Jeremiah 5-10 Turning Away and Returning

Jeremiah 5-10 Turning Away and Returning

Psalm 83:1-18 God Storms His Enemies
Ps 83:1 “God, don’t keep silent. Don’t keep silent, and don’t be still, God. 2 For, behold, your enemies are stirred up. Those who hate you have lifted up their heads. 3 They conspire with cunning against your people. They plot against your cherished ones. 4 "Come," they say, "and let’s destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more." 5 For they have conspired together with one mind. They form an alliance against you. 9 Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the river Kishon; 10 who perished at Endor, who became as dung for the earth...12 who said, "Let us take possession of God’s pasture lands." 13 My God, make them like tumbleweed; like chaff before the wind. 14 As the fire that burns the forest, as the flame that sets the mountains on fire, 15 so pursue them with your tempest, and terrify them with your storm. 16 Fill their faces with confusion, that they may seek your name, Yahweh. 17 Let them be disappointed and dismayed forever. Yes, let them be confounded and perish; 18 that they may know that you alone, whose name is Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth.”

Observations: 83:1-8 Asaph calls for God to act, as he observes the alliance of God's enemies. They conspire against His people, to destroy them as a nation, and remove the name of Israel and their God from the earth.
83:9-18 Facing humanly insurmountable odds (eleven nations against one), Asaph recalls how God had previously defeated His foes. He asks God to vanquish His and Israel's enemies, that they may seek His name, and know that He is the Yahweh, the Most High God over all the earth. God's purpose is to show Himself as supreme, and it will happen.
Application: Knowing how God has worked in the past gives us confidence to trust Him for our future, regardless of the odds.
Prayer: God, You are the Most High over all the earth. You are the one who can defend His reputation and His people. I place my future in Your hands. Amen.
Proverbs 20:19-24 Warnings and Ways of Wisdom
Pr 20:19 “He who goes about as a tale-bearer reveals secrets; therefore don’t keep company with him who opens wide his lips. 20 Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in blackness of darkness. 21 An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning, won’t be blessed in the end.22 Don’t say, "I will pay back evil." Wait for Yahweh, and he will save you.23 Yahweh detests differing weights, and dishonest scales are not pleasing.24 From (Because of) Yahweh are the steps of a mighty man; how then does “everyman” have insight into his own way?
Observations: 20:19-24 This collection of proverbs provide a number of practical ways to live wisely, and one philosophical point to ponder.
20:19 Don't hang around someone without discretion. The nature of relationships is that people share themselves with another in a manner that they don't do with whole world. Intimacy results from knowing and being known. But an indiscreet (polite-speak for loudmouth) person will sell your deep secrets (gossip about you) to boost their ego/value in the face of another worthless individual. Avoid them.
20:20-21 Another person to avoid is someone who doesn't honor their parents. This is a person headed for a dark future, which you don't want to share. Not only is honor of parents one of the Big Ten commandments, failure to seek their counsel and wisdom hangs a sign around one's neck proclaiming “Foolish Idiot Who Knows Everything”. Even if you think the latter part of that is true, it's probably wiser to keep that information secret. Speaking of parents, who are the usual source of inheritances, the Prodigal Son, must have missed verse 21 in his daily truth reading. Estate planners will tell you the average inheritance is vaporized in a little over a year.
20:22-23 God is active in punishing evil and paying back our, and His, enemies. Even if we don't see it right away. So watch your step and wait for Him to execute justice.
29:24 The above translation is pretty literal (there is a contrast between the mighty man, and normal human). “Steps” is used literally in Dan 11:43 and the only other occurrence is in Ps 37:23 “The steps of a good man are established/made firm by the LORD: and He delights in his way.” to refer to the ways a person lives (rather than each footprint). The normal incorrect reading is to understand 29:24 as indicating you can't understand what's going on with your life, so you might as well do “whatever,” because it doesn't make any difference. This doctrine of demons doesn't answer the question of why God would spill so much ink, especially in Proverbs, specifying what path one should take, and why. A better understanding of the verse is to recognize that the mighty are raised up by God for His purposes, so then the common man/woman can gain insight (which is what Proverbs teaches) into the best paths for his/her own life, by seeking Yahweh's purposes and wisdom. This latter view answers the rhetorical question in the text, giving a practical application, which leads to wise, God-pleasing actions. The former view leads the reader to continue in folly.
Application: Please God, get blessed, and become mighty by seeking and applying God's wisdom; any other path is folly.
Prayer: All wise God, may I discern and take the paths that are pleasing in Your sight, and which will be pleasing to me, as You establish and prosper them. Amen.



