Jeremiah (Notes on Chapter 12)

Jeremiah responds (presumably) to the Lord’s remarks in the previous chapter with words of praise, but he also wonders why the Lord wont “be done with it” with regard to those who are wicked. In fact, he wonders aloud to the Lord about why they are allowed to continue and even why they prosper when they are guilty of such evil. It is evident the people of Jeremiah’s day thought the Lord did not even see them in their wickedness (12:1-4). The Lord does not address Jeremiah in that which he expressed, but calls him to think about why he has allowed himself to become as wearied as he is (was) when the worse part of his mission has not even been experienced yet (12:5-6). The Lord does tell Jeremiah, however, that He is very much pained at their rebellion and that pain brings emotions and actions (12:7-13) and, in fact, those nations that surround Israel that have influenced them in such an evil way, they will also experience the Lord’s wrath (12:14-17). (It is interesting to note than a number of scholars think the words of chapters 46-51 are contextually inserted at this point (cf. Dearman, p. 135).