Jeremiah 10–12; Proverbs 16

Idols and the Living God

10 Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus 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,

ffor the customs of the peoples are vanity.1

gA tree from the forest is cut down

and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.

hThey decorate it with silver and gold;

ithey fasten it with hammer and nails

so that it cannot move.

Their idols2 are like scarecrows in a cucumber field,

and jthey cannot speak;

kthey have to be carried,

for they cannot walk.

Do not be afraid of them,

lfor they cannot do evil,

neither is it in them to do good.

mThere is none like you, O Lord;

you are great, and your name is great in might.

nWho 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.

oThey are both pstupid and foolish;

the instruction of idols is but wood!

qBeaten silver is brought from rTarshish,

and gold from sUphaz.

qThey are the work of the craftsman and of the hands of the goldsmith;

their clothing is violet and purple;

tthey are all the work of skilled men.

10  uBut the Lord is the true God;

vhe is the living God and the everlasting King.

At his wrath the earth quakes,

and the nations cannot endure his indignation.

11 Thus shall you say to them: wThe gods who did not make the heavens and the earth xshall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.3

12  yIt is he who zmade the earth by his power,

zwho established the world by his wisdom,

and aby his understanding stretched out the heavens.

13  bWhen he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,

cand he makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth.

cHe makes lightning dfor the rain,

cand he brings forth the wind efrom his storehouses.

14  fEvery man is stupid and without knowledge;

gevery goldsmith is put to shame by his idols,

for his images are false,

hand there is no breath in them.

15  They are worthless, a work of delusion;

at the time of their punishment they shall perish.

16  Not like these is he who is ithe portion of Jacob,

for he is the one who formed all things,

jand Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;

kthe Lord of hosts is his name.

17  lGather up your bundle from the ground,

O you who dwell under siege!

18  For thus says the Lord:

mBehold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land

at this time,

nand I will bring distress on them,

that they may feel it.

19  Woe is me because of my hurt!

oMy wound is grievous.

But I said, Truly this is an affliction,

and I must bear it.

20  pMy tent is destroyed,

and all my cords are broken;

my children have gone from me,

qand they are not;

there is no one to spread my tent again

and pto set up my curtains.

21  rFor the shepherds sare stupid

and do not inquire of the Lord;

therefore they have not prospered,

tand all their flock is scattered.

22  A voice, a rumor! Behold, it comes!

ua great commotion out of the north country

to make vthe cities of Judah a desolation,

va lair of jackals.

23  wI know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself,

that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

24  xCorrect me, O Lord, but in justice;

not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.

25  yPour out your wrath on the nations that know you not,

and on the peoples that call not on your name,

zfor they have devoured Jacob;

they have devoured him and consumed him,

and have laid waste his habitation.

The Broken Covenant

11 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: aHear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: bCursed be the man who does not hear the words of this covenant that I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, cfrom the iron furnace, saying, dListen to my voice, and do all that I command you. dSo shall you be my people, and I will be your God, ethat I may confirm the oath that I swore to your fathers, fto give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day. Then I answered, So be it, Lord.

And the Lord said to me, gProclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: hHear the words of this covenant and do them. For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, iwarning them persistently, even to this day, saying, dObey my voice. jYet they did not obey or incline their ear, kbut everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore I brought upon them all hthe words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.

Again the Lord said to me, lA conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to mthe iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words. mThey have gone after other gods to serve them. nThe house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers. 11 Therefore, thus says the Lord, Behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. oThough they cry to me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem pwill go and cry to the gods to whom they make offerings, pbut they cannot save them in the time of their trouble. 13 pFor your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah, and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to shame, qaltars to make offerings to Baal.

14 Therefore rdo not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, ofor I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. 15 sWhat right has my beloved in my house, twhen she has done many vile deeds? Can even sacrificial flesh avert your doom? uCan you then exult? 16 The Lord once called you va green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit. But wwith the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and xits branches will be consumed. 17 The Lord of hosts, ywho planted you, has decreed disaster against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, zprovoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal.

18  The Lord made it known to me and I knew;

then you showed me their deeds.

19  But I was alike a gentle lamb

led to the slaughter.

I did not know bit was against me

they devised schemes, saying,

Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,

clet us cut him off from dthe land of the living,

that his name be remembered no more.

20  But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously,

who etests fthe heart and the mind,

glet me see your vengeance upon them,

for to you have I committed my cause.

21 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of hAnathoth, iwho seek your life, and say, jDo not prophesy in the name of the Lord, or you will die by our hand 22 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine, 23 and none of them shall be left. For I will bring disaster upon the men of kAnathoth, lthe year of their punishment.

