A Satire on Idolatry

10 Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, house of Israel. This is what the Lord says:

(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 (B)futile;
For (C)it is wood cut from the forest,
The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
They (D)decorate the idol with silver and gold;
They (E)fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not totter.
They are like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
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, Lord;
You are (J)great, and Your name is great in might.
(K)Who would not fear You, O (L)King of the nations?
For 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;
The instruction from idols is nothing but 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;
Their clothing is of violet and purple;
They are all the (R)work of skilled people.
10 But the Lord is the (S)true God;
He is the (T)living God and the (U)everlasting King.
The (V)earth quakes at His wrath,
And the nations cannot (W)endure His indignation.

11 [a]This is what 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 these 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 roar of waters in the heavens,
And He makes the (AD)clouds ascend from the end of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain,
And brings out the (AE)wind from His storehouses.
14 Every person is (AF)stupid, devoid of knowledge;
Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,
For his cast metal images are deceitful,
And there is no breath in them.
15 They are (AG)worthless, a work of mockery;
At the (AH)time of their punishment they will perish.
16 The (AI)Portion of Jacob is not like these;
For He is the [b](AJ)Maker of everything,
And (AK)Israel is the tribe of His inheritance;
The (AL)Lord of armies is His name.

17 (AM)Pick up your bundle from the ground,
You who live under siege!
18 For this is what the Lord says:
“Behold, I am (AN)slinging out the inhabitants of the land
At this time,
And I will cause them distress,
So that they may [c]be found.”

19 (AO)Woe to me, because of my [d]injury!
My (AP)wound is incurable.
But I said, “This certainly is a sickness,
And I (AQ)must endure 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 is coming—
A great roar (AX)from the land of the north—
To (AY)make the cities of Judah
A desolation, a haunt of jackals.

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

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 10:11 This verse is in Aram
  2. Jeremiah 10:16 Lit Fashioner
  3. Jeremiah 10:18 Lit find
  4. Jeremiah 10:19 Lit breaking
  5. Jeremiah 10:24 Lit diminish me
  6. Jeremiah 10:25 Or pasture

The Broken Covenant

11 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, (A)Hear the words of this (B)covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: “(C)Cursed is the one who does not obey the words of this covenant which I commanded your forefathers on the (D)day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the (E)iron furnace, saying, ‘(F)Listen to My voice, and [a]do according to all that I command you; so you shall be (G)My people, and I will be your God,’ in order to confirm the (H)oath which I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.”’” Then I replied, “(I)Amen, Lord.”

And the Lord said to me, “(J)Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘(K)Hear the words of this covenant and (L)do them. For I solemnly (M)warned your fathers on the (N)day I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, (O)warning them persistently, saying, “(P)Listen to My voice.” Yet they (Q)did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in the stubbornness of their evil heart, each one of them; therefore I brought on them all the (R)words of this covenant which I commanded them to do, but they did not.’”

Then the Lord said to me, “A (S)conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have (T)turned back to the wrongdoings of their [b]ancestors who (U)refused to hear My words, and they (V)have followed other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have (W)broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.” 11 Therefore this is what the Lord says: “Behold, I am (X)bringing disaster on them which they will (Y)not be able to escape; though they will (Z)cry out to Me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will (AA)go and cry out to the gods to whom they [c]burn incense, but they certainly will not save them in the time of their disaster. 13 For your gods are [d](AB)as many as your cities, Judah; and [e]as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to the (AC)shameful thing, altars for [f](AD)burning incense to Baal.

14 “So as for you, (AE)do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will (AF)not listen when they call to Me because of their disaster.

15 What right has My (AG)beloved in My house
When (AH)she has carried out many evil schemes?
Can the sacrificial flesh take away from you your disaster,
[g]So that you can rejoice?”
16 The Lord named you
“A (AI)green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and form”;
With the (AJ)noise of a great [h]tumult
He has (AK)set fire to it,
And its branches are worthless.

17 The Lord of armies, who (AL)planted you, has (AM)pronounced evil against you because of the evil of the house of Israel and the house of Judah, which they have [i]done to provoke Me by [j](AN)offering sacrifices to Baal.