Jeremiah 5-10 In these chapters Jeremiah does the major prophetic work of pointing out the sins which preclude God's people from having a good relationship with Him. He lambasts their attempts to substitute ritual instead of a loyal relationship (not much different from our times). He does a little prophecy in predicting the judgments they'll reap if they continue to ignore His discipline and don't return to God. He laments the devastation they will receive for their refusal to receive correction, and asks God to gently correct him in truth.

Bill Blurb: Forgot to include this chart in the previous email.


Jeremiah 5 Failure to Fear is a Fatal Fail
5:1 "Run back and forth through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places of it, if you can find a man, if there are any who does justly, who seeks truth; and I will pardon her. 2 Though they say, ‘As Yahweh lives’; surely they swear falsely." 3 O Yahweh, don’t your eyes look on truth? You have stricken them, but they were not grieved. You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than a rock. They have refused to return. 4 Then I said, "Surely these are poor. They are foolish; for they don’t know the way of Yahweh, nor the law of their God. 5 I will go to the great men, and will speak to them; for they know the way of Yahweh, and the law of their God." But these with one accord have broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. 6 Therefore a lion out of the forest shall kill them, a wolf of the evenings shall destroy them, a leopard shall watch against their cities; everyone who goes out there shall be torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many, and their backsliding is increased. 7 "How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me, and sworn by what are no gods. When I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery, and assembled themselves in troops at the prostitutes’ houses. 8 They were as fed horses roaming at large: everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife. 9 Shouldn’t I punish them for these things?" says Yahweh; "and shouldn’t my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
10 "Go up on her walls, and destroy; but don’t make a full end. Take away her branches; for they are not Yahweh’s. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me," says Yahweh. 12 They have denied Yahweh, and said, "It is not he; neither shall evil come on us; neither shall we see sword nor famine. 13 The prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them." 14 Therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Hosts, "Because you speak this word, behold, I will make my words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. 15 Behold, I will bring a nation on you from far, house of Israel," says Yahweh. "It is a mighty nation. It is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you don’t know, neither understand what they say. . 18 "But even in those days," says Yahweh, "I will not make a full end with you. 19 It will happen, when you say, ‘Why has Yahweh our God done all these things to us?’ Then you shall say to them, ‘Just like you have forsaken me, and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’
20 "Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 21 ‘Hear now this, foolish people, and without understanding; who have eyes, and don’t see; who have ears, and don’t hear: 22 Don’t you fear me?’ says Yahweh ‘Won’t you tremble at my presence...23 "But this people has a revolting and a rebellious heart; they have revolted and gone. 24 Neither do they say in their heart, ‘Let us now fear Yahweh our God, who gives rain...’
25 "Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good from you. 26 For among my people are found wicked men...27...their houses full of deceit. Therefore they have become great, and grew rich. 28 they excel in deeds of wickedness. They don’t plead the cause, the cause of the fatherless, that they may prosper; and they don’t judge the right of the needy. 29 "Shall I not punish for these things?" says Yahweh. "Shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 30 "An astonishing and horrible thing has happened in the land. 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority; and my people love to have it so. What will you do in the end of it?

Observations: 5:1-9 God tells Jeremiah to search Jerusalem for anyone who does justly and seeks truth, and He will pardon the city. Everyone refuses correction and refuses to return back to God and His ways, so He will send a squad of attack lions to devour them.
5:10-19 Since they have denied Yahweh, scorned His warnings, and served other gods, He will destroy them, but not completely. He will bring a strange mighty nation (Babylon) upon them from the north (chapter 1), and Judah will serve them in Babylon.
5:20-31 Because His people don't fear Him and His punishment, God withholds good from them, and will send punishment upon them. The prophets falsely prophesy good, the priest don't do God's work, and the people love to be rebellious and revolting.
Application: We lose out on blessing, and reap punishment by failing to fear God and heed His warnings.
Prayer: Lord, may I always fear You, do justly, and seek truth, and be worthy of Your blessings rather than Your punishment. Amen.

