Instruction from a wooden idol is worthless! 2
They have not sought the Lord’s advice. 4
So they do not act wisely,
and the people they are responsible for 5 have all been scattered.
1 tn Or “Those wise people and kings are…” It is unclear whether the subject is the “they” of the nations in the preceding verse, or the wise people and kings referred to. The text merely has “they.”
2 tn Heb “The instruction of vanities [worthless idols] is wood.” The meaning of this line is a little uncertain. Various proposals have been made to make sense, most of which involve radical emendation of the text. For some examples see J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 323-24, fn 6. However, this is probably a case of the bold predication that discussed in GKC 452 §141.d, some examples of which may be seen in Ps 109:4 “I am prayer,” and Ps 120:7 “I am peace.”
3 tn Heb “the shepherds.”
4 tn Heb “They have not sought the
sn The idiom translated sought the
5 tn Heb “all their flock (or “pasturage”).”
sn This verse uses the figure of rulers as shepherds and the people they ruled as sheep. It is a common figure in the Bible. See Ezek 34 for an extended development of this metaphor.