Jeremiah 12:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"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?

New Living Translation
"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?

English Standard Version
“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?

New American Standard Bible
"If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?

King James Bible
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?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If you have raced with runners and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in a peaceful land, what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?

International Standard Version
Indeed, if you run with others on foot, and they tire you out, how can you compete with horses? You are secure in a land at peace, but how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?

NET Bible
The LORD answered, "If you have raced on foot against men and they have worn you out, how will you be able to compete with horses? And if you feel secure only in safe and open country, how will you manage in the thick undergrowth along the Jordan River?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"If you have raced against others on foot, and they have tired you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in open country, how can you live in the jungle along the Jordan River?

Jubilee Bible 2000
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, in which thou didst trust, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?

King James 2000 Bible
If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the jungle of the Jordan?

American King James Version
If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the swelling of Jordan?

American Standard Version
If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and though in a land of peace thou art secure, yet how wilt thou do in the pride of the Jordan?

Douay-Rheims Bible
If thou hast wearied with running with footmen, how canst thou contend with horses? and if thou hast been secure in a land of peace, what wilt thou do in the swelling of the Jordan?

Darby Bible Translation
If thou hast run with footmen, and they have wearied thee, how wilt thou then contend with horses? And if in a land of peace thou thinkest thyself in security, how wilt thou then do in the swelling of the Jordan?

English Revised Version
If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and though in a land of peace thou art secure, yet how wilt thou do in the pride of Jordan?

Webster's Bible Translation
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, in which thou hast trusted, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?

World English Bible
If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? and though in a land of peace you are secure, yet how will you do in the pride of the Jordan?

Young's Literal Translation
For -- with footmen thou hast run, And they weary thee, And how dost thou fret thyself with horses! Even in the land of peace, In which thou art confident -- And how dost thou in the rising of Jordan!
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 5. - Jeremiah's impatience corrected. The expressions are evidently proverbial. The opposition to the prophet will reach a still higher pitch; and if he is so soon discouraged, how will he bear his impending trials? And if in the land of peace, etc.? a second figure, the translation of which needs amending. If (only) in a land of peace thou art confident, how wilt thou do in the pride of Jordan? The "pride of Jordan" means the thickets on its banks, which were notorious as the haunts of lions (Jeremiah 49:19; Jeremiah 50:44; Zechariah 11:3). " Lions' bones have been found by Dr. Roth in the gravel of the Jordan. Lions are seldom or never found now west of the Euphrates, although they occasionally cross the river" (Revelation W. Houghton, 'Bible Educator,' 1:22).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee,.... The Targum introduces the words thus,

"this is the answer which was made to Jeremiah the prophet, concerning his question; a prophet thou art, like to a man that runs with footmen, and is weary.''

Then how canst thou contend with horses? or with men on horses: the sense is, either as Kimchi gives it, thou art among men like thyself, and thou art not able to find out their secrets and their designs against thee (see Jeremiah 11:18); how shouldest thou know my secrets in the government of the world, as to the prosperity of the wicked, and the afflictions of the righteous? be silent, and do not trouble thyself about these things: or rather, as thou hast had a conflict with the men of Anathoth, and they have been too many for thee; they have grieved and distressed thee, and have made thee weary of my work and service; and thou hast been ready to give out, and declare that thou wilt be no longer concerned therein; what wilt thou do, when thou comest to be exercised with greater and sorer trials, and shalt have to do with the king of Judah and his court, with his princes and nobles, the sanhedrim at Jerusalem, and the priests and inhabitants thereof? The Targum interprets the footmen of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and of the good things done to him; and the horses of the righteous fathers of the Jews, who run like horses to do good works, and of the much greater good reserved for them; but very improperly: much better might it be applied, as it is by some, to the Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites, who gave the Jews much trouble; and therefore what would they do with the Chaldean army, consisting of a large cavalry, and which would come upon them like an impetuous stream, and overflow, as the swelling of Jordan, as follows?

and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee; if in his own native country, where he promised himself much peace, safety, and security, he met with that which ruffled and disturbed him:

then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? when it overflowed its bank, Joshua 3:15 and may denote the pride and haughtiness of the king and princes of Judea, and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and the difficulties that would attend the prophet's discharge of his duty among them; and the same thing is signified by this proverbial expression as the former.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. Jehovah's reply to Jeremiah's complaint.

horses—that is, horsemen: the argument a fortiori. A proverbial phrase. The injuries done thee by the men of Anathoth ("the footmen") are small compared with those which the men of Jerusalem ("the horsemen") are about to inflict on thee. If the former weary thee out, how wilt thou contend with the king, the court, and the priests at Jerusalem?

wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee—English Version thus fills up the sentence with the italicized words, to answer to the parallel clause in the first sentence of the verse. The parallelism is, however, sufficiently retained with a less ellipsis: "If (it is only) in a land of peace thou art confident" [Maurer].

swelling of Jordan—In harvest-time and earlier (April and May) it overflows its banks (Jos 3:15), and fills the valley called the Ghor. Or, "the pride of Jordan," namely, its wooded banks abounding in lions and other wild beasts (Jer 49:19; 50:44; Zec 11:3; compare 2Ki 6:2). Maundrell says that between the Sea of Tiberias and Lake Merom the banks are so wooded that the traveller cannot see the river at all without first passing through the woods. If in the champaign country (alone) thou art secure, how wilt thou do when thou fallest into the wooded haunts of wild beasts?

Jeremiah 12:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
God's Answer to Jeremiah
5"If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? 6"For even your brothers and the household of your father, Even they have dealt treacherously with you, Even they have cried aloud after you. Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you."…
Cross References
Joshua 3:15
Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge,

Jeremiah 11:21
Therefore this is what the LORD says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, "Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD or you will die by our hands"--

Jeremiah 49:19
"Like a lion coming up from Jordan's thickets to a rich pastureland, I will chase Edom from its land in an instant. Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this? Who is like me and who can challenge me? And what shepherd can stand against me?"

Jeremiah 50:44
Like a lion coming up from Jordan's thickets to a rich pastureland, I will chase Babylon from its land in an instant. Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this? Who is like me and who can challenge me? And what shepherd can stand against me?"
Treasury of Scripture

If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the swelling of Jordan?

thou hast.

Proverbs 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary …

Proverbs 24:10 If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.

Hebrews 12:3,4 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against …

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is …

canst.

Jeremiah 26:8 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all …

Jeremiah 36:26 But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah …

Jeremiah 38:4-6 Therefore the princes said to the king, We beseech you, let this …

swelling.

Jeremiah 49:19 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan …

Jeremiah 50:44 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan …

Joshua 3:15 And as they that bore the ark were come to Jordan, and the feet of …

1 Chronicles 12:15 These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it …

Psalm 42:7 Deep calls to deep at the noise of your waterspouts: all your waves …

Psalm 69:1,2 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in to my soul…

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