Jeremiah 10
Contemporary English Version

The Lord Talks about Idols

1-2The Lord said:

Listen to me,

you people of Israel.

Don't follow the customs

of those nations

who become frightened

when they see something strange

happen in the sky.

3Their religion is worthless!

They chop down a tree,

carve the wood into an idol,

4cover it with silver and gold,

and then nail it down

so it won't fall over.

5An idol is no better

than a scarecrow.

It can't speak,

and it has to be carried,

because it can't walk.

Why worship an idol

that can't help or harm you?

Jeremiah Praises the Lord

6Our Lord, great and powerful,

you alone are God.

7 You are King of the nations.

Everyone should worship you.

No human anywhere on earth

is wiser than you.

8Idols are worthless,

and anyone who worships them

is a fool!

9Idols are made by humans.

A carver shapes the wood.

A metalworker hammers out

a covering of gold from Uphaz

or of silver from Tarshish.

Then the idol is dressed

in blue and purple clothes.

10You, Lord, are the only true

and living God.

You will rule for all time.

When you are angry

the earth shakes,

and nations are destroyed.

11You told me to say

that idols did not create

the heavens and the earth,

and that you, the Lord,

will destroy every idol.

12With your wisdom and power

you created the earth

and spread out the heavens.

13The waters in the heavens roar

at your command.

You make clouds appear—

you send the winds

from your storehouse

and make lightning flash

in the rain.

14People who make idols

are so stupid!

They will be disappointed,

because their false gods

are not alive.

15Idols are merely a joke,

and when the time is right,

they will be destroyed.

16But you, Israel's God,

created all things,

and you chose Israel

to be your very own.

Your name is the Lord


Judah Will Be Thrown from Its Land

17I said to the people of Judah,

“Gather your things;

you are surrounded.

18The Lord said these troubles

will lead to your capture,

and he will throw you

from this land

like a rock from a sling.”+

19The people answered,

“We are wounded

and doomed to die.

Why did we say

we could stand the pain?

20Our homes are destroyed;

our children are dead.

No one is left

to help us find shelter.”

21But I told them,

“Our leaders were stupid failures,

because they refused

to listen to the Lord.

And so we've been scattered

like sheep.

22“Sounds of destruction

rumble from the north

like distant thunder.

Soon our towns will be ruins

where only jackals+ live.”

Jeremiah Prays

23I know, Lord, that we humans

are not in control

of our own lives.

24Correct me, as I deserve,

but not in your anger,

or I will be dead.

25Our enemies refuse

to admit that you are God

or to worship you.

They have wiped out our people

and left our nation

lying in ruins.

So get angry

and sweep them away!


10.18 like a rock from a sling: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
10.22 jackals: See the note at 9.11.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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