1Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night over the slain of the daughter of my people!
2Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place for traveling men so that I might leave my people and go from them! For they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.
3They bend their tongue like their bow. Lies and not truth have grown strong in the land, for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, says Yahweh.
4Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and do not trust in any brother; for every brother will deceive, yes, deceive, and every neighbor will go about as a slanderer.
5Everyone will deceive his neighbor, and will not speak the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity.
6Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me, says Yahweh.
7Therefore this is what Yahweh of Armies says, “Behold, I will smelt them and try them; for what else can I do because of the daughter of my people?
8Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceit. With his mouth one speaks peaceably to his neighbor, but in his heart he lays an ambush for him.
9Should I not punish them for these things?” says Yahweh. “Should not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
10I will take up a weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness, because they are burned up such that no one passes through, nor can people hear the sound of the livestock; both the birds of heaven and the animals have fled; they are gone.
11I will make Jerusalem heaps of ruins, a dwelling place of jackals, and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without inhabitant.”
12Who is the wise man that can understand this? Who is he to whom the mouth of Yahweh has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land destroyed and burned up like a wilderness, so that none passes through?
13Yahweh says, “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them and have not obeyed my voice, nor walked in it,
14but have walked according to the stubbornness of their own heart and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.
15Therefore this is what Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Behold, I will feed them—this people—with wormwood, and give them poisonous water to drink.
16I will scatter them also among the nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send the sword after them until I have consumed them.’”
17This is what Yahweh of Armies says: “Consider, and call for the mourning women, that they may come, and send for the skillful women, that they may come;
18and 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.
19For a sound of wailing is heard out of Zion, ‘How are we ruined! We are put to great shame! For we have abandoned the land because they have cast down our homes.’”
20Yet hear the word of Yahweh, you women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and everyone teach her neighbor lady a lament,
21for death has come up through our windows, it has entered into our strongholds, to cut off the children from the streets and the young men from the broad places.
22Say this, “This is what Yahweh says: ‘The dead bodies of men will fall like dung on the open field and like the sheaves after the harvester, and no one will gather them.’”
23This is what Yahweh says: “Let not the wise man boast about his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast about his might, and let not the rich man boast about his riches;
24but let the one who boasts boast about this, that he has understanding and knows me, that I am Yahweh who acts with covenant faithfulness, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for in these things I delight, says Yahweh.
25Behold, the days are coming, says Yahweh, that I will punish all those who are circumcised only in the foreskin;
26Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that have the corners of their hair cut off who live in the wilderness, for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.”