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 adulterers, a company of treacherous men.
They bend their tongue like a bow; falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, declares the LORD.
Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, for every brother is a deceiver, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity.
Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the LORD.
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: “Behold, I will refine them and test them, for what else can I do, because of my people?
Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully; with his mouth each speaks peace to his neighbor, but in his heart he plans an ambush for him.
Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?
“I will take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness, because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, and the lowing of cattle is not heard; both the birds of the air and the beasts have fled and are gone.
I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a lair of jackals, and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.”
Who 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 and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through?
And the LORD says: “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it,
but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will feed this people with bitter food, and give them poisonous water to drink.
I will scatter them among the nations whom neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them.”