The Prosperity of the Wicked
1Thou 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?
2Thou hast planted them, and they have taken root: they prosper and bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.
3And thou, O Lord, hast known me, thou hast seen me, and proved my heart with thee: gather them together as sheep for a sacrifice, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
4How long shall the land mourn, and the herb of every field wither for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? The beasts and the birds are consumed: because they have said: He shall not see our last end.
God's Answer to Jeremiah
5If 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?
6For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have fought against thee, and have cried after thee with full voice: believe them not when they speak good things to thee.
7I have forsaken my house, I have left my inheritance: I have given my dear soul into the land of her enemies.
8My inheritance is become to me as a lion in the wood: is hath cried out against me, therefore have I hated it.
9Is my inheritance to me as a speckled bird? Is it as a bird died throughout? come ye, assemble yourselves, all the beasts of the earth, make haste to devour.
10Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot: they have changed my delightful portion into a desolate wilderness.
11They have laid it waste, and it hath mourned for me. With desolation is all the land made desolate; because there is none that considereth in the heart.
12The spoilers are come upon all the ways of the wilderness, for the sword of the Lord shall devour from one end of the land to the other end thereof: there is no peace for all flesh.
13They have sown wheat, and reaped thorns: they have received an inheritance, and it shall not profit them: you shall be ashamed of your fruits, because of the fierce wrath of the Lord.
A Message for Israel's Neighbors
14Thus saith the Lord against all my wicked neighbors, that touch the inheritance that I have shared out to my people Israel: Behold I will pluck them out of their land, and I will pluck the house of Juda out of the midst of them. 15And when I shall have plucked them out, I will return, and have mercy on them: and I will bring them back, every man to his inheritance, and every man to his land. 16And it shall come to pass, if they will be taught, and will learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name: The Lord liveth, as they have taught my people to swear by baal: that they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17But if they will not hear, I will utterly pluck out and destroy that nation, saith the Lord.