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Jeremiah 12, 20

Jeremiah Complains to God

12You will be in the right, O Lord,
   when I lay charges against you;
   but let me put my case to you.
Why does the way of the guilty prosper?
   Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
2 You plant them, and they take root;
   they grow and bring forth fruit;
you are near in their mouths
   yet far from their hearts.
3 But you, O Lord, know me;
   You see me and test me—my heart is with you.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
   and set them apart for the day of slaughter.
4 How long will the land mourn,
   and the grass of every field wither?
For the wickedness of those who live in it
   the animals and the birds are swept away,
   and because people said, ‘He is blind to our ways.’*

God Replies to Jeremiah


5 If you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you,
   how will you compete with horses?
And if in a safe land you fall down,
   how will you fare in the thickets of the Jordan?
6 For even your kinsfolk and your own family,
   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.


7 I have forsaken my house,
   I have abandoned my heritage;
I have given the beloved of my heart
   into the hands of her enemies.
8 My heritage has become to me
   like a lion in the forest;
she has lifted up her voice against me—
   therefore I hate her.
9 Is the hyena greedy* for my heritage at my command?
   Are the birds of prey all around her?
Go, assemble all the wild animals;
   bring them to devour her.
10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard,
   they have trampled down my portion,
they have made my pleasant portion
   a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it a desolation;
   desolate, it mourns to me.
The whole land is made desolate,
   but no one lays it to heart.
12 Upon all the bare heights* in the desert
   spoilers have come;
for the sword of the Lord devours
   from one end of the land to the other;
   no one shall be safe.
13 They 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.

14 Thus says the Lord concerning all my evil neighbours who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: I am about to pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again to their heritage and to their land, every one of them. 16And then, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives’, as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17But if any nation will not listen, then I will completely uproot it and destroy it, says the Lord.

Jeremiah Persecuted by Pashhur

20Now the priest Pashhur son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. 2Then Pashhur struck the prophet Jeremiah, and put him in the stocks that were in the upper Benjamin Gate of the house of the Lord. 3The next morning when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, The Lord has named you not Pashhur but ‘Terror-all-around.’ 4For thus says the Lord: I am making you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon; he shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall kill them with the sword. 5I will give all the wealth of this city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them, and seize them, and carry them to Babylon. 6And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house, shall go into captivity, and to Babylon you shall go; there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely.

Jeremiah Denounces His Persecutors


7Lord, you have enticed me,
   and I was enticed;
you have overpowered me,
   and you have prevailed.
I have become a laughing-stock all day long;
   everyone mocks me.
8 For whenever I speak, I must cry out,
   I must shout, ‘Violence and destruction!’
For the word of the Lord has become for me
   a reproach and derision all day long.
9 If I say, ‘I will not mention him,
   or speak any more in his name’,
then within me there is something like a burning fire
   shut up in my bones;
I am weary with holding it in,
   and I cannot.
10 For I hear many whispering:
   ‘Terror is all around!
Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’
   All my close friends
   are watching for me to stumble.
‘Perhaps he can be enticed,
   and we can prevail against him,
   and take our revenge on him.’
11 But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior;
   therefore my persecutors will stumble,
   and they will not prevail.
They will be greatly shamed,
   for they will not succeed.
Their eternal dishonour
   will never be forgotten.
12Lord of hosts, you test the righteous,
   you see the heart and the mind;
let me see your retribution upon them,
   for to you I have committed my cause.


13 Sing to the Lord;
   praise the Lord!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
   from the hands of evildoers.


14 Cursed be the day
   on which I was born!
The day when my mother bore me,
   let it not be blessed!
15 Cursed be the man
   who brought the news to my father, saying,
‘A child is born to you, a son’,
   making him very glad.
16 Let that man be like the cities
   that the Lord overthrew without pity;
let him hear a cry in the morning
   and an alarm at noon,
17 because he did not kill me in the womb;
   so my mother would have been my grave,
   and her womb for ever great.
18 Why did I come forth from the womb
   to see toil and sorrow,
   and spend my days in shame?

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oremus Bible Browser
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v 2.2.7
10 February 2011

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.7 10 February 2011.