10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the nations, and
be not dismayed at the a signs of heaven; for the nations
are dismayed at them.
(a) God forbids his people to give credit or fear the
constellations and conjunctions of stars and planets
which have no power of themselves but are governed by
him, and their secret motions and influences are not
known to man and therefore there can be no certain
judgment of it, (De 18:9).
10:3 For the b customs of the people [are] vain: for [one]
cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of
the workman, with the axe.
(b) Meaning not only in the observation of the stars, but
their laws and ceremonies by which they confirm their
idolatry, which is forbidden, (De 12:30).
10:4 They deck it c with silver and with gold; they fasten it
with nails and with hammers, that it may not move.
(c) The prophets use thus plainly and simply to set forth
the vile absurdity of the idolaters that men might
learn to be ashamed of that to which their corrupt
nature is most subject, (Isa 44:12).
10:6 Forasmuch as [there is] none like thee, O LORD; d thou
[art] great, and thy name [is] great in might.
(d) He teaches the people to lift up their eyes to God, who
has all power and therefore ought only to be feared:
and in this he shows them not only the evil that they
ought to hate: but the good which they ought to follow,
10:8 But they are altogether senseless and foolish: the stock
[is] a e doctrine of vanities.
(e) Because the people thought that to have images was a
means to serve God, and to bring them to the knowledge
of him, he shows that nothing more displeases God, nor
brings man into greater errors and ignorance of God:
and therefore he calls them the doctrine of vanity, the
work of errors, (Jer 10:15). (Hab 2:18) calls
them the teachers of lies: contrary to that wicked
opinion, that they are the books of the lay people.
10:9 Silver beaten into plates is brought from Tarshish, and
gold f from Uphaz, the work of the craftsman, and of the
hands of the goldsmith: blue and purple [is] their
clothing: they [are] all the work of skilful [men].
(f) Where they found the best gold; showing that they
thought nothing too dear for their idols, some read
Ophir as in (1Ki 9:28).
10:11 Thus shall ye say to them, The gods g that have not made
the heavens and the earth, [even] they shall perish from
the earth, and from under these heavens.
(g) This declares that all that has been spoken of idols
in this chapter, was to arm the Jews when they would
be in Chaldea among the idolaters, and now with one
sentence he instructs them both how to protest their
own religion against the idolaters and how to answer
them to their shame who would exhort them to idolatry,
and therefore he writes this sentence in the Chaldean
tongue for a memorial while all the rest of his
writing is in Hebrew.
10:14 Every man is h senseless in [his] knowledge: every
goldsmith is confounded by the graven image: for his
molten image [is] falsehood, and [there is] no breath in
(h) The more man thinks to do anything well by his own
wisdom, and not as God instructs him, the more he
proves himself to be a vile beast.
10:16 The i portion of Jacob [is] not like them: for he [is]
the former of all [things]; and Israel [is] the rod of his
inheritance: The LORD of hosts [is] his name.
(i) By these words, portion and rod, he signifies their
inheritance, meaning that God would be all sufficient
for them: and that their happiness consisted in him
alone, and therefore they ought to renounce all other
help and comfort as of idols, etc.
(De 32:9, Ps 16:5).
10:17k Gather up thy wares out of the land, O inhabitant of
(k) The prophet wills the Jews to prepare themselves for
this captivity, showing that it was now at hand that
they would feel the things of which he had told them.
10:19 Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said,
Truly this l [is] a grief, and I must bear it.
(l) It is my just plague, and therefore I will take it
patiently: by which he teaches the people how to
behave themselves toward God.
10:20m My tabernacle is laid waste, and all my cords are
broken: my children are gone from me, and they [are] not:
[there is] none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to
set up my curtains.
(m) He shows how Jerusalem will lament.
10:21 For the shepherds n have become senseless, and have not
sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all
their flocks shall be scattered.
(n) The governors and ministers.
10:22 Behold, the sound of a rumour is come, and a great
commotion from the o north country, to make the cities
of Judah desolate, [and] a den of dragons.
10:23 O LORD, I know that p the way of man [is] not in
himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his
(p) He speaks this because Nebuchadnezzar purposed to have
made war against the Moabites and Ammonites, but
hearing of Zedekiah's rebellion he turned his power to
go against Jerusalem, (Eze 21:21) therefore the
prophet says that this was the Lord's direction.
10:24 O LORD, correct me, but with q judgment; not in thy
anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
(q) Considering that God had revealed to him the certainty
of their captivity (Jer 7:16) he only prays that
he would punish them with mercy which Isaiah calls in
measure, (Isa 27:8) measuring his rods by their
infirmity (1Co 10:13) for here by judgment is
meant not only the punishment but also the merciful
moderation of the same as in (Jer 30:11).
10:25 Pour out r thy fury upon the nations that know thee not,
and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they
have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him,
and have made his habitation desolate.
(r) As God cannot only be known and glorified by his
mercy that he uses toward his Church, but also by his
justice in punishing his enemies, he prays that this
glory may fully appear both in the one and the other,