1 Your uprightness is too great, Yahweh, for me to dispute with you. But I should like to discuss some points of justice with you: Why is it that the way of the wicked prospers? Why do all treacherous people thrive?
2 You plant them, they take root, they flourish, yes, and bear fruit. You are on their lips, yet far from their heart.
3 You know me, Yahweh, you see me, you probe my heart, which is close to yours. Drag them off like sheep for the slaughterhouse, reserve them for the day of butchery.
4 (How long will the land be in mourning, and the grass wither all over the countryside? The animals and birds are dying as a result of the wickedness of the inhabitants.) For they say, 'God does not see our fate.'
5 'If you find it exhausting to race against me on foot, how will you compete against horses? In a country at peace you feel secure, but how will you fare in the thickets of the Jordan?
6 'For even your brothers and your own family will betray you. They will pursue you in full cry. Put no faith in them when they speak you fair!'
7 I have abandoned my house, left my heritage, I have delivered what I dearly loved into the clutches of its enemies.
8 To me, my heritage has behaved like a lion in the forest, it roared at me ferociously: so I now hate it.
9 I see my heritage as a brightly-coloured bird of prey attacked by birds of prey on every side! Go, assemble all the wild animals, make them come and dine!
10 Many shepherds have laid my vineyard waste, have trampled over my plot of land, the plot of land which was my joy, reducing my favourite estate to a deserted wilderness.
11 They have made it a waste; wasted, it mourns before me. The whole country has been devastated and no one takes it to heart.
12 The devastators have arrived on all the bare heights of the desert (for Yahweh wields a devouring sword); from one end of the country to the other, there is no peace for any living thing.
13 Wheat they have sown, thorns they reap: they have worn themselves out, to no profit. They are disappointed in their harvests, because of Yahweh's burning anger.
14 Yahweh says this, 'As regards all my evil neighbours who have laid hands on the heritage I granted my people Israel, look, I shall uproot them from their soil, (though I shall uproot the House of Judah from among them).
15 But having uprooted them, I shall take pity on them again and bring them back each to its own heritage, each to its own country,
16 and if they carefully learn my people's ways and swear by my name, "As Yahweh lives", as they have taught my people to swear by Baal, then they will be re-established among my people.
17 But if any nation refuses to listen, I shall uproot it for ever and destroy it, Yahweh declares.'