12 Lord, when I bring ·my case to [charges against] you, you are ·always right [righteous]. But I want to ·ask you about the justice you give [put my case to you]. Why ·are evil people [L is the way/path of the wicked] successful? Why do ·dishonest [treasonous; treacherous] people ·have such easy lives [thrive; Job; Ps. 73; Eccl. 7:15–18; 8:10–12]? 2 You ·have put the evil people here like plants with strong roots [L plant them; they take root]. They grow and produce fruit [17:7–8]. ·With their mouths they speak well of you [L You are near in their mouths], but ·their hearts are really far away from you [L far from their hearts/thoughts]. 3 But you know ·my heart [L me], Lord. You see me and test my ·thoughts [L heart] about you [1:5; Ps. 139]. Drag the evil people away like sheep to be ·butchered [slaughtered]. ·Set them aside [C Consecrate them] for the day of killing. 4 How much longer will the land ·stay dried up [L mourn] and the grass in every field be ·dead [dry]? The animals and birds in the land ·have died [L are swept away], because the people are evil. Yes, they are even saying, “God does not see what happens to us.”
The Lord’s Answer to Jeremiah
5 “If you ·get tired while racing against people [L raced with foot-runners and got tired], how can you ·race against [compete with] horses? ·If you stumble in a country that is safe, [or You feel confident in a country that is safe, but…] what will you do in the thick thornbushes along the Jordan River? 6 Even your own brothers and ·members of your own family [L the house of your father] are ·making plans against [betraying] you. They are crying out against you. Don’t trust them, even when they say nice things to you!
7 “I have ·left [abandoned; forsaken] ·Israel [L my house; Ezek. 8:1—11:25]; I have ·left [cast off] my ·people [L inheritance]. I have given the people I love [C Judah] ·over to [L into the palm of] their enemies. 8 My ·people [L inheritance] have become to me like a lion in the forest. They ·roar [L give forth their voice] at me, so I hate them. 9 My people have become to me like a ·speckled bird [or hyena’s lair] attacked on all sides by ·hawks [birds of prey]. Go, gather the ·wild animals [L beasts of the field]. Bring them to get something to eat. 10 Many shepherds [C the leaders of Judah] have ruined my vineyards and trampled ·the plants in my field [L my portion]. They have turned my ·beautiful [precious; coveted; treasured] ·field [L portion] into an empty ·desert [wilderness]. 11 They have turned ·my field [L it] into ·a desert [desolation] that is ·wilted [desolate] and ·dead [L mourns]. The whole country is ·an empty desert [desolate], because no one ·who lives there cares [L sets it on heart]. 12 ·Many soldiers [L Destroyers] have marched over those barren hills. ·The Lord is using the armies to punish that land [L The sword of the Lord devours] from one end to the other. ·No one is safe [L There is no peace for all flesh]. 13 The people have planted wheat, but they have harvested only thorns. They have worked hard until they were very tired, but they have nothing for all their work. They are ashamed of their poor harvest, because the Lord’s terrible anger has caused this.”
14 This is what the Lord said to me: “Here is what I will do to all my wicked neighbors [C like Edom; Ps. 137:7; Obad. 10–14] who ·take [L touch] the ·land [L inheritance] I ·gave my people Israel [L made my people Israel inherit]. I will ·pull them up and throw them out of [L uproot them from] their land. And I will ·pull up [uproot] the ·people [L house] of Judah from among them. 15 But after I ·pull them up [uproot them; 1:10], I will ·feel sorry for [have compassion on] them again. I will ·bring [restore] each person back to his own ·property [inheritance] and to his own land. 16 I want them to learn their lessons well. In the past they taught my people to swear by Baal’s name. But if they will now learn to swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives…’ I will ·allow them to rebuild [build them up] among my people. 17 But if a nation will not listen to my message, I will ·pull it up [uproot] completely and destroy it,” says the Lord.
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