Jeremiah 18:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Yet my people have forgotten me; they burn incense to worthless idols, which made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths. They made them walk in byways, on roads not built up.

New Living Translation
But my people are not so reliable, for they have deserted me; they burn incense to worthless idols. They have stumbled off the ancient highways and walk in muddy paths.

English Standard Version
But my people have forgotten me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway,

New American Standard Bible
'For My people have forgotten Me, They burn incense to worthless gods And they have stumbled from their ways, From the ancient paths, To walk in bypaths, Not on a highway,

King James Bible
Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Yet My people have forgotten Me. They burn incense to false idols that make them stumble in their ways on the ancient roads and walk on new paths, not the highway.

International Standard Version
Yet my people have forgotten me, and they burn incense to worthless idols that make them stumble in their journey on the ancient paths. They walk on trails, on a way that is not built up.

NET Bible
Yet my people have forgotten me and offered sacrifices to worthless idols! This makes them stumble along in the way they live and leave the old reliable path of their fathers. They have left them to walk in bypaths, in roads that are not smooth and level.

New Heart English Bible
For my people have forgotten me, they have burned incense to false gods; and they have been made to stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths, to walk in byways, in a way not built up;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But my people have forgotten me. They burn incense as an offering to worthless idols, and they stumble along the way, on the ancient path. They go on side roads and not on major highways.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For My people hath forgotten Me, They offer unto vanity; And they have been made to stumble in their ways, In the ancient paths, To walk in bypaths, In a way not cast up;

New American Standard 1977
‘For My people have forgotten Me,
            They burn incense to worthless gods
            And they have stumbled from their ways,
            From the ancient paths,
            To walk in bypaths,
            Not on a highway,

Jubilee Bible 2000
Because my people have forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused themselves to stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not trodden;

King James 2000 Bible
Because my people have forgotten me, they have burned incense to worthless idols, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in pathways, and not on a highway;

American King James Version
Because my people has forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;

American Standard Version
For my people have forgotten me, they have burned incense to false gods ; and they have been made to stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths, in a way not cast up;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Because my people have forgotten me, sacrificing in vain, and stumbling in their ways, in ancient paths, to walk by them in a way not trodden:

Darby Bible Translation
For my people hath forgotten me: they burn incense to vanity; and they have caused them to stumble in their ways, the ancient paths, to walk in by-paths of a way not cast up;

English Revised Version
For my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity; and they have caused them to stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths, in a way not cast up;

Webster's Bible Translation
Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;

World English Bible
For my people have forgotten me, they have burned incense to false [gods]; and they have been made to stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths, to walk in byways, in a way not built up;

Young's Literal Translation
But My people have forgotten Me, to a vain thing they make perfume, And they cause them to stumble in their ways -- paths of old, To walk in paths -- a way not raised up,
Study Bible
The Potter and the Clay
14Does the snow of Lebanon forsake the rock of the open country? Or is the cold flowing water from a foreign land ever snatched away? 15For My people have forgotten Me, They burn incense to worthless gods And they have stumbled from their ways, From the ancient paths, To walk in bypaths, Not on a highway, 16To make their land a desolation, An object of perpetual hissing; Everyone who passes by it will be astonished And shake his head.…
Cross References
Isaiah 57:14
And it will be said, "Build up, build up, prepare the way, Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people."

Isaiah 62:10
Go through, go through the gates, Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway, Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples.

Isaiah 65:7
Both their own iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers together," says the LORD. "Because they have burned incense on the mountains And scorned Me on the hills, Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom."

Jeremiah 2:32
"Can a virgin forget her ornaments, Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me Days without number.

Jeremiah 3:21
A voice is heard on the bare heights, The weeping and the supplications of the sons of Israel; Because they have perverted their way, They have forgotten the LORD their God.

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'

Jeremiah 7:9
"Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known,

Jeremiah 10:15
They are worthless, a work of mockery; In the time of their punishment they will perish.

Jeremiah 18:14
Does the snow of Lebanon forsake the rock of the open country? Or is the cold flowing water from a foreign land ever snatched away?

Jeremiah 44:17
"But rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths, by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food and were well off and saw no misfortune.
Treasury of Scripture

Because my people has forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;

my people.

Jeremiah 2:13,19,32 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the …

Jeremiah 3:21 A voice was heard on the high places, weeping and supplications of …

Jeremiah 13:25 This is your lot, the portion of your measures from me, said the …

Jeremiah 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake you shall be ashamed, …

burned.

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

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

Jeremiah 44:15-19,25 Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense to …

Isaiah 41:29 Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten …

Isaiah 65:7 Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, said …

Hosea 2:13 And I will visit on her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense …

Hosea 11:2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed to Baalim, …

caused.

Isaiah 3:12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over …

Isaiah 9:16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are …

Malachi 2:8 But you are departed out of the way; you have caused many to stumble …

Matthew 15:6 And honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have …

Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing …

the ancient.

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus said the LORD, Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the …

to walk.

