2 O that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of travelers!+ Then I would leave my people and go away from them, for all of them are adulterers,*+ a solemn assembly of treacherous dealers;+ 3 and they bend their tongue as their bow in falsehood;+ but not for faithfulness have they proved mighty in the land.*
“For from badness to badness they went forth, and they ignored even me,”+ is the utterance of Jehovah.
4 “Guard yourselves each one against his own companion,+ and put YOUR trust in no brother at all.+ For even every brother would positively supplant,+ and every companion himself would walk around as a mere slanderer,+ 5 and they keep trifling each one with his companion;+ and they speak no truth at all. They have taught their tongue to speak falsehood.+ They have tired themselves out merely in doing wrong.+
7 Therefore this is what Jehovah of armies has said: “Here I am smelting them, and I have to examine them,+ because how otherwise shall I act on account of the daughter of my people?+ 8 Their tongue is a slaughtering arrow.*+ Deception is what it has spoken. With his mouth, peace is what [a person] keeps speaking with his own companion; but within himself he sets his ambush.”+
9 “Because of these things should I not hold an accounting with them?” is the utterance of Jehovah. “Or upon a nation that is like this should not my soul avenge itself?+ 10 Over the mountains I shall raise a weeping and lamentation,+ and over the pasture grounds of the wilderness a dirge; for they will have been burned+ so that there is no man passing through and people actually will not hear the sound of livestock.+ Both the flying creature of the heavens and the beast will have fled; they will have gone.+ 11 And I will make Jerusalem piles of stones,+ the lair of jackals;+ and the cities of Judah I shall make a desolate waste, without an inhabitant.+
12 “Who is the man that is wise, that he may understand this, even the one to whom the mouth of Jehovah has spoken, that he may tell it?+ On what account should the land actually perish, be actually burned like the wilderness without anyone passing through?”+
13 And Jehovah proceeded to say: “On account of their leaving my law that I gave [to be] before them, and [because] they have not obeyed my voice and have not walked in it,*+ 14 but they kept on walking after the stubbornness of their heart+ and after the Ba′al images,*+ about which their fathers had taught them;+ 15 therefore this is what Jehovah of armies, the God* of Israel, has said, ‘Here I am making them, that is, this people, eat wormwood,+ and I will make them drink poisoned water;+ 16 and I will scatter them among the nations that neither they nor their fathers have known,+ and I will send after them the sword until I shall have exterminated them.’+
17 “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘Behave with understanding, YOU people, and call the dirge-chanting women,+ that they may come; and send even to the skilled* women, that they may come,+ 18 and that they may hurry and raise up over us a lamentation. And may our eyes run down with tears and our own beaming eyes trickle with waters.+ 19 For the voice of lamentation is what has been heard from Zion:+ “How we have been despoiled!+ How much we have felt shame! For we have left the land; for they* have thrown away our residences.”*+ 20 But hear, O YOU women, the word of Jehovah, and may YOUR ear take the word of his mouth. Then teach YOUR daughters a lamentation,+ and each woman her companion a dirge.+ 21 For death has come up through our windows; it has come into our dwelling towers, in order to cut off the child from the street, the young men from the public squares.’+
22 “Speak, ‘This is what the utterance of Jehovah is: “The dead bodies of mankind* must also fall like manure upon the face of the field and like a row of newly cut grain after the reaper, with no one to do the gathering up.”’”+
23 This is what Jehovah has said: “Let not the wise man brag about himself because of his wisdom,+ and let not the mighty man brag about himself because of his mightiness.+ Let not the rich man brag about himself because of his riches.”+
24 “But let the one bragging about himself brag about himself because of this very thing, the having of insight+ and the having of knowledge of me, that I am Jehovah,+ the One exercising loving-kindness, justice* and righteousness in the earth;+ for in these things I do take delight,”+ is the utterance of Jehovah.
25 “Look! Days are coming,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “and I will hold an accounting with everyone circumcised [but still] in uncircumcision,*+ 26 upon Egypt+ and upon Judah+ and upon E′dom+ and upon the sons of Am′mon+ and upon Mo′ab+ and upon all those with hair clipped at the temples who are dwelling in the wilderness;+ for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.”+