Introduction to Jeremiah Chapter 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 Jeremiah 12:1 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, Jeremiah 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, Jeremiah 12:3, 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 Jeremiah 12:5 the account of the miserable condition of the Jewish nation is from Jeremiah 12:7, 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, Jeremiah 12:7 and of a vineyard destroyed and trodden down by shepherds, and made desolate, Jeremiah 12:10 even as a wilderness through the ravage of the sword; so that what is sown upon it comes to nothing,
Jeremiah 12:12 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,
Jeremiah 12:14, but in case of disobedience are threatened to be plucked up and utterly destroyed, Jeremiah 12:17.