Jeremiah 10:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good."

New Living Translation
Their gods are like helpless scarecrows in a cucumber field! They cannot speak, and they need to be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of such gods, for they can neither harm you nor do you any good."

English Standard Version
Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.”

New American Standard Bible
"Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good."

King James Bible
They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch, their idols cannot speak. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them for they can do no harm-- and they cannot do any good.

International Standard Version
Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field. They can't speak! They must always be carried because they can't walk! Don't be afraid of them because they can do no harm, nor can they do any good."

NET Bible
Such idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field. They cannot talk. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them because they cannot hurt you. And they do not have any power to help you."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
These trees are like scarecrows in cucumber gardens. They aren't able to speak. They have to be carried, because they can't walk. Don't be afraid of them. They can't harm you. They can't do you any good either.

Jubilee Bible 2000
They compare them to the palm tree, and they do not speak: they must be carried, because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither do they have power to do good.

King James 2000 Bible
They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

American King James Version
They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

American Standard Version
They are like a palm-tree, of turned work, and speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.

Douay-Rheims Bible
They are framed after the likeness of a palm tree, and shall not speak: they must be carried to be removed, because they cannot go. Therefore, fear them not, for they can neither do evil nor good.

Darby Bible Translation
They are as a palm-column of turned work, and they speak not; they are carried, for they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

English Revised Version
They are like a palm tree, of turned work, and speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.

Webster's Bible Translation
They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

World English Bible
They are like a palm tree, of turned work, and don't speak: they must be carried, because they can't go. Don't be afraid of them; for they can't do evil, neither is it in them to do good."

Young's Literal Translation
As a palm they are stiff, and they speak not, They are surely borne, for they step not, Be not afraid of them, for they do no evil, Yea, also to do good is not in them.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

10:1-16 The prophet shows the glory of Israel's God, and exposes the folly of idolaters. Charms and other attempts to obtain supernatural help, or to pry into futurity, are copied from the wicked customs of the heathen. Let us stand in awe, and not dare provoke God, by giving that glory to another which is due to him alone. He is ready to forgive, and save all who repent and believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Faith learns these blessed truths from the word of God; but all knowledge not from that source, leads to doctrines of vanity.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - They are upright as the palm tree; rather, they are like a pillar (i.e. a scarecrow) in a field of cucumbers. This is the interpretation given to our passage in Ver. 70 of the apocryphal Epistle o! Jeremiah (written in the Maccabean period, evidently with reference to our prophecy), and is much more striking than the rival translation, "like a palm tree of turned work," i.e. stiff, immovable (comp. Virgil, 'Georg.,' 4:110, 111; Horace, 'Sat.,' 1. 8, 1-4). They must needs be borne... they cannot do evil; a reminiscence, apparently, of Isaiah 46:7; Isaiah 41:23.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

They are upright as the palm tree,.... Being nailed to a post, or fastened to a pillar, or set upon a pedestal, and so stand erect without bending any way; and are like a palm tree, which is noted for its uprightness; hence the church's stature is compared to it, Sol 7:7, here it is a sarcasm, and a bitter one:

but speak not; man, that is of an erect stature, in which he differs from other creatures, has the faculty of speech, which they that go upon four feet have not; but the idols of the Gentiles, though erect, have not the power of speaking a word; and therefore can give no answer to their worshippers; see Psalm 115:5,

they must needs be borne: or, "in carrying be carried" (q); when being made they are fixed in the designed place, or are moved from place to place; they are then carried in men's arms, or on their shoulders:

because they cannot go; they have no life, and so are incapable of motion of themselves; they have feet, but walk not; and cannot arise and bestir themselves for the help of those that pray unto them, Psalm 115:7,

be not afraid of them, for they cannot do evil; that is, inflict judgment, cause drought, famine, or pestilence, or any other evil or calamity:

neither is it also in them to do good; to give rains and fruitful seasons, or bestow any favour, temporal or spiritual; see Jeremiah 14:21.

(q) "portando portantur", Schmidt; "portabitur" Pagninus; "portabuntur", Montanus; "omnino portanda sunt", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. upright—or, "They are of turned work, resembling a palm tree" [Maurer]. The point of comparison between the idol and the palm is in the pillar-like uprightness of the latter, it having no branches except at the top.

speak not—(Ps 115:5).

cannot go—that is, walk (Ps 115:7; Isa 46:1, 7).

neither … do good—(Isa 41:23).

Jeremiah 10:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Sovereignty of God
4"They decorate it with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter. 5"Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good." 6There is none like You, O LORD; You are great, and great is Your name in might.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 12:2
You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.

1 Kings 18:26
So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

Psalm 115:5
They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.

Psalm 115:7
They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats.

Isaiah 41:23
tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear.

Isaiah 41:24
But you are less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless; whoever chooses you is detestable.

Isaiah 44:10
Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit nothing?

Isaiah 45:20
"Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save.

Isaiah 46:1
Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden. The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary.

Isaiah 46:7
They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer; it cannot save them from their troubles.

Jeremiah 10:14
Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. The images he makes are a fraud; they have no breath in them.
Treasury of Scripture

They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

speak.

Psalm 115:5-8 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not…

Psalm 135:16-18 They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not…

Habakkuk 2:19 Woe to him that said to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, …

1 Corinthians 12:2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, …

Revelation 13:14,15 And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles …

be borne.

Isaiah 46:1,7 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops, their idols were on the beasts, and on …

do evil.

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 …

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

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