New English Translation
1 LORD, you have always been fair whenever I have complained to you. However, I would like to speak with you about the disposition of justice. Why are wicked people successful? Why do all dishonest people have such easy lives?
2 You plant them like trees and they put down their roots. They grow prosperous and are very fruitful. They always talk about you, but they really care nothing about you.
3 But you, LORD, know all about me. You watch me and test my devotion to you. Drag these wicked men away like sheep to be slaughtered! Appoint a time when they will be killed!
4 How long must the land be parched and the grass in every field be withered? How long must the animals and the birds die because of the wickedness of the people who live in this land? For these people boast, "God will not see what happens to us."
5 The LORD answered, "If you have raced on foot against men and they have worn you out, how will you be able to compete with horses? And if you feel secure only in safe and open country, how will you manage in the thick undergrowth along the Jordan River?
6 As a matter of fact, even your own brothers and the members of your own family have betrayed you too. Even they have plotted to do away with you. So do not trust them even when they say kind things to you.
7 "I will abandon my nation. I will forsake the people I call my own. I will turn my beloved people over to the power of their enemies.
8 The people I call my own have turned on me like a lion in the forest. They have roared defiantly at me. So I will treat them as though I hate them.
9 The people I call my own attack me like birds of prey or like hyenas. But other birds of prey are all around them. Let all the nations gather together like wild beasts. Let them come and destroy these people I call my own.
10 Many foreign rulers will ruin the land where I planted my people. They will trample all over my chosen land. They will turn my beautiful land into a desolate wasteland.
11 They will lay it waste. It will lie parched and empty before me. The whole land will be laid waste. But no one living in it will pay any heed.
12 A destructive army will come marching over the hilltops in the desert. For the LORD will use them as his destructive weapon against everyone from one end of the land to the other. No one will be safe.
13 My people will sow wheat, but will harvest weeds. They will work until they are exhausted, but will get nothing from it. They will be disappointed in their harvests because the LORD will take them away in his fierce anger.
14 "I, the LORD, also have something to say concerning the wicked nations who surround my land and have attacked and plundered the land that I gave to my people as a permanent possession. I say: 'I will uproot the people of those nations from their lands and I will free the people of Judah who have been taken there. 15 But after I have uprooted the people of those nations, I will relent and have pity on them. I will restore the people of each of those nations to their own lands and to their own country. 16 But they must make sure you learn to follow the religious practices of my people. Once they taught my people to swear their oaths using the name of the god Baal. But then, they must swear oaths using my name, saying, "As surely as the LORD lives, I swear." If they do these things, then they will be included among the people I call my own. 17 But I will completely uproot and destroy any of those nations that will not pay heed, '" says the LORD.
King James Version
1 Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
2 Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.
3 But thou, O LORD, knowest me: thou hast seen me, and tried mine heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
4 How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.
5 ¶ If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
6 For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.
7 ¶ I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
8 Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it.
9 Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.
10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.
12 The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace.
13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD.
14 ¶ Thus saith the LORD against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.
15 And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.
16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people.
17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD.