Jeremiah 10
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1  Hear the word which Hashem has spoken to you, O House of Yisrael!

א  שִׁמְעוּ אֶת־הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה עֲלֵיכֶם בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

2  Thus said Hashem: Do not learn to go the way of the nations, And do not be dismayed by portents in the sky; Let the nations be dismayed by them!

ב  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אֶל־דֶּרֶךְ הַגּוֹיִם אַל־תִּלְמָדוּ וּמֵאֹתוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם אַל־תֵּחָתּוּ כִּי־יֵחַתּוּ הַגּוֹיִם מֵהֵמָּה׃

3  For the laws of the nations are delusions: For it is the work of a craftsman’s hands. He cuts down a tree in the forest with an ax,

ג  כִּי־חֻקּוֹת הָעַמִּים הֶבֶל הוּא כִּי־עֵץ מִיַּעַר כְּרָתוֹ מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי־חָרָשׁ בַּמַּעֲצָד׃

4  He adorns it with silver and gold, He fastens it with nails and hammer, So that it does not totter.

ד  בְּכֶסֶף וּבְזָהָב יְיַפֵּהוּ בְּמַסְמְרוֹת וּבְמַקָּבוֹת יְחַזְּקוּם וְלוֹא יָפִיק׃

5  They are like a scarecrow in a cucumber patch, They cannot speak. They have to be carried, For they cannot walk. Be not afraid of them, for they can do no harm; Nor is it in them to do any good.

ה  כְּתֹמֶר מִקְשָׁה הֵמָּה וְלֹא יְדַבֵּרוּ נָשׂוֹא יִנָּשׂוּא כִּי לֹא יִצְעָדוּ אַל־תִּירְאוּ מֵהֶם כִּי־לֹא יָרֵעוּ וְגַם־הֵיטֵיב אֵין אוֹתָם׃

6  Hashem, there is none like You! You are great and Your name is great in power.

ו  מֵאֵין כָּמוֹךָ יְהוָה גָּדוֹל אַתָּה וְגָדוֹל שִׁמְךָ בִּגְבוּרָה׃

7  Who would not revere You, O King of the nations? For that is Your due, Since among all the wise of the nations And among all their royalty, There is none like You.

ז  מִי לֹא יִרָאֲךָ מֶלֶךְ הַגּוֹיִם כִּי לְךָ יָאָתָה כִּי בְכָל־חַכְמֵי הַגּוֹיִם וּבְכָל־מַלְכוּתָם מֵאֵין כָּמוֹךָ׃

8  But they are both dull and foolish; [Their] doctrine is but delusion; It is a piece of wood,

ח  וּבְאַחַת יִבְעֲרוּ וְיִכְסָלוּ מוּסַר הֲבָלִים עֵץ הוּא׃

9  Silver beaten flat, that is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of a craftsman and the goldsmith’s hands; Their clothing is blue and purple, All of them are the work of skilled men.

ט  כֶּסֶף מְרֻקָּע מִתַּרְשִׁישׁ יוּבָא וְזָהָב מֵאוּפָז מַעֲשֵׂה חָרָשׁ וִידֵי צוֹרֵף תְּכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן לְבוּשָׁם מַעֲשֵׂה חֲכָמִים כֻּלָּם׃

10  But Hashem is truly God: He is a living God, The everlasting King. At His wrath, the earth quakes, And nations cannot endure His rage.

י  וַיהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֱמֶת הוּא־אֱלֹהִים חַיִּים וּמֶלֶךְ עוֹלָם מִקִּצְפּוֹ תִּרְעַשׁ הָאָרֶץ וְלֹא־יָכִלוּ גוֹיִם זַעְמוֹ׃

10:10  But Hashem is truly God

Hashem has many names in the Bible, each representing a distinct divine attribute. In his book of sermons, “I Submit,” Rabbi David Stavsky explains the difference between the two divine names mentioned in this verse.  Commenting on the words Hashem Hu Ha-Elokim (ה’ הוא האלהים) (I Kings 18:39), ‘But Hashem is truly God,’ Rabbi Stavsky uncovers a deeper lesson behind the use of these two names together. “The word Hashem (Lord) means rachamim, ‘mercy,’ kindness, forgiveness. The word Elokim (God) means midat hadin, ‘the God of judgement.’ At first, judgment seems harsh, cruel, punishing. But, no, we say they are together ‘Hashem Hu Ha-Elokim.’ In the Elokim, in the judgment, there is, was, and always will be Hashem. He is not just a God of judgment – for in His judgment is compassion and kindness – may we merit to understand it.”Comment

11  Thus shall you say to them: Let the gods, who did not make heaven and earth, perish from the earth and from under these heavens.

יא  כִּדְנָה תֵּאמְרוּן לְהוֹם אֱלָהַיָּא דִּי־שְׁמַיָּא וְאַרְקָא לָא עֲבַדוּ יֵאבַדוּ מֵאַרְעָא וּמִן־תְּחוֹת שְׁמַיָּא אֵלֶּה׃

12  He made the earth by His might, Established the world by His wisdom, And by His understanding stretched out the skies.

יב  עֹשֵׂה אֶרֶץ בְּכֹחוֹ מֵכִין תֵּבֵל בְּחָכְמָתוֹ וּבִתְבוּנָתוֹ נָטָה שָׁמָיִם׃

13  When He makes His voice heard, There is a rumbling of water in the skies; He makes vapors rise from the end of the earth, He makes lightning for the rain, And brings forth wind from His treasuries.

