The makers of the false god idols (Bar 6:45-6:47)

“These false idol gods

Are made

By carpenters

Or goldsmiths.

They can be nothing

But what the artisans

Wish them to be.

Those who make them

Will certainly not live

Very long themselves.

How can the things

That are made

By them

Be gods?

They have left

Only lies

With reproach

For those

Who come after.”

This author points out that carpenters and goldsmiths made these false idol gods. The idol gods are what these artisans wanted them to be. Besides all these craftsmen who made these idols will not live long anyway. How then can these things made by finite humans be infinite gods? These false idol makers leave only lies and reproach for those who come after they die.

The failure to follow the statutes (Bar 4:13-4:16)

“The Judeans

Had no regard

For his statutes.

They did not walk

In the ways

Of God’s commandments.

They did not tread

The paths

That his righteousness

Showed them.

Let the neighbors of Zion

Come!

Remember

The capture of my sons,

The capture of my daughters!

The Everlasting One

Brought this upon them.

He brought

A distant nation

Against them.

This was

A ruthless nation,

With a strange language.

They had no respect

For the aged.

They had no pity

For a child.

They led away

The widow’s beloved sons.

They bereaved the lonely woman

Of her daughters.”

This author points out that the Judeans in Jerusalem had no regard for God’s statutes. They did not walk in the ways of God’s commandments, since they did not tread the paths of disciple and righteousness. Zion’s neighbors should come and remember the capture of the sons and daughters of Jerusalem. The Everlasting One, not Yahweh, brought this upon them, since he brought a distant ruthless nation with a strange language to attack Jerusalem. These attackers had no respect or pity for the old people and the children. Thus they took the sons and daughters of the lonely widows into captivity.

Death would be better than famine (Lam 4:9-4:9)

Tet

“Happier were those

Pierced by the sword

Than those

Pierced by hunger.

Their life

Drains away.

They are deprived

Of the produce

Of the field.”

This author points out that famine or starvation is worse than death by a sword. Starvation leads to the draining of life since they were deprived of the products of the field. This brings up the question of whether a quick death or a slow painful death is better. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Tet in this acrostic poem.

The dead people in the streets (Lam 4:5-4:5)

He

“Those who feasted

On delicacies

Perish

In the streets.

Those who were

Brought up

In purple

Cling

To ash heaps.”

This author points out that there has been a complete reversal of fortunes. Those who feasted on delicate foods are now dead in the streets because of starvation. Those who were brought up with fine purple clothes now cling to ash heaps dead. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter He in this acrostic poem.

Yahweh is the true God (Jer 10:10-10:10)

“But Yahweh is the true God.

He is the living God.

He is the everlasting king.

At his wrath,

The earth quakes.

At his wrath,

The nations cannot endure

His indignation.”

Jeremiah quickly points out the difference between Yahweh, his God, and all these other false wooden idol gods. Yahweh is the only true living God, an everlasting all powerful king. When he gets angry, the earth quakes. All the various countries could not endure this indignation. Yahweh is clearly not a useless piece of wood like the other idol gods.

The disobedience of their ancestors (Jer 7:24-7:26)

“However their ancestors

Did not obey.

They did not

Incline their ears.

But in the stubbornness

Of their evil will,

They walked

In their own counsels.

They looked backward

Rather than forward.

From the day

That your ancestors came out

Of the land of Egypt

To this day,

I have persistently sent

All my servants,

The prophets,

To them,

Day after day.

Yet they did not listen to me.

They did not pay attention.

But stiffened their necks.

They did worse

Than their ancestors.”

Yahweh points out to Jeremiah that their ancestors did not obey God’s commands. They did not listen because they were stubborn in their evil ways. They relied on their own counsels, looking backward rather than forward. Yet since the day that they left Egypt, Yahweh has sent his prophet servants to them on a daily basis. However, they still have not listened or paid attention. Instead they stiffened their necks and were more disobedient than their ancestors.

The false prophets and priests (Jer 5:30-5:31)

“An appalling thing

Has happened in the land.

A horrible thing

Has happened in the land.

The prophets prophesy falsely.

The priests rule

As the prophets direct them.

My people love to have it so.

But what will you do

When the end comes?”

Jeremiah points out that although terrible appalling and horrible things are happening in the land, the people still love it. The prophets are prophesying falsely, while the priests follow what the prophets say. No one is calling them out for their false words, but everyone seems to like it. What is going to happen to them when the end comes?