The Epistle of Jeremiah

Edits, corrections and cross references by The Firmament

The Epistle or Letter of Jeremiah is contained in a group of books called Apocrypha (hidden or secret), which were once in the canonical Bible between the old and new testaments. This letter is attached to the end of First Baruch in most Apocryphas and as the opening line describes, is a letter which Jeremiah sent to the captives who were to be taken to Babylon, to report to them as he had been commanded by God.

Epistle of Jer :1 A copy of a letter which Jeremiah sent to the captives who were to be taken to Babylon by the king of Babylon, to report to them as he had been commanded by God.
Epistle of Jer :2 “Because of the sins which you have committed in the sight of God, you will be taken to Babylon as captives by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.”
Epistle of Jer :3 “So when you reach Babylon, you will stay there for many years, and for a long time, seven generations; but afterward I will bring you away from there in peace.”
Epistle of Jer :4 “Now in Babylon you will see gods made of silver and gold and wood, carried on men’s shoulders, inspiring fear in the heathen.”
Epistle of Jer :5 “So beware of becoming just like the foreigners, and being filled with awe at them, when you see the throng before and behind them worshipping them,”
Epistle of Jer :6 “But say in your heart, “Lord, we must worship you.”
Epistle of Jer :7 “For an angel is with you, and he cares for your lives.”
Epistle of Jer :8 “For their tongues are polished by a carpenter, and they are gilded and silvered, but they are deceptions and cannot speak.”
Epistle of Jer :9 “And as though for a girl fond of ornament, they take gold and make crowns for the heads of their gods,”
Epistle of Jer :10 “And sometimes the priests secretly withdraw gold and sliver from their gods and lavish it upon themselves,”
Epistle of Jer :11 “And give some of it even to the prostitutes upon the housetop. And they adorn them with clothes, like men, these gods of silver, gold, and wood,”
Epistle of Jer :12 “Though they cannot save themselves from being corroded with rust, when they have dressed them in purple clothing,”
Epistle of Jer :13 “They wipe their faces because of the dust from the house which lies thick upon them.”
Epistle of Jer :14 “He carries a scepter like a local human judge, though he cannot destroy anyone who sins against him.”
Epistle of Jer :15 “He holds a dagger in his right hand and an ax, but he cannot save himself from war and robbers.”
Epistle of Jer :16 “Therefore it is manifest that they are not gods, so you must not stand in awe of them.”
Epistle of Jer :17 “For just as a man’s dish is useless when it is broken, so are their gods, when they have been set down in their houses, their eyes are full of dust raised by the feet of those who come in.”
Epistle of Jer :18 “And just as the courtyard doors are shut upon a man who has offended against a king, as though sentenced to death, the priests close their houses securely with doors and locks and bars, so that they will not be plundered by robbers.”
Epistle of Jer :19 “They light candles, and more than they themselves need, though their gods can see none of them.”
Epistle of Jer :20 “They are just like one of the beams of the house, but men say their hearts are eaten out, and when vermin from the ground devour them and their clothing, they do not perceive it;”
Epistle of Jer :21 “Their faces are blackened by the smoke from the temple.”
Epistle of Jer :22 “Bats, swallows, and birds light on their bodies and on their heads; so do cats also.”
Epistle of Jer :23 “Therefore you may be sure they are not gods, so you must not stand in awe of them.”
Epistle of Jer :24 “As for the gold which they wear for ornament, they will not shine unless someone wipes off the rust; for even when they were being cast, they did not feel it.”
Epistle of Jer :25 “They are bought at great cost, but there is no breath in them.”
Epistle of Jer :26 “As they have no feet, they are carried on men’s shoulders, thus exposing their own disgrace to men.”
Epistle of Jer :27 “Even those who attend them are ashamed, because if one of them falls on the ground, it cannot get up by itself. And if someone sets it up, it cannot move of itself, and if it is tipped, it cannot straighten itself up; but gifts are offered to them as if they were dead.”
Epistle of Jer :28 “What is sacrificed to them their priests sell and use the proceeds of and in like manner their wives preserve some of them, but give none of them to the poor or the helpless.”
Epistle of Jer :29 “Menstrous women and women in childbed can touch (eat) their sacrifices. Therefore, being assured from these facts that they are not gods, you must not stand in awe of them.”
Epistle of Jer :30 “For how can they be called gods? For women set the tables for gods of silver, gold, and wood;”
Epistle of Jer :31 “And in their temples the priests sit apart with their clothes torn open, and their heads and beards shaved and their heads uncovered,”
Epistle of Jer :32 “And they howl and shout before their gods as some do at a wake over a dead man.”
Epistle of Jer :33 “The priests take some of their clothes from them and put them on their wives and children.”
Epistle of Jer :34 “And if they experience any injury or any benefit from anyone, they cannot repay it; they cannot set up a king, or put one down.”
