God and Idols(A)

10 Hear what the Lord says to you, people of Israel. This is what the Lord says:

“Do not learn the ways of the nations(B)
    or be terrified by signs(C) in the heavens,
    though the nations are terrified by them.
For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a craftsman(D) shapes it with his chisel.(E)
They adorn it with silver(F) and gold;
    they fasten it with hammer and nails
    so it will not totter.(G)
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
    their idols cannot speak;(H)
they must be carried
    because they cannot walk.(I)
Do not fear them;
    they can do no harm(J)
    nor can they do any good.”(K)

No one is like you,(L) Lord;
    you are great,(M)
    and your name is mighty in power.
Who should not fear(N) you,
    King of the nations?(O)
    This is your due.
Among all the wise leaders of the nations
    and in all their kingdoms,
    there is no one like you.

They are all senseless(P) and foolish;(Q)
    they are taught by worthless wooden idols.(R)
Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish(S)
    and gold from Uphaz.
What the craftsman and goldsmith have made(T)
    is then dressed in blue and purple—
    all made by skilled workers.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
    he is the living God,(U) the eternal King.(V)
When he is angry,(W) the earth trembles;(X)
    the nations cannot endure his wrath.(Y)

11 “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish(Z) from the earth and from under the heavens.’”[a]

12 But God made(AA) the earth(AB) by his power;
    he founded the world by his wisdom(AC)
    and stretched out the heavens(AD) by his understanding.
13 When he thunders,(AE) the waters in the heavens roar;
    he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth.
He sends lightning(AF) with the rain(AG)
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.(AH)

14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
    every goldsmith is shamed(AI) by his idols.
The images he makes are a fraud;(AJ)
    they have no breath in them.
15 They are worthless,(AK) the objects of mockery;
    when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 He who is the Portion(AL) of Jacob is not like these,
    for he is the Maker of all things,(AM)
including Israel, the people of his inheritance(AN)
    the Lord Almighty is his name.(AO)

Coming Destruction

17 Gather up your belongings(AP) to leave the land,
    you who live under siege.
18 For this is what the Lord says:
    “At this time I will hurl(AQ) out
    those who live in this land;
I will bring distress(AR) on them
    so that they may be captured.”

19 Woe to me because of my injury!
    My wound(AS) is incurable!
Yet I said to myself,
    “This is my sickness, and I must endure(AT) it.”
20 My tent(AU) is destroyed;
    all its ropes are snapped.
My children are gone from me and are no more;(AV)
    no one is left now to pitch my tent
    or to set up my shelter.
21 The shepherds(AW) are senseless(AX)
    and do not inquire of the Lord;(AY)
so they do not prosper(AZ)
    and all their flock is scattered.(BA)
22 Listen! The report is coming—
    a great commotion from the land of the north!(BB)
It will make the towns of Judah desolate,(BC)
    a haunt of jackals.(BD)

Jeremiah’s Prayer

23 Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own;
    it is not for them to direct their steps.(BE)
24 Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—
    not in your anger,(BF)
    or you will reduce me to nothing.(BG)
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations(BH)
    that do not acknowledge you,
    on the peoples who do not call on your name.(BI)
For they have devoured(BJ) Jacob;
    they have devoured him completely
    and destroyed his homeland.(BK)

The Covenant Is Broken

11 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Listen to the terms of this covenant(BL) and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed(BM) is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant— the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt,(BN) out of the iron-smelting furnace.(BO)’ I said, ‘Obey(BP) me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people,(BQ) and I will be your God. Then I will fulfill the oath I swore(BR) to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’(BS)—the land you possess today.”

I answered, “Amen,(BT) Lord.”

The Lord said to me, “Proclaim(BU) all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow(BV) them. From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again,(BW) saying, “Obey me.” But they did not listen or pay attention;(BX) instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts.(BY) So I brought on them all the curses(BZ) of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.(CA)’”

Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy(CB) among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors,(CC) who refused to listen to my words.(CD) They have followed other gods(CE) to serve them.(CF) Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant(CG) I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster(CH) they cannot escape.(CI) Although they cry(CJ) out to me, I will not listen(CK) to them. 12 The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense,(CL) but they will not help them at all when disaster(CM) strikes. 13 You, Judah, have as many gods(CN) as you have towns;(CO) and the altars you have set up to burn incense(CP) to that shameful(CQ) god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.’

