Bible, King James Version
Letter of Jeremiah
EpJer.1A copy of an epistle, which Jeremy sent unto them which
were to be led captives into Babylon by the king of the Babylonians, to certify
them, as it was commanded him of God.
] Because of the sins which
ye have committed before God, ye shall be led away captives into Babylon by
Nabuchodonosor king of the Babylonians.
] So when ye be come unto
Babylon, ye shall remain there many years, and for a long season, namely, seven
generations: and after that I will bring you away peaceably from
] Now shall ye see in Babylon gods of silver, and of gold,
and of wood, borne upon shoulders, which cause the nations to
] Beware therefore that ye in no wise be like to strangers,
neither be ye and of them, when ye see the multitude before them and behind
them, worshipping them.
] But say ye in your hearts, O Lord, we must
] For mine angel is with you, and I myself caring for
] As for their tongue, it is polished by the workman,
and they themselves are gilded and laid over with silver; yet are they but
false, and cannot speak.
] And taking gold, as it were for a virgin
that loveth to go gay, they make crowns for the heads of their
] Sometimes also the priests convey from their gods gold and
silver, and bestow it upon themselves.
] Yea, they will give
thereof to the common harlots, and deck them as men with garments, [being] gods
of silver, and gods of gold, and wood.
] Yet cannot these gods save
themselves from rust and moth, though they be covered with purple
] They wipe their faces because of the dust of the temple,
when there is much upon them.
] And he that cannot put to death one
that offendeth him holdeth a sceptre, as though he were a judge of the
] He hath also in his right hand a dagger and an ax: but
cannot deliver himself from war and thieves.
] Whereby they are
known not to be gods: therefore fear them not.
] For like as a
vessel that a man useth is nothing worth when it is broken; even so it is with
their gods: when they be set up in the temple, their eyes be full of dust
through the feet of them that come in.
] And as the doors are made
sure on every side upon him that offendeth the king, as being committed to
suffer death: even so the priests make fast their temples with doors, with
locks, and bars, lest their gods be spoiled with robbers.
light them candles, yea, more than for themselves, whereof they cannot see
] They are as one of the beams of the temple, yet they say
their hearts are gnawed upon by things creeping out of the earth; and when they
eat them and their clothes, they feel it not.
] Their faces are
blacked through the smoke that cometh out of the temple.
their bodies and heads sit bats, swallows, and birds, and the cats
] By this ye may know that they are no gods: therefore fear
] Notwithstanding the gold that is about them to make
them beautiful, except they wipe off the rust, they will not shine: for neither
when they were molten did they feel it.
] The things wherein there
is no breath are bought for a most high price.
] They are borne
upon shoulders, having no feet whereby they declare unto men that they be
] They also that serve them are ashamed: for if they
fall to the ground at any time, they cannot rise up again of themselves:
neither, if one set them upright, can they move of themselves: neither, if they
be bowed down, can they make themselves straight: but they set gifts before them
as unto dead men.
] As for the things that are sacrificed unto
them, their priests sell and abuse; in like manner their wives lay up part
thereof in salt; but unto the poor and impotent they give nothing of
] Menstruous women and women in childbed eat their sacrifices:
by these things ye may know that they are no gods: fear them not.
For how can they be called gods? because women set meat before the gods of
silver, gold, and wood.
] And the priests sit in their temples,
having their clothes rent, and their heads and beards shaven, and nothing upon
] They roar and cry before their gods, as men do at
the feast when one is dead.
] The priests also take off their
garments, and clothe their wives and children.
] Whether it be evil
that one doeth unto them, or good, they are not able to recompense it: they can
neither set up a king, nor put him down.
] In like manner, they can
neither give riches nor money: though a man make a vow unto them, and keep it
not, they will not require it.
] They can save no man from death,
neither deliver the weak from the mighty.
] They cannot restore a
blind man to his sight, nor help any man in his distress.
can shew no mercy to the widow, nor do good to the fatherless.
Their gods of wood, and which are overlaid with gold and silver, are like the
stones that be hewn out of the mountain: they that worship them shall be
] How should a man then think and say that they are
gods, when even the Chaldeans themselves dishonour them?
] Who if
they shall see one dumb that cannot speak, they bring him, and intreat Bel that
he may speak, as though he were able to understand.
] Yet they
cannot understand this themselves, and leave them: for they have no
] The women also with cords about them, sitting in the
ways, burn bran for perfume: but if any of them, drawn by some that passeth by,
lie with him, she reproacheth her fellow, that she was not thought as worthy as
herself, nor her cord broken.
] Whatsoever is done among them is
false: how may it then be thought or said that they are gods?
They are made of carpenters and goldsmiths: they can be nothing else than the
workmen will have them to be.
] And they themselves that made them
can never continue long; how should then the things that are made of them be
] For they left lies and reproaches to them that come
] For when there cometh any war or plague upon them, the
priests consult with themselves, where they may be hidden with
] How then cannot men perceive that they be no gods, which
can neither save themselves from war, nor from plague?
] For seeing
they be but of wood, and overlaid with silver and gold, it shall be known
hereafter that they are false:
] And it shall manifestly appear to
all nations and kings that they are no gods, but the works of men's hands, and
that there is no work of God in them.
] Who then may not know that
they are no gods?
] For neither can they set up a king in the land,
nor give rain unto men.
] Neither can they judge their own cause,
nor redress a wrong, being unable: for they are as crows between heaven and
] Whereupon when fire falleth upon the house of gods of
wood, or laid over with gold or silver, their priests will flee away, and
escape; but they themselves shall be burned asunder like beams.
Moreover they cannot withstand any king or enemies: how can it then be thought
or said that they be gods?
] Neither are those gods of wood, and
laid over with silver or gold, able to escape either from thieves or
] Whose gold, and silver, and garments wherewith they are
clothed, they that are strong take, and go away withal: neither are they able to
] Therefore it is better to be a king that sheweth
his power, or else a profitable vessel in an house, which the owner shall have
use of, than such false gods; or to be a door in an house, to keep such things
therein, than such false gods. or a pillar of wood in a a palace, than such
] For sun, moon, and stars, being bright and sent to do
their offices, are obedient.
] In like manner the lightning when it
breaketh forth is easy to be seen; and after the same manner the wind bloweth in
] And when God commandeth the clouds to go over the
whole world, they do as they are bidden.
] And the fire sent from
above to consume hills and woods doeth as it is commanded: but these are like
unto them neither in shew nor power.
] Wherefore it is neither to
be supposed nor said that they are gods, seeing, they are able neither to judge
causes, nor to do good unto men.
] Knowing therefore that they are
no gods, fear them not,
] For they can neither curse nor bless
] Neither can they shew signs in the heavens among the
heathen, nor shine as the sun, nor give light as the moon.
beasts are better than they: for they can get under a cover and help
] It is then by no means manifest unto us that they are
gods: therefore fear them not.
] For as a scarecrow in a garden of
cucumbers keepeth nothing: so are their gods of wood, and laid over with silver
] And likewise their gods of wood, and laid over with
silver and gold, are like to a white thorn in an orchard, that every bird
sitteth upon; as also to a dead body, that is east into the dark.
And ye shall know them to be no gods by the bright purple that rotteth upon
then1: and they themselves afterward shall be eaten, and shall be a reproach in
] Better therefore is the just man that hath none
idols: for he shall be far from reproach.