The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
Chapter 12
Lord, I know well that right is on thy side, if I plead against thee, yet remon-strate with thee I must; why is it that the affairs of the wicked prosper; never a traitor double-dyed but all goes well with him?
Deep roots they strike, so firmly thou hast planted them, thrive and bear fruit; yet all the while their hearts keep thee at a distance, only their lips proclaim thee.
Yet it is I, Lord, that hold thy warrant; with favour thou regardest me, hast proof of my heart’s loyalty; wilt thou not herd them together like sheep, and mark them down for slaughter?
How long must this land go in mourning, all the verdure of its fields be parched up, to avenge the ill-doing of its inhabitants? Neither beast nor bird left in it; and still their hope is, I shall not live to see their end come!

What, tired out so soon when thy rivals were on foot? And hast thou the mettle to challenge horsemen? Easy to keep thy confidence, here on safe ground; what shift wilt thou make in the fens of Jordan?
Even by thy own clansmen, thy own father’s kin, thou art betrayed; these too will join in the hue and cry after thee; never trust soft words of theirs.

Farewell, my home; I have done with my chosen people; the life that was so dear to me I have handed over to its enemies.
My people grown strange to me, as lion snarling in its forest lair; what marvel if I am weary of it?
My people grown strange to me as carrion-bird, its mottled plumage all bathed in blood!

Gather here, beasts that roam the earth, eager for your prey.
Drovers a many have laid waste my vineyard, trampled down my lands; the land I loved so, turned into a lonely wilderness!
Desolate they have made it, and desolate it mourns for me now; a very picture of desolation, and all for the want of men with heeding hearts.
No track over the uplands but has seen the freebooters coming by; from end to end of the country the sword of divine vengeance must pass, leaving no peace for any living thing;
where wheat was sown, the harvest shall be of briers, where men hold lands, they shall get no advantage of it; all your harvests shall disappoint you, so fierce the Lord’s anger burns.

And this message comes from the Lord to those ill neighbours of his, that encroach upon the domain he has granted to his people of Israel: I mean to uproot them from their homes, when I uproot the men of Juda from the land that lies between them.
Yet I will relent towards them, so uprooted, and have pity on them; to their scattered homes and countries they shall all return.
Then, if they will but learn the traditions of my own people, and take their oaths by the Lord, the living God, as they once taught my people to take oaths by Baal, their fortunes shall be founded anew in the midst of Juda.
But wherever my call goes unheeded, the Lord says, that people’s uprooting shall be that people’s undoing.