People will reap what they had sown. Some people make an idol and worship it. But it is only a piece of wood and powerless. The LORD God is truly unique.
VERSE 1. Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, house of Israel!
VERSE 2. The LORD says, “Don’t learn the way of the nations, and don’t be dismayed at the signs of the sky; for the nations are dismayed at them.
Don’t learn the way of the nations. That is, don’t learn idolatry from foreigners.
don’t be dismayed at the signs of the sky. These “signs” were most likely unusual occurrences such as eclipses or comets which were thought to be signs of coming events given by the gods.
VERSE 3. For the customs of the peoples are vanity; for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the ax.
are vanity. The Hebrew word is hevel. Jeremiah sees idolatry as worthless because the “gods” being worshipped were created by their worshipers.
VERSE 4. They deck it with silver and with gold. They fasten it with nails and with hammers, so that it can’t move.
VERSE 5. They are like a palm tree, of turned work, and don’t speak. They must be carried, because they can’t move. Don’t be afraid of them; for they can’t do evil, neither is it in them to do good.”
There is no one like you, LORD. The LORD God is truly unique.
VERSE 7. Who shouldn’t fear you, King of the nations? For it belongs to you. Because among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their royal estate, there is no one like you.
It is just wood. Many Christians imagine that the statue of an idol has spiritual power. However, it is just a piece of wood.
VERSE 9. There is silver beaten into plates, which is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the engraver and of the hands of the goldsmith. Their clothing is blue and purple. They are all the work of skillful men.
VERSE 10. But the LORD is the true God. He is the living God, and an everlasting King. At his wrath, the earth trembles. The nations aren’t able to withstand his indignation.
VERSE 11. “You shall say this to them: ‘The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth, and from under the heavens.’ ”
This is the only verse in the Book of Jeremiah that was written in Aramaic instead of in Hebrew.
VERSE 12. God has made the earth by his power. He has established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding has he stretched out the heavens.
VERSE 13. When he utters his voice, the waters in the heavens roar, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightnings for the rain, and brings the wind out of his treasuries.
VERSE 14. Every man has become brutish and without knowledge. Every goldsmith is disappointed by his engraved image; for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
VERSE 15. They are vanity, a work of delusion. In the time of their visitation they will perish.
VERSE 16. The portion of Jacob is not like these; for he is the maker of all things; and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance: the LORD of Hosts is his name.
VERSE 17. Gather up your wares out of the land, you who live under siege.
VERSE 18. For the LORD says, “Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and will distress them, that they may feel it.”
VERSE 19. Woe is me because of my injury! My wound is serious; but I said, “Truly this is my grief, and I must bear it.”
VERSE 20. My tent has been destroyed, and all my cords are broken. My children have gone away from me, and they are no more. There is no one to spread my tent any more, to set up my curtains.
VERSE 21. For the shepherds have become brutish, and have not inquired of the LORD. Therefore they have not prospered, and all their flocks have scattered.
NIV translation. The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the LORD; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered.
The shepherds are senseless. The spiritual leaders had become crazy. They were crazy about all sorts of hidden agendas that were not from God.
do not inquire of the LORD. The spiritual leaders were not spiritual seekers. They were not seeking the LORD God. Instead, they busied themselves with projects that boosted their own feeling of self-importance.
they do not prosper. The initiatives of the shepherds did not prosper. Instead of growing and strengthening their flock, they weakened and divided it.
all their flock is scattered. This is the end result of the spiritual leader described in this verse. Their flock is scattered. People don’t show up to events. Those who do show up find that, instead of being strengthened in their faith, they are burdened.
VERSE 22. The voice of news, behold, it comes, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a dwelling place of jackals.
VERSE 23. LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself. It is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
the way of man is not in himself. Do we humans have free will? Or is our life determined for us?
VERSE 24. LORD, correct me, but gently; not in your anger, lest you reduce me to nothing.
VERSE 25. Pour out your wrath on the nations that don’t know you, and on the families that don’t call on your name; for they have devoured Jacob. Yes, they have devoured him, consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.