Jeremiah 6 Seek the Old Paths
6:1 "Flee for safety, you children of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem...2 The comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion, will I cut off. 4 "Prepare war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! 5 Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces." 6 For Yahweh of Hosts said, "Cut down trees, and cast up a mound against Jerusalem: 7 As a well casts forth its waters, so she casts forth her wickedness: violence and destruction is heard in her; before me continually is sickness and wounds. 8 Be instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, a land not inhabited."
9 Thus says Yahweh of Hosts, "They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel like a vine..." 10 To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they can’t listen. Behold, the word of Yahweh has become a reproach to them. They have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of Yahweh. I am weary with holding in. 12 Their houses shall be turned to others, their fields and their wives together; for I will stretch out my hand on the inhabitants of the land, says Yahweh." 13 "For from their least even to their greatest, everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. 14 They have healed also the hurt of my people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush. Therefore they shall fall.. 16 Thus says Yahweh, "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, ‘Where is the good way?’ and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 17 I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen!’
18 Therefore hear, you nations, and know, congregation, what is among them. 19 Hear, earth! Behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. 20 To what purpose comes there to me frankincense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me." 21 Therefore thus says Yahweh, "Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people" 22 Thus says Yahweh, "Behold, a people comes from the north country. A great nation shall be stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth." 24 We have heard its report; our hands become feeble: anguish has taken hold of us, and pains as of a woman in labor. 26 Daughter of my people, clothe yourself with sackcloth, and wallow in ashes! Mourn, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for the destroyer shall suddenly come on us. 27 "I have made you a tester of metals and a fortress among my people; that you may know and try their way. 28 They are all grievous rebels, going about with slanders; they are brass and iron: they all of them deal corruptly. 29 The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed of the fire: in vain do they go on refining; for the wicked are not plucked away. 30 Men will call them rejected silver, because Yahweh has rejected them."

Observations: 6:1-17 Yahweh calls repentance, and then for enemies to attack Jerusalem because His people won't listen to Him. They have uncircumcised, insensitive ears, that don't delight in God's word, but find it distasteful. As a result they not only face judgment, but their society has become a miserable place to live. No one seeks the old paths that yielded peace and prosperity, as some of their ancestors had.
6:18-29 God will bring evil on His deaf people as the fruit of their faulty thinking. Yet they still engage in ritual worship, offering incense, prayers, and sacrifices as if God was pleased with them. Yahweh will reject them.
Application: Ritual and liturgy are no substitute to listening to God and obeying Him.
Prayer: Lord of Light, show me Your paths, and I will walk in them and find rest for my soul, even though my world might be in chaos. Amen.


Jeremiah 7 Relationship vs Ritual
7:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, 2 "Stand in the gate of Yahweh’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of Yahweh, all you of Judah, who enter in at these gates to worship Yahweh. 3 Thus says Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 Don’t trust in lying words, saying, The temple of Yahweh, the temple of Yahweh, the temple of Yahweh, are these. 5 For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if you thoroughly execute justice between a man and his neighbor; 6 if you don’t oppress the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow, and don’t shed innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your own hurt: 7 then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, from of old even forevermore. 8 Behold, you trust in lying words, that can’t profit. 9 Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known, 10 and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, we are delivered; that you may do all these abominations? 11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it, says Yahweh. 12 But go now to my place which was in Shiloh, where I caused my name to dwell at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 Now, because you have done all these works, says Yahweh, and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you didn’t hear; and I called you, but you didn’t answer: 14 therefore will I do to the house which is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, even the whole seed of Ephraim.
16 Therefore don’t pray for this people, neither lift up a cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me; for I will not hear you. 17 Don’t you see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. 19 Do they provoke me to anger? says Yahweh. Don’t they provoke themselves, to the confusion of their own faces? 20 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, my anger and my wrath shall be poured out on this place, on man, and on animal, and on the trees of the field, and on the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
21 Thus says Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel: Sweep away your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat meat. 22 For I didn’t speak to your fathers, nor command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: 23 but this thing I commanded them, saying, Listen to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you. 24 But they didn’t listen nor turn their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: 26 yet they didn’t listen to me, nor inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff: they did worse than their fathers. 27 You shall speak all these words to them; but they will not listen to you: you shall also call to them; but they will not answer you. 28 You shall tell them, This is the nation that has not listened to the voice of Yahweh their God, nor received instruction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
29 Cut off your hair, and throw it away, and take up a lamentation on the bare heights; for Yahweh has rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath. 30 For the children of Judah have done that which is evil in my sight, says Yahweh: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it. 31 They have built the high places, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I didn’t command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that it shall no more be called Topheth, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of Slaughter: for they shall bury in Topheth, until there is no place to bury. 33 The dead bodies of this people shall be food for the birds of the sky, and for the animals of the earth; and none shall frighten them away. 34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land shall become a waste.

