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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 12:1

 

 

Righteous are You, O LORD, that I would plead my case with You; Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?

Adam Clarke Commentary

Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee - The prophet was grieved at the prosperity of the wicked; and he wonders how, consistently with God's righteousness, vice should often be in affluence, and piety in suffering and poverty. He knows that God is righteous, that every thing is done well; but he wishes to inquire how these apparently unequal and undeserved lots take place. On this subject he wishes to reason with God, that he may receive instruction.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Yet let me talk … - Rather, yet will I speak with thee on a matter of right. This sense is well given in the margin. The prophet acknowledges the general righteousness of God‘s dealings, but cannot reconcile with it the properity of the conspirators of Anathoth This difficulty was often present to the minds of the saints of the Old Testament, see Job 21:7 ff; Psalm 37; Psalm 73.

Happy - Rather, secure, tranquil.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-12.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

JEREMIAH 12

JEREMIAH'S COMPLAINT

There are three divisions in this chapter: (Jeremiah 12:1-6) which register's Jeremiah's complaint, (Jeremiah 12:7-13) which recounts God's judgment upon Judah and her enemies, and (Jeremiah 12:14-17) that promises the return of Israel from captivity and the conversion of Gentiles, both of which events are conditional.

Jeremiah 12:1-4

"Righteous art thou, O Jehovah, when I contend with thee; yet would I reason the cause with thee: wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are they all at ease that deal very treacherously? 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 heart. But thou, O Jehovah, knowest me; thou seest me, and triest my heart toward thee: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter. How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of the whole country wither? for the wickedness of them that dwell therein, the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our latter end."

"Wherefore... doth the wicked prosper ..." (Jeremiah 12:1)? Jeremiah got to the point at once; and the problem here presented before the Lord in faith and humility was indeed an old one. Habakkuk had struggled with it; the patriarch Job (Job 21:7) was perplexed by it; and the Book of Psalms devotes at least two chapters to a discussion of it (Psalms 37 and Psalms 73).

Men of every generation, even the most devoted and faithful of Christians, have found this same question to be a perplexing and difficult problem. As Dummelow noted, however, "It was a question that especially exercised men of the pre-Christian dispensations; because they had no clear understanding of the eternal and spiritual rewards promised to Christians, thinking principally of physical and material rewards to be received in the service of God."[1]

The Christian religion does indeed give complete and satisfactory answers to this question; and the reason that many in the current era have difficulty with the problem derives from a failure to study the Scriptures. We shall explore the answer a little later; but, first, we shall note the answer that God made available to Jeremiah.

"Wherefore are they at ease who deal treacherously ..." (Jeremiah 12:1)? Evidently, Jeremiah here had in mind the treacherous plans of his fellow-countrymen to murder him. On the other hand, Jeremiah, as God certainly knew, was an honorable and faithful believer.

"Thou hast planted them ..." (Jeremiah 12:2). A complicating factor in the problem for Jeremiah was the fact that God's blessings were evidently being enjoyed by those evil men. They were flourishing and prospering, as the Psalmist put it, "like the green bay tree!"

"Pull them out ..." (Jeremiah 12:3). Pleading their wickedness and his own faithfulness, as reasons for his request, Jeremiah pleaded with God to "Pull them out ..." "The original here is very strong; it is, literally, `tear them out.'"[2] Smith paraphrased Jeremiah's words thus, "Lord, drag these fat scoundrels out of the flock and sacrifice them, and make examples of them."[3]

The indignation of Jeremiah is evident in his words here. Green has a paraphrase, thus:

"Why do the wicked prosper? Why is crookedness a prime prerequisite for success in this world? Lord, you plant these scoundrels, and they grow. Why? They are pious frauds who mouth words of religion but have no real love for you in their hearts."[4]

