The epistle of Jeremias to the captives, as a preservative against idolatry. A copy of the epistle that Jeremias sent to them that were to be led away captives into Babylon, by the king of Babylon, to declare to them according to what was commanded him by God.
1 For the sins that you have committed before God, you shall be carried away captives into Babylon by Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon.
Propter peccata quae peccastis ante Deum, abducemini in Babyloniam captivi a Nabuchodonosor rege Babylonis.
2 And when you are come into Babylon, you shall be there many years, and for a long time, even to seven generations: and after that I will bring you away from thence with peace.
Ingressi itaque in Babylonem, eritis ibi annis plurimis, et temporibus longis, usque ad generationes septem : post hoc autem educam vos inde cum pace.
3 But now, you shall see in Babylon gods of gold, and of silver, and of stone, and of wood borne upon shoulders, causing fear to the Gentiles.
Nunc autem videbitis in Babylonia deos aureos et argenteos, et lapideos et ligneos, in humeris portari, ostentantes metum gentibus.
4 Beware therefore that you imitate not the doings of others, and be afraid, and the fear of them should seize upon you.
Videte ergo ne et vos similes efficiamini factis alienis, et metuatis, et metus vos capiat in ipsis.
5 But when you see the multitude behind, and before, adoring them, say you in your hearts: Thou oughtest to be adored, O Lord.
Visa itaque turba de retro et ab ante, adorantes dicite in cordibus vestris : Te oportet adorari, Domine.
6 For my angel is with you: And I myself will demand an account of your souls.
Angelus enim meus vobiscum est : ipse autem exquiram animas vestras.
7 For their tongue that is polished by the craftsman, and themselves laid over with gold and silver, are false things, and they cannot speak.
Nam lingua ipsorum polita a fabro; ipsa etiam inaurata et inargentata : falsa sunt, et non possunt loqui.
8 And as if it were for a maiden that loveth to go gay: so do they take gold and make them up.
Et sicut virgini amanti ornamenta, ita accepto auro fabricati sunt.
9 Their gods have golden crowns upon their heads: whereof the priests secretly convey away from them gold, and silver, and bestow it on themselves.
Coronas certe aureas habent super capita sua dii illorum : unde subtrahunt sacerdotes ab eis aurum et argentum, et erogant illud in semetipsos.
10 Yea and they give thereof to prostitutes, and they dress out harlots: and again when they receive it of the harlots, they adorn their gods.
Dant autem et ex ipso prostitutis, et meretrices ornant : et iterum cum receperint illud a meretricibus, ornant deos suos.
11 And these gods cannot defend themselves from the rust, and the moth.
Hi autem non liberantur ab aerugine et tinea.
12 But when they have covered them with a purple garment, they wipe their face because of the dust of the house, which is very much among them.
Opertis autem illis veste purpurea, extergunt faciem ipsorum propter pulverem domus qui est plurimus inter eos.
13 This holdeth a sceptre as a man, as a judge of the country, but cannot put to death one that offendeth him.
Sceptrum autem habet ut homo, sicut judex regionis, qui in se peccantem non interficit.
14 And this hath in his hand a sword, or an axe, but cannot save himself from war, or from robbers, whereby be it known to you, that they are not gods.
Habet etiam in manu gladium et securim, se autem de bello et a latronibus non liberat. Unde vobis notum sit quia non sunt dii :
15 Therefore fear them not. For as a vessel that a man uses when it is broken becometh useless, even so are their gods:
non ergo timueritis eos. Sicut enim vas hominis confractum inutile efficitur, tales sunt et dii illorum.
16 When they are placed in the house, their eyes are full of dust by the feet of them that go in.
Constitutis illis in domo, oculi eorum pleni sunt pulvere a pedibus introeuntium.
17 And as the gates are made sure on every side upon one that hath offended the king, or like a dead man carried to the grave, so do the priests secure the doors with bars and locks, lest they be stripped by thieves.
Et sicut alicui qui regem offendit circumseptae sunt januae, aut sicut ad sepulchrum adductum mortuum : ita tutantur sacerdotes ostia clausuris et seris, ne a latronibus expolientur.
