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! (not healed by "balsam" or "physician")
2: Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my People, and go from them!
P˛ d -2-6. Incrimination. Deceit. e 7. Threatening. Trial. d 8. Incrimination. Deceit. e 9. Threatening. Vengeance.
“for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.
3: And they bend (or, prepare) their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the veracity upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not Me, [is] the Lord oracle.
4: Take you all heed every one of his friend, and do not confide in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant (see Gen. 25:26; 27:36), and every neighbor will walk with slanders.
5: And they will deceive every one his friend, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
6: Your habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me, [is] the Lord's oracle.
7: Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how else shall I do for the daughter of My People?
8: Their tongue is as an arrow shot out (Heb. = piercing. Some codices read "pointed"); it speaks deceit: one speaks peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in heart he lays his wait.
9: Shall I not visit them for these things? [is] the Lord oracle: shall not My soul (= I Myself. Emphatic) be avenged on such a nation as this? (cp. 5:9,29)
D f 10. Lamentation. g 11. Threatening. Places. h 12-14. The wise. Call. i 15,16. Dispersion among the nation. f 17-21. Lamentation. g 22. Threatening. Persons. h 23,24. The wise. Exhortation. i 25,26. Dispersion with the nations.
10: For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the pastures 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 jackals; 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 has spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perishes and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passes through?’
13: And the Lord says, ‘Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them (see Deut. 32:15,21. Also see Ex. 20, &c. Deut. 4:8,44), and have not obeyed My voice, neither walked therein; (in the law, not the verse)
14: But have walked after the stuborness of their own heart (see 3:17), and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them:
15: Therefore thus says 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. (see Deut.29:18. Repeated in 23:15. Cp. 8:14)
16: I will scatter them also among the nations (see Lev.26:33. Deut.28:64), whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.’
17: Thus say the Lord of hosts (this, vv.17-20, develops the calamity, for which this chapter gives the reason), ‘Consider you all, and call for the mourning women (a class still hired for that purpose. Cp. 2 Sam. 1:24. 2 Chron. 35:25. Ecc. 125. Matt. 9:23. Mark 5:38), that they may come; and send for skillful women (in this business), 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 is it we are spoiled! we are greatly confounded, because (some codices read "yes, for", or " for indeed") we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out.’ ” (or, "they have cast down our habitation. Cp. Dan. 8:11. Job 8:18. Ezek. 19:12)
20: Yet (or "For", or "Yes) hear the word of the Lord, O all you women (these had been largely the instrumental cause; now they share the calamity), and let your ear receive the word of His mouth, and teach your daughters wailing, and every one her neighbor lamentation.
21: For death is come up into our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off the infants from without, and the young men from the streets.
22: Speak (this shows that Jerome's Heb. text was unpointed, for he read d-b-r as deber = pestilence, instead of dâbâr = word, or dabber = speak), “Thus says the Lord, ‘Even the carcasses of mankind shall fall as dung upon the open field (or, ground), and as the handful after the harvest-man, and none shall gather them. (cp. Ps.79:3)
23: Thus says the Lord (the lesson which follows is of universal application), ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, neither let the rich man glory in his riches: (these are the 3 things which men trust in. This was Jerusalem's sin. These things of the world not God. It will never bring you peace of mind)
24: But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord (quoted in 1 Cor.1:31. This lies at the foundation of everything: of all trust in God, for One unknown cannot be trusted at all; of all pleasing, Eph. 117. Col. 1:9,10. 1 John 5:20. The want of it led to the nations corruption, Rom. 1:28; to Israel's fall, Isa. 1:3. Luke 19:42,44; and all the future blessing is wrapped up in it: for Israel, 31:34. Isa. 54:13; and for creation, Isa. 11:9. This is why we have the written Word, 2 Tim.3:15, and the living "Word", John 1:18) Which exercise (practices and brings forth) loving-kindness (= favor shown to the unworthy), and judgment (justice to the oppressed, emphasizing the statement), and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, [is] the Lord oracle. (no other way)
25: Behold, the days come, [is] the Lord oracle, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; (= circumcised in uncircumcised: i.e. "circumcised [externally] who [are yet really] uncircumcised", as explained at the end of the next verse. Hence the contrast with the nations mentioned, which all practiced [external] circumcision, Rom.2:25-29. See Lev.26:41,42. Deut.10:16; 30:6)
26: Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the sons of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners (or, all that have the corners of their beard polled. See Lev. 19:27. Cp. Jer. 49:32), that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised [in the heart], and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart. (see 2:4)