December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- You would be in the right, O LORD, if I should dispute with you; even so, I must discuss the case with you. Why does the way of the godless prosper, why live all the treacherous in contentment?
- You planted them; they have taken root, they keep on growing and bearing fruit. You are upon their lips, but far from their inmost thoughts.
- 1 You, O Lord, know me, you see me, you have found that at heart I am with you. Pick them out like sheep for the slaughter, set them apart for the day of carnage.
- How long must the earth mourn, the green of the whole countryside wither? For the wickedness of those who dwell in it beasts and birds disappear, because they say, "God does not see our ways."
- If running against men has wearied you, how will you race against horses? And if in a land of peace you fall headlong, what will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?
- For even your own brothers, the members of your father's house, betray you; they have recruited a force against you. Do not believe them, even if they are friendly to you in their words.
- 2 Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter, had not realized that they were hatching plots against me: "Let us destroy the tree in its vigor; let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will be spoken no more."
- But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge, searcher of mind and heart, Let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause!
- Therefore, thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life, saying, "Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD; else you shall die by our hand."
- Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: I am going to punish them. The young men shall die by the sword; their sons and daughters shall die by famine.
- None shall be spared among them, for I will bring misfortune upon the men of Anathoth, the year of their punishment.
- I abandon my house, cast off my heritage; The beloved of my soul I deliver into the hand of her foes.
- My heritage has turned on me like a lion in the jungle; Because she has roared against me, I treat her as an enemy.
- My heritage is a prey for hyenas, is surrounded by vultures; Come, gather together, all you beasts of the field, come and eat!
- Many shepherds have ravaged my vineyard, have trodden my heritage underfoot; The portion that delighted me they have turned into a desert waste.
- They have made it a mournful waste, desolate it lies before me, Desolate, all the land, because no one takes it to heart.
- Upon every desert height brigands have come up. The LORD has a sword which consumes the land, from end to end: no peace for all mankind.
- They have sown wheat and reaped thorns, they have tired themselves out to no purpose; They recoil before their harvest, the flaming anger of the LORD.
- 3 Thus says the LORD against all my evil neighbors who plunder the heritage which I gave my people Israel as their own: See, I will pluck them up from their land; the house of Judah I will pluck up in their midst.
- But after plucking them up, I will pity them again and bring them back, each to his heritage, each to his land.
- And if they carefully learn my people's custom of swearing by my name, "As the LORD lives," they who formerly taught my people to swear by Baal shall be built up in the midst of my people.
- But if they do not obey, I will uproot and destroy that nation entirely, says the LORD.
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1  Jeremiah does not seek private vengeance but the punishment of the wicked by the Lord; cf Jeremiah 20:12. Nevertheless, the prophet's reaction to persecution shows the difference between the spirit of the Old Testament and the New.
2  (11:19-23) These verses have been transposed from Jer 11.
3  My evil neighbors: nations surrounding Israel, the land belonging to the Lord; cf Isaiah 8:8.
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