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CHAPTER 12 Ju1. 22 
Jeremiah Reasons With God
You are righteous, Yahweh, when I contend with You; yet I would reason the cause with You: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are all they at ease who deal very treacherously? 2You have planted them, yes, they have taken root; they grow, yes, they bring forth fruit: You are near in their mouth, and far from their heart. 3But You, Yahweh, know me; You see me, and try my heart towards You: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter. 4How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of the whole country wither? for the wickedness of those who dwell therein, the animals are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our latter end. 5If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? and though in a land of peace you are secure, yet how will you do in the swelling 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.
God Rejects His People 
7I 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 man lays it to heart. 12Destroyers have come on all the bare heights in the wilderness; for the sword of Yahweh 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 put themselves to pain, and profit nothing: and you shall be ashamed of your fruits, because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.
God's Promise to Other Nations 
14Thus says Yahweh against 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 among them. 15It shall happen, after that I have plucked them up, I will return and have compassion on them; and I will bring them again, every man to his inheritance, and every man to his land. 16It shall happen, if they will diligently learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, As Yahweh lives; even as they taught My people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built up in the midst of My people. 17But if they will not hear, then will I pluck up that nation, plucking up and destroying it, says Yahweh.


12:1 Any doubts we have about the justice and ethics of God’s ways must begin with the acceptance that God is right; therefore the difficulties we have are a result of our limitations rather than any ultimate fault with Him.
12:7 I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies- This is how difficult it was for God to punish His beloved people. He doesn’t do it from spite nor from the pleasure of retribution. The way God calls Judah His “beloved” (also 11:15; Is. 5:1) at the time of punishing her is reflected by the way in which Jesus calls Judas “friend” in the very moment of betrayal (Mt. 26:50). In wrath He remembers mercy (Hab. 3:2).
12:14-17 Here we have another potential prophecy- Judah could have completely returned from captivity in Babylon, and their captors could have accepted Israel’s God and returned with them to a blessed life in a restored kingdom. But neither the Jews nor Babylonians / Persians really wanted it.