1 Samuel 12:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.

New Living Translation
Don't go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you--they are totally useless!

English Standard Version
And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.

New American Standard Bible
"You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile.

King James Bible
And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Don't turn away to follow worthless things that can't profit or deliver you; they are worthless.

International Standard Version
Don't turn aside after useless things that cannot profit or deliver because they're useless.

NET Bible
You should not turn aside after empty things that can't profit and can't deliver, since they are empty.

New Heart English Bible
Do not turn aside to go after vain things which can't profit nor deliver, for they are vain.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Don't turn away to follow other gods. They can't help or rescue you, because they don't exist.

JPS Tanakh 1917
and turn ye not aside; for then should ye go after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver, for they are vain.

New American Standard 1977
“And you must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile.

Jubilee Bible 2000
do not turn aside after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver, for they are vain.

King James 2000 Bible
And turn you not aside: for then should you go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

American King James Version
And turn you not aside: for then should you go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

American Standard Version
and turn ye not aside; for then would ye go after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver, for they are vain.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And turn not aside after vain things which shall never profit you, nor deliver you, because they are vain.

Darby Bible Translation
and turn ye not aside; for [it would be] after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

English Revised Version
and turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things which cannot profit nor deliver, for they are vain.

Webster's Bible Translation
And turn ye not aside: for then would ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

World English Bible
Don't turn aside; for [then you would go] after vain things which can't profit nor deliver, for they are vain.

Young's Literal Translation
and ye do not turn aside after the vain things which do not profit nor deliver, for they are vain,
Study Bible
Samuel's Farewell Address
20Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21"You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile. 22"For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.…
Cross References
Acts 14:15
"Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.

Deuteronomy 11:16
"Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them.

Isaiah 41:29
"Behold, all of them are false; Their works are worthless, Their molten images are wind and emptiness.

Habakkuk 2:18
"What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, Or an image, a teacher of falsehood? For its maker trusts in his own handiwork When he fashions speechless idols.
Treasury of Scripture

And turn you not aside: for then should you go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

vain things

Deuteronomy 32:21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have …

Jeremiah 2:5,13 Thus said the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, …

Jeremiah 10:8,15 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine …

Jeremiah 14:22 Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? …

Jeremiah 16:19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of …

Jonah 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

Habakkuk 2:18 What profits the graven image that the maker thereof has graven it; …

1 Corinthians 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered …

cannot profit

Psalm 115:4-8 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands…

Isaiah 41:23,24 Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that …

Isaiah 44:9,10 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable …

Isaiah 45:20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you that are escaped …

Isaiah 46:7 They bear him on the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his …

Jeremiah 10:15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation …

(21) For then should ye go after vain things.--The passage is more forcible without the "for" and the words in italics supplied in the English translation. The verse without it would run thus: "Turn ye not aside after vain things which cannot profit," &c. Singularly enough, not one of the ancient versions translate the Hebrew ki, "for": they all omit it. It is therefore clear that this "for" has, through some copyist's error, got into the text since the versions were made.

Verse 21. - For then should ye go after vain things. The word for is omitted in all the ancient versions, and the sense is complete without it: "And turn ye not aside after tohu," the word used in Genesis 1:1, and there translated "without form." It means anything empty, void, and so is often used, as here, for "an idol," because, as St. Paul says, "an idol is nothing in the world" (1 Corinthians 8:4). So Isaiah (Isaiah 44:9) calls the makers of idols vanity, Hebrew, tohu, i.e. empty people, with no sense in them. The word is used again at the end of the verse - which idols cannot profit nor deliver; for they are tohu, emptiness. And turn ye not aside,.... From his worship: for then; if they turned aside from that:

should ye go after vain things; idols, which are vanity, and less than vanity:

which cannot profit nor deliver; neither bestow good things on their votaries, nor deliver them from evils, or from the hands of their enemies

for they are vain; empty, useless, and unprofitable; an idol is nothing in the world, 1 Corinthians 8:4. 12:16-25 At Samuel's word, God sent thunder and rain, at a season of the year when, in that country, the like was not seen. This was to convince them they had done wickedly in asking a king; not only by its coming at an unusual time, in wheat harvest, and on a clear day, but by the prophet's giving notice of it before. He showed their folly in desiring a king to save them, rather than God, or Samuel; promising themselves more from an arm of flesh, than from the arm of God, or from the power of prayer. Could their prince command such forces as the prophet could do by his prayers? It startled them very much. Some will not be brought to see their sins by any gentler methods than storms and thunders. They entreat Samuel to pray for them. Now they see their need of him whom shortly before they slighted. Thus many who will not have Christ to reign over them, would yet be glad to have him intercede for them, to turn away the wrath of God. Samuel aims to confirm the people in their religion. Whatever we make a god of, we shall find it deceive us. Creatures in their own places are good; but when put in God's place, they are vain things. We sin if we restrain prayer, and in particular if we cease praying for the church. They only asked him to pray for them; but he promises to do more, to teach them. He urges that they were bound in gratitude to serve God, considering what great things he had done for them; and that they were bound in interest to serve him, considering what he would do against them, if they should still do wickedly. Thus, as a faithful watchman, he gave them warning, and so delivered his own soul. If we consider what great things the Lord hath done for us, especially in the great work of redemption, we can neither want motive, encouragement, nor assistance in serving him.
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