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Behold, the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people
from a land that is very far off:
is not Yahweh in Zion?
Is not her King in her?
Why do they anger me
with their carved images
and with foreign idols? Bible

“idols.” The Hebrew is hard to bring into English, because the Hebrew word is the same is as translated “pointless” in Ecclesiastes 1:2 (“vanity” in the KJV). A very literal translation of the Hebrew might be “pointlessnesses,” but that would not mean much in English. One could say “vapors,” or “vanities,” but again, that would not communicate well. One could also say “worthless things,” but that would not necessarily mean “idols” to the average reader. The best solution seems to be to just say “idols,” as many modern versions do, and then explain the meaning in the commentary. Idols cannot save. They are worthless, pointless, futile, a temporary vapor, and God calls them just that.


Commentary for: Jeremiah 8:19