A Satire on Idolatry

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

(A)Do not learn the way of the nations,
And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens
Although the nations are terrified by them;
For the customs of the peoples are [a](B)delusion;
Because (C)it is wood cut from the forest,
The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
“They (D)decorate it with silver and with gold;
They (E)fasten it with nails and with hammers
So that it will not totter.
“Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,
And they (F)cannot speak;
They must be (G)carried,
Because they cannot walk!
Do not fear them,
For they (H)can do no harm,
Nor can they do any good.”

(I)There is none like You, O Lord;
You are (J)great, and great is Your name in might.
(K)Who would not fear You, O (L)King of the nations?
Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the (M)wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
But they are altogether (N)stupid and foolish
In their discipline of [b]delusion—[c]their idol is wood!
Beaten (O)silver is brought from (P)Tarshish,
And (Q)gold from Uphaz,
The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith;
Violet and purple are their clothing;
They are all the (R)work of skilled men.
10 But the Lord is the (S)true God;
He is the (T)living God and the (U)everlasting King.
At His wrath the (V)earth quakes,
And the nations cannot (W)endure His indignation.

11 [d]Thus you shall say to them, “The (X)gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will (Y)perish from the earth and from under the [e]heavens.”

12 It is (Z)He who made the earth by His power,
Who (AA)established the world by His wisdom;
And by His understanding He has (AB)stretched out the heavens.
13 When He utters His (AC)voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
And He causes the (AD)clouds to ascend from the end of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain,
And brings out the (AE)wind from His storehouses.
14 Every man is (AF)stupid, devoid of knowledge;
Every goldsmith is put to shame by his [f]idols;
For his molten images are deceitful,
And there is no breath in them.
15 They are (AG)worthless, a work of mockery;
In the (AH)time of their punishment they will perish.
16 The (AI)portion of Jacob is not like these;
For the [g](AJ)Maker of all is He,
And (AK)Israel is the tribe of His inheritance;
The (AL)Lord of hosts is His name.

17 (AM)Pick up your bundle from the ground,
You who dwell under siege!

18 For thus says the Lord,

“Behold, I am (AN)slinging out the inhabitants of the land
At this time,
And will cause them distress,
That they may [h]be found.”

19 (AO)Woe is me, because of my [i]injury!
My (AP)wound is incurable.
But I said, “Truly this is a sickness,
And I (AQ)must bear it.”
20 My (AR)tent is destroyed,
And all my ropes are broken;
My (AS)sons have gone from me and are no more.
There is (AT)no one to stretch out my tent again
Or to set up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds have become stupid
And (AU)have not sought the Lord;
Therefore they have not prospered,
And (AV)all their flock is scattered.
22 The sound of a (AW)report! Behold, it comes—
A great commotion (AX)out of the land of the north—
To (AY)make the cities of Judah
A desolation, a haunt of jackals.

23 I know, O Lord, that (AZ)a man’s way is not in himself,
(BA)Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.
24 (BB)Correct me, O Lord, but with justice;
Not with Your anger, or You will [j]bring me to nothing.
25 (BC)Pour out Your wrath on the nations that (BD)do not know You
And on the families that (BE)do not call Your name;
For they have devoured Jacob;
They have (BF)devoured him and consumed him
And have laid waste his [k]habitation.


  1. Jeremiah 10:3 Lit vanity
  2. Jeremiah 10:8 Lit vanities, or idols
  3. Jeremiah 10:8 Lit it is
  4. Jeremiah 10:11 This verse is in Aram
  5. Jeremiah 10:11 Or these heavens
  6. Jeremiah 10:14 Or graven image
  7. Jeremiah 10:16 Lit Fashioner
  8. Jeremiah 10:18 Lit find
  9. Jeremiah 10:19 Lit breaking
  10. Jeremiah 10:24 Lit diminish me
  11. Jeremiah 10:25 Or pasture