"He shall not see our latter end ..." (Jeremiah 12:4). This is a disputed text, but we believe it refers to the attitude of wicked men who were flaunting their rebellion against God in the boast that God would have nothing to do with their end, or taunting Jeremiah with the brag that they would last longer than Jeremiah would, or that Jeremiah would die before they did.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/jeremiah-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee,.... The six first verses of this chapter properly belong to the preceding, being of the same argument, and in strict connection with the latter part of it. Jeremiah appears to be under the same temptation, on account of the prosperity of the wicked, as Asaph was, Psalm 73:1 only he seems to have been more upon his guard, and less liable to fall by it; he sets out: with this as a first principle, an undoubted truth, that God was righteous, and could do nothing wrong and amiss, however unaccountable his providences might be to men: he did not mean, by entering the list with him, or by litigating this point, to charge him with any unrighteousness this he took for granted, and was well satisfied of, that the Lord was righteous, "though", says he, "I plead with thee"F20כי אריב אליך "etiamsi contendam tecum", Cocceius, Gataker. ; so some read the words. De Dieu renders them interrogatively, "shall I plead with thee?" shall I dare to do it? shall I take that boldness and use that freedom with thee? I will. The Targum is the reverse,

"thou art more just, O Lord, than that I should contend before thy word:'

yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments; not of his laws, statutes, word, and ordinances, sometimes so called; but rather of his providences, which are always dispensed with equity and justice, though not always manifest; they are sometimes unsearchable and past finding out, and will bear a sober and modest inquiry into them, and debate concerning them; the people of God may take the liberty of asking questions concerning them, when they are at a loss to account for them. So the Targum,

"but I will ask a question of judgments before thee.'

The words may be rendered, "but I will speak judgments with thee"F21אך משפטים אדבר אותך "verum tamen judicia loquar tecum", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Schmidt. ; things that are right; that are agreeable to the word of God and sound reason; things that are consistent with the perfections of God, particularly his justice and holiness; which are founded upon equity and truth; I will produce such reasons and arguments as seem to be reasonable and just.

Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? or they prosper in all their ways? whatever they take in hand succeeds; they enjoy a large share of health of body; their families increase, their trade flourishes, their flocks and herds grow large and numerous, and they have great plenty of all outward blessings; and yet they are wicked men, without the fear of God, regard not him, nor his worship and ways; but walk in their own ways which they have chosen, and delight in their abominations. Some understand this, as Jarchi, of Nebuchadnezzar, to whom God had given greatness and prosperity, to destroy the house of God; but by what follows, in the latter part of the next verse, it appears that God's professing people, the Jews, are meant, and most likely the priests at Anathoth.

Wherefore are all they happy; easy, quiet, secure, live in peace and plenty:

that deal very treacherously? with God and men, in religions and civil affairs.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-12.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

a Righteous [art] thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me speak with thee of [thy] judgments: Why doth the way of the wicked b prosper? [why] are they all happy that deal very treacherously?

(a) The prophet confesses God to be just in all his doings, although man is not able to give a reason for all his actions.

(b) This question has been always a great temptation to the godly, to see the wicked enemies of God in prosperity, and his dear children in adversity, as in (Job 21:7) ; (Psalm 37:1) , (Psalm 73:3) ; (Habakkuk 1:3).


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-12.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Jeremiah 12:1-17. Continuation of the subject at the close of the eleventh chapter.

He ventures to expostulate with Jehovah as to the prosperity of the wicked, who had plotted against his life (Jeremiah 12:1-4); in reply he is told that he will have worse to endure, and that from his own relatives (Jeremiah 12:5, Jeremiah 12:6). The heaviest judgments, however, would be inflicted on the faithless people (Jeremiah 12:7-13); and then on the nations co-operating with the Chaldeans against Judah, with, however, a promise of mercy on repentance (Jeremiah 12:14-17).

(Psalm 51:4).

let me talk, etc. — only let me reason the case with Thee: inquire of Thee the causes why such wicked men as these plotters against my life prosper (compare Job 12:6; Job 21:7; Psalm 37:1, Psalm 37:35; Psalm 73:3; Malachi 3:15). It is right, when hard thoughts of God‘s providence suggest themselves, to fortify our minds by justifying God beforehand (as did Jeremiah), even before we hear the reasons of His dealings.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-12.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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?