Observations: 7:1-16 God still graciously calls His people to thoroughly amend (make good) their aims and actions if they want to dwell in the land and not be deported and destroyed. But instead of being just and loyal, they follow other gods to their own hurt, and harm others by their self-centered behavior. Their wickedness saturates their religion. God tells them to take a trip to Shiloh, where the Tabernacle housed God's presence initially, and see that it is a wasteland. The same thing will happen to the Temple where His presence currently resided, but where they wouldn't.
7:17-20 God says don't even bother praying for His people, because they have provoked Him to the point of no return.
7:21-34 When God first brought them out of Egypt, He told them to listen to Him and He would be their God and they His people, before He set up the Levitical sacrificial system on Mt. Sinai.
Ex 15:26 and he (Moses) said, "If you will diligently listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, and will do that which is right in his eyes, and will pay attention to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you, which I have put on the Egyptians; for I am Yahweh who heals you."
Obedience is better than sacrifice, but they'd rather do things their way, and toss God a lamb or two. He sent prophets to turn them back,but they wouldn't listen. The truth had perished. As many modern churches Israel became a non-prophet institution. Because they wouldn't listen and instead did evil in God's sight, He would slaughter them, and Jerusalem would become a waste like Shiloh.
Application: Obedience is better than ritual sacrifice, but sacrificing our will to do His, is best.
Prayer: God, You know my heart, and I know I can never fool You by paltry offerings of what You already own, but I can give You my heart, to willingly do Your will. Amen.

Jeremiah 8 Turning Away and Returning
8:1 At that time, says Yahweh, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves; 2 and they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the hosts of the sky, which they have loved, and which they have served, and after which they have walked, and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried, they shall be for dung on the surface of the earth. 3 Death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue that remain of this evil family, that remain in all the places where I have driven them, says Yahweh of Hosts.
4 Moreover you shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh: Shall men fall, and not rise up again? Shall one turn away, and not return? 5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. 6 I listened and heard, but they didn’t speak aright: no man repents of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? everyone turns to his course, as a horse that rushes headlong in the battle. 7...my people don’t know Yahweh’s law. 8 How do you say, we are wise, and the law of Yahweh is with us? But, behold, the false pen of the scribes has worked falsely. 9 The wise men are disappointed, they are dismayed and taken: behold, they have rejected the word of Yahweh; and what kind of wisdom is in them? 10 Therefore will I give their wives to others, and their fields to those who shall possess them: for everyone from the least even to the greatest is given to covetousness; from the prophet even to the priest every one deals falsely. 11 They have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among those who fall; in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, says Yahweh.
13 I will utterly consume them, says Yahweh: no grapes shall be on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them. 14 Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the fortified cities, and let us be silent there; for Yahweh our God has put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against Yahweh. 15 We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of healing, and behold, dismay! 17 For, behold, I will send serpents, adders, among you, which will not be charmed; and they shall bite you, says Yahweh. 18 Oh that I could comfort myself against sorrow! My heart is faint within me. 19 Behold, the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people from a land that is very far off: isn’t Yahweh in Zion? Isn’t her King in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their engraved images, and with foreign vanities? 20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt: I mourn; dismay has taken hold on me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician there? why then isn’t the health of the daughter of my people recovered?

Observations: 8:1-3 The invaders would dig up the graves looking for spoil and disgracefully expose the bones to the stars of the heavens which the Israelites worshiped (and which couldn't help them). Some would chose death over the treatment they would receive in exile.
8:4-12 God expresses dismay over the refusal of Israel to repent and return back to Him. Notice that they willfully turned away from the relationship with Him, and then willfully refused to return, and thus were getting judged for their choices. Yet sometimes people repented at prophetic preaching, then God relented (Jonah 3:10). If one doesn't recognize that as free will, they are more arrogantly dense than the Israelites who didn't know God's law, but thought they were wise. The “wisdom” in them wasn't from God, so where did they get it? They were so calloused to truth that they had no shame for their sin.
8:13-22 Jeremiah and then the people lament their losses due to their sin, and the false hopes the false prophets had given them. Teachers are no substitute for truth. The opportunity for deliverance and healing had past.
Application: Indifference to God and His word, renders us senseless to sin and its consequences, resulting in stupid suffering.
Prayer: God, may my heart always be attuned to Your voice, and tremble at Your word; may I never be so calloused as to lose my sense of shame over sin, but readily repent when necessary. Thanks. Amen.

