Jeremiah, complaining of the prosperity of the wicked, by faith sees their ruin, 1-4. God admonishes him of his brothers' treachery against him, 5, 6; and laments his heritage, 7-13. He promises to the penitent return from captivity, 14-17.
1 You are righteous, O LORD, when I plead with you. Yet let me speak with you of your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are they all happy who deal very treacherously?
2 You have planted them, they have even taken root. They grow, they even bring forth fruit. You are near in their mouth and far from their heart.
3 But you, O LORD, know me. You have seen me and tried my heart toward you. 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 those who dwell therein? The beasts are consumed, and also the birds, because they said, "He will not see our last end."
5 "If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, in which you have trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the swelling of the Jordan?
6 For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you. They have even called a multitude after you. Do not believe them, though they speak fair words to you."
7 "I have forsaken my house. I have left my heritage. I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
8 My heritage is to me as a lion in the forest. It cries out against me; therefore, I have hated it.
9 My heritage is to me as a speckled bird. The birds around are against her. Come, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.
10 Many pastors 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 mourns to me. The whole land is made desolate, because no man lays it to heart.
12 The spoilers have come upon all high places through the wilderness, for the sword of the LORD shall devour from 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."
14 Thus says the LORD against all my evil neighbors, who 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 I have plucked them out I will return and have compassion on them, and will bring them back, 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 lives,' as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built in the midst of my people. 17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation," says the LORD.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Jeremiah, Chapter 12[➚]