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The prosperity of the wicked shall be but for a short time. The desolation of the Jews for their sins. Their return from their captivity.

[1] Thou indeed, O Lord, art just, if I plead with thee, but yet I will speak what is just to thee: Why doth the way of the wicked prosper: why is it well with all them that transgress, and do wickedly? [2] Thou hast planted them, and they have taken root: they prosper and bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins. [3] And thou, O Lord, hast known me, thou hast seen me, and proved my heart with thee: gather them together as sheep for a sacrifice, and prepare them for the day of slaughter. [4] How long shall the land mourn, and the herb of every field wither for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? The beasts and the birds are consumed: because they have said: He shall not see our last end. [5] If thou hast wearied with running with footmen, how canst thou contend with horses? and if thou hast been secure in a land of peace, what wilt thou do in the swelling of the Jordan?

[6] For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have fought against thee, and have cried after thee with full voice: believe them not when they speak good things to thee. [7] I have forsaken my house, I have left my inheritance: I have given my dear soul into the land of her enemies. [8] My inheritance is become to me as a lion in the wood: is hath cried out against me, therefore have I hated it. [9] Is my inheritance to me as a speckled bird? Is it as a bird died throughout? come ye, assemble yourselves, all the beasts of the earth, make haste to devour. [10] Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot: they have changed my delightful portion into a desolate wilderness.

[11] They have laid it waste, and it hath mourned for me. With desolation is all the land made desolate; because there is none that considereth in the heart. [12] The spoilers are come upon all the ways of the wilderness, for the sword of the Lord shall devour from one end of the land to the other end thereof: there is no peace for all flesh. [13] They have sown wheat, and reaped thorns: they have received an inheritance, and it shall not profit them: you shall be ashamed of your fruits, because of the fierce wrath of the Lord. [14] Thus saith the Lord against all my wicked neighbours, that touch the inheritance that I have shared out to my people Israel: Behold I will pluck them out of their land, and I will pluck the house of Juda out of the midst of them. [15] And when I shall have plucked them out, I will return, and have mercy on them: and I will bring them back, every man to his inheritance, and every man to his land.

[16] And it shall come to pass, if they will be taught, and will learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name: The Lord liveth, as they have taught my people to swear by baal: that they shall be built up in the midst of my people. [17] But if they will not hear, I will utterly pluck out and destroy that nation, saith the Lord.

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