יג  לְקוֹל תִּתּוֹ הֲמוֹן מַיִם בַּשָּׁמַיִם וַיַּעֲלֶה נְשִׂאִים מִקְצֵה ארץ [הָאָרֶץ] בְּרָקִים לַמָּטָר עָשָׂה וַיּוֹצֵא רוּחַ מֵאֹצְרֹתָיו׃

14  Every man is proved dull, without knowledge; Every goldsmith is put to shame because of the idol For his molten image is a deceit— There is no breath in them.

יד  נִבְעַר כָּל־אָדָם מִדַּעַת הֹבִישׁ כָּל־צוֹרֵף מִפָּסֶל כִּי שֶׁקֶר נִסְכּוֹ וְלֹא־רוּחַ בָּם׃

15  They are delusion, a work of mockery; In their hour of doom, they shall perish.

טו  הֶבֶל הֵמָּה מַעֲשֵׂה תַּעְתֻּעִים בְּעֵת פְּקֻדָּתָם יֹאבֵדוּ׃

16  Not like these is the Portion of Yaakov; For it is He who formed all things, And Yisrael is His very own tribe: LORD of Hosts is His name.

טז  לֹא־כְאֵלֶּה חֵלֶק יַעֲקֹב כִּי־יוֹצֵר הַכֹּל הוּא וְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֵׁבֶט נַחֲלָתוֹ יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ׃

17  Gather up your bundle from the ground, You who dwell under siege!

יז  אִסְפִּי מֵאֶרֶץ כִּנְעָתֵךְ ישבתי [יֹשֶׁבֶת] בַּמָּצוֹר׃

18  For thus said Hashem: I will fling away the inhabitants of the land this time: I will harass them so that they shall feel it.

יח  כִּי־כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה הִנְנִי קוֹלֵעַ אֶת־יוֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ בַּפַּעַם הַזֹּאת וַהֲצֵרוֹתִי לָהֶם לְמַעַן יִמְצָאוּ׃

19  Woe unto me for my hurt, My wound is severe! I thought, “This is but a sickness And I must bear it.”

יט  אוֹי לִי עַל־שִׁבְרִי נַחְלָה מַכָּתִי וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי אַךְ זֶה חֳלִי וְאֶשָּׂאֶנּוּ׃

20  My tents are ravaged, All my tent cords are broken. My children have gone forth from me And are no more; No one is left to stretch out my tent And hang my tent cloths.

כ  אָהֳלִי שֻׁדָּד וְכָל־מֵיתָרַי נִתָּקוּ בָּנַי יְצָאֻנִי וְאֵינָם אֵין־נֹטֶה עוֹד אָהֳלִי וּמֵקִים יְרִיעוֹתָי׃

21  For the shepherds are dull And did not seek Hashem; Therefore they have not prospered And all their flock is scattered.

כא  כִּי נִבְעֲרוּ הָרֹעִים וְאֶת־יְהוָה לֹא דָרָשׁוּ עַל־כֵּן לֹא הִשְׂכִּילוּ וְכָל־מַרְעִיתָם נָפוֹצָה׃

22  Hark, a noise! It is coming, A great commotion out of the north, That the towns of Yehuda may be made a desolation, A haunt of jackals.

כב  קוֹל שְׁמוּעָה הִנֵּה בָאָה וְרַעַשׁ גָּדוֹל מֵאֶרֶץ צָפוֹן לָשׂוּם אֶת־עָרֵי יְהוּדָה שְׁמָמָה מְעוֹן תַּנִּים׃

23  I know, Hashem, that man’s road is not his [to choose], That man, as he walks, cannot direct his own steps.

כג  יָדַעְתִּי יְהוָה כִּי לֹא לָאָדָם דַּרְכּוֹ לֹא־לְאִישׁ הֹלֵךְ וְהָכִין אֶת־צַעֲדוֹ׃

24  Chastise me, Hashem, but in measure; Not in Your wrath, lest You reduce me to naught.

כד  יַסְּרֵנִי יְהוָה אַךְ־בְּמִשְׁפָּט אַל־בְּאַפְּךָ פֶּן־תַּמְעִטֵנִי׃

25  Pour out Your wrath on the nations who have not heeded You, Upon the clans that have not invoked Your name. For they have devoured Yaakov, Have devoured and consumed him, And have laid desolate his homesteads.

sh’-FOKH kha-ma-t’-KHA al ha-go-YIM a-SHER lo y’-da-U-kha v’-AL mish-pa-KHOT a-SHER b’-shim-KHA LO ka-RA-u kee a-kh’-LU et ya-a-KOV va-a-kha-LU-hu vai-kha-LU-hu v’-et na-VAY-hu hay-SHA-mu

כה  שְׁפֹךְ חֲמָתְךָ עַל־הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יְדָעוּךָ וְעַל מִשְׁפָּחוֹת אֲשֶׁר בְּשִׁמְךָ לֹא קָרָאוּ כִּי־אָכְלוּ אֶת־יַעֲקֹב וַאֲכָלֻהוּ וַיְכַלֻּהוּ וְאֶת־נָוֵהוּ הֵשַׁמּוּ׃

10:25   Pour out Your wrath on the nations who have not heeded You

In chapter 10, Yirmiyahu mocks the futility of idolatry, and describes how the northern country, Babylonia, would turn the land of Yehuda into a desolate place that would be home for jackals. He concludes, however, with a plea for justice. If Israel is to be destroyed, then other nations who engaged in evil and violence should also be punished. Their attacks on Israel were motivated by hatred and vindictiveness, and they too should face Hashem‘s anger. This verse is recited on Pesach night during the Seder meal, when Jews remember the deliverance from Egypt and pray for the final redemption.1 comment

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Jeremiah 10

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