At this point in the chapter, a verse appears in Aramaic, beckoning to the idolaters in the lingua franca of the era, confronting them with the futility of their service: “Tell them this: these gods, which did not create the heavens or the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens” (10:11).
Later, Jeremiah prays for Israel to be released from the all-absorbing grip of pagan ritual: “The portion of Jacob is not like these, for He is the Maker of all, and Israel is the tribe of His inheritance – the Lord of Hosts is His name” (10:16).
Jeremiah concludes his prayer with the famous words that made their way into the Haggadah:
Pour out Your wrath upon the nations that do not know You, and upon the families who do not call Your name. For they have devoured Jacob, devoured him and consumed him, and have made his homeland desolate. [10:25].
This verse calls on God to avenge the tribes of Jacob, who were devoured by the nations. With this call for revenge, Jeremiah concludes his prophecy against idol worship.
“Jeremiah: The Fate of a Prophet” is available at www.korenpub.com and at Jewish booksellers everywhere.
About the Author: Rabbi Dr. Binyamin Lau is an Israeli community leader, educator, and rabbi. He is the rabbi of the Ramban Synagogue in Jerusalem, founder of the Moshe Green Beit Midrash for Women’s Leadership at Beit Morasha’s Beren College, and a research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshivat HaKibbutz HaDati, and received a Ph.D. in Talmud from Bar-Ilan University. “Jeremiah: The Fate of a Prophet” is available at www.korenpub.com and at Jewish booksellers everywhere.
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