Idols are Worthless Scarecrows
1Hear the word that Adonai speaks to you, house of Israel,
2Thus says Adonai: “Do not learn the way of the nations or be frightened by signs of the heavens—though the nations are terrified by them.
3The customs of the peoples are useless: it is just a tree cut from the forest, the work of the hands of a craftsman with a chisel.
4They decorate it with silver and gold, and fasten it with hammer and nails so it won’t totter.
5Like a scarecrow in a cucumber garden, their idols cannot speak. They must be carried because they cannot walk! Do not fear them for they can do no harm —nor do any good.”
6There is none like You, Adonai! You are great and great is Your Name in power.
7Who should not fear You, Ruler of the nations? For it is your due! For among all the wise of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You.
8They are totally stupid and foolish. Discipline is useless—it’s wood!
9Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. The work of the craftsman and of the goldsmith’s hands is clothed in blue and purple— all the work of skillful men.
10But Adonai Elohim is truth. He is the living God and eternal King. At His wrath the earth quakes and the nations cannot endure His indignation.
11Thus you will say to them: “The gods—which did not make the heavens and the earth—will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
12He made the earth by His power, established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out heaven by His understanding.
13When His voice thunders, waters in heaven roar. He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain and brings forth wind from His storehouses.
14Everyone is stupid, ignorant. Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idol! His molten image is a fraud. There is no breath in them.
15They are futile, a work of mockery. In the time of their punishment they will perish.
16Jacob’s portion is not like these. For He is the Maker of all things and Israel, the tribe of His inheritance —Adonai-Tzva’ot is His Name.”
Coming Pain of Exile
17Pick up your bundle from the ground, you who live under siege.
18For thus says Adonai: “I am about to hurl the inhabitants out of the land. At this time I will press hard on them so that they will be found out.”
19Oy to me because of my brokenness! My wound is incurable. Yet I said, “This is simply a sickness and I must bear it.”
20“My tent is destroyed and all my ropes are snapped. My children are gone from me and are no more. No one is left to stretch out my tent or set up my tent curtains.
21For the shepherds are stupid! They have not sought Adonai. Therefore they have not acted wisely and all their flocks are scattered.”
22Listen! The sound of a report is coming— a great commotion out of the land of the north— to make the cities of Judah desolate, a haunt of jackals.
23I know, Adonai, that a man’s way is not his own, nor does man, as he walks, direct his steps.
24Chasten me, Adonai, but with justice, not in Your anger, lest You reduce me to nothing.
25Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge You and on the families that do not call on Your Name. For they have devoured Jacob, devoured and consumed him, and destroyed his homeland.