1. Certainly, O Lord, you are just. But if I may contend with you, while still speaking what is just to you: Why does the way of the impious prosper? Why is it well with all those who transgress and act unfairly?
2. You planted them, and they took root. They are prospering and bearing fruit. You are near to their mouths, but far from their hearts.
3. And you, O Lord, have known me well. You have seen me, and you have tested my heart with you. Gather them together like a flock for the sacrifice and sanctify them for the day of slaughter.
4. How long shall the earth mourn? And how long shall the plants of every field whither because of the wickedness of the inhabitants within them? It has consumed the wild animals and the birds. For they said: “He will not see our very end.”
5. “If you have struggled to run on foot, how will you be able to compete with horses? And if you have been secure in a land of peace, what will you do about the arrogance of the Jordan?
6. For even your brothers, and the house of your father, even these have fought against you. And they have cried out after you with loud voice: ‘You should not believe them, when they speak good things to you.’ ”
7. “I have abandoned my house. I have disowned my inheritance. I have given my beloved soul into the hand of its enemies.
8. My inheritance has become for me like a lion in the forest. It has uttered a voice against me, therefore, I have hated it.
9. Is my inheritance to me like a discolored bird? Is it like a bird that has entirely changed color? Approach and assemble, all beasts of the earth! Hurry, so that you may devour!
10. Many pastors have demolished my vineyard. They have trampled my portion. They have made my desirable portion into a desert of solitude.
11. They have squandered it, and it has grieved concerning me. The entire earth has become utterly desolate, because there is no one who understands with the heart.”
12. The devastators have arrived, over all the ways of the wilderness. For the sword of the Lord will devour, from one end of the earth even to its furthest limits. There is no peace for all that is flesh.
13. They sowed wheat, but they reaped thorns. They received an inheritance, but it will not benefit them. You will be confounded by your own fruits, because of the wrath of the fury of the Lord.
14. Thus says the Lord against all my wicked neighbors, who touch the inheritance that I have distributed to my people Israel: “Behold, I will root them out of their own land, and I will root the house of Judah out of their midst.
15. And when I have rooted them out, I will turn back and take pity on them. And I will lead them back, one man to his inheritance, and another man to his land.
16. And this shall be: if they are taught and they learn the ways of my people, so that they swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ just as they had taught my people to swear by Baal, then they will be built up in the midst of my people.
17. But if they will not listen, I will uproot that nation unto utter destruction and perdition, says the Lord.”