December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- At that time, says the LORD, the bones of the kings and princes of Judah, the bones of the priests and the prophets, and the bones of the citizens of Jerusalem will be emptied out of their graves
- 1 and spread out before the sun and the moon and the whole army of heaven, which they loved and served, which they followed, consulted, and worshiped. They will not be gathered up for burial, but will lie like dung upon the ground.
- Death will be preferred to life by all the survivors of this wicked race who remain in any of the places to which I banish them, says the LORD of hosts.
- Tell them: Thus says the LORD: When someone falls, does he not rise again? if he goes astray, does he not turn back?
- Why do these people rebel with obstinate resistance? Why do they cling to deceptive idols, refuse to turn back?
- I listen closely: they speak what is not true; No one repents of his wickedness, saying, "What have I done!" Everyone keeps on running his course, like a steed dashing into battle.
- Even the stork in the air knows it seasons; Turtledove, swallow and thrush observe their time of return, But my people do not know the ordinance of the LORD.
- 2 How can you say, "We are wise, we have the law of the LORD"? Why, that has been changed into falsehood by the lying pen of the scribes!
- The wise are confounded, dismayed and ensnared; Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, of what avail is their wisdom?
- Therefore, I will give their wives to strangers, their fields to spoilers. Small and great alike, all are greedy for gain, prophet and priest, all practice fraud.
- 3 They would repair, as though it were nought, the injury to the daughter of my people: "Peace, peace!" they say, though there is no peace.
- They are odious; they have done abominable things, yet they are not at all ashamed, they know not how to blush. Hence they shall be among those who fall; in their time of punishment they shall go down, says the LORD.
- I will gather them all in, says the LORD: no grapes on the vine, No figs on the fig trees, foliage withered!
- Why do we remain here? Let us form ranks and enter the walled cities, to perish there; For the LORD has wrought our destruction, he has given us poison to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD.
- We wait for peace to no avail; for a time of healing, but terror comes instead.
- From Dan is heard the snorting of his steeds; The neighing of his stallions shakes the whole land. They come devouring the land and all it contains, the city and those who dwell in it.
- Yes, I will send against you poisonous snakes, Against which no charm will work when they bite you, says the LORD.
- My grief is incurable, my heart within me is faint.
- Listen! the cry of the daughter of my people, far and wide in the land! Is the LORD no longer in Zion, is her King no longer in her midst? (Why do they provoke me with their idols, with their foreign nonentities?)
- "The harvest has passed, the summer is at an end, and yet we are not safe!"
- I am broken by the ruin of the daughter of my people. I am disconsolate; horror has seized me.
- 4 Is there no balm in Gilead, no physician there? Why grows not new flesh over the wound of the daughter of my people?
- Oh, that my head were a spring of water, my eyes a fountain of tears, That I might weep day and night over the slain of the daughter of my people!
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1  Army of heaven: the stars, worshiped by the pagan nations and even by the inhabitants of Jerusalem during the reigns of Manasseh and Amon.
2 [8-9] Lying pen of the scribes: because the interpretations and ordinances of the scribes ran counter to the word of the Lord.
3  Daughter of my people: the people itself personified as a woman.
4  Gilead: noted for its healing balm but unable to heal the moral wound of the people.
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