18 They light candles to them, and in great number, of which they cannot see one: but they are like beams in the house.
Lucernas accendunt illis, et quidem multas, ex quibus nullam videre possunt : sunt autem sicut trabes in domo.
19 And they say that the creeping things which are of the earth, gnaw their hearts, while they eat them and their garments, and they feel it not.
Corda vero eorum dicunt elingere serpentes qui de terra sunt, dum comedunt eos, et vestimentum ipsorum, et non sentiunt.
20 Their faces are black with the smoke that is made in the house.
Nigrae fiunt facies eorum a fumo qui in domo fit.
21 Owls, and swallows, and other birds fly upon their bodies, and upon their heads, and cats in like manner.
Supra corpus eorum et supra caput eorum volant noctuae, et hirundines, et aves etiam, similiter et cattae.
22 Whereby you may know that they are no gods. Therefore fear them not.
Unde sciatis quia non sunt dii : ne ergo timueritis eos.
23 The gold also which they have, is for shew, but except a man wipe off the rust, they will not shine: for neither when they were molten, did they feel it.
Aurum etiam quod habent ad speciem est : nisi aliquis exterserit aeruginem, non fulgebunt : neque enim dum conflarentur, sentiebant.
24 Men buy them at a high price, whereas there is no breath in them.
Ex omni pretio empta sunt, in quibus spiritus non inest ipsis.
25 And having not the use of feet they are carried upon shoulders, declaring to men how vile they are. Be they confounded also that worship them.
Sine pedibus, in humeris portantur, ostentantes ignobilitatem suam hominibus : confundantur etiam qui colunt ea.
26 Therefore if they fall to the ground, they rise not up again of themselves, nor if a man set them upright, will they stand by themselves, but their gifts shall be set before them, as to the dead.
Propterea si ceciderint in terram, a semetipsis non consurgunt : neque si quis eum statuerit rectum, per semetipsum stabit : sed sicut mortuis munera eorum illis apponentur.
27 The things that are sacrificed to them, their priests sell and abuse: in like manner also their wives take part of them, but give nothing of it either to the sick, or to the poor.
Hostias illorum vendunt sacerdotes ipsorum, et abutuntur : similiter et mulieres eorum decerpentes, neque infirmo, neque mendicanti, aliquid impertiunt.
28 The childbearing and menstruous women touch their sacrifices: knowing therefore by these things that they are not gods, fear them not.
De sacrificiis eorum foetae et menstruatae contingunt. Sciens itaque ex his quia non sunt dii, ne timeatis eos.
29 For how can they be called gods? because women set offerings before the gods of silver, and of gold, and of wood:
Unde enim vocantur dii? quia mulieres apponunt diis argenteis, et aureis, et ligneis :
30 And priests sit in their temples, having their garments rent, and their heads and beards shaven, and nothing upon their heads.
et in domibus eorum sacerdotes sedent habentes tunicas scissas, et capita et barbam rasam, quorum capita nuda sunt.
31 And they roar and cry before their gods, as men do at the feast when one is dead.
Rugiunt autem clamantes contra deos suos sicut in coena mortui.
32 The priests take away their garments, and clothe their wives and their children.
Vestimenta eorum auferunt sacerdotes, et vestiunt uxores suas et filios suos.
33 And whether it be evil that one doth unto them, or good, they are not able to recompense it: neither can they set up a king nor put him down:
Neque si quid mali patiuntur ab aliquo, neque si quid boni, poterunt retribuere : neque regem constituere possunt, neque auferre.
34 In like manner they can neither give riches, nor requite evil. If a man make a vow to them, and perform it not, they cannot require it.
Similiter neque dare divitias possunt, neque malum retribuere. Si quis illis votum voverit et non reddiderit, neque hoc requirunt.
35 They cannot deliver a man from death nor save the weak from the mighty.
Hominem a morte non liberant, neque infirmum a potentiori eripiunt.
36 They cannot restore the blind man to his sight: nor deliver a man from distress.
Hominem caecum ad visum non restituunt; de necessitate hominem non liberabunt.
37 They shall not pity the widow, nor do good to the fatherless.
Viduae non miserebuntur, neque orphanis benefacient.