Talk with thee — Not by way of accusing thee, but for my own satisfaction concerning thy judicial dispensations in the government of the world.

Wherefore — I know thy ways are just and righteous, but they are dark; I cannot understand why thou doest this.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/jeremiah-12.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

The minds of the faithful, we know, have often been greatly tried and even shaken, on seeing all things happening successfully and prosperously to the despisers of God. We find this complaint expressed at large in Psalms 73:0. The Prophet there confesses that he had well — nigh fallen, as he had been treading in a slippery place; he saw that God favored the wicked; at least, from the appearance of things, he could form no other judgment, but that they were loved and cherished by God. We know also that the ungodly become thus hardened, according to what is related of Dionysius, who said that God favored the sacrilegious; for he had sailed in safety after having plundered temples, and committed robberies in many places; thus he laughed to scorn the forbearance of God. And hence Solomon says, That when all things are in a state of confusion in the world, men’s minds are led to despise God, as they think that all things happen on the earth by chance, and that God has no care for mankind. (Ecclesiastes 9:0) But with regard to the faithful, as I have already said, when they see the ungodly proceeding in all wickedness and evil deeds with impunity, and claiming the world to themselves, while God is, as it were, conniving at them, their minds cannot be otherwise than grievously distressed. And this is the view which interpreters take of this passage; that is, that he was disturbed with the prosperous condition of the wicked, and expostulated with God, as Habakkuk seems to have done at the beginning of the first chapter; but he appears to me to have something higher in view.

We have said elsewhere, that when the Prophets saw that they spent their labor in vain on the deaf and the intractable, they turned their addresses to God as in despair. I hence doubt not but that it was a sign of indignation when the Prophet addressed God, having as it were given up men, inasmuch as he saw that he spoke to the deaf without any benefit. Here then he rouses the minds of the people, that they might know at length that he could not convince them that they were doomed to ruin by God. For when Jeremiah spoke to them, all his threatenlugs were scorned and laughed at; hence he now addresses God himself, as though he had said, that he would have nothing more to do with them, as he had labored wholly in vain. This then seems to have been the object of the Prophet.

But lest the ungodly should have an occasion for calumniating, he intended so to regulate his discourse as to give them no ground for cavining. Hence he makes this preface, — that God is, or would be just, though he contended with him This order ought to be carefully observed; for when we give way in the least to our passions, we are immediately carried away, and we cannot restrain ourselves within proper limits and continue in a right course. As soon then as those thoughts, which may draw us away frc, in the fear of God, and lessen the reverence due to him, creep in, we ought to fortify our minds and to set up mounds, lest the devil should draw us on farther than we wish to go. For instance, when any one in the present day sees things in disorder in the world, he begins to reason thus freely with himself, “What does this mean? How is it that God suffers licentiousness to prevail so long? Why is it thathe thus conceals himself?” As soon then as these thoughts creep in, if we possess the true principle of religion, we shall try to restrain these wanderings, and to bring ourselves to the right way; but this will be no easy matter; for as soon as we pass over the boundaries, there is no restraint, no limitation. Hence the Prophet wisely begins by saying, Thou art just, though I contend with thee It is not only for the sake of others he speaks thus, but also to restrain in time his own feelings and not to allow himself more than what is right. We must still remember what I have said, — that the Prophet here directs his words to God, in order that the Jews might know that they were left as it were without hope, and were unworthy that he should spend any more labor on them.

