¶ O Who will give my head water enough, and a well of tears for mine eyes: that I may weep night and day, for the slaughter of my people? Would God that I had a cottage some where far from folk, that I might leave my people, and go from them: for they be all advoutrers and a shrinking sort. They bend their tongues like bows, to shoot out lies: As for the truth, they may nothing away with all in the world. For they go from one wickedness to another, and hold nothing of me, sayeth the LORD. Yea one must keep himself from another, no man may safely trust his own brother: for one brother undermineth another, and one neighbour begileth another. Yea one dissesembleth with another, and they deal with no truth. They have practiced their tongues to lie, and taken great pains to do mischief. They have set their stole in the middest of deceit, and for very dissembling falsity they will not know me, sayeth the LORD. Therefore thus sayeth the LORD of Hosts: behold, I will melt them, and try them, for what should I else do to my people? Their tongues are like sharp arrows, to speak deceit. With their mouth they speak peaceably to their neighbour, but privily they lay wait for him. Should I not punish them for these things? sayeth the LORD: Or should I not be avenged of any such people as this? Upon the mountains will I take up a lamentation and sorrowful cry, and a mourning upon the fair plains of the wilderness: Namely, how they are so brent up, that no man goeth there any more: Yea a man shall not hear one beast cry there. Birds and cattle are all gone from thence. I will make Ierusalem also an heap of stones, and a den of venomous worms. And I will make the cities of Iudah so waste, that no man shall dwell therein.
¶ What man is so wise, as to understand this? Or to whom hath the LORD spoken by mouth, that he may shew this, and say: O thou land, why perishest thou so? Wherefore art thou so brent up, and like a wilderness, that no man goeth thorow? Yea the LORD himself told the same unto them, that forsook his law, and kept not the thing that he gave them in commandment, neither lived thereafter: but followed the wickedness of their own hearts, and served strange gods, as their fathers taught them. Therefore, thus sayeth the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will feed this people with wormwood, and give them gall to drink. I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword among them, to persecute them, until I bring them to naught. Moreover, thus sayeth the LORD of Hosts: look that ye call for mourning wives, and send for wise women: that they come shortly, and sing a mourning song of you: that the tears may fall out of our eyes, and that our eye lids may gush out of water. For there is a lamentable noise heard of Sion: O how are we so sore destroyed? O how are we so piteously confounded? We must forsake our own natural country, and we are shot out of our own lodgings. Yet hear the word of the LORD (O ye women) and let your ears regard the words of his mouth: that ye may learn your daughters to mourn, and that every one may teach her neighbouress, to make lamentation. Namely thus: Death is climbing up in at our windows, he is come into our houses, to destroy the child before the door, and the young man in the street. But tell thou plainly, thus sayeth the LORD: The dead bodies of men shall lie upon the ground, as the dung upon the field, and as the hay after the mower, and there shall be no man to take them up.
¶ Moreover, thus sayeth the LORD: Let not the wise man rejoice in his wisdom, nor the strong man in his strength, neither the rich man in his riches: But who so will rejoice, let him rejoice in this, that he understandeth, and knoweth me: for I am the LORD, which do mercy, equity and righteousness upon the earth. Therefore have I pleasure in such things, sayeth the LORD. Behold, the time cometh, (sayeth the LORD) that I will visit all them, whose foreskin is uncircumcised. The Egyptians, the Iews, the Edomites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, and the shaven Madianites, that dwell in the wilderness. For all the Gentiles are uncircumcised in the flesh, but all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.