38 Their gods, of wood, and of stone, and of gold, and of silver, are like the stones that are hewn out of the mountains: and they that worship them shall be confounded.
Lapidibus de monte similes sunt dii illorum, lignei, et lapidei, et aurei, et argentei : qui autem colunt ea, confundentur.
39 How then is it to be supposed, or to be said, that they are gods?
Quomodo ergo aestimandum est aut dicendum illos esse deos?
40 Even the Chaldeans themselves dishonour them: who when they hear of one dumb that cannot speak, they present him to Bel, entreating him, that he may speak,
Adhuc enim ipsis Chaldaeis non honorantibus ea : qui cum audierint mutum non posse loqui, offerunt illud ad Bel, postulantes ab eo loqui :
41 As though they could be sensible that have no motion themselves: and they, when they shall perceive this, will leave them: for their gods themselves have no sense.
quasi possint sentire qui non habent motum! Et ipsi, cum intellexerint, relinquent ea : sensum enim non habent ipsi dii illorum.
42 The women also with cords about them, sit in the ways, burning olive stones.
Mulieres autem circumdatae funibus in viis sedent, succendentes ossa olivarum :
43 And when any one of them, drawn away by some passenger, lieth with him, she upbraideth her neighbour, that she was not thought as worthy as herself, nor her cord broken.
cum autem aliqua ex ipsis, attracta ab aliquo transeunte, dormierit cum eo, proximae suae exprobrat quod ea non sit digna habita, sicut ipsa, neque funis ejus diruptus sit.
44 But all things that are done about them, are false: how is it then to be thought, or to be said, that they are gods?
Omnia autem quae illi fiunt, falsa sunt : quomodo aestimandum aut dicendum est illos esse deos?
45 And they are made by workmen, and by goldsmiths. They shall be nothing else but what the priests will have them to be.
A fabris autem et ab aurificibus facta sunt : nihil aliud erunt, nisi id quod volunt esse sacerdotes.
46 For the artificers themselves that make them, are of no long continuance. Can those things then that are made by them be gods?
Artifices etiam ipsi, qui ea faciunt, non sunt multi temporis : numquid ergo possunt ea, quae fabricata sunt ab ipsis, esse dii?
47 But they have left false things and reproach to them that come after.
Reliquerunt autem falsa et opprobrium postea futuris.
48 For when war cometh upon them, or evils, the priests consult with themselves where they may hide themselves with them.
Nam cum supervenerit illis praelium et mala, cogitant sacerdotes apud se ubi se abscondant cum illis.
49 How then can they be thought to be gods, that can neither deliver themselves from war, nor save themselves from evils?
Quomodo ergo sentiri debeant quoniam dii sunt, qui nec de bello se liberant, neque de malis se eripiunt?
50 For seeing they are but of wood, and laid over with gold, and with silver, it shall be known hereafter that they are false things, by all nations and kings: and it shall be manifest that they are no gods, but the work of men's hands, and that there is no work of God in them.
Nam cum sint lignea, inaurata et inargentata, scietur postea quia falsa sunt ab universis gentibus et regibus : quae manifesta sunt quia non sunt dii, sed opera manuum hominum, et nullum Dei opus cum illis.
51 Whence, therefore, is it known that they are not gods, but the work of men's hands, and no work of God is in them?
Unde ergo notum est quia non sunt dii, sed opera manuum hominum, et nullum Dei opus in ipsis est.
52 They cannot set up a king over the land, nor give rain to men.
Regem regioni non suscitant, neque pluviam hominibus dabunt.
53 They determine no causes, nor deliver countries from oppression; because they can do nothing, and are as daws between heaven and earth.
Judicium quoque non discernent, neque regiones liberabunt ab injuria, quia nihil possunt, sicut corniculae inter medium caeli et terrae.
54 For when fire shall fall upon the house of these gods of wood, and of silver, and of gold, their priests indeed will flee away, and be saved: but they themselves shall be burnt in the midst like beams.
Etenim cum inciderit ignis in domum deorum ligneorum, argenteorum et aureorum, sacerdotes quidem ipsorum fugient, et liberabuntur : ipsi vero sicut trabes in medio comburentur.
