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Jeremiah 9 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 9

The Corruption of the People

Oh, that I had in the wilderness
    a travelers’ lodging!
That I might leave my people
    and depart from them.
They are all adulterers,
    a band of traitors.
They ready their tongues like a drawn bow;
    with lying, and not with truth,
    they are powerful in the land.
They go from evil to evil,
    and me they do not know—oracle of the Lord.
Be on your guard, everyone against his neighbor;
    put no trust in any brother.
Every brother imitates Jacob, the supplanter,[a]
    every neighbor is guilty of slander.
Each one deceives the other,
    no one speaks the truth.
They have accustomed their tongues to lying,
    they are perverse and cannot repent.
Violence upon violence,
    deceit upon deceit:
They refuse to know me—
    oracle of the Lord.
Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts:
I will refine them and test them;
    how else should I deal with the daughter of my people?
A murderous arrow is their tongue,
    their mouths utter deceit;
They speak peaceably with their neighbors,
    but in their hearts they lay an ambush!
Should I not punish them for these deeds—oracle of the Lord;
    on a nation such as this should I not take vengeance?

Dirge over the Ravaged Land

Over the mountains I shall break out in cries of lamentation,
    over the pastures in the wilderness, in a dirge:
They are scorched, and no one crosses them,
    no sound of lowing cattle;
Birds of the air as well as beasts,
    all have fled and are gone.
10 I will turn Jerusalem into a heap of ruins,
    a haunt of jackals;
The cities of Judah I will make a waste,
    where no one dwells.

11 Who is wise enough to understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken? Let him declare it!

Why is the land ravaged,
    scorched like a wilderness no one crosses?

12 The Lord said: Because they have abandoned my law, which I set before them, and did not listen to me or follow it, 13 but followed instead their stubborn hearts and the Baals, as their ancestors had taught them, 14 therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: See now, I will give this people wormwood to eat and poisoned water to drink. 15 I will scatter them among nations whom neither they nor their ancestors have known; I will send the sword to pursue them until I have completely destroyed them.

16     Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Inquire, and call the wailing women to come;
    summon the most skilled of them.
17 Let them come quickly
    and raise for us a dirge,
That our eyes may run with tears,
    our pupils flow with water.
18 The sound of the dirge is heard from Zion:
    We are ruined and greatly ashamed;
We have left the land,
    given up our dwellings!
19 Hear, you women, the word of the Lord,
    let your ears receive the word of his mouth.
Teach your daughters a dirge,
    and each other a lament:
20 Death has come up through our windows,
    has entered our citadels,
To cut down children in the street,
    young people in the squares.
21 Corpses shall fall
    like dung in the open field,
Like sheaves behind the harvester,
    with no one to gather them.

True Glory

22     Thus says the Lord:
Let not the wise boast of his wisdom,
    nor the strong boast of his strength,
    nor the rich man boast of his riches;
23 But rather, let those who boast, boast of this,
    that in their prudence they know me,
Know that I, the Lord, act with fidelity,
    justice, and integrity on earth.
How I take delight in these—oracle of the Lord.

False Circumcision. 24 See, days are coming—oracle of the Lord—when I will demand an account of all those circumcised in the foreskin: 25 Egypt and Judah, Edom and the Ammonites, Moab, and those who live in the wilderness and shave their temples.[b] For all the nations are uncircumcised, even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised at heart.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:3 Jacob, the supplanter: in Hebrew, a play on words. In the popular etymology given in Gn 25:26, the name Jacob means “he supplants,” for he deprived his brother Esau of his birthright (cf. Gn 25:33).
  2. 9:25 Shave their temples: some Arabian tribes practiced this custom. None of the nations who practice circumcision understand the meaning of their action, not even Israel; no one conforms to life under the covenant.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Jeremiah 9 New International Version (NIV)

[a]Oh, that my head were a spring of water
    and my eyes a fountain of tears!
I would weep day and night
    for the slain of my people.
Oh, that I had in the desert
    a lodging place for travelers,
so that I might leave my people
    and go away from them;
for they are all adulterers,
    a crowd of unfaithful people.

“They make ready their tongue
    like a bow, to shoot lies;
it is not by truth
    that they triumph[b] in the land.
They go from one sin to another;
    they do not acknowledge me,”
declares the Lord.
“Beware of your friends;
    do not trust anyone in your clan.
For every one of them is a deceiver,[c]
    and every friend a slanderer.
Friend deceives friend,
    and no one speaks the truth.
They have taught their tongues to lie;
    they weary themselves with sinning.
You[d] live in the midst of deception;
    in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,”
declares the Lord.

Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says:

“See, I will refine and test them,
    for what else can I do
    because of the sin of my people?
Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
    it speaks deceitfully.
With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors,
    but in their hearts they set traps for them.
Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
    on such a nation as this?”

10 I will weep and wail for the mountains
    and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands.
They are desolate and untraveled,
    and the lowing of cattle is not heard.
The birds have all fled
    and the animals are gone.

11 “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
    a haunt of jackals;
and I will lay waste the towns of Judah
    so no one can live there.”

12 Who is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross?

13 The Lord said, “It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law. 14 Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.” 15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water. 16 I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known, and I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them.”

17 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come;
    send for the most skillful of them.
18 Let them come quickly
    and wail over us
till our eyes overflow with tears
    and water streams from our eyelids.
19 The sound of wailing is heard from Zion:
    ‘How ruined we are!
    How great is our shame!
We must leave our land
    because our houses are in ruins.’”

20 Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord;
    open your ears to the words of his mouth.
Teach your daughters how to wail;
    teach one another a lament.
21 Death has climbed in through our windows
    and has entered our fortresses;
it has removed the children from the streets
    and the young men from the public squares.

22 Say, “This is what the Lord declares:

“‘Dead bodies will lie
    like dung on the open field,
like cut grain behind the reaper,
    with no one to gather them.’”

23 This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
    or the strong boast of their strength
    or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
    justice and righteousness on earth,
    for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

25 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.[e] For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 9:1 In Hebrew texts 9:1 is numbered 8:23, and 9:2-26 is numbered 9:1-25.
  2. Jeremiah 9:3 Or lies; / they are not valiant for truth
  3. Jeremiah 9:4 Or a deceiving Jacob
  4. Jeremiah 9:6 That is, Jeremiah (the Hebrew is singular)
  5. Jeremiah 9:26 Or wilderness and who clip the hair by their foreheads
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Jeremiah 9 King James Version (KJV)

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the Lord.

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?

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.

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.

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