Jeremiah 9:3-9

The Lord answers Jeremiah

3 The Lord says,

‘The tongues of these people speak lies,

like the bows of soldiers shoot arrows.

They have become powerful in the land,

but they have used lies to do that.

They do more and more evil things,

and they do not respect me.

4 Be careful of your friends.

Do not even trust your brothers!

They will always try to cheat you.

All your friends will speak lies about you.

5 They deceive each other,

and they never tell the truth.

They have taught their tongues to speak lies.

They love to do bad things

and they cannot stop themselves.

6 They hurt and they deceive each other.

They do that more and more.

They refuse to respect me.’

That is what the Lord says.

7 So the Lord Almighty says this:

‘Listen! I will test my people,

like a man uses fire to make metal become pure.

I must punish them like this because they are so wicked.

There is nothing else that I can do!

8 Their tongues are like arrows that have poison.

They hurt people with their lies.

They speak kind words to their neighbours,

but they are looking for a way to cheat them.

9 I must certainly punish them for what they have done.

I will pay back this wicked nation for their sins.’

That is what the Lord says.