Plots against Jeremiah

18 Moreover, the Lord (AO)made it known to me and I knew it;
Then You showed me their deeds.
19 But I was like a gentle (AP)lamb led to the slaughter;
And I did not know that they had (AQ)devised plots against me, saying,
“Let’s destroy the tree with its [k]fruit,
And (AR)let’s cut him off from the (AS)land of the living,
So that his (AT)name will no longer be remembered.”
20 But, Lord of armies, who (AU)judges righteously,
Who (AV)puts the [l]feelings and the heart to the test,
Let me see Your vengeance on them,
For to You I have [m]committed my cause.

21 Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the people of (AW)Anathoth, who are (AX)seeking your life, saying: “(AY)Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, so that you do not (AZ)die by our hand”; 22 therefore, this is what the Lord of armies says: “Behold, I am going to (BA)punish them! The (BB)young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters will die by famine; 23 and a remnant (BC)will not be left to them, because I will (BD)bring disaster on the people of Anathoth—(BE)the year of their punishment.”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 11:4 Lit do them
  2. Jeremiah 11:10 Lit former fathers
  3. Jeremiah 11:12 Or offer sacrifices
  4. Jeremiah 11:13 Lit the number of
  5. Jeremiah 11:13 Lit the number of
  6. Jeremiah 11:13 Or offering sacrifices to
  7. Jeremiah 11:15 Lit Then
  8. Jeremiah 11:16 I.e., confused noise
  9. Jeremiah 11:17 Or done for themselves
  10. Jeremiah 11:17 Or burning incense
  11. Jeremiah 11:19 Lit bread
  12. Jeremiah 11:20 Lit kidneys
  13. Jeremiah 11:20 Lit rolled

Jeremiah’s Prayer

12 (A)Righteous are You, Lord, when I plead my case with You;
Nevertheless I would (B)discuss matters of justice with You:
Why has the (C)way of the wicked prospered?
Why are all those who (D)deal in treachery at ease?
You have (E)planted them, they have also taken root;
They grow, they have also produced fruit.
You are (F)near [a]to their lips
But far from their [b]mind.
But You (G)know me, Lord;
You see me
And (H)examine my heart’s attitude toward You.
Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter,
And [c]set them apart for a (I)day of slaughter!
How long is the (J)land to mourn,
And the (K)vegetation of the [d]countryside to dry up?
Due to the (L)wickedness of those who live in it,
(M)Animals and birds have been snatched away,
Because people have said, “He will not see our final (N)end.”

“If you have run with infantrymen and they have tired you out,
How can you compete with horses?
If you fall down in a land of peace,
How will you do in the (O)thicket by the Jordan?
For even your (P)brothers and the household of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you,
Even they have called aloud after you.
Do not believe them, though they say (Q)nice things to you.”

God’s Answer

“I have (R)forsaken My house,
I have abandoned My inheritance;
I have handed the (S)beloved of My soul
Over to her enemies.
My inheritance has become to Me
Like a lion in the forest;
She has [e](T)roared against Me;
Therefore I have come to (U)hate her.
Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me?
Are the (V)birds of prey against her on every side?
Go, gather all the (W)animals of the field,
Bring them to devour!
10 Many (X)shepherds have ruined My (Y)vineyard,
They have (Z)trampled down My field;
They have made My (AA)pleasant field
A desolate wilderness.
11 [f]It has been made a desolation;
Desolate, it (AB)mourns [g]before Me;
The (AC)whole land has been made desolate,
Because no one (AD)takes it to heart.
12 On all the [h](AE)bare heights in the wilderness
Destroyers have come,
For the (AF)sword of the Lord is devouring
From one end of the land even to the [i]other;
There is (AG)no peace for [j]anyone.
13 They have (AH)sown wheat but have harvested thorns,
They have (AI)strained themselves [k]to no profit.
So be ashamed of your (AJ)produce
Because of the (AK)fierce anger of the Lord.”