Jeremiah 9 Delighting in Knowing God
9:1 Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a spring of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! 2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 3 They bend their tongue, as their bow, for falsehood; and they are grown strong in the land, but not for truth: for they proceed from evil to evil, and they don’t know me, says Yahweh. 5 They will deceive everyone his neighbor, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves to commit iniquity. 6 Your habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, says Yahweh. 7 Therefore thus says Yahweh of Hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and refine them; for how should I deal with the daughter of my people? 8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceit: one speaks peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in his heart he lays wait for him. 9 Shall I not visit them for these things? says Yahweh; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 11 I will make Jerusalem heaps, a dwelling place of jackals; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.
12 Who is the wise man, that may understand this? Who is he to whom the mouth of Yahweh has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land perished and burned up like a wilderness, so that none passes through? 13 Yahweh says, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein, 14 but have walked after the stubbornness of their own heart, and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them; 15 therefore thus says Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. 16 I will scatter them also among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them. 19 For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we ruined! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because they have cast down our dwellings. 20 Yet hear the word of Yahweh, you women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; and teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor lamentation. 21 For death has come up into our windows, it is entered into our palaces; to cut off the children from outside, and the young men from the streets.
23 Thus says Yahweh, Don’t let the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, don’t let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 but let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows me, that I am Yahweh who exercises hesed/loyal covenantal love, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, says Yahweh. 25 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will punish all those who are circumcised in uncircumcision: 26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that have the corners of their hair cut off, who dwell in the wilderness; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.

Observations: 9:1-11 The lying treachery of His people make God want to totally distance Himself from them, but He will visit them with judgment. The corrective to not knowing Him intimately (9:3) is in 9:24.
9:12-26 God makes the reason for their judgment really clear (9:13-14). He will punish all who fail to have a proper relationship with Him. External circumcision isn't sufficient to be His people, one needs to know Him as the One who delights in hesed, justice and righteousness, and thus manifest those characteristics themselves. See Intimacy with God on Truthbase.net
Application: Wisdom, might, and riches, pale in comparison to intimately knowing the true God.
Prayer: Lord, may knowing You be my delight, as well as doing the things in which You delight. Amen.

Jeremiah 10 Knowing God's Ways
10:1 Hear the word which Yahweh speaks to you, house of Israel! 2 Thus says Yahweh, "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. 3 For the customs of the peoples are vanity; for one cuts a tree out of the forest 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it not move. 5 They are like a palm tree, of turned work, and don’t speak: they must be carried, because they can’t go. Don’t be afraid of them; for they can’t do evil, neither is it in them to do good." 6 There is none like you, Yahweh; you are great, and your name is great in might. 7 Who should not fear you, King of the nations? 8 The people of those nations are both stupid and foolish. Instruction from a wooden idol is worthless! (NET)
10 But Yahweh is the true God; he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth trembles, and the nations are not able to withstand his indignation. 11 You shall say this to them: The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, these shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens. 12 He 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: 13 when he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain, and brings forth the wind out of his treasuries. 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. 15 They are vanity, a work of delusion: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. 16 The portion of Jacob is not like these; for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance: Yahweh of Hosts is his name.
17 Gather up your wares out of the land, you who live under siege. 18 For thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and will distress them, that they may feel it.
19 Woe is me because of my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is my grief, and I must bear it. 20 My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth from me, and they are no more: there is none to spread my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds/leaders are become brutish, and have not inquired of Yahweh: therefore they have not prospered, and all their flocks are scattered. 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. 23 Yahweh, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. 24 Yahweh, correct me, but in measure: not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. 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 and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.

Observations: 10:1-9 God urges His people to not fear nor follow the gods of the nations who are powerless. Those who are instructed by a wooden idol are stupid and foolish.
10:10-18 In contrast, Yahweh made the heavens and earth, with power, wisdom and understanding. He is the one to follow and fear, since He will cause them pain.
10:19-25 Jeremiah laments the pending doom, and the leaders who have not inquired of God for His ways, and as a result have not prospered. In verse 23 Jeremiah acknowledges the need to inquire of God since man cannot know the way to walk unless God reveals it to him. The only way a finite being can know infinite truth (the way to live and experience God's blessing) is if the Infinite Being reveals it to Him. Thus Jeremiah asks for God to correct him, but not in wrath, so he won't be destroyed. But the nations who don't know nor call upon Him, God is welcome to destroy, especially in light of their destruction of Judah.
Application: Inquire daily of God's wisdom for your day and life, so you can prosper as you do it.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please show me Your ways for my life, correct me where I'm off track, so I can experience You and life as You intended. Thanks. Amen.


Digging Deeper:
God in a nutshell: God wants a relationship with His redeemed people, and will discipline them until they turn back to Him, or He will destroy them. He graciously disciplines and issues calls to repentance, warning of the consequences of remaining stubbornly rebellious. He doesn't want ritual offerings, He wants our ears and hearts. God reveals His ways so we can walk in them, and He punishes us if we don't. He is the Creator with power, wisdom and understanding, who delights in hesed, justice, and righteousness, and in those who understand that.

