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Jeremiah 12 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

12 1 The Prophet marvelleth at the prosperity of the wicked, although he confess God to be righteous. 7 The Jews are forsaken of the Lord. 10 He speaketh against pastors and preachers, that seduce the people. 14 The Lord threateneth destruction unto the nations that troubled Judah.

O Lord, if I dispute with thee, thou art [a]righteous: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: wherefore doth the way of the wicked [b]prosper? why are all they in wealth that rebelliously transgress?

Thou hast planted them, and they have taken root: they grow, and bring forth fruit, thou art near in their mouth, and far from their [c]reins.

But thou, Lord, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and [d]prepare them for the day of slaughter.

How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds, because they said, [e]He will not see our last end.

If thou hast run with the [f]footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou match thyself with horses? and if thou thoughtest thyself safe in a peaceable land, what wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?

For even thy brethren and the house of thy father, even they have dealt unfaithfully with thee, and they have cried out altogether upon thee: but believe them not, though they speak fair to thee.

I have forsaken [g]mine house: I have left mine heritage: I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hands of her enemies.

Mine heritage is unto me, as a [h]lion in the forest: it crieth out against me, therefore have I hated it.

Shall mine heritage be unto me, as a bird [i]of divers colors? are not the birds about her, saying, Come, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to eat her?

10 Many pastors have destroyed my [j]vineyard, and trodden my portion under foot: of my pleasant portion they have made a desolate wilderness.

11 They have laid it waste, and it, being waste mourneth unto me, and the whole land lieth waste, because no man setteth his mind on [k]it.

12 The destroyers are come upon all the high places in the wilderness: for the sword of the Lord shall devour from the one end of the land, even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace.

13 [l]They have sown wheat, and reaped thorns: they were [m]sick, and had no profit: and they were ashamed of [n]your fruits, because of the fierce wrath of the Lord.

14 Thus saith the Lord against all mine evil [o]neighbors, that touch the inheritance, which I have caused my people Israel to inherit, Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.

15 And after that I have plucked them out, I [p]will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring again every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.

16 And if they will learn the [q]ways of my people, to swear by my Name, (The [r]Lord liveth, as they taught my people to swear by Baal) then shall they be built [s]in the midst of my people.

17 But if they will not obey, then will I utterly pluck up, and destroy that nation, saith the Lord.


  1. Jeremiah 12:1 The Prophet confesseth God to be just in all his doings, although man be not able to give a reason of all his acts.
  2. Jeremiah 12:1 This question hath been always a great tentation to the godly, to see the wicked enemies of God in prosperity, and his dear children in adversity, as Job 21:7; Ps. 37:1 and 73:3; Hab. 1:3.
  3. Jeremiah 12:2 They profess God in mouth, but deny him in heart, which is here meant by the reins, Isa. 29:13; Matt. 15:8.
  4. Jeremiah 12:3 The Hebrew word is, Sanctify them, meaning, that God would be sanctified in the destruction of the wicked, to whom God for a while giveth prosperity, that afterward they should the more feel his heavy judgment when they lack their riches which were a sign of his mercy.
  5. Jeremiah 12:4 Abusing God’s lenity and his promises, they flattered themselves as though God would ever be merciful, and not utterly destroy them: therefore they hardened themselves in sin, till at length the beasts and insensible creatures felt the punishment of their stubborn rebellion against God.
  6. Jeremiah 12:5 Some think that God reproveth Jeremiah, in that that he would reason with him, saying, that if he were not able to march with men, that he were far unable to dispute with God. Others, by the footmen, mean them of Anathoth: and by the horsemen, them of Jerusalem, which should trouble the Prophet worse than his own countrymen did.
  7. Jeremiah 12:7 God willeth the Prophet to denounce his judgments against Jerusalem, notwithstanding that they shall both by threatenings and flatteries, labor to put him to silence.
  8. Jeremiah 12:8 Ever ramping and raging against me and my Prophets.
  9. Jeremiah 12:9 Instead of bearing my livery, and wearing only my colors, they have change and diversity of colors of their idols and superstitions, therefore their enemies as thick as the fowls of the air shall come about them to destroy them.
  10. Jeremiah 12:10 He prophecieth of the destruction of Jerusalem, by the captains of Nebuchadnezzar, whom he calleth pastors.
  11. Jeremiah 12:11 Because no man regardeth my word, or the plagues that I have sent upon the land.
  12. Jeremiah 12:13 To wit, the Prophets.
  13. Jeremiah 12:13 They lamented the sins of the people.
  14. Jeremiah 12:13 For instead of amendment, you grew worse and worse, as God’s plagues testified.
  15. Jeremiah 12:14 Meaning, the wicked enemies of his Church, which blasphemed his Name, and whom he would punish after that he hath delivered his people.
  16. Jeremiah 12:15 After that I have punished the Gentiles, I will have mercy upon them.
  17. Jeremiah 12:16 The true doctrine and manner to serve God.
  18. Jeremiah 12:16 Read Jer. 4:2.
  19. Jeremiah 12:16 They shall be of the number of the faithful, and have a place in my Church.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

Jeremiah 12 New International Version (NIV)

Jeremiah’s Complaint

12 You are always righteous, Lord,
    when I bring a case before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
    Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
    Why do all the faithless live at ease?
You have planted them, and they have taken root;
    they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips
    but far from their hearts.
Yet you know me, Lord;
    you see me and test my thoughts about you.
Drag them off like sheep to be butchered!
    Set them apart for the day of slaughter!
How long will the land lie parched
    and the grass in every field be withered?
Because those who live in it are wicked,
    the animals and birds have perished.
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 by[b] the Jordan?
Your relatives, members of your own family—
    even they have betrayed you;
    they have raised a loud cry against you.
Do not trust them,
    though they speak well of you.

“I will forsake my house,
    abandon my inheritance;
I will give the one I love
    into the hands of her enemies.
My inheritance has become to me
    like a lion in the forest.
She roars at me;
    therefore I hate her.
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.
10 Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard
    and trample down my field;
they will turn my pleasant field
    into a desolate wasteland.
11 It will be made a wasteland,
    parched and desolate before me;
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 of the Lord will devour
    from one end of the land to the other;
    no one will be safe.
13 They will sow wheat but reap thorns;
    they will wear themselves out but gain nothing.
They will bear the shame of their harvest
    because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”

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


  1. Jeremiah 12:5 Or you feel secure only
  2. Jeremiah 12:5 Or the flooding of
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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