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Idolatry Is Foolishness

(A)Those who make an image, all of them are useless,
And their precious things shall not profit;
They are their own witnesses;
(B)They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.
10 Who would form a god or mold an image
(C)That profits him nothing?
11 Surely all his companions would be (D)ashamed;
And the workmen, they are mere men.
Let them all be gathered together,
Let them stand up;
Yet they shall fear,
They shall be ashamed together.

12 (E)The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals,
Fashions it with hammers,
And works it with the strength of his arms.
Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails;
He drinks no water and is faint.

13 The craftsman stretches out his rule,
He marks one out with chalk;
He fashions it with a plane,
He marks it out with the compass,
And makes it like the figure of a man,
According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.
14 He cuts down cedars for himself,
And takes the cypress and the oak;
He [a]secures it for himself among the trees of the forest.
He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.

15 Then it shall be for a man to burn,
For he will take some of it and warm himself;
Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread;
Indeed he makes a god and worships it;
He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.
16 He burns half of it in the fire;
With this half he eats meat;
He roasts a roast, and is satisfied.
He even warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm,
I have seen the fire.”
17 And the rest of it he makes into a god,
His carved image.
He falls down before it and worships it,
Prays to it and says,
“Deliver me, for you are my god!”

18 (F)They do not know nor understand;
For (G)He has [b]shut their eyes, so that they cannot see,
And their hearts, so that they cannot (H)understand.
19 And no one (I)considers in his heart,
Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say,
“I have burned half of it in the fire,
Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals;
I have roasted meat and eaten it;
And shall I make the rest of it an abomination?
Shall I fall down before a block of wood?”
20 He feeds on ashes;
(J)A deceived heart has turned him aside;
And he cannot deliver his soul,
Nor say, “Is there not a (K)lie in my right hand?”

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  1. Isaiah 44:14 Lit. appropriates
  2. Isaiah 44:18 Lit. smeared over

For the customs of the peoples are [a]futile;
For (A)one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
They decorate it with silver and gold;
They (B)fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.
They are upright, like a palm tree,
And (C)they cannot speak;
They must be (D)carried,
Because they cannot go by themselves.
Do not be afraid of them,
For (E)they cannot do evil,
Nor can they do any good.”

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  1. Jeremiah 10:3 Lit. vanity