1You 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?2You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts.3Yet 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!4How 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.”
5“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?6Your 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.7“I will forsake my house, abandon my inheritance; I will give the one I love into the hands of her enemies.8My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest. She roars at me; therefore I hate her.9Has 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.10Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard and trample down my field; they will turn my pleasant field into a desolate wasteland.11It will be made a wasteland, parched and desolate before me; the whole land will be laid waste because there is no one who cares.12Over 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.13They 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.”14This 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.15But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country.16And 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.17But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.
5“If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? (Jos 3:15; Jer 49:19; Jer 50:44; Zec 11:3)6For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; do not believe them, though they speak friendly words to you.” (Pr 26:25; Jer 9:4; Jer 11:19; Jer 11:21; Jer 12:1)7“I have forsaken my house; I have abandoned my heritage; I have given the beloved of my soul into the hands of her enemies. (Isa 19:25; Jer 11:15)8My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest; she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her. (Jer 12:7)9Is my heritage to me like a hyena’s lair? Are the birds of prey against her all around? Go, assemble all the wild beasts; bring them to devour. (Isa 46:11; Isa 56:9; Jer 7:33; Jer 12:7; Eze 39:17; Re 19:17)10Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; they have trampled down my portion; they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. (Isa 63:18)11They have made it a desolation; desolate, it mourns to me. The whole land is made desolate, but no man lays it to heart. (Isa 42:25; Jer 12:4)12Upon all the bare heights in the desert destroyers have come, for the sword of the Lord devours from one end of the land to the other; no flesh has peace.13They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns; they have tired themselves out but profit nothing. They shall be ashamed of their harvests because of the fierce anger of the Lord.” (Le 26:16; De 28:38; Isa 55:2; Jer 4:8; Jer 4:26; Jer 25:37; Jer 30:24; Jer 49:37; Jer 51:45; La 1:12; La 4:11; Mic 6:15; Hab 2:13; Hag 1:6)14Thus says the Lord concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: “Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. (Ps 137:7; Jer 3:18; Zec 2:8)15And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land. (Jer 48:47; Jer 49:6)16And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. (Jer 4:2; Jer 24:6; 1Pe 2:5)17But if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares the Lord.” (Isa 60:12)