Jeremiah 12:4

4 1How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? 2For the evil of those who dwell in it 3the beasts and the birds are swept away, because they said, "He will not see our latter end."

Jeremiah 12:4 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 12:4

How long shall the land mourn
The land of Judea, being desolate, and bringing forth no fruit, through the long drought that had been upon it: and the herbs of every field wither;
for want of rain to come upon it: for the wickedness of them that dwell therein?
this opens the cause, the reason of this dearth; it was the wickedness of the inhabitants of it: as the whole earth was originally cursed for the sins of men, so particular countries have had the marks of God's displeasure upon them, because of the sins of those that dwell in them. This clause, according to the accents, belongs to what follows, and may be read in connection with the next clause; either thus, "the herbs" of every field wither, I say, "because of the wickedness of the inhabitants of it, which consumes the beasts and the birds" F24; that is, which wickedness is the cause not only of the withering of the grass and herbs, but of the consumption of birds and beasts: or else, by repeating the interrogation in the preceding clause, how long shall the earth mourn
; how long, for the malice of them that dwell in it, are the beasts
and the birds consumed
F25? the one having no grass to eat; and the other no fruit to pick, or seeds to live upon; the barrenness being so very great and general. Because they said;
the Jews, the inhabitants of the land, the wicked part of them, and which was the greater: he shall not see our last end;
either the Prophet Jeremiah, who had foretold it; but they did not believe him, that such would be their end, and that he should live to see it; or such was their atheism and infidelity, that they said God himself should not see it; and so the Septuagint and Arabic versions read, "God shall not see".


F24 So Gussetius, Ebr. Comment. p. 564.
F25 Thus Schmidt, after Luther.

Jeremiah 12:4 In-Context

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?
6 For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; do not believe them, though they speak friendly words to you."

Cross References 3

  • 1. ver. 11; Jeremiah 9:10; Jeremiah 23:10
  • 2. Psalms 107:34
  • 3. Jeremiah 4:25; Jeremiah 7:20; Jeremiah 9:10; Hosea 4:3; [Romans 8:22]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.