A Satire on Idolatry
1Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2Thus says the Lord,
“Do not learn the way of the nations,
And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens
Although the nations are terrified by them;
3For the customs of the peoples are delusion;
Because it is wood cut from the forest,
The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
4They decorate it with silver and with gold;
They fasten it with nails and with hammers
So that it will not totter.
5Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot walk!
Do not fear them,
For they can do no harm,
Nor can they do any good.”
6There is none like You, O Lord;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
7Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
8But they are altogether stupid and foolish
In their discipline of delusion—their idol is wood!
9Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
And gold from Uphaz,
The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith;
Violet and purple are their clothing;
They are all the work of skilled men.
10But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth quakes,
And the nations cannot endure His indignation.
11Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
12It is He who made the earth by His power,
Who established the world by His wisdom;
And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.
13When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain,
And brings out the wind from His storehouses.
14Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge;
Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols;
For his molten images are deceitful,
And there is no breath in them.
15They are worthless, a work of mockery;
In the time of their punishment they will perish.
16The portion of Jacob is not like these;
For the Maker of all is He,
And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance;
The Lord of hosts is His name.
17Pick up your bundle from the ground,
You who dwell under siege!
18For thus says the Lord,
“Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land
At this time,
And will cause them distress,
That they may be found.”
19Woe is me, because of my injury!
My wound is incurable.
But I said, “Truly this is a sickness,
And I must bear it.”
20My tent is destroyed,
And all my ropes are broken;
My sons have gone from me and are no more.
There is no one to stretch out my tent again
Or to set up my curtains.
21For the shepherds have become stupid
And have not sought the Lord;
Therefore they have not prospered,
And all their flock is scattered.
22The sound of a report! Behold, it comes—
A great commotion out of the land of the north—
To make the cities of Judah
A desolation, a haunt of jackals.
23I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself,
Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.
24Correct me, O Lord, but with justice;
Not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing.
25Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You
And on the families that do not call Your name;
For they have devoured Jacob;
They have devoured him and consumed him
And have laid waste his habitation.