9 1 mOh that my head were waters,
and my eyes a fountain of tears,
that I might weep day and night
for the slain of jthe daughter of my people!
2 2 Oh that I had in the desert
a travelers’ lodging place,
that I might leave my people
and go away from them!
For they are all nadulterers,
a company of otreacherous men.
3 pThey bend their tongue like a bow;
falsehood and not truth has grown strong3 in the land;
for they proceed from evil to evil,
qand they do not know me, declares the Lord.
4 rLet everyone beware of his neighbor,
and put no trust in any brother,
for every sbrother is a deceiver,
and every neighbor tgoes about as a slanderer.
5 Everyone deceives his neighbor,
and no one speaks the truth;
they have taught their tongue to speak lies;
they weary themselves committing iniquity.
6 Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit,
uthey refuse to know me, declares the Lord.
7 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts:
“Behold, vI will refine them and wtest them,
for what else can I do, jbecause of my people?
8 xTheir tongue is a deadly arrow;
yit speaks deceitfully;
with his mouth zeach speaks peace to his neighbor,
but in his heart ahe plans an ambush for him.
9 bShall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lord,
and shall I not avenge myself
on a nation such as this?
10 “I will take up weeping and wailing for the mountains,
and a lamentation for cthe pastures of the wilderness,
dbecause they are laid waste so that no one passes through,
and the lowing of cattle is not heard;
eboth the birds of the air and the beasts
have fled and are gone.
11 fI will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
ga lair of jackals,
hand I will make the cities of Judah a desolation,
12 iWho is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined jand laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? 13 And the Lord says: k“Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, 14 but lhave stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: mBehold, I will feed this people with bitter food, and give them npoisonous water to drink. 16 oI will scatter them among the nations pwhom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will qsend the sword after them, until I have consumed them.”
17 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
r“Consider, and call for the mourning women to come;
send for the skillful women to come;
18 let them make haste sand raise a wailing over us,
tthat our eyes may run down with tears
and our eyelids flow with water.
19 For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion:
u‘How we are ruined!
We are utterly shamed,
because we have left the land,
because they have cast down our dwellings.’”
20 Hear, O women, the word of the Lord,
and let your ear receive the word of his mouth;
teach to your daughters a lament,
and each to her neighbor a dirge.
21 For death has come up into our windows;
it has entered our palaces,
vcutting off the children from the streets
and the young men from the squares.
22 Speak: “Thus declares the Lord,
w‘The dead bodies of men shall fall
like dung upon the open field,
xlike sheaves after the reaper,
and none shall gather them.’”
23 Thus says the Lord: y“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but zlet him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. aFor in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
25 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when bI will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh— 26 cEgypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and dall who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are euncircumcised in heart.”
Idols and the Living God
10 Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the Lord:
“Learn not the way of the nations,
nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens
because the nations are dismayed at them,
3 ffor the customs of the peoples are vanity.4
gA tree from the forest is cut down
and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.
4 hThey decorate it with silver and gold;
ithey fasten it with hammer and nails
so that it cannot move.
5 Their idols5 are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
and jthey cannot speak;
kthey have to be carried,
for they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
lfor they cannot do evil,
neither is it in them to do good.”
6 mThere is none like you, O Lord;
you are great, and your name is great in might.
7 nWho would not fear you, O King of the nations?
For this is your due;
for among all the wise ones of the nations
and in all their kingdoms
there is none like you.
8 oThey are both pstupid and foolish;
the instruction of idols is but wood!
9 qBeaten silver is brought from rTarshish,
and gold from sUphaz.
qThey are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith;
their clothing is violet and purple;
tthey are all the work of skilled men.
10 uBut the Lord is the true God;
vhe is the living God and the everlasting King.
At his wrath the earth quakes,
and the nations cannot endure his indignation.
11 Thus shall you say to them: w“The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth xshall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”6
12 yIt is he who zmade the earth by his power,
zwho established the world by his wisdom,
and aby his understanding stretched out the heavens.
13 bWhen he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
cand he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
cHe makes lightning dfor the rain,
cand he brings forth the wind efrom his storehouses.
14 fEvery man is stupid and without knowledge;
gevery goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,
for his images are false,
hand there is no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, a work of delusion;
at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
16 Not like these is he who is ithe portion of Jacob,
for he is the one who formed all things,
jand Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
kthe Lord of hosts is his name.
17 lGather up your bundle from the ground,
O you who dwell under siege!
18 For thus says the Lord:
m“Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land
at this time,
nand I will bring distress on them,
that they may feel it.”
19 Woe is me because of my hurt!
oMy wound is grievous.
But I said, “Truly this is an affliction,
and I must bear it.”
20 pMy tent is destroyed,
and all my cords are broken;
my children have gone from me,
qand they are not;
there is no one to spread my tent again
and pto set up my curtains.
21 rFor the shepherds sare stupid
and do not inquire of the Lord;
therefore they have not prospered,
tand all their flock is scattered.
22 A voice, a rumor! Behold, it comes!—
ua great commotion out of the north country
to make vthe cities of Judah a desolation,
va lair of jackals.
23 wI know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself,
that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
24 xCorrect me, O Lord, but in justice;
not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.
25 yPour out your wrath on the nations that know you not,
and on the peoples that call not on your name,
zfor they have devoured Jacob;
they have devoured him and consumed him,
and have laid waste his habitation.
How Long, O Lord?
A Psalm of yAsaph.
79 O God, zthe nations have come into your ainheritance;
they have defiled your bholy temple;
they have claid Jerusalem in ruins.
2 They have given dthe bodies of your servants
to the birds of the heavens for food,
the flesh of your efaithful to fthe beasts of the earth.
3 They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was gno one to bury them.
4 We have become ha taunt to our neighbors,
hmocked and derided by those around us.
5 iHow long, O Lord? Will you be angry jforever?
Will your kjealousy lburn like fire?
6 mPour out your anger on the nations
that ndo not know you,
and on the kingdoms
that odo not call upon your name!
7 For they have devoured Jacob
and laid waste his habitation.
8 pDo not remember against us qour former iniquities;1
let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
for we are rbrought very low.
9 sHelp us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and tatone for our sins,
for your uname’s sake!
10 vWhy should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Let wthe avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants
be known among the nations before our eyes!
11 Let xthe groans of the prisoners come before you;
according to your great power, preserve those ydoomed to die!
12 Return zsevenfold into the alap of our neighbors
the btaunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord!
13 But we your people, the csheep of your pasture,
will dgive thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
The Day of the Lord
5 Now concerning wthe times and the seasons, brothers,1 xyou have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that ythe day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then zsudden destruction will come upon them aas labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you bare not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all cchildren2 of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then dlet us not sleep, as others do, but let us ekeep awake and fbe sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, gare drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, hhaving put on the breastplate of ifaith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for jwrath, but kto obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 lwho died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Final Instructions and Benediction
12 We ask you, brothers, mto respect those who labor among you and nare over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. oBe at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish pthe idle,3 qencourage the fainthearted, rhelp the weak, sbe patient with them all. 15 See that tno one repays anyone evil for evil, but always useek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 vRejoice always, 17 wpray without ceasing, 18 xgive thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 yDo not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise zprophecies, 21 but atest everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may bthe God of peace himself csanctify you completely, and may your dwhole espirit and soul and body be kept blameless at fthe coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 gHe who calls you is faithful; hhe will surely do it.
25 iBrothers, pray for us.
26 jGreet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have kthis letter read to all the brothers.
28 lThe grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.