Idols and the True God

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 Gentiles;
Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
For the customs of the peoples are [a]futile;
For (B)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 (C)fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.
They are upright, like a palm tree,
And (D)they cannot speak;
They must be (E)carried,
Because they cannot go by themselves.
Do not be afraid of them,
For (F)they cannot do evil,
Nor can they do any good.”

Inasmuch as there is none (G)like You, O Lord
(You are great, and Your name is great in might),
(H)Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
For this is Your rightful due.
For (I)among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
But they are altogether (J)dull-hearted and foolish;
A wooden idol is a [b]worthless doctrine.
Silver is beaten into plates;
It is brought from Tarshish,
And (K)gold from Uphaz,
The work of the craftsman
And of the hands of the metalsmith;
Blue and purple are their clothing;
They are all (L)the work of skillful men.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
He is (M)the living God and the (N)everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth will tremble,
And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.

11 Thus you shall say to them: (O)“The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth (P)shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.”

12 He (Q)has made the earth by His power,
He has (R)established the world by His wisdom,
And (S)has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.
13 (T)When He utters His voice,
There is a [c]multitude of waters in the heavens:
(U)“And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”

14 (V)Everyone is (W)dull-hearted, without knowledge;
(X)Every metalsmith is put to shame by an image;
(Y)For his molded image is falsehood,
And there is no breath in them.
15 They are futile, a work of errors;
In the time of their punishment they shall perish.
16 (Z)The Portion of Jacob is not like them,
For He is the Maker of all things,
And (AA)Israel is the tribe of His inheritance;
(AB)The Lord of hosts is His name.

The Coming Captivity of Judah

17 (AC)Gather up your wares from the land,
O [d]inhabitant of the fortress!

18 For thus says the Lord:

“Behold, I will (AD)throw out at this time
The inhabitants of the land,
And will distress them,
(AE)That they may find it so.

19 (AF)Woe is me for my hurt!
My wound is severe.
But I say, (AG)“Truly this is an infirmity,
And (AH)I must bear it.”
20 (AI)My tent is plundered,
And all my cords are broken;
My children have gone from me,
And they are (AJ)no more.
There is no one to pitch my tent anymore,
Or set up my curtains.

21 For the shepherds have become dull-hearted,
And have not sought the Lord;
Therefore they shall not prosper,
And all their flocks shall be (AK)scattered.
22 Behold, the noise of the report has come,
And a great commotion out of the (AL)north country,
To make the cities of Judah desolate, a (AM)den of jackals.

23 O Lord, I know the (AN)way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
24 O Lord, (AO)correct me, but with justice;
Not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.
25 (AP)Pour out Your fury on the Gentiles, (AQ)who do not know You,
And on the families who do not call on Your name;
For they have eaten up Jacob,
(AR)Devoured him and consumed him,
And made his dwelling place desolate.

The Broken Covenant

11 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: (AS)“Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant which I commanded your fathers in the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, (AT)from the iron furnace, saying, (AU)‘Obey My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so shall you be My people, and I will be your God,’ that I may establish the (AV)oath which I have sworn to your fathers, to give them (AW)‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ as it is this day.” ’ ”

And I answered and said, [e]“So be it, Lord.”

Then the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying: ‘Hear the words of this covenant (AX)and do them. For I earnestly exhorted your fathers in the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, until this day, (AY)rising early and exhorting, saying, “Obey My voice.” (AZ)Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but (BA)everyone [f]followed the dictates of his evil heart; therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but which they have not done.’ ”

And the Lord said to me, (BB)“A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to (BC)the iniquities of their forefathers who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.”

11 Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to [g]escape; and (BD)though they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and (BE)cry out to the gods to whom they offer incense, but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. 13 For according to the number of your (BF)cities were your gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal.

14 “So (BG)do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry out to Me because of their trouble.

