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Jeremiah 10 King James Version (KJV)

10 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:

Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.

Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.

But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.

Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.

10 But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.

12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.

14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

16 The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The Lord of hosts is his name.

17 Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of the fortress.

18 For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once, and will distress them, that they may find it so.

19 Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous; but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it.

20 My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.

21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.

22 Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.

23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

24 O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.

25 Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.

Jeremiah 10 Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Lord and the Idols

10 ·Family [L House] of Israel, ·listen to what [L hear the word that] the Lord says to you. This is what he says:

“Don’t ·live like the people from [L learn the way/path of] other nations,
    and don’t be ·afraid of [terrified by] special signs in the ·sky [heavens; C astrology],
    even though the other nations are ·afraid [terrified] of them.
The ·customs [statutes; ordinances; requirements] of other people are ·worth nothing [meaningless; useless; L a breath].
    ·Their idols are just wood cut from the forest [L A tree from the forest is cut down],
    shaped by a ·worker [craftsman] with his ·chisel [or ax; or adze; or blade].
They decorate their idols with silver and gold.
    With hammers and nails they fasten them down
    so they ·won’t fall over [can’t move].
Their idols are like scarecrows in ·melon [or cucumber] fields;
    they cannot talk.
Since they cannot walk,
    they must be carried.
Do not be afraid of those idols,
    because they can’t hurt you,
and they ·can’t help you either [have no power to do good; Is. 40:18–20; 41:7, 29; 44:6–23; 46:5–7].”

Lord, there is no one like you.
    You are great,
    and your name is great and powerful.
·Everyone should respect [L Who does not fear…?] you, King of the nations;
    ·you deserve respect [for it is your due].
Of all the wise people among the nations
    and in all the kingdoms,
    ·none of them is as wise as you [L there is none like you].
Those wise people are stupid and foolish.
    Their ·teachings [instructions] come from ·worthless [meaningless; useless] ·wooden idols [L pieces of wood].
Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish [C Tarshish may have been in Spain (Tartessus) or an island in the eastern Mediterranean; Jonah 1:3]
    and gold from Uphaz [C high quality],
so the idols are made by craftsmen and ·goldsmiths [smelters].
    They put blue and purple clothes on the idols.
    All these things are made by skilled workers.
10 But the Lord is the only true God.
    He is the only living God, the King forever.
The earth ·shakes [trembles] when he is angry,
    and the nations cannot ·stand up to [endure] his anger.

11 “Tell them this message: ‘These gods did not make heaven and earth; they will ·be destroyed and disappear [perish] from heaven and earth [C this verse is in Aramaic, indicating it was a well known saying].’”

12 God made the earth by his power.
    He used his wisdom to ·build [L establish] the world
    and his understanding to stretch out the ·skies [heavens].
13 When he ·thunders [L gives forth his voice], the waters in the ·skies [heavens] ·roar [are in tumult].
    He makes ·clouds [or mist] rise ·in the sky all over the earth [L from the ends of the earth].
He sends lightning with the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

14 People are so stupid and know so little.
    ·Goldsmiths [Smelters] are ·made ashamed [humiliated] by their idols,
because those ·statues are only false gods [L images are false].
    They have no breath in them.
15 They are ·worth nothing [useless; meaningless; L a breath]; ·people make fun of them [laughable; a derision].
    When they are judged, they will ·be destroyed [perish].
16 But Jacob’s [C another name for Israel] Portion [C referring to the Lord; God gives himself to Israel] is not like ·the idols [L these].
    He ·made [L formed] everything,
and ·he chose Israel to be his special people [L Israel is the tribe of his inheritance].
    The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] is his name.

Destruction Is Coming

17 ·Get everything you own [L Gather your goods] ·and prepare to leave [or from the ground],
    you people who are ·trapped by your enemies [L under siege].
18 This is what the Lord says:
    “At this time I will ·throw [L sling] out the people who live in this land.
I will bring ·trouble [distress] to them
    so that they may be ·captured [L squeezed].”

19 ·How terrible it will be for me [Woe to me] because of my ·injury [fracture].
    My wound ·cannot be healed [is severe].
Yet I told myself,
    “This is my ·sickness [or punishment]; I must ·suffer through [endure] it.”
20 My tent is ·ruined [destroyed; desolated],
    and all its ropes are broken.
My children have gone away and left me.
    No one is left to ·put up [stretch out] my tent again
    or to set up ·a shelter for me [L my curtains].
21 The shepherds are stupid
    and don’t ·ask the Lord for advice [L seek the Lord].
So they do not have success,
    and all their flocks are scattered.
22 Listen! The news is coming.
    A ·loud noise [great commotion] comes from the north [C the Babylonian army]
to make the towns of Judah an ·empty desert [desolation]
    and a ·home [haunt] for wild dogs [jackals]!