Jeremiah 19:5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons …

Isaiah 57:14 And shall say, Cast you up, cast you up, prepare the way, take up …

(15) Vanity.--The word is not that commonly so translated (as in Jeremiah 2:5; Jeremiah 10:8; Ecclesiastes 1:2, et al., q. 5), but that which had been used of idols in Jeremiah 2:30; Jeremiah 4:30; Jeremiah 6:29, rendered "in vain." See also Ezekiel 13:6; Ezekiel 13:8-9.

They have caused.--No persons have been named, but the prophet clearly has in view the prophets and teachers who had led the people astray.

To stumble in their ways from the ancient paths.--The preposition "from" is not in the Hebrew, and does not improve the sense. The words "the ancient paths," literally, the paths of the age, or of eternity, are in apposition with "their ways," and point to the old immemorial faith of the patriarchs, a faith not of to-day or yesterday. The second "paths" is a different word from the first, and implies rather the "by-ways," as contrasted with the "way cast up," the raised causeway, the "king's highway," on which a man could not well lose his way.

Verse 15. - Because my people hath forgotten me; rather, Surely, etc.; or better still, Yet surely. It is not uncommon for a particle of asseveration to acquire a contrasting force from the context; see e.g. Jeremiah 3:20; Isaiah 53:4; and, still more completely parallel, Isaiah 2:6; Jeremiah 9:1, where Authorized Version, with substantial correctness, has "nevertheless." Israel "forgot" Jehovah (as Jeremiah 2:32); no doubt he was responsible for so doing, but still it was not "of malice preponse." To vanity; i.e. to the unreal idol-gods. And they have caused them to stumble; viz. the idol-gods; these are responsible (.for they have a real existence in the consciousness of their worshippers) for this interruption of Israel's spiritual progress (comp. 2 Chronicles 28:23). In their ways from the ancient paths. "From," however, is interpolated by the Authorized Version; the Hebrew places "the ancient paths" in apposition to "their ways," "Stand ye in the ways," Jeremiah cried at an earlier period, "and see, and ask for the old paths, which is the good way" (Jeremiah 6:16). These "old" or "ancient" paths were ideally "their ways," the ways appointed for the Jews to walk in. To walk in paths; rather, in tracks, footpaths leading up and down and often ending in nothing; or, in other terms, in a way not cast up (Isaiah 40:3, 4, gives a graphic picture of the operation of "casting up a way"). Because my people hath forgotten me,.... Or, "that they have forgotten me" (z); this is the horrible thing they have done, which was unheard of among the Gentiles, who were always tenacious of their gods, and the worship of them; and that foolish and unwise thing, which was like leaving pure flowing streams of water for dirty puddles. This is to be understood of their forsaking the worship of God, as the Targum interprets it, and following after idols:

they have burnt incense to vanity; to idols, which are vain empty things, and which cannot give their worshippers what they expect from them: or, "in vain they burn incense" (a); even to the true God, while they also sacrificed unto idols; which to do was an abomination to the Lord, Isaiah 1:13; and especially burning incense to idols must be a vain thing; and so the Targum,

"to no profit a they burn incense or spices:''

and they have caused them to stumble in their ways; that is, either the idols they worshipped, or the false prophets caused the professing people of the Jews to stumble and fall in the ways into which they led them: and

from the ancient paths; or, "the paths of eternity" (b); which lead to eternal life; or which were of old marked out by the revealed will of God for the saints to walk in; and in which the patriarchs and people of God, in all former ages, did walk; and which were appointed from everlasting, and will remain for ever; and these are the good old paths in Jeremiah 6:16;

to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; a new way, unknown in former times; an unbeaten track, which the saints had never walked in; a rough path, unsafe and dangerous; and hence they stumbled, and fell, and came to ruin; as follows:

(z) "quod obliti sunt", Schmidt. (a) "frustra adolebunt, vel adolent", Pagninus, Calvin. (b) "semitae quae a seculo, seu antiquo", vid. Schmidt; so Targum; "semitis jam olim praescriptis", Piscator. 15. Because—rather, "And yet"; in defiance of the natural order of things.

forgotten me—(Jer 2:32). This implies a previous knowledge of God, whereas He was unknown to the Gentiles; the Jews' forgetting of God, therefore, arose from determined perversity.

they have caused … to stumble—namely the false prophets and idolatrous priests have.

ancient paths—(Jer 6:16): the paths which their pious ancestors trod. Not antiquity indiscriminately, but the example of the fathers who trod the right way, is here commended.

them—the Jews.

not cast up—not duly prepared: referring to the raised center of the road. Calvin translates, "not trodden." They had no precedent of former saints to induce them to devise for themselves a new worship.18:11-17 Sinners call it liberty to live at large; whereas for a man to be a slave to his lusts, is the very worst slavery. They forsook God for idols. When men are parched with heat, and meet with cooling, refreshing streams, they use them. In these things men will not leave a certainty for an uncertainty; but Israel left the ancient paths appointed by the Divine law. They walked not in the highway, in which they might travel safely, but in a way in which they must stumble: such was the way of idolatry, and such is the way of iniquity. This made their land desolate, and themselves miserable. Calamities may be borne, if God smile upon us when under them; but if he is displeased, and refuses his help, we are undone. Multitudes forget the Lord and his Christ, and wander from the ancient paths, to walk in ways of their own devising. But what will they do in the day of judgment!
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