Jeremias Chapter 10
Neither stars nor idols are to be feared, but the great Creator of all things. The chastisement of Jerusalem for her sins.
10:1. Hear ye the word which the Lord hath spoken concerning you, O house of Israel.
10:2. Thus saith the Lord: Learn not according to the ways of the Gentiles: and be not afraid of the signs of heaven, which the heathens fear:
10:3. For the laws of the people are vain: for the works of the hand of the workman hath cut a tree out of the forest with an axe.
10:4. He hath decked it with silver and gold: he hath put it together with nails and hammers, that it may not fall asunder.
10:5. They are framed after the likeness of a palm tree, and shall not speak: they must be carried to be removed, because they cannot go.
Therefore fear them not, for they can neither do evil nor good.
10:6. There is none like to thee, O Lord: thou art great, and great is thy name in might.
10:7. Who shall not fear thee, O king of nations? for thine is the glory: among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms there is none like unto thee.
10:8. They shall be all proved together to be senseless and foolish: the doctrine of their vanity is wood.
10:9. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tharsis, and gold from Ophaz: the work of the artificer, and of the hand of the coppersmith: violet and purple is their clothing: all these things are the work of artificers.
10:10. But the Lord is the true God: he is the living God, and the everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his threatening.
10:11. Thus then shall you say to them: The gods that have not made heaven and earth, let them perish from the earth, and from among those places that are under heaven.
10:12. He that maketh the earth by his power, that prepareth the world by his wisdom, and stretcheth out the heavens by his knowledge.
10:13. At his voice he giveth a multitude of waters in the heaven, and lifteth up the clouds from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings for rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
10:14. Every man is become a fool for knowledge, every artist is confounded in his graven idol: for what he hath cast is false, and there is no spirit in them.
10:15. They are vain things, and a ridiculous work: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
10:16. The portion of Jacob is not like these: for it is he who formed all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the Lord of hosts is his name.
10:17. Gather up thy shame out of the land, thou that dwellest in a siege.
10:18. For thus saith he Lord: Behold I will cast away far off the inhabitants of the land at this time: and I will afflict them, so that they may be found.
10:19. Woe is me for my destruction, my wound is very grievous. But I said: Truly this is my own evil, and I will bear it.
10:20. My tabernacle is laid waste, all my cords are broken: my children are gone out from me, and they are not: there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.
10:21. Because the pastors have done foolishly, and have not sought the Lord: therefore have they not understood, and all their flock is scattered.
10:22. Behold the sound of a noise cometh, a great commotion out of the land of the north: to make the cities of Juda a desert, and a dwelling for dragons.
10:23. I know, O Lord, that the way of a man is not his: neither is it in a man to walk, and to direct his steps.
The way of a man is not his... The meaning is, that notwithstanding man's free will, yet he can do no good without God's help, nor evil without his permission. So that, in the present case, all the evils which Nabuchodonosor was about to bring upon Jerusalem, could not have come but by the will of God.
10:24. Correct me, O Lord, but yet with judgment: and not in thy fury, lest thou bring me to nothing.
10:25. Pour out thy indignation upon the nations that have not known thee, and upon the provinces that have not called upon thy name: because they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have destroyed his glory.
Jeremias Chapter 11
The prophet proclaims the covenant of God: and denounces evils to the obstinate transgressors of it. The conspiracy of the Jews against him, a figure of their conspiracy against Christ.
11:1. The word that came from the Lord to Jeremias, saying:
11:2. Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Juda, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
11:3. And thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: Cursed is the man that shall not hearken to the words of this covenant,
11:4. Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying: Hear ye my voice, and do all things that I command you: and you shall be my people, and I will be your God:
11:5. That I may accomplish the oath which I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. And I answered and said: Amen, O Lord.
11:6. And the Lord said to me: Proclaim aloud all these words in the cities of Juda, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying: Hear ye the words of the covenant, and do them:
11:7. For protesting I conjured your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt even to this day: rising early I conjured them, and said: Hearken ye to my voice:
11:8. And they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear: but walked every one in the perverseness of his own wicked heart: and I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did them not.
11:9. And the Lord said to me: A conspiracy is found among the men of Juda, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
11:10. They are returned to the former iniquities of their fathers, who refused to hear my words: so these likewise have gone after strange gods, to serve them: the house of Israel, and the house of Juda have made void my covenant, which I made with their fathers.
11:11. Wherefore thus saith the Lord: Behold I will bring in evils upon them, which they shall not be able to escape: and they shall cry to me, and I will not hearken to them.
11:12. And the cities of Juda, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall go, and cry to the gods to whom they offer sacrifice, and they shall not save them in the time of their affliction.
11:13. For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Juda: and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem thou hast set up altars of confusion, altars to offer sacrifice to Baalim.
11:14. Therefore do not thou pray for this people, and do not take up praise and prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time of their cry to me, in the time of their affliction.
11:15. What is the meaning that my beloved hath wrought much wickedness in my house? shall the holy flesh take away from thee thy crimes, in which thou hast boasted?
11:16. The Lord called thy name, a plentiful olive tree, fair, fruitful, and beautiful: at the noise of a word, a great fire was kindled in it, and the branches thereof are burnt.
11:17. And the Lord of hosts that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee: for the evils of the house of Israel, and of the house of Juda, which they have done to themselves, to provoke me, offering sacrifice to Baalim.
11:18. But thou, O Lord, hast shewn me, and I have known: then thou shewedst me their doings.
11:19. And I was as a meek lamb, that is carried to be a victim: and I knew not that they had devised counsels against me, saying: Let us put wood on his bread, and cut him off from the land of the living, and let his name be remembered no more.
11:20. But thou, O Lord of Sabaoth, who judgest justly, and triest the reins and the hearts, let me see thy revenge on them: for to thee have I revealed my cause.