Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
[For the choir director: according to Sheminith. A Davidic psalm.] Help, LORD, for no faithful one remains; the loyal have disappeared from the human race.
They lie to one another; they speak with flattering lips and deceptive hearts.
Lord, confuse and confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city;
day and night they make the rounds on its walls. Crime and trouble are within it;
destruction is inside it; oppression and deceit never leave its marketplace.
For I envied the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have an easy time until they die, and their bodies are well-fed.
They are not in trouble like others; they are not afflicted like most people.
Therefore, pride is their necklace, and violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes bulge out from fatness; the imaginations of their hearts run wild.
They mock, and they speak maliciously; they arrogantly threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues strut across the earth.
What misery that I have stayed in Meshech, that I have lived among the tents of Kedar!
I have lived too long with those who hate peace.
Again, I observed all the acts of oppression being done under the sun. Look at the tears of those who are oppressed; they have no one to comfort them. Power is with those who oppress them; they have no one to comfort them.
If you see oppression of the poor and perversion of justice and righteousness in the province, don't be astonished at the situation, because one official protects another official, and higher officials [protect] them.
If only I had a traveler's lodging place in the wilderness, I would abandon my people and depart from them, for they are all adulterers, a solemn assembly of treacherous people.
They bent their tongues [like] their bows; lies and not faithfulness prevail in the land, for they proceed from one evil to another, and they do not take Me into account. [This is] the LORD's declaration.
Everyone has to be on guard against his friend. Don't trust any brother, for every brother will certainly deceive, and every friend spread slander.
Each one betrays his friend; no one tells the truth. They have taught their tongues to speak lies; they wear themselves out doing wrong.
You live in [a world] of deception. In [their] deception they refuse to know Me. [This is] the LORD's declaration.
"But you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions. Don't be afraid of their words or be discouraged by [the look on] their faces, for they are a rebellious house.
How sad for me! For I am like one who-- when the summer fruit has been gathered after the gleaning of the grape harvest-- [finds] no grape cluster to eat, no early fig, which I crave.
Godly people have vanished from the land; there is no one upright among the people. All of them wait in ambush to shed blood; they hunt each other with a net.
Both hands are good at accomplishing evil: the official and the judge demand a bribe; when the powerful man communicates his evil desire, they plot it together.
The best of them is like a brier; the most upright is worse than a hedge of thorns. The day of your watchmen, [the day of] your punishment, is coming; at this time their panic is here.
"Look, I'm sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves.
(for as he lived among them, that righteous man tormented himself day by day with the lawless deeds he saw and heard)--