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Chapter 10

The Folly of Idolatry. Hear the word the Lord speaks to you, house of Israel. Thus says the Lord:

Do not learn the ways of the nations,
    and have no fear of the signs in the heavens,[a]
    even though the nations fear them.(A)
For the carvings of the nations are nonentities,
    wood cut from the forest,
Fashioned by artisans with the adze,(B)
    adorned with silver and gold.
With nails and hammers they are fastened,
    so they do not fall.(C)
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,
    they cannot speak;
They must be carried about,
    for they cannot walk.
Do not fear them, they can do no harm,
    neither can they do good.(D)
No one is like you, Lord,
    you are great,
    great and mighty is your name.(E)
Who would not fear you,
    King of the nations,
    for it is your due!
Among all the wisest of the nations,
    and in all their domains,
    there is none like you.(F)
One and all they are stupid and senseless,
    the instruction from nonentities—only wood!
Silver plates brought from Tarshish,
    and gold from Ophir,
The work of the artisan
    and the handiwork of the smelter,
Clothed with violet and purple—
    all of them the work of skilled workers.
10 The Lord is truly God,
    he is the living God, the eternal King,
Before whose anger the earth quakes,
    whose wrath the nations cannot endure.(G)

11 Thus shall you say of them: The gods that did not make heaven and earth—let these perish from earth and from beneath heaven![b](H)

12 The one who made the earth by his power,
    established the world by his wisdom,
    and by his skill stretched out the heavens.(I)
13 When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar,
    and he brings up clouds from the end of the earth,
Makes lightning flash in the rain,
    and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
14 Everyone is too stupid to know;
    every artisan is put to shame by his idol:
He has molded a fraud,
    without breath of life.(J)
15 They are nothing, objects of ridicule;
    they will perish in their time of punishment.
16 Jacob’s portion is nothing like them:
    for he is the maker of everything!
Israel is his very own tribe,
    Lord of hosts is his name.(K)

Abandonment of Judah

17 Gather up your bundle from the land,
    City living under siege!
18     For thus says the Lord:
Now, at this time
    I will sling away the inhabitants of the land;
I will hem them in,
    that they may be taken.
19 Woe is me! I am undone,
    my wound is beyond healing.
Yet I had thought:
    if I make light of my sickness, I can bear it.
20 My tent is ruined,
    all its cords are severed.
My children have left me, they are no more:
    no one to pitch my tent,
    no one to raise its curtains.(L)
21 How stupid are the shepherds!
    The Lord they have not sought;
For this reason they have failed,
    and all their flocks scattered.(M)
22 Listen! a rumor! here it comes,
    a great commotion from the land of the north:
To make the cities of Judah a desolation,
    the haunt of jackals.

Prayer of Jeremiah

23 I know, Lord,
    that no one chooses their way,
Nor determines their course
    nor directs their own step.
24 Correct me, Lord, but with equity,
    not in anger, lest you diminish me.
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not know you,
    on the tribes that do not call your name;
For they have utterly devoured Jacob,
    and laid waste his home.(N)


  1. 10:2 Signs in the heavens: phenomena in the sky, such as eclipses or comets, used to predict disasters.
  2. 10:11 This verse is in Aramaic.