“Now you are walled around
With a wall.
Siege is laid against us.
With a rod,
The ruler of Israel.”
This appears to be an insult to the king of Israel. He apparently was surrounded on all sides, with a siege set against him. Then these invaders would strike the king of Israel with a rod or stick, as they humiliated him. There is a slight discrepancy whether this is the first verse of chapter 5 or the last verse of chapter 4.
“‘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
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.’
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.