Us in a nutshell: We have an enormous capacity for stupidity and falsehood, as well as the capacity to turn from it to God. Just like we turned from God to our desires, we have the ability to turn back to God (and He calls us to do that, or else). We need to inquire of God for guidance if we wish to prosper. We need not fear false gods, but do need to fear the true God.

Where to Go for More:
Truthbase.net
Jeremiah complete text

Jeremiah 5
5:1 "Run back and forth through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places of it, if you can find a man, if there are any who does justly, who seeks truth; and I will pardon her. 2 Though they say, ‘As Yahweh lives’; surely they swear falsely." 3 O Yahweh, don’t your eyes look on truth? You have stricken them, but they were not grieved. You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than a rock. They have refused to return. 4 Then I said, "Surely these are poor. They are foolish; for they don’t know the way of Yahweh, nor the law of their God. 5 I will go to the great men, and will speak to them; for they know the way of Yahweh, and the law of their God." But these with one accord have broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. 6 Therefore a lion out of the forest shall kill them, a wolf of the evenings shall destroy them, a leopard shall watch against their cities; everyone who goes out there shall be torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many, and their backsliding is increased. 7 "How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me, and sworn by what are no gods. When I had fed them to the full, they committed adultery, and assembled themselves in troops at the prostitutes’ houses. 8 They were as fed horses roaming at large: everyone neighed after his neighbour’s wife. 9 Shouldn’t I punish them for these things?" says Yahweh; "and shouldn’t my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
10 "Go up on her walls, and destroy; but don’t make a full end. Take away her branches; for they are not Yahweh’s. 11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me," says Yahweh. 12 They have denied Yahweh, and said, "It is not he; neither shall evil come on us; neither shall we see sword nor famine. 13 The prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them. Thus shall it be done to them." 14 Therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Hosts, "Because you speak this word, behold, I will make my words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. 15 Behold, I will bring a nation on you from far, house of Israel," says Yahweh. "It is a mighty nation. It is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you don’t know, neither understand what they say. 16 Their quiver is an open tomb, they are all mighty men. 17 They shall eat up your harvest, and your bread, which your sons and your daughters should eat. They shall eat up your flocks and your herds. They shall eat up your vines and your fig trees. They shall beat down your fortified cities, in which you trust, with the sword. 18 "But even in those days," says Yahweh, "I will not make a full end with you. 19 It will happen, when you say, ‘Why has Yahweh our God done all these things to us?’ Then you shall say to them, ‘Just like you have forsaken me, and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’
20 "Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 21 ‘Hear now this, foolish people, and without understanding; who have eyes, and don’t see; who have ears, and don’t hear: 22 Don’t you fear me?’ says Yahweh ‘Won’t you tremble at my presence, who have placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it can’t pass it? and though its waves toss themselves, yet they can’t prevail; though they roar, yet they can’t pass over it.’ 23 "But this people has a revolting and a rebellious heart; they have revolted and gone. 24 Neither do they say in their heart, ‘Let us now fear Yahweh our God, who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season; who preserves to us the appointed weeks of the harvest.’
25 "Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withheld good from you. 26 For among my people are found wicked men. They watch, as fowlers lie in wait. They set a trap. They catch men. 27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit. Therefore they have become great, and grew rich. 28 They have grown fat. They shine; yes, they excel in deeds of wickedness. They don’t plead the cause, the cause of the fatherless, that they may prosper; and they don’t judge the right of the needy. 29 "Shall I not punish for these things?" says Yahweh. "Shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 30 "An astonishing and horrible thing has happened in the land. 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority; and my people love to have it so. What will you do in the end of it?

