Jeremiah 9,10 - A Lament over Zion; A Satire on Idolatry

Jeremiah 10

A Lament over Zion

1 Oh 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!

2 Oh that I had in the desert

A wayfarers' lodging place;

That I might leave my people

And go from them!

For all of them are adulterers,

An assembly of treacherous men.

3 "They bend their tongue like their bow;

Lies and not truth prevail in the land;

For they proceed from evil to evil,

And they do not know Me," declares the LORD.

4 "Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor,

And do not trust any brother;

Because every brother deals craftily,

And every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.

5 "Everyone deceives his neighbor

And does not speak the truth,

They have taught their tongue to speak lies;

They weary themselves committing iniquity.

6 "Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit;

Through deceit they refuse to know Me," declares the LORD.

7 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts,

"Behold, I will refine them and assay them;

For what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people?

8 "Their tongue is a deadly arrow;

It speaks deceit;

With his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor,

But inwardly he sets an ambush for him.

9 "Shall I not punish them for these things?" declares the LORD.

"On a nation such as this

Shall I not avenge Myself?

10 "For the mountains I will take up a weeping and wailing,

And for the pastures of the wilderness a dirge,

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

And the lowing of the cattle is not heard;

Both the birds of the sky and the beasts have fled; they are gone.

11 "I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,

A haunt of jackals;

And I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant."

12 Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined, laid waste like a desert, so that no one passes through? 13 The LORD said, "Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it, 14 but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them," 15 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink. 16 "I 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 annihilated them."

17 Thus says the LORD of hosts,

"Consider and call for the mourning women, that they may come;

And send for the wailing women, that they may come!

18 "Let them make haste and take up a wailing for us,

That our eyes may shed tears

And our eyelids flow with water.

19 "For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion,

`How are we ruined!

We are put to great shame,

For we have left the land,

Because they have cast down our dwellings.'"

20 Now hear the word of the LORD, O you women,

And let your ear receive the word of His mouth;

Teach your daughters wailing,

And everyone her neighbor a dirge.

21 For death has come up through our windows;

It has entered our palaces

To cut off the children from the streets,

The young men from the town squares.

22 Speak, "Thus says the LORD,

`The corpses of men will fall like dung on the open field,

And like the sheaf after the reaper,

But no one will gather them.'"

23 Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD.

25 "Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised-- 26 Egypt and Judah, and Edom and the sons of Ammon, and Moab and all those inhabiting the desert who clip the hair on their temples; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised of heart."

Jeremiah 10

A Satire on Idolatry

1 Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the LORD,

"Do not learn the way of the nations,

And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens

Although the nations are terrified by them;

3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion;

Because it is wood cut from the forest,

The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.

4 "They decorate it with silver and with gold;

They fasten it with nails and with hammers

So that it will not totter.

5 "Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,

And they cannot speak;

They must be carried,

Because they cannot walk!

Do not fear them,

For they can do no harm,

Nor can they do any good."

6 There is none like You, O LORD;

You are great, and great is Your name in might.

7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?

Indeed it is Your due!

For among all the wise men of the nations

And in all their kingdoms,

There is none like You.

8 But they are altogether stupid and foolish

In their discipline of delusion--their idol is wood!

9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,

And gold from Uphaz,

The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith;

Violet and purple are their clothing;

They are all the work of skilled men.

10 But the LORD is the true God;

He is the living God and the everlasting King.

At His wrath the earth quakes,

And the nations cannot endure His indignation.

11 Thus you shall say to them, "The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens."

12 It is He who made the earth by His power,

Who established the world by His wisdom;

And by His understanding

He has stretched out the heavens.

13 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,

And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth;

He makes lightning for the rain,

And brings out the wind from His storehouses.

14 Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge;

Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols;

For his molten images are deceitful,

And there is no breath in them.

15 They are worthless, a work of mockery;

In the time of their punishment they will perish.

16 The portion of Jacob is not like these;

For the Maker of all is He,

And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance;

The LORD of hosts is His name.

17 Pick up your bundle from the ground,

You who dwell under siege!

18 For thus says the LORD,

"Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land

At this time,

And will cause them distress,

That they may be found."

19 Woe is me, because of my injury!

My wound is incurable.

But I said, "Truly this is a sickness,

And I must bear it."

20 My tent is destroyed,

And all my ropes are broken;

My sons have gone from me and are no more.

There is no one to stretch out my tent again

Or to set up my curtains.

21 For the shepherds have become stupid

And have not sought the LORD;

Therefore they have not prospered,

And all their flock is scattered.

22 The sound of a report! Behold, it comes--

A great commotion out of the land of the north--

To make the cities of Judah

A desolation, a haunt of jackals.

23 I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not in himself,

Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.

24 Correct me, O LORD, but with justice;

Not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing.

25 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You

And on the families that do not call Your name;

For they have devoured Jacob;

They have devoured him and consumed him

And have laid waste his habitation.

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