Jeremiah 12:10-17

10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard, they have trampled down my portion, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it a desolation; desolate, it mourns to me. The whole land is made desolate, but no one lays it to heart.
12 Upon all the bare heights in the desert spoilers have come; for the sword of the Lord devours from one end of the land to the other; no one shall be safe.
13 They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns, they have tired themselves out but profit nothing. They shall be ashamed of their harvests because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
14 Thus says the Lord concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: I am about to pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them.
15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again to their heritage and to their land, everyone of them.
16 And then, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, "As the Lord lives," as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people.
17 But if any nation will not listen, then I will completely uproot it and destroy it, says the Lord.

Jeremiah 12:10-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 12

This chapter contains the prophets complaint of the prosperity of the wicked, and the Lord's answer to it; an account of the deplorable and miserable estate of the Jewish nation; and a threatening to the neighbouring nations that had used them ill; with a promise of deliverance of the Jews from them, and settlement among God's people in case of obedience. The prophet's complaint is in Jer 12:1,2 in which he asserts the justice of God, yet seems at a loss to reconcile it with the prosperity of the wicked; and the rather, because of their hypocrisy; and appeals to the Lord for his own sincerity and uprightness, Jer 12:3 and prays for the destruction of the wicked, and that the time might hasten, for whose wickedness the land was desolate, and herbs, beasts, and birds, consumed, Jer 12:3,4, the Lord's answer, in which he reproves him for his pusillanimity, seeing he had greater trials than those to encounter with, and instructs him how to behave towards his treacherous friends, is in Jer 12:5,6 the account of the miserable condition of the Jewish nation is from Jer 12:7-14, under the simile of a house and heritage left by the Lord, given up to enemies, and compared to a lion and a speckled bird, hateful to God, and hated by those about it, Jer 12:7-9 and of a vineyard destroyed and trodden down by shepherds, and made desolate, Jer 12:10,11 even as a wilderness through the ravage of the sword; so that what is sown upon it comes to nothing, Jer 12:12,13 then follows a threatening to those who had carried the people of Israel captive, with a promise to deliver the Jews out of their hands, and bring them into their own land, and settle them among the Lord's people, in case they use diligence to learn their ways, Jer 12:14-16, but in case of disobedience are threatened to be plucked up and utterly destroyed, Jer 12:17.

Jeremiah 12:10-17 In-Context

8 My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest; she has lifted up her voice against me— therefore I hate her.
9 Is the hyena greedy for my heritage at my command? Are the birds of prey all around her? Go, assemble all the wild animals; bring them to devour her.
10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard, they have trampled down my portion, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it a desolation; desolate, it mourns to me. The whole land is made desolate, but no one lays it to heart.
12 Upon all the bare heights in the desert spoilers have come; for the sword of the Lord devours from one end of the land to the other; no one shall be safe.
13 They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns, they have tired themselves out but profit nothing. They shall be ashamed of their harvests because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
14 Thus says the Lord concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: I am about to pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them.
15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again to their heritage and to their land, everyone of them.
16 And then, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, "As the Lord lives," as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people.
17 But if any nation will not listen, then I will completely uproot it and destroy it, says the Lord.

Footnotes 2