The Bible in Its Traditions

Jeremiah 12:1–17

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Right wouldest Thou be, O YHWH, 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?

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

Certainly, O Lord, you are just. But if I may contend with you, while still speaking what is just to you: Why does the way of the impious prosper? Why is it well with all those who transgress and act unfairly?

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Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root; they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit; Thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.

You planted them, and they took root. They are prospering and bearing fruit. You are near to their mouths, but far from their hearts.

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But Thou, O YHWH, knowest me, Thou seest me, and triest my heart toward Thee; pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.

But thou, Lord, knowest me; thou hast proved my heart before thee; purify them for the day of their slaughter.

And you, O Lord, have known me well. You have seen me, and you have tested my heart with you. Gather them together like a flock for the sacrifice and sanctify them for the day of slaughter.

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How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of the whole field wither? For the wickedness of them that dwell therein, the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said: 'He seeth not our end.'

How long shall the earth mourn? And how long shall the plants of every field whither because of the wickedness of the inhabitants within them? It has consumed the wild animals and the birds. For they said: “He will not see our very end.”

'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 thickets of the Jordan?

“If you have struggled to run on foot, how will you be able to compete with horses? And if you have been secure in a land of peace, what will you do about the arrogance of the Jordan?

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For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee, even they have cried aloud after thee; believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.'

For even your brothers, and the house of your father, even these have fought against you. And they have cried out after you with loud voice: ‘You should not believe them, when they speak good things to you.’ ”

For since your brethren and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously against you; yea, they also have gossiped about you; believe them not when they speak well of you.

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I have forsaken My house, I have cast off My heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies.

“I have abandoned my house. I have disowned my inheritance. I have given my beloved soul into the hand of its enemies.

My heritage is become unto Me as a lion in the forest; she hath uttered her voice against Me; therefore have I hated her.

My inheritance has become for me like a lion in the forest. It has uttered a voice against me, therefore, I have hated it.

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Is My heritage unto Me as a speckled bird of prey? Are the birds of prey against her round about? Come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, bring them to devour.

Is not my inheritance to me a hyaena’s cave, or a cave round about her? Go ye, gather together all the wild beasts of the field, and let them come to devour her.

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10  Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden My portion under foot, they have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

10  Many pastors have demolished my vineyard. They have trampled my portion. They have made my desirable portion into a desert of solitude.

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11  They have made it a desolation, it mourneth unto Me, being desolate; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.

11  it is made a complete ruin: for my sake the whole land has been utterly ruined, because there is none that lays the matter to heart.

11  They have squandered it, and it has grieved concerning me. The entire earth has become utterly desolate, because there is no one who understands with the heart.”

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12  Upon all the high hills in the wilderness spoilers are come; for the sword of YHWH devoureth from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land, no flesh hath peace.

12  The ravagers are come to every passage in the wilderness: for the sword of the Lord will devour from one end of the land to the other: no flesh has any peace.

12  The devastators have arrived, over all the ways of the wilderness. For the sword of the Lord will devour, from one end of the earth even to its furthest limits. There is no peace for all that is flesh.

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13  They have sown wheat, and have reaped thorns; they have put themselves to pain, they profit not; be ye then ashamed of your increase, because of the fierce anger of YHWH.

13  Sow wheat, and reap thorns; their portions shall not profit them: be ashamed of your boasting, because of reproach before the Lord.

13  They sowed wheat, but they reaped thorns. They received an inheritance, but it will not benefit them. You will be confounded by your own fruits, because of the wrath of the fury of the Lord.

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14  Thus saith YHWH: As for all Mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit, behold, I will pluck them up from off their land, and will pluck up the house of Judah from among them.

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15  And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them; and I will bring them back, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.

15  And when I have rooted them out, I will turn back and take pity on them. And I will lead them back, one man to his inheritance, and another man to his land.

15  And after I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage and every man to his land.

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16  And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of My people to swear by My name: 'As YHWH liveth,' even as they taught My people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built up in the midst of My people.

16  And this shall be: if they are taught and they learn the ways of my people, so that they swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ just as they had taught my people to swear by Baal, then they will be built up in the midst of my people.

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17  But if they will not hearken, then will I pluck up that nation, plucking up and destroying it, saith YHWH.

17  But if they will not obey, then I will utterly pluck up and destroy this people, says the LORD.