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The True God and Idols(A)

10 Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord:

Do not learn the way of the nations;
    do not be terrified at the signs of heaven,
    although the nations are terrified at them.
For the customs of the people are vain;
    for with the axe one cuts a tree out of the forest,
    the work of the hands of the workman.
They deck it with silver and with gold;
    they fasten it with nails and with hammers
    so that it may not move.
They are as a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    but do not speak;
they must be carried,
    because they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
    for they cannot do evil,
    nor can they do good.

There is no one like You, O Lord.
    You are great,
    and Your name is great in might.
Who would not fear You,
    O King of the nations?
    Indeed, it is Your due.
For among all the wise men of the nations,
    and in all their kingdoms,
    there is no one like You.

But they are altogether unthinking and foolish;
    the tree is a doctrine of vanities.
Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish,
    and gold from Uphaz,
the work of the workman and of the hands of the founder;
    blue and purple are their clothing;
    they all are the work of skilled men.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
    He is the living God and an everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth trembles,
    and the nations cannot endure His indignation.

11 Thus you shall say to them: The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.

12 He has made the earth by His power.
    He has established the world by His wisdom
    and has stretched out the heavens by His discretion.
13 When He utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens,
    and He causes the vapors to ascend from the remote parts of the earth;
He makes lightning with rain,
    and brings out the wind from His storehouses.

14 Every man is stupid, without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is put to shame by an idol;
for his molded image is false,
    and there is no breath in them.
15 They are vain and a work of mockery;
    in the time of their punishment they shall perish.
16 The portion of Jacob is not like them,
    for He is the Maker of all things,
and Israel is the rod of His inheritance.
    The Lord of Hosts is His name.

The Exile Prophesied

17 Gather up your wares out of the land,
    O inhabitant of the fortress.
18 For thus says the Lord:
    I will sling out
    the inhabitants of the land at this time,
and will distress them
    that they may be found.

19 Woe is me because of my brokenness!
    My wound is grievous.
But I said,
    “Truly this is an illness, and I must bear it.”
20 My tabernacle is devastated,
    and all my cords are broken.
My sons have gone from me and are no more.
    There is no one to spread my tent anymore,
    and to set up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds have become unthinking
    and have not sought the Lord.
Therefore they have not prospered,
    and all their flocks are scattered.
22 Listen! The sound of the report has come,
    and a great commotion out of the north country,
to make the cities of Judah desolate
    and a den of jackals.

The Prayer of Jeremiah

23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself;
    it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
24 O Lord, correct me, but with justice,
    not in Your anger,
    lest You bring me to nothing.
25 Pour out Your fury upon the nations
    that do not know You
    and upon the families that do not call on Your name;
for they have eaten up Jacob
    and devoured him, and consumed him,
    and have made his habitation desolate.

God and Idols(A)

10 Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. This is what the Lord says:

“Do not learn the ways of the nations(B)
    or be terrified by signs(C) in the heavens,
    though the nations are terrified by them.
For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman(D) shapes it with his chisel.(E)
They adorn it with silver(F) and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter.(G)
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    their idols cannot speak;(H)
they must be carried
    because they cannot walk.(I)
Do not fear them;
    they can do no harm(J)
    nor can they do any good.”(K)

No one is like you,(L) Lord;
    you are great,(M)
    and your name is mighty in power.
Who should not fear(N) you,
    King of the nations?(O)
    This is your due.
Among all the wise leaders of the nations
    and in all their kingdoms,
    there is no one like you.

They are all senseless(P) and foolish;(Q)
    they are taught by worthless wooden idols.(R)
Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish(S)
    and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made(T)
    is then dressed in blue and purple—
    all made by skilled workers.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
    he is the living God,(U) the eternal King.(V)
When he is angry,(W) the earth trembles;(X)
    the nations cannot endure his wrath.(Y)

11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish(Z) from the earth and from under the heavens.’”[a]

12 But God made(AA) the earth(AB) by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom(AC)
    and stretched out the heavens(AD) by his understanding.
13 When he thunders,(AE) the waters in the heavens roar;
    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning(AF) with the rain(AG)
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.(AH)

14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is shamed(AI) by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;(AJ)
    they have no breath in them.
15 They are worthless,(AK) the objects of mockery;
    when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 He who is the Portion(AL) of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the Maker of all things,(AM)
including Israel, the people of his inheritance(AN)
    the Lord Almighty is his name.(AO)

Coming Destruction

17 Gather up your belongings(AP) to leave the land,
    you who live under siege.
18 For this is what the Lord says:
    “At this time I will hurl(AQ) out
    those who live in this land;
I will bring distress(AR) on them
    so that they may be captured.”

19 Woe to me because of my injury!
    My wound(AS) is incurable!
Yet I said to myself,
    “This is my sickness, and I must endure(AT) it.”
20 My tent(AU) is destroyed;
    all its ropes are snapped.
My children are gone from me and are no more;(AV)
    no one is left now to pitch my tent
    or to set up my shelter.
21 The shepherds(AW) are senseless(AX)
    and do not inquire of the Lord;(AY)
so they do not prosper(AZ)
    and all their flock is scattered.(BA)
22 Listen! The report is coming—
    a great commotion from the land of the north!(BB)
It will make the towns of Judah desolate,(BC)
    a haunt of jackals.(BD)

Jeremiah’s Prayer

23 Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own;
    it is not for them to direct their steps.(BE)
24 Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—
    not in your anger,(BF)
    or you will reduce me to nothing.(BG)
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations(BH)
    that do not acknowledge you,
    on the peoples who do not call on your name.(BI)
For they have devoured(BJ) Jacob;
    they have devoured him completely
    and destroyed his homeland.(BK)


  1. Jeremiah 10:11 The text of this verse is in Aramaic.

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