Instruction from a wooden idol is worthless! 2
They are the handiwork of carpenters and goldsmiths. 6
They are clothed in blue and purple clothes. 7
They are all made by skillful workers. 8
When the time comes to punish them, they will be destroyed.
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 tc Two Qumran scrolls of Jeremiah (4QJera and 4QJerb) reflect a Hebrew text that is very different than the traditional MT from which modern Bibles have been translated. The Hebrew text in these two manuscripts is similar to that from which LXX was translated. This is true both in small details and in major aspects where the LXX differs from MT. Most notably, 4QJera, 4QJerb and LXX present a version of Jeremiah about 13% shorter than the longer version found in MT. One example of this shorter text is Jer 10:3-11 in which MT and 4QJera both have all nine verses, while LXX and 4QJerb both lack vv. 6-8 and 10, which extol the greatness of God. In addition, the latter part of v. 9 is arranged differently in LXX and 4QJerb. The translation here follows MT which is supported by 4QJera.
4 tn This is a place of unknown location. It is mentioned again in Dan 10:5. Many emend the word to “Ophir” following the Syriac version and the Aramaic Targum. Ophir was famous for its gold (cf. 1 Kgs 9:28; Job 28:16).
5 tn The words “to cover those idols” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
6 tn The words “They are” are not in the text. The text reads merely, “the work of the carpenter and of the hands of the goldsmith.” The words are supplied in the translation for clarity.
7 tn Heb “Blue and purple their clothing.”
8 sn There is an ironic pun in this last line. The Hebrew word translated “skillful workers” is the same word that is translated “wise people” in v. 7. The artisans do their work skillfully but they are not “wise.”
9 tn Or “objects of mockery.”