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Jeremiah's Complaint

12 (A)Righteous are you, O Lord,
    when I complain to you;
    yet I would plead my case before you.
(B)Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
    Why do all (C)who are treacherous thrive?
You plant them, and they take root;
    they grow and produce fruit;
(D)you are near in their mouth
    and far from their heart.
(E)But you, O Lord, know me;
    (F)you see me, and test my heart towards you.
(G)Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
    and set them apart for (H)the day of slaughter.
(I)How long will the land mourn
    and the grass of every field wither?
(J)For the evil of those who dwell in it
    (K)the beasts and the birds are swept away,
    because they said, “He will not see our latter end.”

The Lord Answers Jeremiah

“If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you,
    how will you compete with horses?
And if in a safe land you are so trusting,
    what will you do in (L)the thicket of the Jordan?
For (M)even your brothers and the house of your father,
    (N)even they have dealt treacherously with you;
    they are in full cry after you;
(O)do not believe them,
    though they speak friendly words to you.”
“I have forsaken my house;
    I have abandoned (P)my heritage;
I have given (Q)the beloved of my soul
    into the hands of her enemies.
(R)My heritage has become to me
    like a lion in the forest;
she has lifted up her voice against me;
    therefore I hate her.
Is (S)my heritage to me like (T)a hyena's lair?
    Are the (U)birds of prey against her all round?
Go, (V)assemble all the wild beasts;
    bring them to devour.
10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard;
    (W)they have trampled down my portion;
they have made my pleasant portion
    a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it a desolation;
    desolate, (X)it mourns to me.
The whole land is made desolate,
    (Y)but no man lays it to heart.
12 Upon all the bare heights in the desert
    destroyers have come,
for the sword of the Lord devours
    from one end of the land to the other;
    no flesh has peace.
13 (Z)They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns;
    (AA)they have tired themselves out but profit nothing.
They shall be ashamed of their[a] harvests
    (AB)because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”

14 Thus says the Lord concerning all (AC)my evil neighbours (AD)who touch the heritage that (AE)I have given my people Israel to inherit: “Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, (AF)and I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, (AG)to swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives’, even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, (AH)then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17 (AI)But if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares the Lord.”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 12:13 Hebrew your

Jeremiah’s Complaint

12 You are always righteous,(A) Lord,
    when I bring a case(B) before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:(C)
    Why does the way of the wicked prosper?(D)
    Why do all the faithless live at ease?
You have planted(E) them, and they have taken root;
    they grow and bear fruit.(F)
You are always on their lips
    but far from their hearts.(G)
Yet you know me, Lord;
    you see me and test(H) my thoughts about you.
Drag them off like sheep(I) to be butchered!
    Set them apart for the day of slaughter!(J)
How long will the land lie parched(K)
    and the grass in every field be withered?(L)
Because those who live in it are wicked,
    the animals and birds have perished.(M)
Moreover, the people are saying,
    “He will not see what happens to us.”

God’s Answer

“If you have raced with men on foot
    and they have worn you out,
    how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble[a] in safe country,
    how will you manage in the thickets(N) by[b] the Jordan?
Your relatives, members of your own family—
    even they have betrayed you;
    they have raised a loud cry against you.(O)
Do not trust them,
    though they speak well of you.(P)

“I will forsake(Q) my house,
    abandon(R) my inheritance;
I will give the one I love(S)
    into the hands of her enemies.(T)
My inheritance has become to me
    like a lion(U) in the forest.
She roars at me;
    therefore I hate her.(V)
Has not my inheritance become to me
    like a speckled bird of prey
    that other birds of prey surround and attack?
Go and gather all the wild beasts;
    bring them to devour.(W)
10 Many shepherds(X) will ruin my vineyard
    and trample down my field;
they will turn my pleasant field
    into a desolate wasteland.(Y)
11 It will be made a wasteland,(Z)
    parched and desolate before me;(AA)
the whole land will be laid waste
    because there is no one who cares.
12 Over all the barren heights in the desert
    destroyers will swarm,
for the sword(AB) of the Lord(AC) will devour(AD)
    from one end of the land to the other;(AE)
    no one will be safe.(AF)
13 They will sow wheat but reap thorns;
    they will wear themselves out but gain nothing.(AG)
They will bear the shame of their harvest
    because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”(AH)

14 This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance(AI) I gave my people Israel, I will uproot(AJ) them from their lands and I will uproot(AK) the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion(AL) and will bring(AM) each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. 16 And if they learn(AN) well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’(AO)—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal(AP)—then they will be established among my people.(AQ) 17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy(AR) it,” declares the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 12:5 Or you feel secure only
  2. Jeremiah 12:5 Or the flooding of

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