Jeremiah 10 Good News Translation (GNT)
Idolatry and True Worship
10 People of Israel, listen to the message that the Lord has for you. 2 He says,
“Do not follow the ways of other nations;
do not be disturbed by unusual sights in the sky,
even though other nations are terrified.
3 The religion of these people is worthless.
A tree is cut down in the forest;
it is carved by the tools of the woodworker
4 and decorated with silver and gold.
It is fastened down with nails
to keep it from falling over.
5 Such idols are like scarecrows in a field of melons;
they cannot speak;
they have to be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them:
they can cause you no harm,
and they can do you no good.”
6 Lord, there is no one like you;
you are mighty,
and your name is great and powerful.
7 Who would not honor you, the king of all nations?
You deserve to be honored.
There is no one like you
among all the wise men of the nations
or among any of their kings.
8 All of them are stupid and foolish.
What can they learn from wooden idols?
9 Their idols are covered with silver from Spain
and with gold from Uphaz,
all the work of artists;
they are dressed in violet and purple cloth
woven by skilled weavers.
10 But you, Lord, are the true God,
you are the living God
and the eternal king.
When you are angry, the world trembles;
the nations cannot endure your anger.
(11 You people must tell them that the gods who did not make the earth and the sky will be destroyed. They will no longer exist anywhere on earth.)
A Hymn of Praise to God
12 The Lord made the earth by his power;
by his wisdom he created the world
and stretched out the heavens.
13 At his command the waters above the sky roar;
he brings clouds from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning flash in the rain
and sends the wind from his storeroom.
14 At the sight of this, people feel stupid and senseless;
those who make idols are disillusioned,
because the gods they make are false and lifeless.
15 They are worthless and should be despised;
they will be destroyed when the Lord comes to deal with them.
16 The God of Jacob is not like them;
he is the one who made everything,
and he has chosen Israel to be his very own people.
The Lord Almighty is his name.
The Coming Exile
17 People of Jerusalem, you are under siege! Gather up your belongings. 18 The Lord is going to throw you out of this land; he is going to crush you until not one of you is left. The Lord has spoken.
19 The people of Jerusalem cried out,
“How badly we are hurt!
Our wounds will not heal.
And we thought this was something we could endure!
20 Our tents are ruined;
the ropes that held them have broken.
Our children have all gone away;
there is no one left to put up our tents again;
there is no one to hang their curtains.”
21 I answered, “Our leaders are stupid;
they do not ask the Lord for guidance.
This is why they have failed,
and our people have been scattered.
22 Listen! News has come!
There is a great commotion in a nation to the north;
its army will turn the cities of Judah into a desert,
a place where jackals live.”
23 Lord, I know that none of us are in charge of our own destiny;
none of us have control over our own life.
24 Correct your people, Lord,
but do not be too hard on us
or punish us when you are angry;
that would be the end of us.
25 Turn your anger on the nations that do not worship you
and on the people who reject you.
They have killed your people;
they have destroyed us completely
and left our country in ruins.
Jeremiah 10 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Idolatry Has Brought Ruin on Israel
10 Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the Lord:
Do not learn the way of the nations,
or be dismayed at the signs of the heavens;
for the nations are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are false:
a tree from the forest is cut down,
and worked with an ax by the hands of an artisan;
4 people deck it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so that it cannot move.
5 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,
and they cannot speak;
they have to be carried,
for they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
for they cannot do evil,
nor is it in them to do good.
6 There is none like you, O Lord;
you are great, and your name is great in might.
7 Who would not fear you, O King of the nations?
For that is your due;
among all the wise ones of the nations
and in all their kingdoms
there is no one like you.
8 They are both stupid and foolish;
the instruction given by idols
is no better than wood!
9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
and gold from Uphaz.
They are the work of the artisan and of the hands of the goldsmith;
their clothing is blue and purple;
they are all the product of skilled workers.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
he is the living God and the everlasting King.
