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Idols are Worthless Scarecrows

10 Hear the word that Adonai speaks to you, house of Israel, Thus says Adonai:

“Do not learn the way of the nations
    or be frightened by signs of the heavens—
    though the nations are terrified by them.
The customs of the peoples are useless:
    it is just a tree cut from the forest,
    the work of the hands of a craftsman with a chisel.
They decorate it with silver and gold,
    and fasten it with hammer and nails
        so it won’t totter.
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber garden,
    their idols cannot speak.
    They must be carried
        because they cannot walk![a]
    Do not fear them
        for they can do no harm
        —nor do any good.”
There is none like You, Adonai!
    You are great
    and great is Your Name in power.
Who should not fear You,
    Ruler of the nations?
    For it is your due!
    For among all the wise of the nations
        and in all their kingdoms,
        there is none like You.
They are totally stupid and foolish.
    Discipline is useless—it’s wood!
Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish
        and gold from Uphaz.
    The work of the craftsman and of the goldsmith’s hands
        is clothed in blue and purple—
        all the work of skillful men.
10 But Adonai Elohim is truth.
    He is the living God and eternal King.
    At His wrath the earth quakes
    and the nations cannot endure His indignation.

11 Thus you will say to them: “The gods—which did not make the heavens and the earth—will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”

12 He made the earth by His power,
    established the world by His wisdom,
    and stretched out heaven by His understanding.
13 When His voice thunders, waters in heaven roar.
    He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
    He makes lightning for the rain
        and brings forth wind from His storehouses.
14 Everyone is stupid, ignorant.
    Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idol!
    His molten image is a fraud.
    There is no breath in them.
15 They are futile, a work of mockery.
    In the time of their punishment they will perish.
16 Jacob’s portion is not like these.
    For He is the Maker of all things
    and Israel, the tribe of His inheritance
    Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name.”

Coming Pain of Exile

17 Pick up your bundle from the ground,
    you who live under siege.
18 For thus says Adonai:
    “I am about to hurl
        the inhabitants out of the land.
    At this time I will press hard on them
        so that they will be found out.”

19 Oy to me because of my brokenness!
    My wound is incurable.
    Yet I said, “This is simply a sickness
        and I must bear it.”

20 “My tent is destroyed
        and all my ropes are snapped.
    My children are gone from me
        and are no more.
    No one is left to stretch out my tent
        or set up my tent curtains.
21 For the shepherds are stupid!
    They have not sought Adonai.
    Therefore they have not acted wisely
    and all their flocks are scattered.”

22 Listen! The sound of a report is coming—
    a great commotion out of the land of the north—
    to make the cities of Judah desolate,
        a haunt of jackals.
23 I know, Adonai, that a man’s way is not his own,
    nor does man, as he walks, direct his steps.
24 Chasten me, Adonai, but with justice,
    not in Your anger,
    lest You reduce me to nothing.
25 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge You
    and on the families that do not call on Your Name.
    For they have devoured Jacob,
        devoured and consumed him,
        and destroyed his homeland.


  1. Jeremiah 10:5 cf. 1 Cor. 12:2.