Jeremiah 9

1 Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a spring of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! 2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 3 “They bend their tongue, as their bow, for falsehood; and they have grown strong in the land, but not for truth: for they proceed from evil to evil, and they don’t know me,” says the LORD. 4 “Everyone beware of his neighbor, and don’t trust in any brother; for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbor will go about with slanders. 5 Everyone will deceive their neighbors, and will not speak the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak lies. They weary themselves committing iniquity. 6 Your habitation is in the middle of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me,” says the LORD. 7 Therefore the LORD of Armies says, “Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how should I deal with the daughter of my people? 8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow. It speaks deceit. One speaks peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in his heart, he lays wait for him. 9 Shall I not punish them for these things?” says the LORD. “Shouldn’t my soul be avenged on a nation such as this? 10 I will weep and wail for the mountains, and lament for the pastures of the wilderness, because they are burnt up, so that no one passes through; neither can men hear the voice of the livestock. Both the birds of the sky and the animals have fled. They are gone. 11 “I will make Jerusalem heaps, a dwelling place of jackals. I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.” 12 Who is wise enough to understand this? Who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land perished and burnt up like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? 13 The LORD says, “Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein, 14 but have walked after the stubbornness of their own heart, and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them.” 15 therefore the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says, “Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. 16 I will scatter them also amongst the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.” 17 the LORD of Armies says, “Consider, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for the skilful women, that they may come. 18 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 are we ruined! We are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because they have cast down our dwellings.’” 20 Yet hear the LORD’s word, you women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth. Teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor lamentation. 21 For death has come up into our windows. It has entered into our palaces; to cut off the children from outside, and the young men from the streets. 22 Speak, “the LORD says, “‘The dead bodies of men will fall as dung on the open field, and as the handful after the harvester; and no one will gather them.’” 23 The LORD says, “Don’t let the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might. Don’t let the rich man glory in his riches. 24 But let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight,” says the LORD. 25 “Behold, the days come,” says the LORD, “that I will punish all those who are circumcised only in their flesh: 26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that have the corners of their hair cut off, who dwell in the wilderness; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-11

Jeremiah wept much, yet wished he could weep more, that he might rouse the people to a due sense of the hand of God. But even the desert, without communion with God, through Christ Jesus, and the influences of the Holy Spirit, must be a place for temptation and evil; while, with these blessings, we may live in holiness in crowded cities. The people accustomed their tongues to lies. So false were they, that a brother could not be trusted. In trading and bargaining they said any thing for their own advantage, though they knew it to be false. But God marked their sin. Where no knowledge of God is, what good can be expected? He has many ways of turning a fruitful land into barrenness for the wickedness of those that dwell therein.

Verses 12-22

In Zion the voice of joy and praise used to be heard, while the people kept close to God; but sin has altered the sound, it is now the voice of lamentation. Unhumbled hearts lament their calamity, but not their sin, which is the cause of it. Let the doors be shut ever so fast, death steals upon us. It enters the palaces of princes and great men, though stately, strongly built, and guarded. Nor are those more safe that are abroad; death cuts off even the children from without, and the young men from the streets. Hearken to the word of the Lord, and mourn with godly sorrow. This alone can bring true comfort; and it can turn the heaviest afflictions into precious mercies.

Verses 23-26

In this world of sin and sorrow, ending soon in death and judgement, how foolish for men to glory in their knowledge, health, strength, riches, or in any thing which leaves them under the dominion of sin and the wrath of God! and of which an account must hereafter be rendered; it will but increase their misery. Those are the true Israel who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Let us prize the distinction which comes from God, and will last for ever. Let us seek it diligently.

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