1Adonai, although you would be in the right
if I were to dispute with you,
nevertheless I want to discuss
some points of justice with you:
Why do the wicked prosper?
Why do the treacherous all thrive?
2You planted them, and they took root;
they grow, and they bear fruit.
You are near in their mouths,
though far from their hearts.
3But, Adonai, you know me and see me;
you test my devotion to you;
drag them away like sheep to be slaughtered,
and set them apart for the day of slaughter.
4How long must the land mourn
and the grass in all the fields wither?
The wild animals and birds are consumed
because of the wickedness of those who live there;
for they say, “He will not see how we end up.”
5If racing men on foot exhausts you,
how will you compete against horses?
You may feel secure in a land at peace,
but how will you do in the Yarden’s thick brush?
6For even your own brothers
and your father’s family are betraying you;
they are in full cry after you.
Despite all their nice speech, don’t believe them.
7“I have abandoned my house,
I have rejected my heritage,
I have given my heart’s beloved
over to the hands of her foes.
8For me, my heritage has become
like a lion in the forest —
she roared out against me;
so now I hate her.
9For me, my heritage is like a speckled bird of prey —
other birds of prey surround her and attack her.
Go, gather all the wild animals,
and bring them to devour her.
10Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard,
they have trampled my plot of land,
they have turned my desirable property
into a desert waste.
11Yes, they have made it a waste;
wasted, it mourns to me;
the whole land is wasted,
because nobody really cares.”
12On all the desert’s bare hills
plunderers have come;
yes, the sword of Adonai devours the land
from one end to the other;
nothing alive is safe.
13They sowed wheat and reaped thorns,
they wore themselves out and gained nothing.
So be ashamed of your [tiny] harvest,
the result of Adonai’s fierce anger.
14Here is what Adonai says: “As for all my evil neighbors who encroach on the heritage I gave to my people Isra’el as their possession, I will uproot them from their own land, and I will uproot Y’hudah from among them. 15Then, after I have uprooted them, I will take pity on them again and bring them back, each one to his inheritance, each one to his own land. 16Then, if they will carefully learn my people’s ways, swearing by my name, ‘As Adonai lives,’ just as they taught my people to swear by Ba‘al, they will be built up among my people. 17But if they refuse to listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” says Adonai.