Jeremiah 6
6:1 "Flee for safety, you children of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise up a signal on Beth Haccherem; for evil looks forth from the north, and a great destruction. 2 The comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion, will I cut off. 3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come to her; they shall pitch their tents against her all around; they shall feed everyone in his place." 4 "Prepare war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! For the day declines, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 5 Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces." 6 For Yahweh of Hosts said, "Cut down trees, and cast up a mound against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. 7 As a well casts forth its waters, so she casts forth her wickedness: violence and destruction is heard in her; before me continually is sickness and wounds. 8 Be instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, a land not inhabited."
9 Thus says Yahweh of Hosts, "They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel like a vine. Turn again your hand as a grape gatherer into the baskets." 10 To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they can’t listen. Behold, the word of Yahweh has become a reproach to them. They have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the wrath of Yahweh. I am weary with holding in. "Pour it out on the children in the street, and on the assembly of young men together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him who is full of days. 12 Their houses shall be turned to others, their fields and their wives together; for I will stretch out my hand on the inhabitants of the land, says Yahweh." 13 "For from their least even to their greatest, everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. 14 They have healed also the hurt of my people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I visit them, they shall be cast down," says Yahweh. 16 Thus says Yahweh, "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, ‘Where is the good way?’ and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 17 I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen!’
18 Therefore hear, you nations, and know, congregation, what is among them. 19 Hear, earth! Behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. 20 To what purpose comes there to me frankincense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me." 21 Therefore thus says Yahweh, "Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people. The fathers and the sons together shall stumble against them. The neighbour and his friend shall perish." 22 Thus says Yahweh, "Behold, a people comes from the north country. A great nation shall be stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth. 23 They take hold of bow and spear. They are cruel, and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, everyone set in array, as a man to the battle, against you, daughter of Zion." 24 We have heard its report; our hands become feeble: anguish has taken hold of us, and pains as of a woman in labour. 25 Don’t go forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and terror, are on every side. 26 Daughter of my people, clothe yourself with sackcloth, and wallow in ashes! Mourn, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for the destroyer shall suddenly come on us. 27 "I have made you a tester of metals and a fortress among my people; that you may know and try their way. 28 They are all grievous rebels, going about with slanders; they are brass and iron: they all of them deal corruptly. 29 The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed of the fire: in vain do they go on refining; for the wicked are not plucked away. 30 Men will call them rejected silver, because Yahweh has rejected them."

Jeremiah 7
7:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, 2 "Stand in the gate of Yahweh’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of Yahweh, all you of Judah, who enter in at these gates to worship Yahweh. 3 Thus says Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 Don’t trust in lying words, saying, The temple of Yahweh, the temple of Yahweh, the temple of Yahweh, are these. 5 For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if you thoroughly execute justice between a man and his neighbour; 6 if you don’t oppress the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow, and don’t shed innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your own hurt: 7 then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, from of old even forevermore. 8 Behold, you trust in lying words, that can’t profit. 9 Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known, 10 and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, we are delivered; that you may do all these abominations? 11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it, says Yahweh. 12 But go now to my place which was in Shiloh, where I caused my name to dwell at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 Now, because you have done all these works, says Yahweh, and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you didn’t hear; and I called you, but you didn’t answer: 14 therefore will I do to the house which is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, even the whole seed of Ephraim.
16 Therefore don’t pray for this people, neither lift up a cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me; for I will not hear you. 17 Don’t you see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to make cakes to the queen of the sky, and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. 19 Do they provoke me to anger? says Yahweh. Don’t they provoke themselves, to the confusion of their own faces? 20 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, my anger and my wrath shall be poured out on this place, on man, and on animal, and on the trees of the field, and on the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
21 Thus says Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel: Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat meat. 22 For I didn’t speak to your fathers, nor command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: 23 but this thing I commanded them, saying, Listen to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you. 24 But they didn’t listen nor turn their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have sent to you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: 26 yet they didn’t listen to me, nor inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff: they did worse than their fathers. 27 You shall speak all these words to them; but they will not listen to you: you shall also call to them; but they will not answer you. 28 You shall tell them, This is the nation that has not listened to the voice of Yahweh their God, nor received instruction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
29 Cut off your hair, and throw it away, and take up a lamentation on the bare heights; for Yahweh has rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath. 30 For the children of Judah have done that which is evil in my sight, says Yahweh: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I didn’t command, nor did it come into my mind. 32 Therefore, behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that it shall no more be called Topheth, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of Slaughter: for they shall bury in Topheth, until there is no place to bury. 33 The dead bodies of this people shall be food for the birds of the sky, and for the animals of the earth; and none shall frighten them away. 34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land shall become a waste.

