Jeremiah 10

1 People in Israel, listen to what the Lord says to you.

2 ‘Do not do the things that people in other countries do,’ he says.

‘You should not be afraid of things that happen in the sky.

10:2Some nations worshipped the sun, the moon and the stars.

You must not be like people in other countries.

3 These people's ideas have no value.

They take a tree from the forest,

and they cut it with a knife to make an idol.

4 They make it pretty with silver and gold.

They fix it to the floor so that it will not fall.

5 We put things like them in the fields.

Our things save the fruit from the birds.

And they cannot speak.

Men carry idols, because they cannot walk.

Do not be afraid of them.

They cannot hurt you

and they cannot help you.’

6 There is nobody like you, Lord.

You are great and your name is powerful.

7 Everyone should honour you,

King of the countries.

That is their duty.

There is nobody like you in all the countries.

No men are as wise as you are.

There is no king like you.

8 All men are fools, and they learn from fools.

Things that people have made from wood cannot teach them anything.

9 They cover the wood with silver from Spain.

They make it pretty with gold from Uphaz.

Then they take expensive clothes that men have made with their hands.

They put them on this idol that other men have made.

10 But the Lord is the only true God.

He is the God who lives for ever. He is the King who will always rule.

When he is angry, the earth moves like a leaf in the wind.

When he is angry, the people in a country cannot stand.

11 Speak to them. Say, ‘Your gods did not make the earth or the sky. The Lord will destroy them. He will push them out of the earth and from all places under the sky.’

12 But God made the earth by his power.

Only he could do that.

It was he who put the sky over the earth.

13 When he shouts, there are loud noises in the sky.

He causes clouds to rise from the ends of the earth.

He causes the lightning with the rain.

And he brings the winds from the place where he hides them.

14 Nobody knows God or understands him.

Men who work to make things from metal are ashamed.

Idols that they make have no life in them.

15 They are silly because they do not have any value.

God will destroy them when he judges them.

16 The God of Jacob is not like those idols.

He made everything.

He made Israel to be the people that he chose.

He is the great and powerful Lord.

17 Get all your things together, ready to leave the country.

Your enemies are all round you.

18 This is what the Lord says,

‘I will now throw out those people who live in this country.

I will make their lives difficult,

then their enemies will take them as their prisoners.’

19 I am hurt and in great pain.

Nobody can make me well.

I said to myself, ‘This is my pain, and I must live with it!’

20 They have destroyed my tent.

They have broken all its ropes.

My sons have gone away, and they are dead.

10:20This means that the people in Judah, like Jeremiah, had no children.

Now nobody will put up my tent.

21 The shepherds are fools.

They do not ask the Lord to help them,

so their work does not make them rich.

And all their sheep have run away.

22 Listen to the noise!

People are coming from the country in the north.

They will take the people out from the towns in Judah.

10:22Jeremiah is saying that Judah is like a broken tent. Its leaders (shepherds) are fools because they will not listen to God. So enemies will come to take them all away.

Only wild animals will live there.

Jeremiah's prayer

23 I know, Lord, that you give life to each man.

Only you can say where he should walk.

24 Please lead me back to the right path, Lord, but be fair to me.

Do not be angry with me.

If you become angry, you might completely destroy me.

25 Be angry, Lord, with the people in the countries that do not honour you.

Be angry with the nations who do not ask you to lead them.

The people in those countries have completely destroyed your people,

the descendants of Jacob.

They have destroyed the country that you gave to your people.