55 And they cannot withstand a king and war. How then can it be supposed, or admitted that they are gods?
Regi autem et bello non resistent. Quomodo ergo aestimandum est aut recipiendum quia dii sunt?
56 Neither are these gods of wood, and of stone, and laid over with gold, and with silver, able to deliver themselves from thieves or robbers: they that are stronger than them,
Non a furibus, neque a latronibus se liberabunt dii lignei, et lapidei, et inaurati, et inargentati : quibus hi qui fortiores sunt,
57 Shall take from them the gold, and silver, and the raiment wherewith they are clothed, and shall go their way, neither shall they help themselves.
aurum et argentum, et vestimentum quo operti sunt, auferent illis, et abibunt, nec sibi auxilium ferent.
58 Therefore it is better to be a king that sheweth his power: or else a profitable vessel in the house, with which the owner thereof will be well satisfied: or a door in the house, to keep things safe that are therein, than such false gods.
Itaque melius est esse regem ostentantem virtutem suam, aut vas in domo utile, in quo gloriabitur qui possidet illud, vel ostium in domo, quod custodit quae in ipsa sunt, quam falsi dii.
59 The sun, and the moon, and the stars being bright, and sent forth for profitable uses, are obedient.
Sol quidem et luna ac sidera, cum sint splendida et emissa ad utilitates, obaudiunt :
60 In like manner the lightning, when it breaketh forth, is easy to be seen: and after the same manner the wind bloweth in every country.
similiter et fulgur cum apparuerit, perspicuum est : idipsum autem et spiritus in omni regione spirat :
61 And the clouds when God commandeth them to go over the whole world, do that which is commanded them.
et nubes, quibus cum imperatum fuerit a Deo perambulare universum orbem, perficiunt quod imperatum est eis :
62 The fire also being sent from above to consume mountains and woods, doth as it is commanded. But these neither in shew, nor in power are like to any one of them.
ignis etiam missus desuper, ut consumat montes et silvas, facit quod praeceptum est ei : haec autem neque speciebus, neque virtutibus, uni eorum similia sunt.
63 Wherefore it is neither to be thought, nor to be said, that they are gods: since they are neither able to judge causes, nor to do any good to men.
Unde neque existimandum est, neque dicendum illos esse deos, quando non possunt neque judicium judicare, neque quidquam facere hominibus.
64 Knowing, therefore, that they are not gods, fear them not.
Scientes itaque quia non sunt dii, ne ergo timueritis eos.
65 For neither can they curse kings, nor bless them.
Neque enim regibus maledicent, neque benedicent.
66 Neither do they shew signs in the heaven to the nations, nor shine as the sun, nor give light as the moon.
Signa etiam in caelo gentibus non ostendunt : neque ut sol lucebunt, neque illuminabunt ut luna.
67 Beasts are better than they, which can fly under a covert, and help themselves.
Bestiae meliores sunt illis, quae possunt fugere sub tectum ac prodesse sibi.
68 Therefore there is no manner of appearance that they are gods: so fear them not.
Nullo itaque modo nobis est manifestum quia sunt dii : propter quod ne timeatis eos.
69 For as a scarecrow in a garden of cucumbers keepeth nothing, so are their gods of wood, and of silver, and laid over with gold.
Nam sicut in cucumerario formido nihil custodit, ita sunt dii illorum lignei, et argentei, et inaurati.
70 They are no better than a white thorn in a garden, upon which every bird sitteth. In like manner also their gods of wood, and laid over with gold, and with silver, are like to a dead body cast forth in the dark.
Eodem modo et in horto spina alba, supra quam omnis avis sedet, similiter et mortuo projecto in tenebris, similes sunt dii illorum lignei, et inaurati, et inargentati.
71 By the purple also and the scarlet which are motheaten upon them, you shall know that they are not gods. And they themselves at last are consumed, and shall be a reproach in the country.
A purpura quoque et murice, quae supra illos tineant, scietis itaque quia non sunt dii : ipsi etiam postremo comeduntur, et erunt opprobrium in regione.
72 Better, therefore, is the just man that hath no idols: for he shall be far from reproach.
Melior est homo justus qui non habet simulacra, nam erit longe ab opprobriis.