Jeremiah's Complaint

12  mRighteous are you, O Lord,

when I complain to you;

yet I would plead my case before you.

nWhy does the way of the wicked prosper?

Why do all owho are treacherous thrive?

You plant them, and they take root;

they grow and produce fruit;

pyou are near in their mouth

and far from their heart.

qBut you, O Lord, know me;

ryou see me, and test my heart toward you.

sPull them out like sheep for the slaughter,

and set them apart for tthe day of slaughter.

uHow long will the land mourn

and the grass of every field wither?

vFor the evil of those who dwell in it

wthe beasts and the birds are swept away,

because they said, He will not see our latter end.

The Lord Answers Jeremiah

If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you,

how will you compete with horses?

And if in a safe land you are so trusting,

what will you do in xthe thicket of the Jordan?

For yeven your brothers and the house of your father,

oeven they have dealt treacherously with you;

they are in full cry after you;

zdo not believe them,

though they speak friendly words to you.

I have forsaken my house;

I have abandoned amy heritage;

I have given bthe beloved of my soul

into the hands of her enemies.

aMy heritage has become to me

like a lion in the forest;

she has lifted up her voice against me;

therefore I hate her.

Is amy heritage to me like ca hyena's lair?

Are the cbirds of prey against her all around?

Go, dassemble all the wild beasts;

bring them to devour.

10  Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard;

ethey have trampled down my portion;

they have made my pleasant portion

a desolate wilderness.

11  They have made it a desolation;

desolate, uit mourns to me.

The whole land is made desolate,

fbut no man lays it to heart.

12  Upon all the bare heights in the desert

destroyers have come,

for the sword of the Lord devours

from one end of the land to the other;

no flesh has peace.

13  gThey have sown wheat and have reaped thorns;

hthey have tired themselves out but profit nothing.

They shall be ashamed of their4 harvests

ibecause of the fierce anger of the Lord.

14 Thus says the Lord concerning all jmy evil neighbors kwho touch the heritage that lI have given my people Israel to inherit: Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. 15 And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, mand I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, nto swear by my name, As the Lord lives, even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, othen they shall be built up in the midst of my people. 17 pBut if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares the Lord.


16  The plans of the heart belong to man,

but lthe answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

mAll the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,

but the Lord nweighs the spirit.1

oCommit your work to the Lord,

and your plans will be established.

pThe Lord has made everything for its purpose,

even qthe wicked for the day of trouble.

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is ran abomination to the Lord;

sbe assured, he will not go unpunished.

By tsteadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,

and by uthe fear of the Lord one vturns away from evil.

When a man's ways please the Lord,

whe makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

xBetter is a little with righteousness

than great revenues with injustice.

yThe heart of man plans his way,

but zthe Lord establishes his steps.

10  aAn oracle is on the lips of a king;

his mouth does not sin in judgment.

11  bA just balance and scales are the Lord's;

all the weights in the bag are his work.

12  It is an abomination to kings to do evil,

for cthe throne is established by righteousness.

13  dRighteous lips are the delight of a king,

and he loves him who speaks what is right.

14  eA king's wrath is a messenger of death,

and a wise man will fappease it.

15  gIn the light of a king's face there is life,

and his dfavor is like hthe clouds that bring the spring rain.

16  iHow much better to get wisdom than jgold!

To get understanding is to be chosen rather than ksilver.

17  The highway of the upright lturns aside from evil;

whoever guards his way preserves his life.

18  mPride goes before destruction,

and a haughty spirit before a fall.

19  nIt is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor

than to odivide the spoil with the proud.

20  Whoever gives thought to the word2 pwill discover good,

and blessed is he qwho trusts in the Lord.

21  The wise of heart is called discerning,

and sweetness of speech rincreases persuasiveness.

22  Good sense is sa fountain of life to him who has it,

but the instruction of fools is folly.

23  tThe heart of the wise makes his speech judicious

and adds persuasiveness to his lips.

24  uGracious words are like va honeycomb,

sweetness to the soul and whealth to the body.

25  There is a way that seems right to a man,

but its end is the way to death.3

26  A worker's appetite works for him;

his xmouth urges him on.

27  yA worthless man plots evil,

and his speech4 is like za scorching fire.

28  aA dishonest man spreads strife,

and ba whisperer cseparates close friends.

29  A man of violence dentices his neighbor

and leads him in a way that is not good.

30  Whoever winks his eyes plans5 edishonest things;

he who fpurses his lips brings evil to pass.

31  gGray hair is ha crown of glory;

it iis gained in a righteous life.

32  jWhoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,

and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

33  kThe lot is cast into the lap,

but its every decision is lfrom the Lord.