Jeremiah 12:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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?

New Living Translation
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?

English Standard Version
Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?

New American Standard Bible
Righteous are You, O LORD, that I would plead my case with You; Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?

King James Bible
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?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You will be righteous, LORD, even if I bring a case against You. Yet, I wish to contend with You: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the treacherous live at ease?

International Standard Version
You are righteous, LORD, even when I bring a complaint to you. But I want to discuss justice with you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper, while all who are treacherous are at ease?

NET Bible
LORD, you have always been fair whenever I have complained to you. However, I would like to speak with you about the disposition of justice. Why are wicked people successful? Why do all dishonest people have such easy lives?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
O LORD, even if I would argue my case with you, you would always be right. Yet, I want to talk to you about your justice. Why do wicked people succeed? Why do treacherous people have peace and quiet?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Righteous art thou, O LORD, even though I dispute with thee: even so, I will speak judgments with thee; Why does the way of the wicked prosper? All those that completely rebel against thee have peace.

King James 2000 Bible
Righteous are you, O LORD, when I plead with you: yet let me talk with you of your judgments: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? why are all they happy that deal very treacherously?

American King James Version
Righteous are you, O LORD, when I plead with you: yet let me talk with you of your judgments: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? why are all they happy that deal very treacherously?

American Standard Version
Righteous art thou, O Jehovah, when I contend with thee; yet would I reason the cause with thee: wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they at ease that deal very treacherously?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou indeed, O Lord, art just, if I plead with thee, but yet I will speak what is just to thee: Why doth the way of the wicked prosper: why is it well with all them that transgress, and do wickedly?

Darby Bible Translation
Righteous art thou, Jehovah, when I plead with thee; yet will I speak with thee of [thy] judgments. Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? [wherefore] are all they at ease that deal very treacherously?

English Revised Version
Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet would I reason the cause with thee: wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they at ease that deal very treacherously?

Webster's Bible Translation
Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me speak with thee of thy judgments: Why doth the way of the wicked prosper? why are they all happy that deal very treacherously?

World English Bible
You are righteous, Yahweh, when I contend with you; yet I would reason the cause with you: why does the way of the wicked prosper? why are all they at ease who deal very treacherously?

Young's Literal Translation
Righteous art Thou, O Jehovah, When I plead towards thee, Only, judgments do I speak with Thee, Wherefore did the way of the wicked prosper? At rest have been all treacherous dealers.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:1-6 When we are most in the dark concerning God's dispensations, we must keep up right thoughts of God, believing that he never did the least wrong to any of his creatures. When we find it hard to understand any of his dealings with us, or others, we must look to general truths as our first principles, and abide by them: the Lord is righteous. The God with whom we have to do, knows how our hearts are toward him. He knows both the guile of the hypocrite and the sincerity of the upright. Divine judgments would pull the wicked out of their pasture as sheep for the slaughter. This fruitful land was turned into barrenness for the wickedness of those that dwelt therein. The Lord reproved the prophet. The opposition of the men of Anathoth was not so formidable as what he must expect from the rulers of Judah. Our grief that there should be so much evil is often mixed with peevishness on account of the trials it occasions us. And in this our favoured day, and under our trifling difficulties, let us consider how we should behave, if called to sufferings like those of saints in former ages.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - Painfully exercised by the mysteries of the Divine government, the prophet opens his grief to Jehovah. Righteous art thou, etc.; rather, Righteous wouldest thou be, O Jehovah, if I should plead with thee; i.e. if I were to bring a charge against thee, I should be unable to convict thee of injustice (comp. Psalm 51:4; Job 9:2). The prophet, however, cannot refrain from laying before Jehovah a point which seems to him irreconcilable with the Divine righteousness. The rendering, indeed, must be modified. Let me talk with thee of thy judgments should rather be, yet will I debate questions of right with thee. The questions remind us of those of Job in Job 21, 24. Thus to have been the recipient of special Divine revelations, and to be in close communion with God, gives no security against the occasional ingress of doubting thoughts and spiritual distress. Wherefore are all they happy, etc.? rather, secure. The statement must be qualified by what follows. In the general calamity the wicked still fare the best.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee,.... The six first verses of this chapter properly belong to the preceding, being of the same argument, and in strict connection with the latter part of it. Jeremiah appears to be under the same temptation, on account of the prosperity of the wicked, as Asaph was, Psalm 73:1 only he seems to have been more upon his guard, and less liable to fall by it; he sets out: with this as a first principle, an undoubted truth, that God was righteous, and could do nothing wrong and amiss, however unaccountable his providences might be to men: he did not mean, by entering the list with him, or by litigating this point, to charge him with any unrighteousness this he took for granted, and was well satisfied of, that the Lord was righteous, "though", says he, "I plead with thee" (t); so some read the words. De Dieu renders them interrogatively, "shall I plead with thee?" shall I dare to do it? shall I take that boldness and use that freedom with thee? I will. The Targum is the reverse,

"thou art more just, O Lord, than that I should contend before thy word:''

yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments; not of his laws, statutes, word, and ordinances, sometimes so called; but rather of his providences, which are always dispensed with equity and justice, though not always manifest; they are sometimes unsearchable and past finding out, and will bear a sober and modest inquiry into them, and debate concerning them; the people of God may take the liberty of asking questions concerning them, when they are at a loss to account for them. So the Targum,

"but I will ask a question of judgments before thee.''

