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.

     Chapter 1

    The stupidity of idols 

1. Because 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.

4. Beware 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.

6. The workman makes their tongue fair, and themselves they are gilded, laid over with silver, but they are false and cannot speak.

7. They 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 on whorehouses.

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 or robbers.

11. Therefore 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 temple.

16.  And 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 therefore.

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.

18.  They made 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.

21.  Unclean 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.

24. The 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 nothing.

26. They 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 hear anything.

29. And 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.

31.  Everything 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 more.

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.

34. Therefore 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.

35. Therefore 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.

36. For they 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 timbers.

38. They cannot withstand any king or army, how then will they be held for gods, or be called that way?

39. These 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.

43. And 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.

46. 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.