The Bible – Old Testament
Would that I had in the desert a travelers’ lodge! That I might leave my people and depart from them. They are all adulterers, a faithless band.
They ready their tongues like a drawn bow; with lying, and not with truth, they hold forth in the land. They go from evil to evil, but me they know not, says the LORD.
1 Be on your guard, everyone against his neighbor; put no trust in any brother. Every brother apes Jacob, the supplanter, every friend is guilty of slander.
Each one deceives the other, no one speaks the truth. They have accustomed their tongues to lying, and are perverse, and cannot repent.
Violence upon violence, deceit upon deceit: They refuse to recognize me, says the LORD.
Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: I will smelt them and test them; how else should I deal with their wickedness?
A murderous arrow is his tongue, his mouth utters deceit; He speaks cordially with his friends, but in his heart he lays an ambush!
For these things, says the LORD, shall I not punish them? On a nation such as this shall I not take vengeance?
Over the mountains, break out in cries of lamentation, over the pasture lands, intone a dirge: They are scorched, and no man crosses them, unheard is the bleat of the flock; Birds of the air as well as beasts, all have fled, and are gone.
I will turn Jerusalem into a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals; The cities of Judah I will make into a waste, where no one dwells.
Who is so wise that he can understand this? Let him to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken make it known: Why is the land ravaged, scorched like a wasteland untraversed?
The LORD answered: Because they have abandoned my law, which I set before them, and have not followed it or listened to my voice,
but followed rather the hardness of their hearts and the Baals, as their fathers had taught them;
therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: See now, I will give them wormwood to eat and poison to drink.
I will scatter them among nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known; I will send the sword to pursue them until I have completely destroyed them.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: Attention! tell the wailing women to come, summon the best of them;
Let them come quickly and intone a dirge for us, That our eyes may be wet with weeping, our cheeks run with tears.
The dirge is heard from Zion: Ruined we are, and greatly ashamed; We must leave the land, give up our homes!
Hear, you women, the word of the LORD, let your ears receive his message. Teach your daughters this dirge, and each other this lament.
Death has come up through our windows, has entered our palaces; It cuts down the children in the street, young people in the squares.
The corpses of the slain lie like dung on a field, Like sheaves behind the harvester, with no one to gather them.
Thus says the LORD: Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, nor the strong man glory in his strength, nor the rich man glory in his riches;
But rather, let him who glories, glory in this, that in his prudence he knows me, Knows that I, the LORD, bring about kindness, justice and uprightness on the earth; For with such am I pleased, says the LORD.
See, days are coming, says the LORD, when I will demand an account of all those circumcised in their flesh:
2 Egypt and Judah, Edom and the Ammonites, Moab and the desert dwellers who shave their temples. For all these nations, like the whole house of Israel, are uncircumcised in heart.
2  Desert dwellers . . . temples: Arab tribesmen who cut off their hair and shaved their temples in honor of the pagan god Dushara. This was forbidden the Israelites (⇒ Lev 19:27).