1You are righteous, Lord,
when I contend with you;
yet I would like to reason the cause with you.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are they all at ease who deal very treacherously?
2You have planted them. Yes, they have taken root.
They grow. Yes, they produce fruit.
You are near in their mouth,
and far from their heart.
3But you, Lord, know me.
You see me, and test my heart towards you.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
4How long will the land mourn,
and the herbs of the whole country wither?
Because of the wickedness of those who dwell therein,
the animals and birds are consumed;
because they said,
“He won’t see our latter end.”
5“If you have run with the footmen,
and they have wearied you,
then how can you contend with horses?
Though in a land of peace you are secure,
yet how will you do in the pride of the Jordan?
6For even your brothers, and the house of your father,
even they have dealt treacherously with you!
Even they have cried aloud after you!
Don’t believe them,
though they speak beautiful words to you.
7“I have forsaken my house.
I have cast off my heritage.
I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
8My heritage has become to me as a lion in the forest.
She has uttered her voice against me.
Therefore I have hated her.
9Is my heritage to me as a speckled bird of prey?
Are the birds of prey against her all around?
Go, assemble all the animals of the field.
Bring them to devour.
10Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard.
They have trodden my portion under foot.
They have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11They have made it a desolation.
It mourns to me, being desolate.
The whole land is made desolate,
because no one cares.
12Destroyers have come on all the bare heights in the wilderness;
for the sword of the Lord devours from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land.
No flesh has peace.
13They have sown wheat,
and have reaped thorns.
They have exhausted themselves,
and profit nothing.
You will be ashamed of your fruits,
because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”
14The Lord says, “Concerning all my evil neighbours, who touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit: Behold, I will pluck them up from off their land, and will pluck up the house of Judah from amongst them. 15It will happen that after I have plucked them up, I will return and have compassion on them. I will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land. 16It will happen, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives;’ even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they will be built up in the middle of my people. 17But if they will not hear, then I will pluck up that nation, plucking up and destroying it,” says the Lord.