Jeremiah (Notes on Chapter 10)

The futility of idolatry is missed on the people; thus, the Lord again reminds them of such (10:1-5). Inanimate objects possess no power at all, but people fear that which they do not understand. Whereas the Lord should actually be feared, it is the case with the people of Judah they have placed their fear in that which has no life (10:6-10). Those things the people fear, those things that can create nothing and can harm/destroy nothing will themselves be destroyed. If people would only reflect on Him who is the Creator their dull-hearted wisdom would soon vanish (10:11-16). In 10:17-21 interpreters have suggested the following: 1) the prophet speaks to those in Jerusalem about what they need to do (10:17-18), 2) Jerusalem speaks to herself (10:19-20), 3) the prophet speaks to Jerusalem again (10:21-22). This helps to make sense of the section, especially in light of the following verse. The people of Jerusalem should have been talking amongst themselves as they were listening to Jeremiah because it was for certain they did not know the way they were going (10:23). Jeremiah, though, having applied the verse to the sentiment of the people actually appeals to the Lord to render justice to him in the midst of the people (10:23-25).