¶ O LORD, thou art more righteous, then that I should dispute with thee: Nevertheless, let me talk with thee in things reasonable. How happeneth it, that the way of the ungodly is so prosperous? and that it goeth so well with them, which (without any shame) offend and live in wickedness? Thou plantest them, they take root, they grow, and bring forth fruit. They boost much of thee, yet doest thou not punish them. But thou LORD (to whom I am well known) thou that hast seen, and proved my heart, take them away, like as a flock is carried to the slaughter house, and appoint them for the day of slaughter. How long shall the land mourn, and all the herbs of the field perish, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? The cattle and the birds are gone, yet say they: tush, God will not destroy us utterly. Seeing thou art weary in running with the footmen, how wilt thou then run with the horses? In a peaceable sure land thou mayest be safe, but how wilt thou do in the furious pride of Iordan? For thy brethren and thy kindred have all together despised thee, and cried out upon thee in thine absence. Believe them not, though they speak fair words to thee.
¶ As for me (say I) I have forsaken mine own dwelling place, and left mine heritage. My life also that I love so well, have I given into the hands of mine enemies. Mine heritage is become unto me, as a Lion in the wood. It cried out upon me, therefore have I forsaken it. Mine heritage is unto me, as a speckled bird, a bird of divers colors is upon it. Go hence, and gather all the beasts of the field together, that they may eat it up. Divers herdmen have broken down my vineyard, and trodden upon my portion. Of my pleasant portion, they have made a wilderness and desert. They have laid it waste: and now that it is waste, it sigheth unto me. Yea the whole land lieth waste, and no man regardeth it. The destroyers come over the heeth every way, for the sword of the LORD shall consume from the one end of the land to the other, and no flesh shall have rest. They shall sow wheat, and reap thorns. They shall take heritage in possession, but it shall do them no good. And ye shall be confounded of your own winnings, because of the great wrath of the LORD.
¶ Thus sayeth the LORD upon all mine evil neighbours, that lay hand on mine heritage, which I have given my people of Israel: Behold, I will pluck them (namely Israel) out of their land, and put out the house of Iuda from among them. And when I have rooted them out, I will be at one with them again, and will have mercy upon them: and bring them again, every man to his own heritage, and in to his land. And if they (namely that trouble my people) will learn the ways of them, to swear by my name: The LORD liveth (like as they learned my people to swear by Baal) then shall they be reckoned among my people. But if they will not obey, then will I root out the same folk, and destroy them, sayeth the LORD.