Beware of your family (Jer 12:6-12:6)

“Even your kinsfolk,

Even your own family,

Even they have dealt treacherously

With you.

They are in full cry after you.

Do not believe them,

Even if they speak

Friendly words to you.”

This verse is not in the Jerusalem Bible. I do not know why. Yahweh seems to warn Jeremiah that he should be careful with his own family and relatives. They have dealt treacherously with him. They were in full throat after him. He was not to believe anything that they said to him, even if it was friendly words.

How should they be punished? (Jer 9:7-9:9)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘I will now refine them.

I will test them.

What else can I do

With my sinful people?

Their tongue is a deadly arrow.

It speaks deceit

Through the mouth.

They all speak friendly words

To their neighbors.

But inwardly

They are planning

To lay an ambush.

Shall I not punish them

For these things?

Shall I not bring retribution

On a nation such as this?’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh wants to test or refine this sinful people. Their tongues are like deadly arrows because of their deceit. They speak friendly words to their neighbors, but they are planning an ambush for them. How are they to be punished? How much retribution should be handed out to such a people and a country?