Idolatry Brings Destruction
1Hear the word that the lord speaks to you, O Israel! 2This is what the lord says:
“Do not act like the other nations,
who try to read their future in the stars.
Do not be afraid of their predictions,
even though other nations are terrified by them.
3Their ways are futile and foolish.
They cut down a tree, and a craftsman carves an idol.
4They decorate it with gold and silver
and then fasten it securely with hammer and nails
so it won’t fall over.
5Their gods are like
helpless scarecrows in a cucumber field!
They cannot speak,
and they need to be carried because they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of such gods,
for they can neither harm you nor do you any good.”
6lord, there is no one like you!
For you are great, and your name is full of power.
7Who would not fear you, O King of nations?
That title belongs to you alone!
Among all the wise people of the earth
and in all the kingdoms of the world,
there is no one like you.
8People who worship idols are stupid and foolish.
The things they worship are made of wood!
9They bring beaten sheets of silver from Tarshish
and gold from Uphaz,
and they give these materials to skillful craftsmen
who make their idols.
Then they dress these gods in royal blue and purple robes
made by expert tailors.
10But the lord is the only true God.
He is the living God and the everlasting King!
The whole earth trembles at his anger.
The nations cannot stand up to his wrath.
11Say this to those who worship other gods: “Your so-called gods, who did not make the heavens and earth, will vanish from the earth and from under the heavens.”# The original text of this verse is in Aramaic.
12But the lord made the earth by his power,
and he preserves it by his wisdom.
With his own understanding
he stretched out the heavens.
13When he speaks in the thunder,
the heavens roar with rain.
He causes the clouds to rise over the earth.
He sends the lightning with the rain
and releases the wind from his storehouses.
14The whole human race is foolish and has no knowledge!
The craftsmen are disgraced by the idols they make,
for their carefully shaped works are a fraud.
These idols have no breath or power.
15Idols are worthless; they are ridiculous lies!
On the day of reckoning they will all be destroyed.
16But the God of Israel# Hebrew the Portion of Jacob. See note on 5:20. is no idol!
He is the Creator of everything that exists,
including Israel, his own special possession.
The lord of Heaven’s Armies is his name!
The Coming Destruction
17Pack your bags and prepare to leave;
the siege is about to begin.
18For this is what the lord says:
“Suddenly, I will fling out
all you who live in this land.
I will pour great troubles upon you,
and at last you will feel my anger.”
19My wound is severe,
and my grief is great.
My sickness is incurable,
but I must bear it.
20My home is gone,
and no one is left to help me rebuild it.
My children have been taken away,
and I will never see them again.
21The shepherds of my people have lost their senses.
They no longer seek wisdom from the lord.
Therefore, they fail completely,
and their flocks are scattered.
22Listen! Hear the terrifying roar of great armies
as they roll down from the north.
The towns of Judah will be destroyed
and become a haunt for jackals.
23I know, lord, that our lives are not our own.
We are not able to plan our own course.
24So correct me, lord, but please be gentle.
Do not correct me in anger, for I would die.
25Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you—
on the peoples that do not call upon your name.
For they have devoured your people Israel# Hebrew devoured Jacob. See note on 5:20.;
they have devoured and consumed them,
making the land a desolate wilderness.