Jeremiah 8
8:1 At that time, says Yahweh, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves; 2 and they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the army of the sky, which they have loved, and which they have served, and after which they have walked, and which they have sought, and which they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried, they shall be for dung on the surface of the earth. 3 Death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue that remain of this evil family, that remain in all the places where I have driven them, says Yahweh of Hosts.
4 Moreover you shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh: Shall men fall, and not rise up again? Shall one turn away, and not return? 5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. 6 I listened and heard, but they didn’t speak aright: no man repents him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? everyone turns to his course, as a horse that rushes headlong in the battle. 7 Yes, the stork in the sky knows her appointed times; and the turtledove and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but my people don’t know Yahweh’s law. 8 How do you say, we are wise, and the law of Yahweh is with us? But, behold, the false pen of the scribes has worked falsely. 9 The wise men are disappointed, they are dismayed and taken: behold, they have rejected the word of Yahweh; and what kind of wisdom is in them? 10 Therefore will I give their wives to others, and their fields to those who shall possess them: for everyone from the least even to the greatest is given to covetousness; from the prophet even to the priest every one deals falsely. 11 They have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among those who fall; in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, says Yahweh.
13 I will utterly consume them, says Yahweh: no grapes shall be on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them. 14 Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the fortified cities, and let us be silent there; for Yahweh our God has put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against Yahweh. 15 We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of healing, and behold, dismay! 16 The snorting of his horses is heard from Dan: at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones the whole land trembles; for they have come, and have devoured the land and all that is in it; the city and those who dwell therein. 17 For, behold, I will send serpents, adders, among you, which will not be charmed; and they shall bite you, says Yahweh. 18 Oh that I could comfort myself against sorrow! My heart is faint within me. 19 Behold, the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people from a land that is very far off: isn’t Yahweh in Zion? Isn’t her King in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their engraved images, and with foreign vanities? 20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt: I mourn; dismay has taken hold on me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? is there no physician there? why then isn’t the health of the daughter of my people recovered?

Jeremiah 9
9:1 Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a spring of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! 2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 3 They bend their tongue, as their bow, for falsehood; and they are grown strong in the land, but not for truth: for they proceed from evil to evil, and they don’t know me, says Yahweh. 4 Take heed everyone of his neighbour, and don’t trust in any brother; for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will go about with slanders. 5 They will deceive everyone his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves to commit iniquity. 6 Your habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, says Yahweh. 7 Therefore thus says Yahweh of Hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how should I deal with the daughter of my people? 8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceit: one speaks peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in his heart he lays wait for him. 9 Shall I not visit them for these things? says Yahweh; shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? 10 For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the pastures of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none passes through; neither can men hear the voice of the livestock; both the birds of the sky and the animals are fled, they are gone. 11 I will make Jerusalem heaps, a dwelling place of jackals; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.
12 Who is the wise man, that may understand this? Who is he to whom the mouth of Yahweh has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land perished and burned up like a wilderness, so that none passes through? 13 Yahweh says, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein, 14 but have walked after the stubbornness of their own heart, and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them; 15 therefore thus says Yahweh of Hosts, the God of Israel, Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. 16 I will scatter them also among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them. 17 Thus says Yahweh of Hosts, Consider, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for the skilful women, that they may come: 18 and let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters. 19 For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we ruined! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because they have cast down our dwellings. 20 Yet hear the word of Yahweh, you women, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; and teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbour lamentation. 21 For death has come up into our windows, it is entered into our palaces; to cut off the children from outside, and the young men from the streets. 22 Speak, Thus says Yahweh, The dead bodies of men shall fall as dung on the open field, and as the handful after the harvester; and none shall gather them.
23 Thus says Yahweh, Don’t let the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, don’t let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 but let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows me, that I am Yahweh who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, says Yahweh. 25 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will punish all those who are circumcised in uncircumcision: 26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that have the corners of their hair cut off, who dwell in the wilderness; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.

Jeremiah 10
10:1 Hear the word which Yahweh speaks to you, house of Israel! 2 Thus says Yahweh, "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. 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 axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it not move. 5 They are like a palm tree, of turned work, and don’t speak: they must be carried, because they can’t go. Don’t be afraid of them; for they can’t do evil, neither is it in them to do good." 6 There is none like you, Yahweh; you are great, and your name is great in might. 7 Who should not fear you, King of the nations? For it appertains to you; because among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their royal estate, there is none like you. 8 But they are together brutish and foolish: the instruction of idols! it is but a stock. 9 There is silver beaten into plates, which is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the artificer and of the hands of the goldsmith; blue and purple for their clothing; they are all the work of skilful men. 10 But Yahweh is the true God; he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth trembles, and the nations are not able to withstand his indignation. 11 You shall say this to them: The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, these shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens. 12 He 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: 13 when he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain, and brings forth the wind out of his treasuries. 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. 15 They are vanity, a work of delusion: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. 16 The portion of Jacob is not like these; for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance: Yahweh of Hosts is his name.
17 Gather up your wares out of the land, you who live under siege. 18 For thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and will distress them, that they may feel it. 19 Woe is me because of my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is my grief, and I must bear it. 20 My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth from me, and they are no more: there is none to spread my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. 21 For the shepherds are become brutish, and have not inquired of Yahweh: therefore they have not prospered, and all their flocks are scattered. 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. 23 Yahweh, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. 24 Yahweh, correct me, but in measure: not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. 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 and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.