He says, And yet I will speak judgments with thee; that is, I will dispute according to the limits of what is right and just. Some indeed take judgments for punishments, as though the Prophet wished the people to be punished; but of this I do not approve, for it is a strained view. To speak judgments, means nothing else than to discuss a point in law, to plead according to law, as it is commonly said. By saying, “I will legally contend,” he does not throw off the restraint which he has before put on himself, but asks it as a matter of indulgence to set before God what might seem just and right to all. ‘David, or the Prophet who was the author of that psalm which we have already quoted, (Psalms 73:0) even when he expressed his own feelings and ingenuously confessed his own infirmity, yet made a preface similar to what is found here. But he there speaks as it were abruptly, “Yet thou art just;” he uses the same word אך , ak, as Jeremiah does; but here it is put in the last clause, and there at the beginning of the sentence, “Yet good is God to Israel, even to those who are upright in heart.” The Prophet no doubt was agitated and distracted in various ways, but he afterwards restrained himself. But it was otherwise with Jeremiah; for he does not confess here that he was tried, as almost all the faithful are wont to be; but as I have already said, he advisedly, and by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, addressed his words to God; for he intended to rouse the Jews, that they might understand that they were rejected, and rejected as unworthy of having their salvation cared for any longer.

By saying then, Yet will I plead with thee, he doubtless intended to touch the Jews to the quick, as they were so extremely stupid. “Behold,” he says, “I will yet contend with God, whether he will forgive you?” We now see the real meaning of the Prophet; for the Jews in vain brought forward their own prosperity as a proof that God was propitious to them; for this was nothing else than to abuse his forbearance. Jeremiah intended in short to shew, that though God might pass by them for a time, yet the wicked ought not on this account to flatter themselves, for his indulgence is no proof of his love; but, on the contrary, as we shall see, a heavier vengeance is accumulated, when the ungodly increasingly harden themselves while God is treating them with indulgence. This then is the reason why the Prophet says, that he would plead with God; he had regard more to men than to God. He yet does not set up the judgments of men against the absolute power of God, as the sophists under the Papacy do, who ascribe such absolute power to God as perverts all judgment and all order; this is nothing less than sacrilege.

Now the Prophet does not call God to an account, as though there was no rule by which he regulated his works and governed the world. But by judgments he means, as I have said, what God had declared in his law; for it is written,

“Cursed is every one who continueth not,” etc.,
(
Deuteronomy 27:26; Galatians 3:10)

Now then as the Jews were transgressors of the law, nay, as they ceased not to provoke God to wrath by their vices, they ought surely, according to the ordinary course of justice, to have been immediately destroyed. Hence the Prophet says here, I will plead with thee; that is, “Hadstthou dealt with this people as they deserved, they must have been often reduced to nothing.” At the same time he had no doubt, as we have said, respecting the rectitude of the divine judgment; only he had regard to those men who flattered themselves, and securely indulged themselves in their vices, because God diid not immediately execute those punishments with which he threatens the transgressors of his law. (52)

Hence he says, How long shall the way of the wicked prosper? for secure are all they who by transgression transgress; that is, who are not only tainted with small vices, but who are extremely wicked. They then who openly rejected all religion and all care for righteousness, how was it that they were secure and that their way prospered? We now then more clearly understand what I have stated, — that the Prophet turned his words to God, that he might more effectually rouse the stupid, so that they might know that they were in a manner summoned by this expostulation before the celestial tribunal. It now follows, —

I would render the verse thus, —

Righteous art thou, Jehovah; Though I should dispute with thee; Yet of judgments will I speak to thee, — How is it.? the way of the wicked, it prospers; Secure are all the dissemblers of dissimulation.

Perhaps the fourth line might be rendered thus, —

Why; the way of the wicked, it prospers.

The order of the words will not admit it to be rendered otherwise. Blayney renders the last line as follows: —

At ease are all they who deal very perfidiously.

The last words literally are, “all the cloakers of cloaking,” or, “all the coverers of covering.” But according to the secondary meaning of the word בגד the phrase would be, “all the dissemblers of dissimulation.” The version of the Septuagint is, “all who prevaricate prevarications.” What is meant evidently is, that they were hypocrites, and that by hypocrisy they covered their hypocrisy, — a true and a striking representation. — Ed


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-12.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 12:1 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?

Ver. 1. Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee.] Or, Though I should contend with thee. This the prophet fitly sets forth the ensuing disceptation, that he might not be mistaken. Thy judgments, saith he, are sometimes secret, always just; this I am well assured of, though I thus argue. (a)

Yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments.] Let me take the humble boldness so to do, that I may be further cleared and instructed by thee.

Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper?] viz., While better men suffer; as now the wicked Anathothites do, while I go in danger of my life by them. This is that noble question which hath exercised the wits and molested the minds of many wise men, both within and without the Church. See Job 21:7-13, Psalms 37:1; Psalms 73:1-12, Habakkuk 1:4-5; Plato, Cicero, Seneca, Epictetus, Claudian against Ruffin, &c.

Wherefore are all they happy?] Heb., At ease. Not all either; for some wicked have their payment here, their hell aforehand. To this question the Lord, who knoweth our frame, [Psalms 103:14] being content to condescend where he might have judged, calmly maketh answer, [Jeremiah 12:5] like as Christ in like case did to Peter. [John 21:21-22]


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-12.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

This Chapter contains the humble application to the Lord, in beholding the prosperity of the wicked. Towards the close of the Chapter we have some sweet promises of God to his people.


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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/jeremiah-12.html. 1828.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 12:1. Righteous art thou, O Lord Righteous, &c. therefore will I plead with thee: but I will speak nothing but what is just with thee. Wherefore, &c. Jeremiah speaks this concerning those same wicked persons who consulted to take him off by poison; and he seems to wonder that all things succeeded well with them. But he expresses his wonder by an interrogation, that he may thence take an opportunity to prophesy that their prosperity would not be of long continuance. See Psalms 73 and Houbigant.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-12.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

JEREMIAH CHAPTER 12

The prophet complaineth of the wicked’s prosperity; by faith seeth their ruin, Jeremiah 12:1-4. God admonisheth him of his brethren’s treachery against him, and lamenteth his heritage, Jeremiah 12:5-13. A return from captivity promised to the penitent, Jeremiah 12:14-17.

Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee: the prophet begins hero with a recognition of God’s unquestionable righteousness and justice, in all his providential dispensations in the government of the world. Some read the latter part, should I plead with thee. But let it be should I plead; or, although or when I plead, that is, argue with thee; yet the prophet doth it not without a previous resolution to agree the Lord’s dispensations just, whatsoever he should say.

Yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments; yet, saith he, let me talk with thee, not by way of accusing thee, but for my own satisfaction concerning thy judicial dispensations in the government of the world.

Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal treacherously? by all they, he means many of them, and is thought to have spoken with a special relation to the priests at Anathoth, that had conspired against his life. The prosperity of the wicked hath in all times been a riddle, and a sore temptation to the best of God’s people; to Job, Job 21:7,13; to David, Psalms 37:1 73:3,12 94:3,4 Hab 1:4,5. Lord, saith Jeremiah, I know thy ways of providence are just and righteous, but they are dark and hidden from me, I cannot understand why thou doest this.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. Righteous art thou, etc. — A true theistic faith, clinging to God amid difficulty and darkness.

Let me talk, etc. — The marginal rendering is better, let me reason the case with thee. He would bring his human weakness and his sore need to God, and plead for relief.

Happy — Safe, undisturbed, unpunished.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-12.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jeremiah wanted some answers from righteous Yahweh, and he approached the Lord in prayer as though he were in court. He wanted to know why God allowed the wicked to prosper and the treacherous to live in ease (cf. Job 21:7; Psalm 37; Psalm 73:3-5; Psalm 73:12; Psalm 94:3; Habakkuk 1:12-17). It appeared to the prophet that the Lord, as well as Israel, had broken covenant (cf. Psalm 1:3-4).

