1 Jehovah, if I argued my case with you, you would prove to be right. Indeed, I must question you about matters of justice. Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why do dishonest people succeed with impunity?
2 You plant them, and they take root. They grow and bear fruit. You are near their lips, but far from their mind.
3 But, you know me, Jehovah. You see what I do and how in my heart I love you. Drag them away like sheep to be butchered. Guard them until it is time for them to be slaughtered.
4 How long will our land be dry and the grass in every field be withered? Animals and birds are dying because of the wickedness of our people. These people say: »God does not see what we are doing.«
5 Jehovah says: »Jeremiah, if you get tired racing against people, how can you race against horses? If you cannot even stand up in open country, how will you manage in the thicket by the Jordan?«
6 »Even your relatives, members of your own family, have betrayed you. They join in the attacks against you. Do not trust them, even though they speak friendly words.
7 Jehovah says: »I have abandoned Israel. I have rejected my chosen nation. I have given the people I love into the power of their enemies.
8 »My chosen people have turned against me. Like a lion in the forest they have roared at me, and so I hate them.
9 »My chosen people are like a bird attacked from all sides by hawks. Call the wild animals to come and join in the feast!
10 »Many foreign rulers have destroyed my vineyard. They trampled down my fields and turned my beautiful land into a desert.
11 »They made it a wasteland. It lies desolate before me. The whole land has become a desert, and no one cares.
12 »Across the entire desert highlands people have come to plunder. Jehovah has sent war to destroy the entire land. No one can live in peace.
13 »My people planted wheat. They gathered weeds! They worked hard and got nothing for it. Because of my fierce anger their crops have failed.«
14 Jehovah says: »I have something to say about Israel's neighbors who have ruined the land I gave to my people Israel. I will take those wicked people away from their countries like an uprooted plant, and I will rescue Judah from them.
15 »But after I have taken them away I will have mercy on them. I will bring each nation back to its own land and to its own country.
16 »If with all their hearts they will accept the religion of my people and will swear: As Jehovah lives, as they once taught my people to swear by Baal, then they will also be a part of my people and will prosper.
17 »However if any nation will not obey I will completely uproot it and destroy it.« I, Jehovah, have spoken.