Jeremiah 12

Jeremiah asks the Lord why He tolerates the wicked 1
Jeremiah is told to prepare for worse things 5
God's heritage (His people) are evil like lions 7
Vineyard spoiled by bad shepherds; God is angry 10
Israel's neighbors may be cursed or have opportunity 14
.1 ¶ 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?
 2  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.
.3  But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
 4  How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.
  1 - Wherefore ... wicked prosper? Jeremiah knew that God was righteous but couldn't understand. For others who had this problem, see jb2107, ps073. Assuming this chapter to follow chronologically after chapter 11, he may have wondered about the hostility of the men of Anathoth.
  2 - Planted See je1117.
  4 - Not see ... end
.5  If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
.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.
   5 - Footmen ... horses What words of courage and rebuke. My mother quoted from this verse in her counsel and I will never forget it. In our day we will be facing the horses and the flooded Jordan more and more. God will provide as we ask. re1211b.
   6 - Even thy brethren Again Jeremiah's challenge will be ours as we near the return of our Lord jn1602.
.7 ¶ I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
 8  Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it.
 9  Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.
  7 - Forsaken mine house Probably speaking as a father whose children have rebelled. It was painful for Him to give the people He loved to be slaughtered by the enemy. 
.10  Many pastors ["herdsmen" or "shepherds"] have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
 11  They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.
 12  The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace.
 13  They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD.
  10 - Pastors Destroyed my vineyard See je0603.
  11 - No man layeth it to heart The signs we see daily show that the end of the world as we know it is coming very soon. We face massive problems that only the coming of Christ can resolve. re0107, is4225, is5701, 11. Our eyes tend to focus on the very secular nation known today as Israel, neglecting to seek understand from the Bible.
  12 - Sword ... devour This is what people were indifferent to. The Lord would use Babylon as His sword je5120.
  13 - Sown ... reap Or "have reaped thorns." "All their projects shall fail: none of their enterprises shall succeed. They are enemies to God, and therefore cannot have his blessing." (Clarke)
.14 ¶ Thus saith the LORD against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.
 15  And it shall come to pass, after that 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.
.16  And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people.
 17  But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD.
  14 - Evil neighbours Those who would rejoice at the weekness or fall of Judah would be the Philistines, Edomites, Amalekites 2ki2401,2.
  15 - Return ... compassion His people were walking in the ways of evil, incompatible with the eternal life planned for their happiness. Captivity would give them an opportunity to reflect and return to the paths of righteousness.
  16 - Swear by my name ... but ... if not That is, solemnly confess the true God. See je0402, is1918, is6516. And if disobedient they would be plucked up is6102.

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