"The problem of the prosperity of the wicked in the light of God"s righteousness is not directly solved here or elsewhere in Scripture. The only final answer is faith in the sovereign wisdom and righteousness of God." [Note: Feinberg, p457 ,]


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-12.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Jeremiah 12:1. Righteous art thou, O Lord — The prophet, being about to inquire into the reasons and meaning of some of the divine dispensations, first recognises a truth of unquestionable certainty, namely, that God is righteous, that is, just and holy in all his ways. Thus he arms himself against the temptations wherewith he was assaulted, to envy the prosperity of the wicked, before he begins to plead with God concerning it. And, in imitation of him, when we are least able to understand the intent of the divine counsels and proceedings, we must still resolve to retain just thoughts of God, and must be confident of this, that he never did and never will do the least wrong to any of his creatures; that even when his judgments are unsearchable as a great deep, and altogether unaccountable, yet his righteousness is as conspicuous and immoveable as the great mountains, Psalms 36:6. Yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments — Not by way of accusing thee, but for my own satisfaction concerning thy dispensations in the government of the world. Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? — Why are their designs and projects successful? Why are all they happy that deal very treacherously? — Why are the affairs and families of the perfidious and unjust in a prosperous state? Why dost thou permit this? What end of thy righteous government is to be answered by it? By all they, he means many of them, and is thought to have spoken thus with a special reference to the priests at Anathoth, who had conspired against his life. The prosperity of the wicked hath, in all ages, been a mystery, and hath served to furnish infidels with an objection against the providence of God, and, upon that account, hath been a source of temptation to many of God’s people.


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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/jeremiah-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Is just. Hebrew, "judgment." Septuagint, "I will make my apology to thee." Jeremias had been grievously persecuted by his countrymen: he therefore mentions a subject which has been the source of much perplexity. The success of the wicked is a temptation for weak souls. See Job xxi., Psalm lxxii. 3., and Habacuc i. 13. (Calmet) --- The prophets often speak in their names, not being ignorant or doubtful of the justice of divine providence. (Worthington)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Righteous, &c. Figure of speech Synchoresis. App-6.

LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4. "Wherefore . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis.

wicked = lawless. Hebrew. rasha". App-44. deal very treacherously. Figure of speech Polyptoton. Hebrew are traitors of treachery = are utter traitors.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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?

He ventures to expostulate with Yahweh as to the prosperity of the wicked, who had plotted against his life (Jeremiah 12:1-4); in reply, he is told that he will have worse to endure, and that from his own relatives (Jeremiah 12:5-6). The heaviest judgments, however, would be inflicted on the faithless people (Jeremiah 12:7-13); and then on the nations cooperating with the Chaldeans against Judah, with, however, a promise of mercy on repentance (Jeremiah 12:14-17).

Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee - (Psalms 51:4, "Against thee ... have I sinned ... that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest").

Let me talk with thee of thy judgments - only let me reason the case with thee: inquire of thee the causes why such wicked men as these plotters against my life prosper (cf. Job 12:6; Job 21:7; Psalms 37:1; Psalms 37:35; Psalms 73:3; Malachi 3:15). It is right, like Jeremiah, when hard thoughts of God's providence suggest themselves, to fortify our minds by justifying God beforehand, even before we hear the reasons of His dealings.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) Yet let me talk with thee.—The soul of the prophet is vexed, as had been the soul of Job (Jeremiah 21:7), of Asaph (Psalms 73), and others, by the apparent anomalies of the divine government. He owns as a general truth that God is righteous, “yet,” he adds, I will speak (or argue) my cause (literally, causes) with Thee. He will question the divine Judge till his doubt is removed. And the question is the ever-recurring one, Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? (Comp. Psalms 37:1; Psalms 73:3.) The “treacherous dealing” implies a reference to the conspirators of the previous chapter.

Wherefore are all they happy . . .—Better, at rest, or secure.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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?
Righteous
11:20; Genesis 18:25; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalms 51:4; 119:75,137; 145:17; Daniel 9:7; Habakkuk 1:13-17; Zephaniah 3:5; Romans 3:5,6
talk
or, reason the case.
Job 13:3; Isaiah 41:21
Wherefore doth
5:28; Job 12:6; 21:7-15; Psalms 37:1,35; 73:3-28; 92:7; 94:3,4; Proverbs 1:32; Habakkuk 1:4; Malachi 3:15
deal
6; 5:11; Isaiah 48:8; Hosea 6:7

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 12:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-12.html.

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