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Jeremiah’s Plea

12 (A)Righteous are You, O Yahweh, when I would plead my case with You;
Indeed I would (B)speak matters of justice with You:
Why has the (C)way of the wicked succeeded?
Why are all those who (D)deal in treachery complacent?
You have (E)planted them; they have also taken root;
They grow; they have even produced fruit.
You are (F)near [a]to their lips
But far from their [b]inmost being.
But You, O Yahweh, You (G)know me;
You see me;
And You (H)test my heart’s attitude toward You.
Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter
And [c]set them apart for a (I)day of carnage!
How long is the (J)land to mourn
And the (K)plants of every field to dry up?
Because of the (L)evil of those who inhabit it,
(M)Animals and birds have been swept away,
Because men have said, “He will not see our latter (N)ending.”

Yahweh Answers Jeremiah

“If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
Then how can you compete with horses?
If you fall down in a land of peace,
How will you do in the [d](O)thicket of the Jordan?
For even your (P)brothers and the household of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you,
Even they have called aloud after you.
Do not believe them, although they may say (Q)nice things to you.”

“I have (R)forsaken My house;
I have abandoned My inheritance;
I have given the (S)beloved of My soul
Into the hand of her enemies.
My inheritance has become to Me
Like a lion in the forest;
She has (T)given forth its voice against Me;
Therefore I have come to (U)hate her.
Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me?
Are the (V)birds of prey against her on every side?
Go, gather all the (W)beasts of the field,
Bring them to devour!
10 Many (X)shepherds have ruined My (Y)vineyard;
They have (Z)trampled down My portion;
They have made My (AA)desired portion
A desolate wilderness.
11 [e]It has been made a desolation;
Desolate, it (AB)mourns [f]before Me;
The (AC)whole land has been made desolate
Because no man (AD)sets it upon his heart.
12 On all the [g](AE)bare heights in the wilderness
Destroyers have come,
For a (AF)sword of Yahweh is devouring
From one end of the land even to the [h]other;
There is (AG)no peace for any flesh.
13 They have (AH)sown wheat and have reaped thorns;
They have (AI)strained themselves [i]to no profit.
But be ashamed of your (AJ)produce
Because of the (AK)burning anger of Yahweh.”

14 Thus says Yahweh concerning all My (AL)evil neighbors who (AM)beat at the inheritance with which I have caused My people Israel to inherit, “Behold, I am about to uproot them from their land and will (AN)uproot the house of Judah from among them. 15 And it will come about that after I have uprooted them, I will (AO)return and have compassion on them; and I will (AP)cause them to return, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land. 16 Then if they will really (AQ)learn the ways of My people, to (AR)swear by My name, ‘As Yahweh lives,’ even as they taught My people to (AS)swear by Baal, they will be (AT)built up in the midst of My people. 17 But if they will not listen, then I will (AU)uproot that nation, uproot and make it perish,” declares Yahweh.


  1. Jeremiah 12:2 Lit in their mouth
  2. Jeremiah 12:2 Lit kidneys
  3. Jeremiah 12:3 Lit sanctify them
  4. Jeremiah 12:5 Lit pride
  5. Jeremiah 12:11 Lit One has made it
  6. Jeremiah 12:11 Or upon
  7. Jeremiah 12:12 Or caravan trails
  8. Jeremiah 12:12 Lit other end of the land
  9. Jeremiah 12:13 Lit they do not profit