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Jeremiah 12Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

12 Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee:
yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments:
Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper?
wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root:
they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit:
thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.
But thou, O Lord, knowest me:
thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee:
pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
and 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, He shall not see our last end.

If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee,
then how canst thou contend with horses?
and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee,
then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father,
even they have dealt treacherously with thee;
yea, they have called a multitude after thee:
believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.

I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage;
I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest;
it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it.
Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird,
the birds round about are against her;
come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.
10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard,
they have trodden my portion under foot,
they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it desolate,
and being desolate it mourneth unto me;
the whole land is made desolate,
because no man layeth it to heart.
12 The spoilers are come upon all high places through 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 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns:
they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit:
and they shall be ashamed of your revenues
because of the fierce anger of the Lord.

14 Thus saith the Lord against all mine evil neighbours, 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 it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The Lord liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people. 17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the Lord.

Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

KJV reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Press, the Crown’s patentee in the UK.

Jeremiah 12New 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.

Footnotes:

  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.

Jeremiah 12New Living Translation (NLT)

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?
You have planted them,
    and they have taken root and prospered.
Your name is on their lips,
    but you are far from their hearts.
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!

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

“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?
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.

“I have abandoned my people, my special possession.
    I have surrendered my dearest ones to their enemies.
My chosen people have roared at me like a lion of the forest,
    so I have treated them with contempt.
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!”

Footnotes:

  1. 12:9 Or speckled hyenas.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


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