The words may be rendered, "but I will speak judgments with thee" (u); things that are right; that are agreeable to the word of God and sound reason; things that are consistent with the perfections of God, particularly his justice and holiness; which are founded upon equity and truth; I will produce such reasons and arguments as seem to be reasonable and just.

Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? or they prosper in all their ways? whatever they take in hand succeeds; they enjoy a large share of health of body; their families increase, their trade flourishes, their flocks and herds grow large and numerous, and they have great plenty of all outward blessings; and yet they are wicked men, without the fear of God, regard not him, nor his worship and ways; but walk in their own ways which they have chosen, and delight in their abominations. Some understand this, as Jarchi, of Nebuchadnezzar, to whom God had given greatness and prosperity, to destroy the house of God; but by what follows, in the latter part of the next verse, it appears that God's professing people, the Jews, are meant, and most likely the priests at Anathoth.

Wherefore are all they happy; easy, quiet, secure, live in peace and plenty:

that deal very treacherously? with God and men, in religions and civil affairs.

(t) "etiamsi contendam tecum", Cocceius, Gataker. (u) "verum tamen judicia loquar tecum", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Schmidt.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 12

Jer 12:1-17. Continuation of the Subject at the Close of the Eleventh Chapter.

He ventures to expostulate with Jehovah as to the prosperity of the wicked, who had plotted against his life (Jer 12:1-4); in reply he is told that he will have worse to endure, and that from his own relatives (Jer 12:5, 6). The heaviest judgments, however, would be inflicted on the faithless people (Jer 12:7-13); and then on the nations co-operating with the Chaldeans against Judah, with, however, a promise of mercy on repentance (Jer 12:14-17).

1. (Ps 51:4).

let me talk, &c.—only let me reason the case with Thee: inquire of Thee the causes why such wicked men as these plotters against my life prosper (compare Job 12:6; 21:7; Ps 37:1, 35; 73:3; Mal 3:15). It is right, when hard thoughts of God's providence suggest themselves, to fortify our minds by justifying God beforehand (as did Jeremiah), even before we hear the reasons of His dealings.

Jeremiah 12:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Prosperity of the Wicked
1Righteous are You, O LORD, that I would plead my case with You; Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease? 2You have planted them, they have also taken root; They grow, they have even produced fruit. You are near to their lips But far from their mind.…
Cross References
Ezra 9:15
LORD, the God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence."

Nehemiah 9:33
In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly.

Job 12:6
The tents of marauders are undisturbed, and those who provoke God are secure-- those God has in his hand.

Job 13:3
But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.

Job 21:7
Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?

Psalm 116:5
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

Ecclesiastes 8:14
There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless.

Jeremiah 3:7
I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it.

Jeremiah 3:20
But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 5:11
The people of Israel and the people of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 5:27
Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful

Jeremiah 5:28
and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not seek justice. They do not promote the case of the fatherless; they do not defend the just cause of the poor.

Jeremiah 9:2
Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people.

Jeremiah 11:20
But you, LORD Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.

Jeremiah 32:16
"After I had given the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD:

Lamentations 1:18
"The LORD is righteous, yet I rebelled against his command. Listen, all you peoples; look on my suffering. My young men and young women have gone into exile.

Ezekiel 18:25
"Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust?

Habakkuk 1:4
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.

Habakkuk 1:13
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

Malachi 3:15
But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.'"
Treasury of Scripture

Righteous are you, O LORD, when I plead with you: yet let me talk with you of your judgments: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? why are all they happy that deal very treacherously?

Righteous.

Jeremiah 11:20 But, O LORD of hosts, that judge righteously, that try the reins …

Genesis 18:25 That be far from you to do after this manner, to slay the righteous …

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: …

Psalm 51:4 Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your …

Psalm 119:75,137 I know, O LORD, that your judgments are right, and that you in faithfulness …

Psalm 145:17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

Daniel 9:7 O LORD, righteousness belongs to you, but to us confusion of faces, …

Habakkuk 1:13-17 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and can not look on iniquity: …

Zephaniah 3:5 The just LORD is in the middle thereof; he will not do iniquity: …

Romans 3:5,6 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what …

talk. or, reason the case.

Job 13:3 Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.

Isaiah 41:21 Produce your cause, said the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, …

wherefore doth.

Jeremiah 5:28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yes, they overpass the deeds of the …

Job 12:6 The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are …

Job 21:7-15 Why do the wicked live, become old, yes, are mighty in power…

Psalm 37:1,35 Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be you envious against …

Psalm 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Psalm 92:7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of …

Psalm 94:3,4 LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph…

Proverbs 1:32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity …

Habakkuk 1:4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment does never go forth: for …

Malachi 3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yes, they that work wickedness are …

deal.

Jeremiah 12:6 For even your brothers, and the house of your father, even they have …

Jeremiah 5:11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously …

Isaiah 48:8 Yes, you heard not; yes, you knew not; yes, from that time that your …

Hosea 6:7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they …

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