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Jeremiah 10 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The Lord, not Idols, is the Only Worthy Object of Worship

10 You people of Israel, listen to what the Lord has to say to you.

The Lord says,

“Do not start following pagan religious practices.
Do not be in awe of signs that occur in the sky
even though the nations hold them in awe.
For the religion of these people is worthless.
They cut down a tree in the forest,
and a craftsman makes it into an idol with his tools.
He decorates it with overlays of silver and gold.
He uses hammer and nails to fasten it together
so that it will not fall over.
Such idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field.
They cannot talk.
They must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them
because they cannot hurt you.
And they do not have any power to help you.”

I said,

“There is no one like you, Lord.
You are great.
And you are renowned for your power.
Everyone should revere you, O King of all nations,
because you deserve to be revered.
For there is no one like you
among any of the wise people of the nations nor among any of their kings.
The people of those nations are both stupid and foolish.
Instruction from a wooden idol is worthless!
Hammered-out silver is brought from Tarshish
and gold is brought from Ufaz to cover those idols.
They are the handiwork of carpenters and goldsmiths.
They are clothed in blue and purple clothes.
They are all made by skillful workers.
10 The Lord is the only true God.
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
When he shows his anger the earth shakes.
None of the nations can stand up to his fury.
11 You people of Israel should tell those nations this:
‘These gods did not make heaven and earth.
They will disappear from the earth and from under the heavens.’
12 The Lord is the one who by his power made the earth.
He is the one who by his wisdom established the world.
And by his understanding he spread out the skies.
13 When his voice thunders, the heavenly ocean roars.
He makes the clouds rise from the far-off horizons.
He makes the lightning flash out in the midst of the rain.
He unleashes the wind from the places where he stores it.
14 All these idolaters will prove to be stupid and ignorant.
Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made.
For the image he forges is merely a sham.
There is no breath in any of those idols.
15 They are worthless, mere objects to be mocked.
When the time comes to punish them, they will be destroyed.
16 The Lord, who is the inheritance of Jacob’s descendants, is not like them.
He is the one who created everything.
And the people of Israel are those he claims as his own.
He is known as the Lord who rules over all.”

Jeremiah Laments for and Prays for the Soon-to-be-Judged People

17 Gather your belongings together and prepare to leave the land,
you people of Jerusalem who are being besieged.
18 For the Lord says, “I will now throw out
those who live in this land.
I will bring so much trouble on them
that they will actually feel it.”
19 And I cried out, “We are doomed!
Our wound is severe!
We once thought, ‘This is only an illness.
And we will be able to bear it!’
20 But our tents have been destroyed.
The ropes that held them in place have been ripped apart.
Our children are gone and are not coming back.
There is no survivor to put our tents back up,
no one left to hang their tent curtains in place.
21 For our leaders are stupid.
They have not sought the Lord’s advice.
So they do not act wisely,
and the people they are responsible for have all been scattered.
22 Listen! News is coming even now.
The rumble of a great army is heard approaching from a land in the north.
It is coming to turn the towns of Judah into rubble,
places where only jackals live.
23 Lord, we know that people do not control their own destiny.
It is not in their power to determine what will happen to them.
24 Correct us, Lord, but only in due measure.
Do not punish us in anger or you will reduce us to nothing.
25 Vent your anger on the nations that do not acknowledge you.
Vent it on the peoples who do not worship you.
For they have destroyed the people of Jacob.
They have completely destroyed them
and left their homeland in utter ruin.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 10 New International Version (NIV)

God and Idols

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
    or be terrified by signs 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 shapes it with his chisel.
They adorn it with silver and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
    because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
    they can do no harm
    nor can they do any good.”

No one is like you, Lord;
    you are great,
    and your name is mighty in power.
Who should not fear you,
    King of the nations?
    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 and foolish;
    they are taught by worthless wooden idols.
Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish
    and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made
    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, the eternal King.
When he is angry, the earth trembles;
    the nations cannot endure his wrath.

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

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

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

Coming Destruction

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

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

Jeremiah’s Prayer

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


  1. Jeremiah 10:11 The text of this verse is in Aramaic.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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