New Living Translation
Jeremiah Questions the Lord’s Justice
12 Lord, you always give me justice
when I bring a case before you.
So let me bring you this complaint:
Why are the wicked so prosperous?
Why are evil people so happy?
2 You have planted them,
and they have taken root and prospered.
Your name is on their lips,
but you are far from their hearts.
3 But as for me, Lord, you know my heart.
You see me and test my thoughts.
Drag these people away like sheep to be butchered!
Set them aside to be slaughtered!
4 How long must this land mourn?
Even the grass in the fields has withered.
The wild animals and birds have disappeared
because of the evil in the land.
For the people have said,
“The Lord doesn’t see what’s ahead for us!”
The Lord’s Reply to Jeremiah
5 “If racing against mere men makes you tired,
how will you race against horses?
If you stumble and fall on open ground,
what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?
6 Even your brothers, members of your own family,
have turned against you.
They plot and raise complaints against you.
Do not trust them,
no matter how pleasantly they speak.
7 “I have abandoned my people, my special possession.
I have surrendered my dearest ones to their enemies.
8 My chosen people have roared at me like a lion of the forest,
so I have treated them with contempt.
9 My chosen people act like speckled vultures,[a]
but they themselves are surrounded by vultures.
Bring on the wild animals to pick their corpses clean!
10 “Many rulers have ravaged my vineyard,
trampling down the vines
and turning all its beauty into a barren wilderness.
11 They have made it an empty wasteland;
I hear its mournful cry.
The whole land is desolate,
and no one even cares.
12 On all the bare hilltops,
destroying armies can be seen.
The sword of the Lord devours people
from one end of the nation to the other.
No one will escape!
13 My people have planted wheat
but are harvesting thorns.
They have worn themselves out,
but it has done them no good.
They will harvest a crop of shame
because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”
A Message for Israel’s Neighbors
14 Now this is what the Lord says: “I will uproot from their land all the evil nations reaching out for the possession I gave my people Israel. And I will uproot Judah from among them. 15 But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. I will bring them home to their own lands again, each nation to its own possession. 16 And if these nations truly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’ (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people. 17 But any nation who refuses to obey me will be uprooted and destroyed. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
- 12:9 Or speckled hyenas.
New International Version
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?
2 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)
3 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)
4 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.”
5 “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?
6 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)
7 “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)
8 My inheritance has become to me
like a lion(U) in the forest.
She roars at me;
therefore I hate her.(V)
9 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.