At his wrath the earth quakes,
and the nations cannot endure his indignation.
11 Thus shall you say to them: The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.
12 It is he who made the earth by his power,
who established the world by his wisdom,
and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
13 When he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
and he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightnings for the rain,
and he brings out the wind from his storehouses.
14 Everyone is stupid and without knowledge;
goldsmiths are all put to shame by their idols;
for their images are false,
and there is no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, a work of delusion;
at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
16 Not like these is the Lord, the portion of Jacob,
for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
the Lord of hosts is his name.
The Coming Exile
17 Gather up your bundle from the ground,
O you who live under siege!
18 For thus says the Lord:
I am going to sling out the inhabitants of the land
at this time,
and I will bring distress on them,
so that they shall feel it.
19 Woe is me because of my hurt!
My wound is severe.
But I said, “Truly this is my punishment,
and I must bear it.”
20 My tent is destroyed,
and all my cords are broken;
my children have gone from me,
and they are no more;
there is no one to spread my tent again,
and to set up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds are stupid,
and do not inquire of the Lord;
therefore they have not prospered,
and all their flock is scattered.
22 Hear, a noise! Listen, it is coming—
a great commotion from the land of the north
to make the cities of Judah a desolation,
a lair of jackals.
23 I know, O Lord, that the way of human beings is not in their control,
that mortals as they walk cannot direct their steps.
24 Correct me, O Lord, but in just measure;
not in your anger, or you will bring me to nothing.
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not know you,
and on the peoples that do not call on your name;
for they have devoured Jacob;
they have devoured him and consumed him,
and have laid waste his habitation.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Jeremiah 10 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
10 Hear the word Adonai speaks to you,
house of Isra’el!
2 Here is what Adonai says:
“Don’t learn the way of the Goyim,
don’t be frightened by astrological signs,
even if the Goyim are afraid of them;
3 for the customs of the peoples are nothing.
They cut down a tree in the forest;
a craftsman works it with his axe;
4 they deck it with silver and gold.
They fix it with hammer and nails,
so that it won’t move.
5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber patch,
it cannot speak.
It has to be carried,
because it cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of it —
it can do nothing bad;
likewise it is unable
to do anything good!”
6 There is no one like you, Adonai!
You are great, and your name is great and mighty.
7 Who would not fear you, king of the nations?
For it is your due! —
since among all the wise of the nations
and among all their royalty,
there is no one like you.
8 One and all they are boorish and stupid;
the teaching of their nothings is a piece of wood!
9 Silver is beaten into plates,
then imported from Tarshish.
Gold from Ufaz is worked by a craftsman
and shaped by the hands of a goldsmith.
They are clothed in blue and purple,
all the work of skillful men.
10 But Adonai, God, is the true God,
the living God, the everlasting king.
At his anger, the earth trembles;
the nations cannot endure his fury.
11 “This is what you must say to them:
‘The gods that did not make heaven and earth
will perish from earth and from under heaven.’”
12 God made the earth by his power,
established the world by his wisdom
spread out the sky by his understanding.
13 When he thunders, the waters in heaven roar,
he raises clouds from the ends of the earth,
he makes the lightning flash in the rain
and brings the wind out from his storehouses.
14 At this, everyone is proved stupid, ignorant,
every goldsmith put to shame by his idol!
The figures he casts are a fraud;
there is no breath in them;
15 they are nothings, ridiculous objects;
when the day for their punishment comes, they will perish.
16 Ya‘akov’s portion is not like these,
for he is the one who formed all things.
Isra’el is the tribe he claims as his heritage;
Adonai-Tzva’ot is his name.
17 You who are living under the siege,
gather your belongings off the ground,
18 for here is what Adonai says:
“At this time I am slinging away
the inhabitants of the land;
I will distress them,
so that they will feel it.”
19 Woe to me because of my wound!
My injury is incurable!
I used to say, “It’s only an illness,
and I can bear it.”