Jeremiah’s Prayer

23 Lord, I know that ·our lives don’t really belong to us [L his way/path does not belong to people].
    ·We can’t control our own lives [L People as they walk cannot establish their steps].
24 Lord, ·correct [teach; instruct] me, but be ·fair [just].
    Don’t punish me in your anger,
    or you will ·destroy me [L make me dwindle].
25 Pour out your anger on other nations
    that do not know you
    and do not pray to you.
Those nations have ·destroyed [consumed] the people of Jacob.
    They have ·eaten [consumed] them up completely
    and ·destroyed [desolated] their homeland.

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 10 Amplified Bible (AMP)

A Satire on Idolatry

10 Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord,

“Do not learn the way of the [pagan] nations,
And do not be terrified and distressed by the signs of the heavens
Although the pagans are terrified by them;

For the customs and decrees of the peoples are [mere] delusion [exercises in futility];
It is only wood which one cuts from the forest [to make a god],
The work of the hands of the craftsman with the axe or cutting tool.

“They adorn the idol with silver and with gold;
They fasten it with hammers and nails
So that it will not fall apart.

“They are like scarecrows in a cucumber field;
They cannot speak;
They have to be carried,
Because they cannot walk!
Do not be afraid of them,
For they can do no harm or evil,
Nor can they do any good.”

There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your mighty and powerful name.

Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
For it is appropriate and it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.

But they are altogether irrational and stupid and foolish
In their discipline of delusion—their idol is [only] wood [it is ridiculous, empty and worthless]!

Silver that has been beaten [into plates] is brought from [a]Tarshish,
And gold from [b]Uphaz,
The work of the craftsman and of the hand of the goldsmith;
Violet and purple are their clothing;
They are all the work of skilled men.
But the Lord is the true God and the God who is Truth;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
The earth quakes and shudders at His wrath,
And the nations are not able to endure His indignation.

11 In this manner you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”

God made the earth by His power;
He established the world by His wisdom
And by His understanding and skill He has stretched out the heavens.
When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of [c]waters in the heavens,
And He causes the clouds and the mist to ascend from the end of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain,
And brings out the wind from His treasuries and from His storehouses.
Every man has become [like a brute] irrational and stupid, without knowledge [of God];
Every goldsmith is shamed by his carved idols;
For his molten images are frauds and lies,
And there is no breath in them.
They are worthless and devoid of promise, a work of delusion and mockery;
In their time of [trial and] punishment they will perish [without hope].
The Portion of Jacob [the true God on whom Israel has a claim] is not like these;
For He is the Designer and Maker of all things,
And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance [and He will not fail them]—
The Lord of hosts is His name.

Gather up your bundle [of goods] from the ground,
You who live under siege.
For thus says the Lord;
“Behold, I am slinging out at this time the people of this land,
And will cause them [great] distress,
That they may find it [to be as I have said].”

“Woe to me because of my [spiritual] brokenness!” [says Jeremiah, speaking for the nation.]
“My wound is incurable.”
But I said, “Surely this sickness and suffering and grief are mine,
And I must bear it.”
My tent is destroyed,
And all my [tent] cords are broken;
My children have been taken from me [as captives] and are no more.
There is no one to stretch out my tent again
And to set up my [tent] curtains.
For the shepherds [of the people] have become [like brutes,] irrational and stupid,
And have not searched for the Lord or asked about Him or realized their need for Him;
Therefore they have not been wise and have not prospered,
And all their flocks are scattered.
The sound of a report! Behold, [the invader] comes—
A great commotion from the country of the north (Babylonia)—
To make the cities of Judah
A desolation, a haunt and dwelling place of jackals.

O Lord, I know that the path of [life of] a man is not in himself;
It is not within [the limited ability of] man [even one at his best] to choose and direct his steps [in life].
O Lord, correct me [along with Your people], but with mercy and in just measure—
Not in Your anger, or You will crush me and bring me to nothing.
Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know nor recognize You
And on the families that do not call Your name.
For they have devoured Jacob;
They have devoured him and consumed him
And made his land a desolate waste.


  1. Jeremiah 10:9 Perhaps a reference to an ancient refinery located on the island of Sardinia.
  2. Jeremiah 10:9 The location of this gold mining region is unknown.
  3. Jeremiah 10:13 Some ancient people believed that the sky was a canopy over the earth and that God stored rainwater behind it. Therefore, it rained only when God opened the windows of heaven.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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