Epistle of Jer :35 “In like manner, they cannot bestow wealth or money; if someone makes a vow to them and does not fulfil it, they will not exact it.”
Epistle of Jer :36 “They cannot save a man from death, nor rescue the weak from the strong.”
Epistle of Jer :37 “They cannot restore a blind man’s sight, they cannot deliver a man who is in distress.”
Epistle of Jer :38 “They cannot take pity on a widow, or do good to an orphan.”
Epistle of Jer :39 “These things made of wood and plated with gold or silver are like stones hewn out from the mountain, and those who attend them will be put to shame.”
Epistle of Jer :40 “Why then should anyone think them gods, or call them so? Besides, even the Chaldeans themselves dishonor them,”
Epistle of Jer :41 “For when they see a dumb man, who cannot speak, they bring him to Bel and pray that he may speak, as though Bel were able to understand.”
Epistle of Jer :42 “Yet they cannot perceive this and abandon them, for they have no understanding themselves.”
Epistle of Jer :43 “And the women with cords about them, sit by the wayside, burning chaff for incense, and when one of them is dragged off by one of the passers-by and lain with, she derides her companion, because she has not been as much desired as herself, and has not had her cord broken.”
Epistle of Jer :44 “Everything that is done to them is a deception. So why should anyone think them gods, or call them so?”
Epistle of Jer :45 “They are made by carpenters and goldsmiths; they can be nothing but what the craftsmen wish them to be.”
Epistle of Jer :46 “The very men who make them cannot last long; then how can the things that are made by them be gods?”
Epistle of Jer :47 “For they have only deceptions and reproach for those who come after,”
Epistle of Jer :48 “For when war or calamity overtakes them, the priests consult together as to where they can hide themselves and their gods.”
Epistle of Jer :49 “How therefore can one fail to see that they are not gods, since they cannot save themselves from war or disaster?”
Epistle of Jer :50 “For since they are made of wood and covered with gold or silver, it will eventually be found out that they are a deception.”
Epistle of Jer :51 “It will be evident to all the heathen and their kings that they are not gods at all but the work of men’s hands, and that there is no work of God in them.”
Epistle of Jer :52 “Who then can be ignorant that they are not gods?”
Epistle of Jer :53 “For they cannot set up a king over a country, or give men rain;”
Epistle of Jer :54 “They cannot decide a case, or give relief to a man who is wronged; for they have no power; for like crows they are between heaven and earth.”
Epistle of Jer :55 “For when a temple of wooden gods, or gilded or silvered ones, catches fire, their priests flee and save themselves, but they themselves are burnt in two like beams.”
Epistle of Jer :56 “They can offer no resistance to a king or any enemies. Why then should anyone believe or suppose that they are gods?”
Epistle of Jer :57 “Gods made of wood, silvered or gilded, cannot save themselves from thieves or robbers,”
Epistle of Jer :58 “And the gold and silver on them, and the clothes they have on, those who are strong enough will strip from them and carry off, and they will not be able to help themselves.”
Epistle of Jer :59 “So it is better to be a king who can show his courage, or a household dish, that serves its owner’s purpose, than such false gods; or even a house door that keeps what is in the house safe, than such false gods; or a wooden pillar in a palace, than such false gods.”
Epistle of Jer :60 “For sun, moon, and stars shine, and when they are sent to perform a service, they obey;”
Epistle of Jer :61 “In like manner lightning, when it flashes, is widely visible, and in the same way the wind blows in every land;”
Epistle of Jer :62 “And when God commands the clouds to spread over the whole world, they carry out his order.”
Epistle of Jer :63 “And the fire sent from above to consume mountains and forests does as it is ordered. But these cannot be compared with them in their manifestations or their powers.”
Epistle of Jer :64 “Therefore you must not think that they are gods, or call them so, since they are unable to decide cases or to benefit men.”
Epistle of Jer :65 “So as you know that they are not gods, you must not stand in awe of them.”
Epistle of Jer :66 “For they can neither curse kings nor bless them;”
Epistle of Jer :67 “They cannot show signs in the heavens before the nations, or shine like the sun, or give light like the moon.”
Epistle of Jer :68 “The wild animals are better than they are, for they can flee to cover and help themselves. So in no way is it evident to us that they are gods; therefore you must not stand in awe of them.”
Epistle of Jer :69 “For just as a scarecrow in a cucumber bed gives no protection, their wooden, gilded, and silvered gods give none.”
Epistle of Jer :70 “In like manner, their wooden, gilded, and silvered gods are like a white thorn in a garden, on which every bird settles; and like a corpse, thrown out into the darkness.”
Epistle of Jer :71 “From the purple and fine linen that rot upon them, you can tell that they are not gods; and they will finally be consumed themselves, and be despised in the land.”
Epistle of Jer :72 “An upright man who has no idols is far better, for he will be far above reproach.”

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