Jeremiah 12:2

2 You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; 1you are near in their mouth and far from their heart.

Jeremiah 12:2 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 12:2

Thou hast planted them
In the land of Canaan, fixed the bounds of their habitation, given them a firm and comfortable settlement; for all the good things, even of the wicked, come from God: yea, they have taken root;
as everything that is planted does not; but these did, though it was downwards in the earth, on which their hearts were set, and so were strengthened and established in their worldly circumstances: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit;
but to themselves, not to God; not fruits of righteousness or good works; they grow, not in grace and holiness, but in their worldly substance; and they brought forth fruit, not such as were meet for repentance, but they had great riches, and numerous families; and so the Septuagint and Arabic versions, "they produce children, and bring forth fruit." The Targum is,

``they become rich, yea, they possess substance.''
Thou art near in their mouth;
they often made use of the name of God, either in swearing by it, or praying to him in an external manner; they called themselves the Lord's people, and boasted of being his priests, and employed in his service; they took his covenant, and the words of his law, into their mouths, and taught them the people, and yet had no sincere regard for these things: and far from their reins;
from the affections of their hearts, and the desires of their souls; they had no true love for God, nor fear of him, nor faith in him. The Targum is,
``near are the words of thy law in their mouth, and far is thy fear from their reins.''

Jeremiah 12:2 In-Context

1 Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
2 You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart.
3 But you, O LORD, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter.
4 How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? For the evil of those who dwell in it the beasts and the birds are swept away, because they said, "He will not see our latter end."
5 "If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?

Cross References 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.