The deceitful neighbors (Jer 9:4-9:6)

“‘Beware of your neighbors!

Put no trust in any of your relatives!

All your relatives are liars.

Every neighbor goes around

Like a slanderer.

They all deceive their neighbors.

No one speaks the truth.

They have taught their tongues

To speak lies.

They commit iniquity.

They are too weary to repent.

Oppression upon oppression!

Deceit upon deceit!

They refuse to know me.’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has another oracle of Yahweh about watching out for your neighbors and their deceitfulness. Not only are they to be aware of their neighbors, but also their own relatives and next of kin. They were not to trust them because they were liars, hoping to take their place. Neighbors are going around slandering them. No one was speaking the truth because they all had taught their tongues to lie. When they did something wrong, they were too weary to repent. Thus there was oppression piled on oppression, deceit after deceit. They all refused to know Yahweh.

The Spirit of God (Wis 1:6-1:11)

“Wisdom is a kindly spirit.

Wisdom will not free blasphemers

From the guilt of their words. God is witness

Of their inmost feelings.

God is a true observer of their hearts.

He is a hearer of their tongues.

The Spirit of the Lord

Has filled the world.

What holds all things together

Knows what is said.

Therefore those who utter unrighteous things

Will not escape notice.

Justice,

When it punishes,

Will not pass them by.

Inquiry will be made

Into the counsels of the ungodly.

A report of their words

Will come to the Lord.

It will convict them of their lawless deeds.

A jealous ear hears all things.

The sound of grumbling does not go unheard.

Beware then of useless grumbling!

Keep your tongue from slander!

No secret word is without result.

A lying mouth destroys the soul.”

Wisdom (σοφία) is a kindly or philanthropic spirit (φιλάνθρωπον πνεῦμα). There is almost equivalence between wisdom and the Spirit. The blasphemers (βλάσφημον) will not escape the guilt of their words. God is a witness (μάρτυς ὁ Θεὸς) to their innermost feelings. He knows their heart (τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ ἐπίσκοπος ἀληθὴς). He hears their tongues (τῆς γλώσσης ἀκουστής). The Spirit of the Lord (πνεῦμα Κυρίου) has filled the world. Thus this creative spirit knows all things. Thus those who utter unrighteous things will not escape notice. A just punishment will not pass them by. An inquiry will be made and a report will be given to the Lord (Κΰριον). They will be convicted of their evil and lawless deeds. A jealous ear hears all things. Thus the Lord hears this useless grumbling. You should keep your tongue from slandering. Even secret words are known, so that a lying mouth destroys the soul (ψυχήν).