Jeremiah 5:4
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New International Version
I thought, "These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God.

New Living Translation
Then I said, "But what can we expect from the poor? They are ignorant. They don't know the ways of the LORD. They don't understand God's laws.

English Standard Version
Then I said, “These are only the poor; they have no sense; for they do not know the way of the LORD, the justice of their God.

New American Standard Bible
Then I said, "They are only the poor, They are foolish; For they do not know the way of the LORD Or the ordinance of their God.

King James Bible
Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then I thought: They are just the poor; they have played the fool. For they don't understand the way of the LORD, the justice of their God.

International Standard Version
Then I said, "These are only the poor, they're foolish, for they don't know the LORD's way, the requirement of their God.

NET Bible
I thought, "Surely it is only the ignorant poor who act this way. They act like fools because they do not know what the LORD demands. They do not know what their God requires of them.

New Heart English Bible
Then I said, "Surely these are poor. They are foolish; for they do not know the way of the LORD, nor the law of their God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I thought, "These are poor, foolish people. They don't know the way of the LORD and the justice that God demands.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And I said: 'Surely these are poor, They are foolish, for they know not the way of the LORD, Nor the ordinance of their God;

New American Standard 1977
Then I said, “They are only the poor,
            They are foolish;
            For they do not know the way of the LORD
            Or the ordinance of their God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they have become foolish; for they do not know the way of the LORD nor the judgment of their God.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the law of their God.

American King James Version
Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.

American Standard Version
Then I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish; for they know not the way of Jehovah, nor the law of their God:

Douay-Rheims Bible
But I said: Perhaps these are poor and foolish, that know not the way of the Lord, the judgement of their God.

Darby Bible Translation
And I said, Surely these are the wretched ones, they are foolish; for they know not the way of Jehovah, the judgment of their God.

English Revised Version
Then I said, Surely these are poor: they are foolish; for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God:

Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.

World English Bible
Then I said, "Surely these are poor. They are foolish; for they don't know the way of Yahweh, nor the law of their God.

Young's Literal Translation
And I -- I said, 'Surely these are poor, They have been foolish, For they have not known the way of Jehovah, The judgment of their God.
Study Bible
No One is Just
3O LORD, do not Your eyes look for truth? You have smitten them, But they did not weaken; You have consumed them, But they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; They have refused to repent. 4Then I said, "They are only the poor, They are foolish; For they do not know the way of the LORD Or the ordinance of their God. 5"I will go to the great And will speak to them, For they know the way of the LORD And the ordinance of their God." But they too, with one accord, have broken the yoke And burst the bonds.…
Cross References
Isaiah 27:11
When its limbs are dry, they are broken off; Women come and make a fire with them, For they are not a people of discernment, Therefore their Maker will not have compassion on them. And their Creator will not be gracious to them.

Jeremiah 4:22
"For My people are foolish, They know Me not; They are stupid children And have no understanding. They are shrewd to do evil, But to do good they do not know."

Jeremiah 8:7
"Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD.

Jeremiah 9:3
"They bend their tongue like their bow; Lies and not truth prevail in the land; For they proceed from evil to evil, And they do not know Me," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 10:8
But they are altogether stupid and foolish In their discipline of delusion-- their idol is wood!

Hosea 4:6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Treasury of Scripture

Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.

Jeremiah 4:22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are silly …

Jeremiah 7:8 Behold, you trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

Jeremiah 8:7 Yes, the stork in the heaven knows her appointed times; and the turtle …

Isaiah 27:11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the …

Isaiah 28:9-13 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand …

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected …

Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are …

John 7:48,49 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him…

(4) Therefore.--Literally, And. The prophet makes for the poor the half-pitying plea of ignorance. Looking upon the masses that toil for bread, those whom the Scribes afterwards called the "people of earth," it was not strange that they who had been left untaught should have learnt so little. The thought finds a parallel in our Lord's compassion for the multitude who were as "sheep having no shepherd" (Matthew 9:36), for the servant who "knew not his Lord's will" (Luke 12:48).

The way of the Lord.--That which He approves, that which leads to Him, as in Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 31:29.

Verse 4. - Therefore I said; rather, and as for me, I said. They are foolish; rather, they act foolishly (as Numbers 12:11). For; rather, because. Their want of religious instruction is the cause of their faulty conduct. In fact, it was only after the return from Babylon that any popular schools were founded in Judaea, and not till shortly before the destruction of the temple that the elementary instruction attained the regularity of a system (Edersheim, 'Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Time of Christ,' pp. 134, 135). The judgment of their God. A similar phrase occurs in Jeremiah 8:7. "Judgment (mishpat) here (as in some other passages) has acquired a technical sense. This may be illustrated by the corresponding word in Arabic (din), which means

(1) obedience,

(2) a religion,

(3) a statute or ordinance,

(4) a system of usages, rites, and ceremonies" (Lane's 'Lexicon,' s.v.). Judgment is, therefore, here equivalent to "religious law," and "law" is a preferable rendering. Then I said, surely these are poor, they are foolish,.... The prophet, observing that reproofs and corrections in providence had no effect upon the people, he thought within himself that surely the reason must be, because these people are poor, and in low circumstances in the world, and are so busy in their worldly employments to get bread for their families, that they were not at leisure to attend unto divine things; nor of capacity to receive instruction and correction by providences; therefore it is they were so foolish, stupid, and infatuated:

for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God; either the way which God takes in the salvation of the sons of men, and in justifying of them, which is revealed in his word; or that which he prescribes them to walk in, in his law, even the way of truth and righteousness, and for failure of which he judges and condemns them; but of these things they were ignorant; see John 7:48, not that this is observed in excuse for them, but in order to introduce what follows; and to show that this depravity, stupidity, and ignorance, obtained among all sort of people, high and low, rich and poor. 4. poor—rather, "the poor." He supposes for the moment that this utter depravity is confined to the uninstructed poor, and that he would find a different state of things in the higher ranks: but there he finds unbridled profligacy.5:1-9 None could be found who behaved as upright and godly men. But the Lord saw the true character of the people through all their disguises. The poor were ignorant, and therefore they were wicked. What can be expected but works of darkness, from people that know nothing of God and religion? There are God's poor, who, notwithstanding poverty, know the way of the Lord, walk in it, and do their duty; but these were willingly ignorant, and their ignorance would not be their excuse. The rich were insolent and haughty, and the abuse of God's favours made their sin worse.
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