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Jeremiah Chapter 9 | Parsha:

1Oh, to be in the desert,
At an encampment for wayfarers!
Oh, to leave my people,
To go away from them—
For they are all adulterers,
A band of rogues.

2They bend their tongues like bows;
They are valorous in the land
For treachery, not for honesty;
They advance from evil to evil.
And they do not heed Me
—declares the Lord.

3Beware, every man of his friend!
Trust not even a brother!
For every brother takes advantage,
Every friend is base in his dealings.

4One man cheats the other,
They will not speak truth;
They have trained their tongues to speak falsely;
They wear themselves out working iniquity.

5You dwell in the midst of deceit.
In their deceit, they refuse to heed Me
—declares the Lord.

6Assuredly, thus said the Lord of Hosts:
Lo, I shall smelt and assay them—
For what else can I do because of My poor people?

7Their tongue is a sharpened arrow,
They use their mouths to deceive.
One speaks to his fellow in friendship,
But lays an ambush for him in his heart.

8Shall I not punish them for such deeds?
—says the Lord—
Shall I not bring retribution
On such a nation as this?

9For the mountains I take up weeping and wailing,
For the pastures in the wilderness, a dirge.
They are laid waste; no man passes through,
And no sound of cattle is heard.
Birds of the sky and beasts as well
Have fled and are gone.

10I will turn Jerusalem into rubble,
Into dens for jackals;
And I will make the towns of Judah
A desolation without inhabitants.

11What man is so wise
That he understands this?
To whom has the Lord’s mouth spoken,
So that he can explain it:
Why is the land in ruins,
Laid waste like a wilderness,
With none passing through?

12The Lord replied: Because they forsook the Teaching I had set before them. They did not obey Me and they did not follow it, 13but followed their own willful heart and followed the Baalim, as their fathers had taught them. 14Assuredly, thus said the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to feed that people wormwood and make them drink a bitter draft. 15I will scatter them among nations which they and their fathers never knew; and I will dispatch the sword after them until I have consumed them.

16Thus said the Lord of Hosts:
Listen!
Summon the dirge-singers, let them come;

17Send for the skilled women, let them come.
Let them quickly start a wailing for us,
That our eyes may run with tears,
Our pupils flow with water.

18For the sound of wailing
Is heard from Zion:
How we are despoiled!
How greatly we are shamed!
Ah, we must leave our land,
Abandon our dwellings!

19Hear, O women, the word of the Lord,
Let your ears receive the word of His mouth,
And teach your daughters wailing,
And one another lamentation.

20For death has climbed through our windows,
Has entered our fortresses,
To cut off babes from the streets,
Young men from the squares.

21Speak thus—says the Lord:
The carcasses of men shall lie
Like dung upon the fields,
Like sheaves behind the reaper,
With none to pick them up.

22Thus said the Lord:
Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom;
Let not the strong man glory in his strength;
Let not the rich man glory in his riches.

23But only in this should one glory:
In his earnest devotion to Me.
For I the Lord act with kindness,
Justice, and equity in the world;
For in these I delight
—declares the Lord.

24Lo, days are coming—declares the Lord—when I will take note of everyone circumcised in the foreskin: 25of Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all the desert dwellers who have the hair of their temples clipped. For all these nations are uncircumcised, but all the House of Israel are uncircumcised of heart.

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