C j 1-5. Idolatry. k 6,7. Yahaveh the true God. l 8. Stupidity of Idolaters. j 9. Idolatry. k 10-13. Yahaveh the true God. l 14-16. Stupidity of Idolaters.
1: Hear you all the word which the Lord (Yahaveh) speaks to you, O house of Israel: (see 2:4)
2: "Thus says the Lord, 'Learn not the way of the nations (see Lev. 18:3; 20:23), and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the nations are dismayed at them.
3: For the statutes (or ordinances) of the peoples are a breath: for it [is only] a tree which one cuts 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 stiff as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be carried, 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 You (see Ex. 15:11), O Lord; You are great, and Your name is great in might. (see Ps. 20:1)
7: Who would not revere You, O King of nations? (Words quoted in the "Song of Moses and the Lamb", Rev. 15:3,4) for to You does it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto You.
8: But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.
9: Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish (= established. See 1 Kings 10:22), and gold from Uphaz (= Ophir= abundance. See 1 Kings 9:28; 10:11), 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 (both words plural, referring to the triune God), and an everlasting King (= King of the ages, or, eternity): at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation.
11: Thus shall you all say to them, "The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. (this verse is in Chaldee, to serve as a confession of their faith in their exile)
12: He has made the earth by His power, He has established the inhabitable world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
13: When He utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings with rain, and brings forth the wind (ruach) out of His treasures.
14: Every human is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is put to shame by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath (ruach) in them.
15: They are vanity (the common appelative for idols), and the work of mockeries: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
16: The Portion of Jacob (see Num. 18:20. Deut. 32:9. Not Israel, because the natural seed is spoken of as in Deut.32:9. See en.32:28; 43:6; 45:26,28) is not like them: for He is the Framer of all things; and Israel is the rod of His inheritance: The Lord of hosts (Yehovah Sabaioth) is His name."
17: Gather in your bundles (for that is all they would be able to take with them) out of the land, O inhabitress (put for "the daughter of Zion") of the fortress. (put for Jerusalem)
18: For thus says the Lord, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this once (fig., put for all that is signified by it. Cp. Isa.22:17,18), and will distress them, that they may discover the truth of it."
19: Woe is me for my hurt! (Zion now speaks in view of the coming deportation; or, Jeremiah voices the calamity) my wound is grievous: but I said, "Truly this is a grief (or, my affliction), but I must bear it."
20: My tent (or, dwelling) is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my sons 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 shepherds (or, rulers) are become brutish (this points to Jehoiakim's reign), and have not sought the Lord Himself: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.
22: Behold, the voice of the rumor is come, and a great commotion out of the north country (cp. 1:15; 5:15; 6:22, &c.), to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of jackals.
23: O Lord, I know that the way of man belongs not to himself: nor in man that walks to establish his steps.
24: O Lord, correct me, but in judgment; not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.
25: Pour out Your fury upon the nations that know You not, and upon the families (some codices read "kingdoms") that call not on Your name (= You, emphatic. See Ps. 20:1): for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.