1You will be righteous, Lord,#Ezr 9:15; Neh 9:8,33; Ps 119:137
even if I bring a case against you.
Yet, I wish to contend with you:#Jb 9:14–15; 13:13–28; 23:2–17
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?#Ps 73
Why do all the treacherous live at ease?
2You planted them,#Ps 1:3; Jr 17:7–8 and they have taken root.
They have grown and produced fruit.
You are ever on their lips,#12:2 Lit are near in their mouth
but far from their conscience.#12:2 Lit kidneys#Ps 28:3; Is 29:13
3As for you, Lord, you know me; you see me.#Ps 139; Jr 1:5
You test whether my heart is with you.#Ps 7:9; Jr 11:20
Drag the wicked away like sheep to slaughter#Jr 11:19
and set them apart for the day of killing.
4How long will the land mourn#Is 24:4–7; Jr 4:28; 23:10
and the grass of every field wither?
Because of the evil of its residents,
animals and birds have been swept away,#Zph 1:3
for the people have said,
“He cannot see what our end will be.”#12:4 LXX reads see our ways#Dt 32:20; Jb 22:13; Jr 29:11
The Lord’s Response
5If you have raced with runners
and they have worn you out,
how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble#12:5 Or you are secure in a peaceful land,
what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?#Jr 50:44
6Even your brothers — your own father’s family —
even they were treacherous to you;#Jn 1:11
even they have cried out loudly after you.#Jr 11:19
Do not have confidence in them,
though they speak well of you.
7I have abandoned my house;#Ezk 8:1–11:25
I have deserted my inheritance.
I have handed the love of my life
over to her enemies.
8My inheritance has behaved toward me
like a lion in the forest.
She has roared against me.
Therefore, I hate her.#Hs 9:15; Am 6:8
9Is my inheritance like a hyena#12:9 Hb obscure to me?
Are birds of prey circling her?
Go, gather all the wild animals;#Is 56:9; Jr 7:33
bring them to devour her.
10Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard;
they have trampled my plot of land.#Is 63:18
They have turned my desirable plot
into a desolate wasteland.
11They have made it a desolation.
It mourns, desolate, before me.
All the land is desolate,
but no one takes it to heart.#Is 42:25
12Over all the barren heights in the wilderness
the destroyers have come,
for the Lord has a sword that devours
from one end of the earth to the other.
No one has peace.#2Ch 15:5; Is 48:22; Ezk 13:16
13They have sown wheat but harvested thorns.#Lv 26:16; Dt 28:38; Hs 8:7; Mc 6:15; Hg 1:6
They have exhausted themselves but have no profit.#Is 55:2
Be put to shame by your harvests
because of the Lord’s burning anger.#Jr 4:26; 25:37–38
14This is what the Lord says: “Concerning all my evil neighbors who attack the inheritance that I bequeathed to my people, Israel, I am about to uproot them#Jr 1:10; 18:7–8 from their land, and I will uproot the house of Judah from them. 15After I have uprooted them, I will once again have compassion#Jr 30:18; 31:20; 33:26; 42:12 on them and return each one to his inheritance and to his land. 16If they will diligently learn the ways of my people#Is 2:2–4; Mc 4:1–5 — to swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ just as they taught my people to swear by Baal — they will be built up among my people. 17However, if they will not obey, then I will uproot and destroy that nation.”#Is 60:12
This is the Lord’s declaration.