20 But now my tent is ruined,
all its cords are severed;
my children have left me and are no more;
there is no one to set up my tent again,
no one to raise its curtains.
21 The shepherds have become stupid,
they have not consulted Adonai.
This is why they have not prospered,
and all their flocks are scattered.
22 Listen! A noise! It’s coming closer!
A great uproar from the land to the north,
to make the cities of Y’hudah desolate,
a place for jackals to live.
23 Adonai, I know that the way of humans
is not in their control,
humans are not able
to direct their steps as they walk.
24 Adonai, correct me, but in moderation,
not in your anger, or you’ll reduce me to nothing.
25 Pour out your anger on the nations
that do not acknowledge you,
also on the families
that do not call on your name.
For they have consumed Ya‘akov —
consumed him and finished him off,
and laid waste to his home.
Jeremiah 10 The Message (MSG)
The Stick Gods
10 1-5 Listen to the Message that God is sending your way, House of Israel. Listen most carefully:
“Don’t take the godless nations as your models.
Don’t be impressed by their glamour and glitz,
no matter how much they’re impressed.
The religion of these peoples
is nothing but smoke.
An idol is nothing but a tree chopped down,
then shaped by a woodsman’s ax.
They trim it with tinsel and balls,
use hammer and nails to keep it upright.
It’s like a scarecrow in a cabbage patch—can’t talk!
Dead wood that has to be carried—can’t walk!
Don’t be impressed by such stuff.
It’s useless for either good or evil.”
6-9 All this is nothing compared to you, O God.
You’re wondrously great, famously great.
Who can fail to be impressed by you, King of the nations?
It’s your very nature to be worshiped!
Look far and wide among the elite of the nations.
The best they can come up with is nothing compared to you.
Stupidly, they line them up—a lineup of sticks,
good for nothing but making smoke.
Gilded with silver foil from Tarshish,
covered with gold from Uphaz,
Hung with violet and purple fabrics—
no matter how fancy the sticks, they’re still sticks.
10 But God is the real thing—
the living God, the eternal King.
When he’s angry, Earth shakes.
Yes, and the godless nations quake.
11-15 “Tell them this, ‘The stick gods
who made nothing, neither sky nor earth,
Will come to nothing
on the earth and under the sky.’”
But it is God whose power made the earth,
whose wisdom gave shape to the world,
who crafted the cosmos.
He thunders, and rain pours down.
He sends the clouds soaring.
He embellishes the storm with lightnings,
launches wind from his warehouse.
Stick-god worshipers looking mighty foolish,
god-makers embarrassed by their handmade gods!
Their gods are frauds—dead sticks,
deadwood gods, tasteless jokes.
When the fires of judgment come, they’ll be ashes.
16 But the Portion-of-Jacob is the real thing.
He put the whole universe together
And pays special attention to Israel.
His name? God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
17-18 Grab your bags,
all you who are under attack.
God has given notice:
“Attention! I’m evicting
Everyone who lives here,
And right now—yes, right now!
I’m going to press them to the limit,
squeeze the life right out of them.”
19-20 But it’s a black day for me!
I said, “Why, oh why
did I think I could bear it?”
My house is ruined—
the roof caved in.
Our children are gone—
we’ll never see them again.
No one left to help in rebuilding,
no one to make a new start!
21 It’s because our leaders are stupid.
They never asked God for counsel,
And so nothing worked right.
The people are scattered all over.
22 But listen! Something’s coming!
A big commotion from the northern borders!
Judah’s towns about to be smashed,
left to all the stray dogs and cats!
23-25 I know, God, that mere mortals
can’t run their own lives,
That men and women
don’t have what it takes to take charge of life.
So correct us, God, as you see best.
Don’t lose your temper. That would be the end of us.
Vent your anger on the godless nations,
who refuse to acknowledge you,
And on the people
who won’t pray to you—
The very ones who’ve made hash out of Jacob,
yes, made hash
And devoured him whole,
people and pastures alike.