Jeremiah 12:1
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?

Berean Study Bible
Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead before You. Yet about Your judgments I wish to contend with You: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live 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?

New King James Version
Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You; Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?

New American Standard Bible
Righteous are You, LORD, when I plead my case with You; Nevertheless 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?

NASB 1995
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?

NASB 1977
Righteous art Thou, O LORD, that I would plead my case with Thee; Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with Thee: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?

Amplified Bible
You, O LORD are [uncompromisingly] righteous and consistently just when I plead my case with You; Yet let me discuss issues of justice with You: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are those who deal in treachery (deceit) at ease and thriving?

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?

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?

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?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
You are righteous, LORD JEHOVAH, that I may judge with you, however, I am speaking justice before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper, and why are all liars rich?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Righteous art thou, O Lord, that I may make my defence to thee, yea, I will speak to thee of judgments. Why is it that the way of ungodly men prospers? that all hat deal very treacherously are flourishing?

Contemporary English Version
Whenever I complain to you, LORD, you are always fair. But now I have questions about your justice. Why is life easy for sinners? Why are they successful?

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?

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?

Good News Translation
"LORD, if I argued my case with you, you would prove to be right. Yet I must question you about matters of justice. Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why do dishonest people succeed?

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?

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?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Right wouldest Thou be, O LORD, Were I to contend with Thee, Yet will I reason with Thee: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? Wherefore are all they secure that deal very treacherously?

Literal Standard Version
You [are] righteous, O YHWH, When I plead toward You, Only, let me speak judgments with You, Why did the way of the wicked prosper? All treacherous dealers have been at rest.

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?

New Heart English Bible
You are righteous, LORD, when I contend with you; yet I would reason the cause with you: why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are they all at ease who 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.

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Prosperity of the Wicked
1Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead before You. Yet about Your judgments I wish to contend with You: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? 2You planted them, and they have taken root. They have grown and produced fruit. You are ever on their lips, but far from their hearts.…

Cross References
Ezra 9:15
O LORD, God of Israel, You are righteous! For we remain this day as a remnant. Here we are before You in our guilt, though because of it no one can stand before You."

Nehemiah 9:33
You are just in all that has befallen us, because You have acted faithfully, while we have acted wickedly.

Job 12:6
The tents of robbers are safe, and those who provoke God are secure--those who carry their god in their hands.

Job 13:3
Yet I desire to speak to the Almighty and argue my case before 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 a futility that is done on the earth: There are righteous men who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked men who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile.


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 judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause.

Genesis 18:25
That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Deuteronomy 32:4
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

talk.

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

Isaiah 41:21
Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.

wherefore doth.

Jeremiah 5:28
They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.

Job 12:6
The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.

Job 21:7-15
Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power? …

deal.

Jeremiah 12:6
For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.

Jeremiah 5:11
For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 48:8
Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.









(1) Yet let me talk with thee.--The soul of the prophet is vexed, as had been the soul of Job (Jeremiah 21:7), of Asaph (Psalms 73), and others, by the apparent anomalies of the divine government. He owns as a general truth that God is righteous, "yet," he adds, I will speak (or argue) my cause (literally, causes) with Thee. He will question the divine Judge till his doubt is removed. And the question is the ever-recurring one, Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? (Comp. Psalm 37:1; Psalm 73:3.) The "treacherous dealing" implies a reference to the conspirators of the previous chapter.

Wherefore are all they happy . . .--Better, at rest, or secure.

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.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
Righteous
צַדִּ֤יק (ṣad·dîq)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 6662: Just, righteous

[are] You,
אַתָּה֙ (’at·tāh)
Pronoun - second person masculine singular
Strong's 859: Thou and thee, ye and you

O LORD,
יְהוָ֔ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

when
כִּ֥י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

I plead
אָרִ֖יב (’ā·rîḇ)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common singular
Strong's 7378: To toss, grapple, to wrangle, controversy, to defend

before You.
אֵלֶ֑יךָ (’ê·le·ḵā)
Preposition | second person masculine singular
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

Yet
אַ֤ךְ (’aḵ)
Adverb
Strong's 389: A particle of affirmation, surely

I wish to contend
מִשְׁפָּטִים֙ (miš·pā·ṭîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 4941: A verdict, a sentence, formal decree, divine law, penalty, justice, privilege, style

with You:
אוֹתָ֔ךְ (’ō·w·ṯāḵ)
Preposition | second person masculine singular
Strong's 854: Nearness, near, with, by, at, among

Why
מַדּ֗וּעַ (mad·dū·a‘)
Interrogative
Strong's 4069: Why? for what reason?

does the way
דֶּ֤רֶךְ (de·reḵ)
Noun - common singular construct
Strong's 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

of the wicked
רְשָׁעִים֙ (rə·šā·‘îm)
Adjective - masculine plural
Strong's 7563: Wrong, an, bad person

prosper?
צָלֵ֔חָה (ṣā·lê·ḥāh)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's 6743: To push forward

Why do all the faithless
בָֽגֶד׃ (ḇā·ḡeḏ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 898: To cover, to act covertly, to pillage

live at ease?
שָׁל֖וּ (šā·lū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's 7951: To be tranquil, secure, successful


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OT Prophets: Jeremiah 12:1 Righteous are you Yahweh when I contend (Jer.)
Jeremiah 11:23
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