Idols and the true God
1 Hear the word which Yahweh speaks to you, people of Israel,
2 “Do not follow the way of the foreign nations and do not fear signs in the sky as they do. The Awesome God of these nations is but nothing. 3 It is only wood cut from a tree in the forest and shaped by a craftsman’s chisel. 4 a They adorned it with silver and gold – 9 silver from Tarshish and gold from Ophir – work of a carver and a goldsmith’s hand, all the work of artists; they are dressed in violet and purple cloth woven by skilled wea vers. 4 b It is fasthened down with nails to keep it from falling over. 5 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field; they cannot speak. They have to be carried because they cannot walk. Have no fear of them; they can do neither harm nor good.”
6 No one equals you, Yahweh,
6 you are great.
6 Power is yours, and great is your Name!
7 Who would not fear you, King of nations?
7 You are to be feared,
7 for among the wise of the nations
7 and in all their kingdoms
7 no one equals you.
8 They are all brutish and stupid;
8 their idols are proof of their foolishness.
10 But Yahweh is the true God,
10 the living God and eternal King.
10 His anger makes the earth quake;
10 the nations cannot endure his fury.
11 You will say this to them, “The gods who did not make either the heavens or the earth shall disappear from the earth and from under the heavens.”
12 By his power he made the earth,
12 by his wisdom he established the world;
12 by his understanding he extended the heavens.
13 When he raises his voice
13 the waters pile up in the heavens.
13 He calls the clouds from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and from his storehouse sends out the wind.
14 At this everyone feels stupid and without knowledge. Every goldsmith is ashamed of his idol which is a fraud without breath. 15 They are worthless, ridiculous objects; they shall perish when the time of retribution comes.
16 He instead has formed the universe and Israel as well, the tribe of his inheritance,
16 for he is the portion of Jacob:
16 Yahweh, God of hosts is his name.
17 Gather up your belongings and leave the land, you who are the victims of siege,
18 for thus says Yahweh,
18 “I am hurling far away the inhabitants of this land, and I will let them be pursued and captured.”
19 Woe is me! What suffering!
19 My wound is incurable!
19 But I shall say; “Mine is this illness,
19 I must bear it.”
20 My tent is destroyed,
20 all its cords are snapped.
20 My children have left me and are no more;
20 no one is left to pitch my tent
20 or to set my shelter up.
21 For the pastors have become senseless and have not consulted Yahweh;
21 they have not prospered
21 and all their flocks are scattered.
22 Heed the news! Pay attention!
22 A great commotion is heard from the north;
22 they are coming to make the cities of Judah a desolate land, a den of jackals.
23 You know, Yahweh, that man’s life is not within his own control and it is not for him to direct his steps! 24 Cor rect us, Yahweh, with prudence, not in anger, lest you destroy us completely.
25 Put out your anger on the nations that do not know you, on the people who do not call on your Name. For they have devoured Jacob and consumed him thoroughly; his homeland is already laid waste.