A lamentation about the moral corruption of Judah (Jer 9:1-9:3)

“‘O that my head were a spring of water!

O that my eyes were a fountain of tears!

Thus I might weep day and night

For the slain of my poor people!

O that I had in the desert

A traveler’s lodging place!

Thus I might leave my people!

Thus I might go away from them!

They are all adulterers.

They are a band of traitors.

They bend their tongue

Like bows.

They have grown strong in the land

Because of falsehood,

Not because of truth.

They proceed from evil to evil.

They do not know me.’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has another oracle of Yahweh that speaks out about his lament over the corruption in Judah. Yahweh wished that he had a head with a spring of water or fountain of tears in his eyes, so that he could weep all day and night for the dead people of Judah. He wished that he had a lodging place in the desert so that he could get away from his poor people. They were all adulterers and traitors. They bent their tongues like bows with all their falsehood, instead of truth. They simply went from one evil to another evil. They did not even know Yahweh. It was a terrible scene. There is a slight discrepancy of the verse numbers since this first verse in the Jerusalem Bible is the last of the preceding chapter. However, I will follow the Revised Standard edition numbering for this chapter.

Who will heal them? (Jer 8:21-8:22)

“I am hurt

For the hurt

Of my poor people.

I mourn.

Dismay has taken hold on me.

Is there no balm in Gilead?

Is there no physician there?

Why then has the health

Of my poor people

Not been restored?”

Jeremiah is hurting for his poor people. He is mourning because he is dismayed. There is no healing with the balm from Gilead, on the other side of the Jordan River. There were no physicians to help them. The health of his poor people was not being restored. In fact, it was deteriorating instead of getting better.