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Jeremiah 12 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Jeremiah’s Prayer

12 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?

You have planted them, they have also taken root;
They grow, they have even produced fruit.
You are [a]honored by their [hypocritical] lips
But [You are] far from their heart and mind.

But You, O Lord, know me [and understand my devotion to You];
You see me;
And You examine the attitude of my heart toward You.
Drag out the faithless like sheep for the slaughter [O Lord]
And set them apart for the day of slaughter.

How long must the land mourn
And the grass of the countryside wither?
Because of the wickedness and hypocrisy of those who live in it,
The beasts and the birds are consumed and are swept away [by the drought],
Because men [mocking me] have said, “He will not [live long enough to] see [what happens at] our final end.”

[The Lord rebukes Jeremiah for his impatience, saying] “If you have raced with men on foot and they have tired you out,
Then how can you compete with horses?
If you fall down in a land of peace [where you feel secure],
Then how will you do [among the lions] in the [flooded] thicket beside the Jordan?

“For even your [tribal] brothers and the household of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously (unfaithfully) with you;
Indeed they are [like a pack of hounds] howling after you.
Do not believe them, although they may say kind words and promise you good things.”

God’s Answer

“I have abandoned My house,
I have given up My [precious] inheritance (Judah);
I have given the [dearly] beloved of My life
Into the hands of her enemies.

“My inheritance has become to Me
Like a lion in the forest;
She has raised her voice and roared against Me;
So I have come to [treat her as if I] hate her.

“Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me [unlike the others]?
Are the birds of prey (enemies) surrounding her on every side?
Go, gather all the [wild] beasts of the field;
Bring them to devour [her]!
“Many shepherds (invaders) have destroyed My vineyard (Judah),
They have trampled My field underfoot;
They have made My pleasant field
A desolate wilderness.
“They have made it a wasteland,
Desolate, it mourns before Me;
The whole land has been made a wasteland,
Because no man takes it to heart.
“Destroyers have come
On all the caravan roads in the desert,
For the sword of the Lord (Babylon) is devouring
From one end of the land even to the other;
No one has peace or a way of escape.
“They have planted wheat but have reaped thorns;
They have exhausted themselves but without profit.
So be ashamed of your harvest
Because of the fierce and raging anger of the Lord.”

14 Thus says the Lord regarding all My evil neighbors (Gentile nations) who strike at the inheritance which I have granted to My people Israel, “Behold, I will uproot them from their land and I will uproot the house of Judah from among them. 15 And it shall come about that after I have uprooted them, I will return and have compassion on them; and I will bring them back again, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land. 16 And if these [neighboring nations] will diligently learn the ways of My people, to swear by My Name, saying, ‘As the Lord lives’—even as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they will be built up among My people. 17 But if [any nation] will not listen and obey, I will [completely] uproot and destroy that nation, says the Lord.”


  1. Jeremiah 12:2 Lit near their mouth.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 12 New International Version (NIV)

Jeremiah’s Complaint

12 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?
You have planted them, and they have taken root;
    they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips
    but far from their hearts.
Yet you know me, Lord;
    you see me and test my thoughts about you.
Drag them off like sheep to be butchered!
    Set them apart for the day of slaughter!
How long will the land lie parched
    and the grass in every field be withered?
Because those who live in it are wicked,
    the animals and birds have perished.
Moreover, the people are saying,
    “He will not see what happens to us.”

God’s Answer

“If you have raced with men on foot
    and they have worn you out,
    how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble[a] in safe country,
    how will you manage in the thickets by[b] the Jordan?
Your relatives, members of your own family—
    even they have betrayed you;
    they have raised a loud cry against you.
Do not trust them,
    though they speak well of you.

“I will forsake my house,
    abandon my inheritance;
I will give the one I love
    into the hands of her enemies.
My inheritance has become to me
    like a lion in the forest.
She roars at me;
    therefore I hate her.
Has not my inheritance become to me
    like a speckled bird of prey
    that other birds of prey surround and attack?
Go and gather all the wild beasts;
    bring them to devour.
10 Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard
    and trample down my field;
they will turn my pleasant field
    into a desolate wasteland.
11 It will be made a wasteland,
    parched and desolate before me;
the whole land will be laid waste
    because there is no one who cares.
12 Over all the barren heights in the desert
    destroyers will swarm,
for the sword of the Lord will devour
    from one end of the land to the other;
    no one will be safe.
13 They will sow wheat but reap thorns;
    they will wear themselves out but gain nothing.
They will bear the shame of their harvest
    because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”

14 This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. 16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people. 17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it,” declares the Lord.


  1. Jeremiah 12:5 Or you feel secure only
  2. Jeremiah 12:5 Or the flooding of
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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