9:1 O that my head were a waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
(a) The prophet shows the great compassion that he had toward this people, seeing that he could never sufficiently lament the destruction that he saw to hang over them, which is a special note to discern the true pastors from the hirelings. See Jeremiah 4:19
9:2 O that I had in the wilderness a b lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they [are] all c adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.
(b) He shows that there was more peace and greater safety for him to dwell among the wild beasts than among this wicked people except that God has given him this charge.
9:3 And they bend their tongues [like] their bow [for] d lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.
(c) Utterly turned from God.
(d) To belie and slander their neighbours.
9:4 Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any e brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.
(e) Meaning, that all were corrupt, and none could find an honest man.
9:5 And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they f have taught their tongue to speak lies, [and] weary themselves to commit iniquity.
(f) They have so practised deceit, that they cannot forsake it.
9:6 Thy habitation [is] in the midst of deceit; g through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD.
(g) They would rather have forsaken God than left their wicked trade.
9:7 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will h melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?
(h) With the fire of affliction.
9:10 For the i mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through [them]; neither can [men] hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast have fled; they are gone.
(i) Signifying that all the places about Jerusalem would be destroyed.
9:12 Who [is] the k wise man, that may understand this? and [who is he] to whom the mouth of the LORD hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth [and] is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?
(k) Meaning that they are all without sense and understanding and that God has taken his spirit from them.
9:14 But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which l their fathers taught them:
(l) He shows that the children cannot excuse themselves by their fathers: for both father and child if they are wicked will perish.
9:15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, [even] this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall m to drink.
9:17 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for n the skilful women, that they may come; and send for skilful [women], that they may come:
(m) Read (Jeremiah 8:14).
(n) Seeing you cannot lament your own sins, call for those foolish women, whom of a superstition you have to lament for the dead, that they by their feigned tears may provoke you to some sorrow.
9:19 For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we laid waste! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings o have cast [us] out.
9:20 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O ye women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth, and p teach your daughters wailing, and every one her neighbour lamentation.
(o) As though they were weary of us, because of our iniquities, (Leviticus 18:28,20:22).
(p) He derides the superstition of the women who made an art of mourning, and taught to weep with feigned tears.
9:21 For death hath come up into our q windows, [and] hath entered into our palaces, to cut off the children from outside, [and] the young men from the streets.
(q) Signifying that there is no means to deliver the wicked from Godís judgments: but when they think to be most sure, and most far off, then they are soonest taken.
9:23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the r wise [man] glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty [man] glory in his might, let not the rich [man] glory in his riches:
(r) As none can save himself by his own labour, or any worldly means, he shows that it is vain to put our trust in it, but that we trust in the Lord, and rejoice in him, who only can deliver.
9:24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I [am] the LORD who s exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these [things] I delight, saith the LORD.
(s) These three points are necessary to know correctly his mercy, in which consists our salvation: his judgment, which he executes continually against the wicked, and his justice, by which he defends and maintains the faithful.
9:25 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all [them who are] t circumcised with the uncircumcised;
(t) Meaning, both Jews and Gentiles, as in this next verse he shows the cause, (Jeremiah 4:4).