1 Who will give me a lodging, in the desert, that I may leave my people
1 and go far from them?
1 For they are all adulterers,
1 a band of traitors.
2 They bend their tongue like bows.
2 Deceit and not truth prevail in the land.
2 They commit one crime after another
2 and do not know me.
3 Each one is suspicious of his friend
3 and no one trusts his brother,
3 brother deceives brother,
3 friend slanders friend.
4 They deceive each other;
4 no one speaks the truth.
4 Their tongues are addicted to lying;
4 they are perverse and too hardened to repent.
5 They live amidst deceitfulness
5 and deceitfulness prevents them from know ing me.
6 That is why – word of Yahweh God of hosts –
6 I will refine and test them,
6 for what else can I do for my people?
7 Their tongues are like deadly arrows,
7 uttering deceitful words.
7 With their friend they speak of peace
7 but in their heart they set a trap for him.
8 Isn’t it reason enough for me to punish them?
8 Shall I not avenge myself on such a nation?
9 On the mountains there will be weeping and wailing, and on the prairies of the wilderness a dirge, because they have been burnt and deserted, and the sound of flock is heard no more. The birds of the sky and the beasts have all fled and are gone.
10 I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a den of jackals.
10 I will make the cities of Judah a wasteland without inhabitants.”
11 Who is wise enough to understand these events? And who is the one Yahweh has chosen to reveal them? Why has the land perished and been laid waste like a desert where no one passes?
12 Yahweh answered, “It is because they have forsaken the Law that I gave them. They have not listened to me 13 but in the stubbornness of their heart they have followed the Baals as they were instructed by their ancestors.”
14 That is why Yahweh, the God of hosts and the God of Israel says, “I will make this people eat bitter food and I will give them poisoned water. 15 I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors knew and I will send the sword after them until I have finished with them.”
16 Listen! Call for the wailing women to come, send for the most skillful!
17 Let them hasten to intone a funeral song, and let us weep,
17 our eyes running with tears.
18 The sound of wailing is heard in Zion.
18 A terrible disaster has befallen us!
18 How great our shame to leave the land,
18 to see our homes broken down!
19 You women, take heed of what Yah weh says, let your ears pay attention to his words.
19 Teach this lament to your daughters
19 and each of them to their friends:
20 “Death has come through our windows and invaded our palaces,
20 cutting down the children in the street
20 and young men in the squares!
21 The corpse are scattered in the fields like dung;
21 like sheaves cut by the reaper
21 with no one to gather them!”
22 It is Yahweh who speaks:
22 “Let not the wise boast of his wisdom,
22 nor the valiant of his valor
22 nor the wealthy of his wealth!
23 But if someone wants to boast,
23 let him boast of this:
23 of understanding and knowing me.
23 I am Yahweh, the merciful;
23 I implement justice
23 and rule the world with righteousness.
23 For in these things I delight,”
23 this is Yahweh’s word.
24 “The time is coming,” Yahweh says, “when I will ask to account both those who are circumcised and those who are not: 25 E gypt, Juda, the Amonites and the Moa bites with all the Arabs of the desert, for all these nations are not circumcised, and the people of Israel are not circumcised in their heart.”