JEREMIAH TO INDEX
The letter of
A copy of the letter which Jeremiah sent to them which were led captive to Babylon by the king thereof, to certify them that it was commanded of God.
The stupidity of idols
of the sins, which you have committed before God, you shall be led as captives
to Babylon by their king Nebuchadnezzar.
2. So when
you came to Babylon you shall remain there many years, a long season, namely
seven generations, and after that I will bring you back peacefully from there.
3. Now when
you came into Babylon, you will see gods of silver and gold, and of wood carried
on shoulders, for which these heathens fear.
therefore that you in no wise be like them, nor fear for them, or to worship
them as these multitudes before and behind you do.
5. But in
your hearts say; We must worship Thee O Lord, for I have sent My angel with you,
and Myself I care for your souls.
workman makes their tongue fair, and themselves they are gilded, laid over with
silver, but they are false and cannot speak.
dress it up like a virgin for the dance, and put their crowns on, and it also
happens that their priest steal the gold and silver of their gods and spend it
8. And they
dress up their idols with garments as if they were human, but they can't even
save themselves from rust or from the moth.
9. And if
you put purple cloth on them - one even has to wipe the dust off, and he carries
a scepter in his hand like a king, yet he can't punish anyone who harms him.
10. He also
has a sword and an ax in his hand, but he can't defend himself against thieves
you can see that they are no gods, and do not fear them, for as a cup, which man
uses, is worth nothing when it is broken, likewise is it with their gods.
12. When they
put them in their temple, they gather all the dust of the feet of those that
enter therein, and the priest guard the temple with doors and locks so that they
might not be robbed by thieves
13. They are
just as one who is set prisoner for having disobeyed the king, and as under
sentence of death they must be guarded.
14. And they
light lamps for him, yes even more for him than for themselves, while he can't
see anything anyway.
15. They are
like timbers in a house where the worms of the earth eat their hearts and
clothing, and they feel nothing, and their faces are black from the smoke in the
owls and the swallow, and other birds sit on their heads, yes even cats do,
therefore you can very well know that they are not gods, do not fear them
17. The gold,
which they put on them, does not even shine if they do not remove the stain and
rust from it, and when they were cast, they felt nothing.
them from all sorts of costly things, and still there is no life in them, and
since they can't walk they have to be carried on their shoulders, everyone can
therefore see what sort of abominable gods they are.
19. And they
who honor them ought certainly be ashamed of themselves, for when they fall they
can't even get up by themselves, nor even move when they are set-up, or even if
they lean them up against something.
20. And just
as one offers something to the dead, just so they set things before them, and
their priest instead eat what is brought before them, and their wives add salt
in for them, an they don't even give the poor and needy anything of it.
and menstruous women touch their offerings, and so you ought to very well know
thereby that they are not gods, therefore fear them not.
22. And why
would you even call them gods? Because
women hold these gold and silver things so?
Or because the priests sit in their temples with fancy clothing with
their beards cut off, and crowns cut out in the hair of their heads?
23. And so
they sit there with their heads bare and complain and cry for their idols like
as one does when the dead are buried.
priest also steal the clothing of their gods, and clothed their wives and
children with it, and whether one does good or bad to them they cannot
recompense themselves, they cannot set-up a king, nor put one down, nor give
money nor goods.
25. And when
one promises them something, and he does not fulfill the oath, they demand
cannot save anyone from death, nor help a weak man against the strong, cannot
give eyesight to the blind, nor help anyone in need.
27. They do
not have mercy on the widow, nor help the orphan, for they are made of wood
dressed up with gold and silver, no better than a rock cut from the mountains,
therefore those who honor them must be put to shame.
28. How then
will you keep them for gods or call them that way?
For even the Chaldeans scorn them, for when they see a man who cannot
speak, they bring him before bel, that the dumb man may speak, as if he could
although they know that there is no life in them, yet they walk after them.
30. And the
women sit along the roadsides girded with their bows offering themselves, and
when one passing by takes one of them and lies with her, then she boasts against
the others that they were not as worthy as her to loosen her girdle.
they perform is deceitfulness, how then will you keep them for gods, or call
them that way? Carpenters and
goldsmith form them, and what they desire them to be, so they be, and nothing
32. And those
who made them cannot live long, how then can they be gods seeing they were only
made by the dead? Therefore they
leave to their descendants reproach and abominable idolatry.
33. For if
war or mis-fortune comes on them, then the priests together with each other take
counsel how to hide themselves with their gods.
it must be noted that they are not gods, since they can't even protect
themselves from war or any misfortune, for they are only wooden and gilded gods.
it must now openly be made public to all the Gentiles and the kings that such is
deceitfulness, that they are not gods, but things made by the hand of man, nor
is there anything of a god in them.
raise up no king in the land, nor provide rain for the land, nor do they like
the birds in the sky, concern themselves with rulings or punishment.
37. And when
the building of these wooden and gilded gods are set on fire, then the priests
run away attempting to save their own necks, but they burn just like the
cannot withstand any king or army, how then will they be held for gods, or be
called that way?
gods of wood and gilded silver cannot defend themselves against thieves or
robbers, for these are stronger than they, so they rob and undress them from
their gold and silver and their clothing and get away with it, for they are
unable to help themselves.
40. It is
thus even better to be a king, who at least can show his power, or even a cup in
the house that is worth something, or a door that keeps the house shut, or a
wooden pillar in the king's palace, then to be a powerless god.
41. The sun
and the moon shine obeying the thing, which God commanded them, and in like
manner flashes the lightning so it can be seen.
42. The winds
also blow in all lands, and the clouds pass through the entire earth performing
what God commands them.
likewise the fire consumes from the top on down the mountains and forest,
performing that which it was commanded.
44. But none
of these gods are anything like that in power or statute, wherefore they are not
to be held as gods, nor to be called that way, for they cannot punish nor help.
45. And since
you know this, fear them not, for they can neither curse nor bless the king, nor
are they able to show signs in the heavens, nor produce light like the sun, nor
reflect like the moon, yes even irrational animals are better than they.
cannot flee into a hole, nor save themselves, it is thus by all means manifested
that they are not gods, for just as the scarecrow in the garden cannot save a
thing, so these gilded and wood gods are of no use.
47. And like
a fence around a garden on which all the birds settle down, or like a dead man
in his grave, so are their gods of wood gilded with silver.
48. And even
herein you know that they are not gods, since the purple cloth, which they wear,
is eaten by the moth, and even themselves are so consumed to the end that
everyone mocks them.
49. Blessed is he that is upright, and serves no false gods, he who does so will not become a reproach.