1People of Israel, listen to what the Lord is telling you.2He says, “Do not follow the practices of other nations. Do not be terrified by warnings in the sky. Do not be afraid, even though the nations are terrified by them.3The practices of those nations are worthless. People cut a tree out of the forest. A skilled worker shapes the wood with a sharp tool.4Others decorate it with silver and gold. They use a hammer to nail it to the floor. They want to keep it from falling down.5The statues of their gods can't speak. They are like scarecrows in a field of melons. They have to be carried around because they can't walk. So do not worship them. They can't do you any harm. And they can't do you any good either.”6Lord, no one is like you. You are great. You are mighty and powerful.7King of the nations, everyone should have respect for you. That's what people should give you. Among all of the wise people in the nations there is no one like you. No one can compare with you in all of their kingdoms.8All of them are foolish. They don't have any sense. They think they are taught by worthless wooden gods.9Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish. Gold is brought from Uphaz. People who are skilled in working with wood and gold make a statue. Then they put blue and purple clothes on it. The whole thing is made by skilled workers.10But you are the only true God. You are the only living God. You are the King who rules forever. When you are angry, the earth trembles with fear. The nations can't stand up under your anger.11The Lord says to the Jews who are living in Babylonia, “Tell the people of the nations, ‘Your gods did not make the heavens and the earth. In fact, those gods will disappear from the earth. They will vanish from under the heavens.’ ”12But God used his power to make the earth. His wisdom set the world in place. His understanding spread the heavens out.13When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar. He makes clouds rise from one end of the earth to the other. He sends lightning along with the rain. He brings the wind out from his storerooms.14No one has any sense. No one knows anything at all. Everyone who works with gold is put to shame by his wooden gods. The metal gods he worships are fakes. They can't even breathe.15They are worthless. People make fun of them. When the Lord judges them, they will be destroyed.16The God of Jacob is not like them. He gives his people everything they need. He made everything that exists. And that includes Israel. It's the nation that belongs to him. His name is The Lord Who Rules Over All.
The Land Will Be Destroyed
17People of Jerusalem, your enemies have surrounded you. They are attacking you. So gather up what belongs to you. Then leave the land.18The Lord says, “I am about to throw out of this land everyone who lives in it. I will bring trouble on them. They will be captured.”19How terrible it will be for me! I've been wounded! And my wound can't be healed! In spite of that, I said to myself, “I'm sick. But I'll have to put up with it.”20Jerusalem is like a tent that has been destroyed. All of its ropes have snapped. My people have gone away from me. Now no one is left to set up my tent. I have no one to set it up for me.21The leaders of my people are like shepherds who don't have any sense. They don't ask the Lord for advice. That's why they don't succeed. And that's why their whole flock is scattered like sheep.22Listen! A message is coming! I hear the sound of a great army marching down from the north! It will turn Judah's towns into a desert. They will become a home for wild dogs.
Jeremiah Prays to the Lord
23Lord, I know that a man doesn't control his own life. He doesn't direct his own steps.24Correct me, Lord. But please be fair. Don't correct me when you are angry. If you do, nothing will be left of me.25Pour out your burning anger on the nations. They don't pay any attention to you. They refuse to worship you. They have destroyed the people of Jacob. They've wiped them out completely. They've also destroyed the land they lived in.
English Standard Version
Idols and the Living God
1Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.2Thus says the Lord: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them,3for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. (Isa 40:20; Isa 44:9; Isa 45:20)4They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move. (Isa 40:19; Isa 41:7)5Their 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, neither is it in them to do good.” (Ps 115:5; Ps 115:7; Ps 135:16; Isa 41:23; Isa 46:7; Hab 2:18; 1Co 12:2)6There is none like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is great in might. (Ex 15:11; Ps 86:8; Ps 86:10; Jer 49:19)7Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you. (Jer 5:22; Re 15:4)8They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood! (Isa 41:29; Jer 10:21; Hab 2:18; Zec 10:2)9Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz. They are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith; their clothing is violet and purple; they are all the work of skilled men. (Ge 10:4; 1Ki 10:22; Ps 115:4; Isa 40:19; Da 10:5)10But 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. (De 32:4; Ps 31:5; Ps 42:2)11Thus 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.” (Ps 96:5; Isa 2:18; Jer 10:15; Zec 13:2)12It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens. (Ge 1:1; Ge 1:6; Ge 1:9; Job 9:8; Ps 104:5; Pr 3:19; Jer 51:15)13When 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 lightning for the rain, and he brings forth the wind from his storehouses. (Job 5:10; Job 38:22; Job 38:34; Ps 104:6; Ps 135:7; Jer 14:22)14Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. (Ps 135:17; Pr 30:2; Isa 42:17; Jer 10:8; Hab 2:19; Ro 1:22)15They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish.16Not like these is he who is 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. (De 32:9; Ps 16:5; Jer 31:35; Jer 32:18; Jer 50:34)17Gather up your bundle from the ground, O you who dwell under siege! (Jer 6:1; Eze 12:3)18For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, that they may feel it.” (De 28:20; 1Sa 25:29)19Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is grievous. But I said, “Truly this is an affliction, and I must bear it.” (Jer 14:17; Jer 30:12)20My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are not; there is no one to spread my tent again and to set up my curtains. (Isa 54:2; Jer 4:20; Jer 31:15)21For the shepherds are stupid and do not inquire of the Lord; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered. (Jer 10:8; Jer 23:1; Eze 34:2; Eze 34:5)22A voice, a rumor! Behold, it comes!— a great commotion out of the north country to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a lair of jackals. (Jer 1:13; Jer 9:11)23I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. (Pr 16:1; Pr 20:24; Da 5:23)24Correct me, O Lord, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. (Ps 6:1; Ps 38:1; Jer 30:11; Jer 46:28)25Pour out your wrath on the nations that know you not, and on the peoples that call not on your name, for they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation. (Ps 14:4; Ps 79:6; Jer 8:16; Jer 30:16)