New English Translation
The LORD, not Idols, is the Only Worthy Object of Worship
1 You people of Israel, listen to what the LORD has to say to you.
2 The LORD says, "Do not start following pagan religious practices. Do not be in awe of signs that occur in the sky even though the nations hold them in awe.
3 For the religion of these people is worthless. They cut down a tree in the forest, and a craftsman makes it into an idol with his tools.
4 He decorates it with overlays of silver and gold. He uses hammer and nails to fasten it together so that it will not fall over.
5 Such idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field. They cannot talk. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them because they cannot hurt you. And they do not have any power to help you."
6 I said, "There is no one like you, LORD. You are great. And you are renowned for your power. 7 Everyone should revere you, O King of all nations, because you deserve to be revered. For there is no one like you among any of the wise people of the nations nor among any of their kings.
8 The people of those nations are both stupid and foolish. Instruction from a wooden idol is worthless!
9 Hammered-out silver is brought from Tarshish and gold is brought from Uphaz to cover those idols. They are the handiwork of carpenters and goldsmiths. They are clothed in blue and purple clothes. They are all made by skillful workers.
10 The LORD is the only true God. He is the living God and the everlasting King. When he shows his anger the earth shakes. None of the nations can stand up to his fury.
11 You people of Israel should tell those nations this: 'These gods did not make heaven and earth. They will disappear from the earth and from under the heavens.'
12 The LORD is the one who by his power made the earth. He is the one who by his wisdom established the world. And by his understanding he spread out the skies.
13 When his voice thunders, the heavenly ocean roars. He makes the clouds rise from the far-off horizons. He makes the lightning flash out in the midst of the rain. He unleashes the wind from the places where he stores it.
14 All these idolaters will prove to be stupid and ignorant. Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made. For the image he forges is merely a sham. There is no breath in any of those idols.
15 They are worthless, mere objects to be mocked. When the time comes to punish them, they will be destroyed.
16 The LORD, who is the inheritance of Jacob's descendants, is not like them. He is the one who created everything. And the people of Israel are those he claims as his own. He is known as the LORD who rules over all."
Jeremiah Laments for and Prays for the Soon-to-be-Judged People
17 Gather your belongings together and prepare to leave the land, you people of Jerusalem who are being besieged.
18 For the LORD says, "I will now throw out those who live in this land. I will bring so much trouble on them that they will actually feel it."
19 And I cried out, "We are doomed! Our wound is severe! We once thought, 'This is only an illness. And we will be able to bear it!'
20 But our tents have been destroyed. The ropes that held them in place have been ripped apart. Our children are gone and are not coming back. There is no survivor to put our tents back up, no one left to hang their tent curtains in place.
21 For our leaders are stupid. They have not sought the LORD's advice. So they do not act wisely, and the people they are responsible for have all been scattered.
22 Listen! News is coming even now. The rumble of a great army is heard approaching from a land in the north. It is coming to turn the towns of Judah into rubble, places where only jackals live.
23 LORD, we know that people do not control their own destiny. It is not in their power to determine what will happen to them.
24 Correct us, LORD, but only in due measure. Do not punish us in anger or you will reduce us to nothing.
25 Vent your anger on the nations that do not acknowledge you. Vent it on the peoples who do not worship you. For they have destroyed the people of Jacob. They have completely destroyed them and left their homeland in utter ruin.
King James Version
1 Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2 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.
3 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.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5 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.
6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
7 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.
8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.
9 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.