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.