10:11 You people of Israel should tell those nations this:
‘These gods did not make heaven and earth.
They will disappear 1 from the earth and from under the heavens.’ 2
10:12 The Lord is the one who 3 by his power made the earth.
He is the one who by his wisdom established the world.
And by his understanding he spread out the skies.
10:13 When his voice thunders, 4 the heavenly ocean roars.
He makes the clouds rise from the far-off horizons. 5
He makes the lightning flash out in the midst of the rain.
He unleashes the wind from the places where he stores it. 6
10:14 All these idolaters 7 will prove to be stupid and ignorant.
Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made.
For the image he forges is merely a sham. 8
There is no breath in any of those idols. 9
10:15 They are worthless, mere objects to be mocked. 10
When the time comes to punish them, they will be destroyed.
10:16 The Lord, who is the inheritance 11 of Jacob’s descendants, 12 is not like them.
He is the one who created everything.
And the people of Israel are those he claims as his own. 13
He is known as the Lord who rules over all.” 14
1 tn Aram “The gods who did not make…earth will disappear…” The sentence is broken up in the translation to avoid a long, complex English sentence in conformity with contemporary English style.
2 tn This verse is in Aramaic. It is the only Aramaic sentence in Jeremiah. Scholars debate the appropriateness of this verse to this context. Many see it as a gloss added by a postexilic scribe which was later incorporated into the text. Both R. E. Clendenen (“Discourse Strategies in Jeremiah 10,” JBL 106 : 401-8) and W. L. Holladay (Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 1:324-25, 334-35) have given detailed arguments that the passage is not only original but the climax and center of the contrast between the
sn This passage is carefully structured and placed to contrast the
3 tn The words “The
4 tn Heb “At the voice of his giving.” The idiom “to give the voice” is often used for thunder (cf. BDB 679 s.v. נָתַן Qal.1.x).
5 tn Heb “from the ends of the earth.”
6 tn Heb “he brings out the winds from his storehouses.”
7 tn Heb “Every man.” But in the context this is not a reference to all people without exception but to all idolaters. The referent is made explicit for the sake of clarity.
8 tn Or “nothing but a phony god”; Heb “a lie/falsehood.”
9 tn Heb “There is no breath in them.” The referent is made explicit so that no one will mistakenly take it to refer to the idolaters or goldsmiths.
10 tn Or “objects of mockery.”
11 tn The words “The
sn The phrase the portion of Jacob’s descendants, which is applied to God here, has its background in the division of the land where each tribe received a portion of the land of Palestine except the tribe of Levi whose “portion” was the
12 tn Heb “The Portion of Jacob.” “Descendants” is implied, and is supplied in the translation for clarity.
13 tn Heb “And Israel is the tribe of his possession.”
14 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies is his name.”
sn For this rendering of the name for God and its significance see 2:19 and the study note there.