:24 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
and that I desire people to do these things,”61