The Bible in Its Traditions

Jeremiah 12:1–6

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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.