15 “What(BH) has My beloved to do in My house,
Having (BI)done lewd deeds with many?
And (BJ)the holy flesh has passed from you.
When you do evil, then you (BK)rejoice.
16 The Lord called your name,
(BL)Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit.
With the noise of a great tumult
He has kindled fire on it,
And its branches are broken.

17 “For the Lord of hosts, (BM)who planted you, has pronounced doom against you for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense to Baal.”

Jeremiah’s Life Threatened

18 Now the Lord gave me knowledge of it, and I know it; for You showed me their doings. 19 But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, (BN)and let us cut him off from (BO)the land of the living, that his name may be remembered no more.”

20 But, O Lord of hosts,
You who judge righteously,
(BP)Testing the [h]mind and the heart,
Let me see Your (BQ)vengeance on them,
For to You I have revealed my cause.

21 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of (BR)Anathoth who seek your life, saying, (BS)‘Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, lest you die by our hand’— 22 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall (BT)die by famine; 23 and there shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even (BU)the year of their punishment.’ ”

Jeremiah’s Question

12 Righteous (BV)are You, O Lord, when I plead with You;
Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.
(BW)Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
You have planted them, yes, they have taken root;
They grow, yes, they bear fruit.
(BX)You are near in their mouth
But far from their [i]mind.

But You, O Lord, (BY)know me;
You have seen me,
And You have (BZ)tested my heart toward You.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
And prepare them for (CA)the day of slaughter.
How long will (CB)the land mourn,
And the herbs of every field wither?
(CC)The beasts and birds are consumed,
(CD)For the wickedness of those who dwell there,
Because they said, “He will not see our final end.”

The Lord Answers Jeremiah

“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in (CE)the [j]floodplain of the Jordan?
For even (CF)your brothers, the house of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you;
Yes, they have called [k]a multitude after you.
(CG)Do not believe them,
Even though they speak [l]smooth words to you.

“I have forsaken My house, I have left My heritage;
I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies.
My heritage is to Me like a lion in the forest;
It cries out against Me;
Therefore I have (CH)hated it.
My [m]heritage is to Me like a speckled vulture;
The vultures all around are against her.
Come, assemble all the beasts of the field,
(CI)Bring them to devour!

10 “Many (CJ)rulers[n] have destroyed (CK)My vineyard,
They have (CL)trodden My portion underfoot;
They have made My [o]pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it (CM)desolate;
Desolate, it mourns to Me;
The whole land is made desolate,
Because (CN)no one takes it to heart.
12 The plunderers have come
On all the desolate heights in the wilderness,
For the sword of the Lord shall devour
From one end of the land to the other end of the land;
No flesh shall have peace.
13 (CO)They have sown wheat but reaped thorns;
They have [p]put themselves to pain but do not profit.
But be ashamed of your harvest
Because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”

14 Thus says the Lord: “Against all My evil neighbors who (CP)touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit—behold, I will (CQ)pluck them out of their land and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15 (CR)Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them (CS)and bring them back, everyone to his heritage and everyone to his land. 16 And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, (CT)to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be (CU)established in the midst of My people. 17 But if they do not (CV)obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation,” says the Lord.


  1. Jeremiah 10:3 Lit. vanity
  2. Jeremiah 10:8 vain teaching
  3. Jeremiah 10:13 Or noise
  4. Jeremiah 10:17 Or you who dwell under siege
  5. Jeremiah 11:5 Heb. Amen
  6. Jeremiah 11:8 walked in the stubbornness or imagination
  7. Jeremiah 11:11 Lit. go out
  8. Jeremiah 11:20 Most secret parts, lit. kidneys
  9. Jeremiah 12:2 Most secret parts, lit. kidneys
  10. Jeremiah 12:5 Or thicket
  11. Jeremiah 12:6 Or abundantly
  12. Jeremiah 12:6 Lit. good
  13. Jeremiah 12:9 inheritance
  14. Jeremiah 12:10 Lit. shepherds or pastors
  15. Jeremiah 12:10 desired portion of land
  16. Jeremiah 12:13 Or strained

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