14 “Do not pray(CR) for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen(CS) when they call to me in the time of their distress.

15 “What is my beloved doing in my temple
    as she, with many others, works out her evil schemes?
    Can consecrated meat(CT) avert your punishment?(CU)
When you engage in your wickedness,
    then you rejoice.[b]

16 The Lord called you a thriving olive tree(CV)
    with fruit beautiful in form.
But with the roar of a mighty storm
    he will set it on fire,(CW)
    and its branches will be broken.(CX)

17 The Lord Almighty, who planted(CY) you, has decreed disaster(CZ) for you, because the people of both Israel and Judah have done evil and aroused(DA) my anger by burning incense to Baal.(DB)

Plot Against Jeremiah

18 Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. 19 I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter;(DC) I did not realize that they had plotted(DD) against me, saying,

“Let us destroy the tree and its fruit;
    let us cut him off from the land of the living,(DE)
    that his name be remembered(DF) no more.”
20 But you, Lord Almighty, who judge righteously(DG)
    and test the heart(DH) and mind,(DI)
let me see your vengeance(DJ) on them,
    for to you I have committed my cause.

21 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the people of Anathoth(DK) who are threatening to kill you,(DL) saying, “Do not prophesy(DM) in the name of the Lord or you will die(DN) by our hands”— 22 therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men(DO) will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine. 23 Not even a remnant(DP) will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.(DQ)

Jeremiah’s Complaint

12 You are always righteous,(DR) Lord,
    when I bring a case(DS) before you.
Yet I would speak with you about your justice:(DT)
    Why does the way of the wicked prosper?(DU)
    Why do all the faithless live at ease?
You have planted(DV) them, and they have taken root;
    they grow and bear fruit.(DW)
You are always on their lips
    but far from their hearts.(DX)
Yet you know me, Lord;
    you see me and test(DY) my thoughts about you.
Drag them off like sheep(DZ) to be butchered!
    Set them apart for the day of slaughter!(EA)
How long will the land lie parched(EB)
    and the grass in every field be withered?(EC)
Because those who live in it are wicked,
    the animals and birds have perished.(ED)
Moreover, the people are saying,
    “He will not see what happens to us.”

God’s Answer

“If you have raced with men on foot
    and they have worn you out,
    how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble[c] in safe country,
    how will you manage in the thickets(EE) by[d] the Jordan?
Your relatives, members of your own family—
    even they have betrayed you;
    they have raised a loud cry against you.(EF)
Do not trust them,
    though they speak well of you.(EG)

“I will forsake(EH) my house,
    abandon(EI) my inheritance;
I will give the one I love(EJ)
    into the hands of her enemies.(EK)
My inheritance has become to me
    like a lion(EL) in the forest.
She roars at me;
    therefore I hate her.(EM)
Has not my inheritance become to me
    like a speckled bird of prey
    that other birds of prey surround and attack?
Go and gather all the wild beasts;
    bring them to devour.(EN)
10 Many shepherds(EO) will ruin my vineyard
    and trample down my field;
they will turn my pleasant field
    into a desolate wasteland.(EP)
11 It will be made a wasteland,(EQ)
    parched and desolate before me;(ER)
the whole land will be laid waste
    because there is no one who cares.
12 Over all the barren heights in the desert
    destroyers will swarm,
for the sword(ES) of the Lord(ET) will devour(EU)
    from one end of the land to the other;(EV)
    no one will be safe.(EW)
13 They will sow wheat but reap thorns;
    they will wear themselves out but gain nothing.(EX)
They will bear the shame of their harvest
    because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”(EY)

14 This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance(EZ) I gave my people Israel, I will uproot(FA) them from their lands and I will uproot(FB) the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion(FC) and will bring(FD) each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country. 16 And if they learn(FE) well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’(FF)—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal(FG)—then they will be established among my people.(FH) 17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy(FI) it,” declares the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 10:11 The text of this verse is in Aramaic.
  2. Jeremiah 11:15 Or Could consecrated meat avert your punishment? / Then you would rejoice
  3. Jeremiah 12:5 Or you feel secure only
  4. Jeremiah 12:5 Or the flooding of