Jeremiah 5:4
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.

Berean Study Bible
Then I said, “They are only the poor; they have played the fool, for they do not know the way of the LORD, the justice 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.

New King James Version
Therefore I said, “Surely these are poor. They are foolish; For they do not know the way of the LORD, The judgment 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 judgment of their God.

NASB 1995
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.

NASB 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.

Amplified Bible
Then I said, “[Surely] these are only the poor (uneducated); They are [sinfully] foolish and have no [spiritual] understanding, For they do not know the way of the LORD Or the ordinance of their God [and the requirements of His just and righteous law].

Christian Standard Bible
Then I thought: They are just the poor; they have been foolish. For they don’t understand the way of the LORD, the justice 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.

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:

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And I said: because they are poor, they have gone astray, because they have not known the way of LORD JEHOVAH and the justice of their God

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Then I said, It may be they are poor; for they are weak, for they know not the way of the Lord, or the judgment of God.

Contemporary English Version
Then I thought to myself, "These common people act like fools, and they have never learned what the LORD their God demands of them.

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.

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:

Good News Translation
Then I thought, "These are only the poor and ignorant. They behave foolishly; they don't know what their God requires, what the LORD wants them to do.

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.

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.

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;

Literal Standard Version
And I said, “Surely these [are] poor, They have been foolish, For they have not known the way of YHWH, The judgment 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.

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.

Additional Translations ...
Context
No One is Just
3O LORD, do not Your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain. You finished them off, but they refused to accept discipline. They have made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent. 4Then I said, “They are only the poor; they have played the fool, for they do not know the way of the LORD, the justice of their God. 5I will go to the powerful and speak to them. Surely they know the way of the LORD, the justice of their God.” But they too, with one accord, had broken the yoke and torn off the chains.…

Cross References
Isaiah 27:11
When its limbs are dry, they are broken off. Women come and use them for kindling; for this is a people without understanding. Therefore their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor.

Jeremiah 4:22
"For My people are fools; they have not known Me. They are foolish children, without understanding. They are skilled in doing evil, but they know not how to do good."

Jeremiah 8:7
Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons. The turtledove, the swift, and the thrush keep their time of migration, but My people do not know the requirements of the LORD.

Jeremiah 9:3
"They bend their tongues like bows; lies prevail over truth in the land. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not take Me into account," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 10:8
But they are altogether senseless and foolish, instructed by worthless idols made of wood!

Hosea 4:6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as My priests. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also 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 sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

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

Jeremiah 8:7
Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.









(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, . . .

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
Then I
וַאֲנִ֣י (wa·’ă·nî)
Conjunctive waw | Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's 589: I

said,
אָמַ֔רְתִּי (’ā·mar·tî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 559: To utter, say

“They
הֵ֑ם (hêm)
Pronoun - third person masculine plural
Strong's 1992: They

are only
אַךְ־ (’aḵ-)
Adverb
Strong's 389: A particle of affirmation, surely

the poor;
דַּלִּ֖ים (dal·lîm)
Adjective - masculine plural construct
Strong's 1800: Dangling, weak, thin

they have played the fool,
נוֹאֲל֕וּ (nō·w·’ă·lū)
Verb - Nifal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's 2973: To be slack, to be foolish

for
כִּ֣י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

they do not
לֹ֤א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

know
יָדְעוּ֙ (yā·ḏə·‘ū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's 3045: To know

the way
דֶּ֣רֶךְ (de·reḵ)
Noun - common singular construct
Strong's 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

of the LORD,
יְהוָ֔ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

the justice
מִשְׁפַּ֖ט (miš·paṭ)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 4941: A verdict, a sentence, formal decree, divine law, penalty, justice, privilege, style

of their God.
אֱלֹהֵיהֶֽם׃ (’ĕ·lō·hê·hem)
Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative


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OT Prophets: Jeremiah 5:4 Then I said Surely these are poor (Jer.)
Jeremiah 5:3
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