Jeremiah 10:4
They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.They deck it - It was covered with plates of gold and silver, and then fastened with nails in its place, that it might not "more, i. e." tumble down.

The agreement in this and the following verses with the argument in Isaiah 40-44 is so manifest, that no one can doubt that the one is modelled upon the other. If, therefore, Jeremiah took the thoughts and phrases from Isaiah, it is plain that the last 27 chapters of Isaiah were prior in date to Jeremiah's time, and were not therefore written at the close of the Babylonian exile. This passage then is a crucial one to the pseudo-Isaiah theory. Two answers are attempted,

(1) that the pseudo-Isaiah borrowed from Jeremiah. But this is refuted by the style, which is not that usual with Jeremiah.

(2) that it is an interpolation in Jeremiah.

But how then are we to account for its being found in the Septuagint Version? The only argument of real importance is that these verses break the continuity of thought; but the whole chapter is somewhat fragmentary, and not so closely connected as the previous three. Still there is a connection. The prophet had just included all Israel under the ban of uncircumcision: he now shows them their last chance of safety by enlarging upon the truth, that (compare Jeremiah 9:23-24) their true glory is their God, not an idol of wood, but the King of nations. Then comes the sad feeling that they have rejected God and chosen idols Jeremiah 10:17-18; then the nation's deep grief Jeremiah 10:19-22 and earnest prayer Jeremiah 10:23-25. It is quite possible that only portions of the concluding part of Jeremiah's templesermon were embodied in Baruch's scroll, and that had the whole been preserved, we should have found the thoughts as orderly in development as those in Jeremiah 7-9.

4. fasten … move not—that is, that it may stand upright without risk of falling, which the god (!) would do, if left to itself (Isa 41:7). A further description of their workmanship, having no other comeliness but what they confer upon it, and they no greater security or certainty of it than as they can with hammer and nail make it fast, and fix it to some place, the wooden god being not able to preserve itself from falling; therefore it is rather to be meant of fastening to some wall or pillar, than of fastening their parts together, because they seem to be cut out of one entire piece, and therefore need it not. They deck it with silver and with gold,.... Cover it with plates of silver and gold, for the sake of ornament, that it may look grand, majestic, and venerable; and by this means draw the eye and attention, and so the devotion of people to it:

they fasten it with nails and hammers, that it move not. The sense is, either that the idol was fastened to some post or pillar, or in some certain place on a pedestal, that it might not fall, it not being able otherwise to support itself; or the plates of silver and gold, as Kimchi thinks, were fastened to the idol with nails and hammers, that so they might not be taken away from it; for, were it not for the nails, the god would not be able to keep his silver and golden deckings.

They deck it {c} with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it may not move.

(c) The prophets use thus plainly and simply to set forth the vile absurdity of the idolaters that men might learn to be ashamed of that to which their corrupt nature is most subject, Isa 44:12.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. The idol is covered with plates of silver and gold, and secured to its place.

move] lit. shake. Cp. Isaiah 40:20; Isaiah 41:7.Verse 4. - They deck it... that it move not. The close resemblance of this verse to Isaiah 40:19, 20; Isaiah 41:7, will strike every reader. "Move" should rather be totter. (Jeremiah 9:22-23)

The True Wisdom. - It is not a reliance on one's own wisdom and strength that brings well-being, but the knowledge of the Lord and of His dealings in grace and justice (Jeremiah 9:22-25). Idolatry is folly, for the idols are the mere work of men's hands; whereas Jahveh, the Almighty God, is ruler of the world (10:1-16). Israel will be made to understand this by the coming judgment (Jeremiah 9:17-25).

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