14 This is what the Lord says concerning all My (AL)wicked neighbors who (AM)do harm to the inheritance with which I have endowed My people Israel: “Behold, I am going to drive them out of their land, and I will (AN)drive the house of Judah out from among them. 15 And it will come about that after I have driven them out, I will (AO)again have compassion on them; and I will (AP)bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land. 16 Then, if they will really (AQ)learn the ways of My people, to (AR)swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ just as they taught My people to (AS)swear by Baal, they will be (AT)built up in the midst of My people. 17 But if they do not listen, then I will (AU)drive out that nation, drive it out and destroy it,” declares the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 12:2 Lit in their mouth
  2. Jeremiah 12:2 Lit kidneys
  3. Jeremiah 12:3 Lit sanctify them
  4. Jeremiah 12:4 Lit whole field
  5. Jeremiah 12:8 Lit raised her voice
  6. Jeremiah 12:11 Lit One has made it
  7. Jeremiah 12:11 Or upon
  8. Jeremiah 12:12 Or caravan trails
  9. Jeremiah 12:12 Lit other end of the land
  10. Jeremiah 12:12 Lit all flesh
  11. Jeremiah 12:13 Lit they do not profit

The Ruined Undergarment

13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and (A)buy yourself a linen undergarment and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water.” So I bought the undergarment in accordance with the (B)word of the Lord, and put it around my waist. Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, “Take the undergarment that you bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the (C)Euphrates and hide it there in a crevice of the rock.” So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, (D)as the Lord had commanded me. After many days the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates and take from there the undergarment which I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the undergarment from the place where I had hidden it; and behold, the undergarment was ruined, it was completely useless.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “This is what the Lord says: ‘To the same extent I will destroy the (E)pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This wicked people, who (F)refuse to listen to My words, who (G)walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have followed other gods to serve them and to bow down to them, let them be just like this undergarment which is completely useless. 11 For as the undergarment clings to the waist of a man, so I made the entire household of Israel and the entire household of Judah (H)cling to Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘so that they might be My people, for [a](I)renown, for (J)praise, and for glory; but they (K)did not listen.’

Captivity Threatened

12 “Therefore you are to speak this word to them. ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: “Every jug is to be filled with wine.”’ And when they say to you, ‘Do we not very well know that every jug is to be filled with wine?’ 13 then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: “Behold, I am going to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings who sit for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with (L)drunkenness! 14 Then I will (M)smash them against each other, both the (N)fathers and the sons together,” declares the Lord. “I will (O)not have compassion nor be troubled nor take pity so as to keep from destroying them.”’”

15 Listen and pay attention, do not be (P)haughty;
For the Lord has spoken.
16 (Q)Give glory to the Lord your God
Before He brings (R)darkness
And before your (S)feet stumble
On the mountains in the dark,
And while you are hoping for light
He makes it into (T)gloom,
And turns it into thick darkness.
17 But (U)if you do not listen to it,
My soul will (V)weep in secret for such pride;
And my eyes will shed
And stream down tears,
Because the (W)flock of the Lord has been taken captive.
18 Say to the (X)king and the queen mother,
(Y)Take a lowly seat,
For your beautiful (Z)crown
Has come down from your head.”
19 The (AA)cities of the Negev have been locked up,
And there is no one to open them;
All (AB)Judah has been taken into exile,
Wholly taken into exile.

20 “Raise your eyes and see
Those coming (AC)from the north.
Where is the (AD)flock that was given you,
Your beautiful sheep?
21 What will you say when He appoints over you—
And you yourself had taught them—
Former (AE)companions to be head over you?
Will (AF)sharp pains not take hold of you
Like a woman in childbirth?
22 If you (AG)say in your heart,
(AH)Why have these things happened to me?’
Because of the (AI)magnitude of your wrongdoing
(AJ)Your skirts have been removed
And your [b]heels have suffered violence.
23 (AK)Can the Ethiopian change his skin,
Or the leopard his spots?
Then you as well can (AL)do good
Who are accustomed to doing evil.
24 Therefore I will (AM)scatter them like drifting straw
To the desert (AN)wind.
25 This is your (AO)lot, the portion measured to you
From Me,” declares the Lord,
“Because you have (AP)forgotten Me
And trusted in falsehood.
26 So I Myself have (AQ)stripped your skirts off over your face,
So that your shame will be seen.
27 As for your (AR)adulteries and your lustful neighings,
The (AS)outrageous sin of your prostitution
On the (AT)hills in the field,
I have seen your abominations.
Woe to you, Jerusalem!
(AU)How long will you remain unclean?”

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 13:11 Lit a name
  2. Jeremiah 13:22 I.e., a euphemism for private parts