1 A copy of an epistle, which Jeremy sent unto them which were to be led captives into Babylon by the king of the Babylonians, to certify them, as it was commanded him of God.
1 Exemplar epistolæ quam misit Jeremias ad abducendos captivos in Babyloniam a rege Babyloniorum, ut annuntiaret illis secundum quod præceptum est illi a Deo. Propter peccata quæ peccastis ante Deum, abducemini in Babyloniam captivi a Nabuchodonosor rege Babylonis.
2 Because of the sins which ye have committed before God, ye shall be led away captives into Babylon by Nabuchodonosor king of the Babylonians.
2 Ingressi itaque in Babylonem, eritis ibi annis plurimis, et temporibus longis, usque ad generationes septem: post hoc autem educam vos inde cum pace.
3 So when ye be come unto Babylon, ye shall remain there many years, and for a long season, namely, seven generations: and after that I will bring you away peaceably from thence.
3 Nunc autem videbitis in Babylonia deos aureos et argenteos, et lapideos et ligneos, in humeris portari, ostentantes metum gentibus.
4 Now shall ye see in Babylon gods of silver, and of gold, and of wood, borne upon shoulders, which cause the nations to fear.
4 Videte ergo ne et vos similes efficiamini factis alienis, et metuatis, et metus vos capiat in ipsis.
5 Beware therefore that ye in no wise be like to strangers, neither be ye afraid of them, when ye see the multitude before them and behind them, worshipping them.
5 Visa itaque turba de retro et ab ante, adorantes dicite in cordibus vestris: Te oportet adorari, Domine.
6 But say ye in your hearts, O Lord, we must worship thee.
6 Angelus enim meus vobiscum est: ipse autem exquiram animas vestras.
7 For mine angel is with you, and I myself caring for your souls.
7 Nam lingua ipsorum polita a fabro; ipsa etiam inaurata et inargentata: falsa sunt, et non possunt loqui.
8 As for their tongue, it is polished by the workman, and they themselves are gilded and laid over with silver; yet are they but false, and cannot speak.
8 Et sicut virgini amanti ornamenta, ita accepto auro fabricati sunt.
9 And taking gold, as it were for a virgin that loveth to go gay, they make crowns for the heads of their gods.
9 Coronas certe aureas habent super capita sua dii illorum: unde subtrahunt sacerdotes ab eis aurum et argentum, et erogant illud in semetipsos.
10 Sometimes also the priests convey from their gods gold and silver, and bestow it upon themselves.
10 Dant autem et ex ipso prostitutis, et meretrices ornant: et iterum cum receperint illud a meretricibus, ornant deos suos.
11 Yea, they will give thereof to the common harlots, and deck them as men with garments, being gods of silver, and gods of gold, and wood.
11 Hi autem non liberantur ab ærugine et tinea.
12 Yet cannot these gods save themselves from rust and moths, though they be covered with purple raiment.
12 Opertis autem illis veste purpurea, extergunt faciem ipsorum propter pulverem domus qui est plurimus inter eos.
13 They wipe their faces because of the dust of the temple, when there is much upon them.
13 Sceptrum autem habet ut homo, sicut judex regionis, qui in se peccantem non interficit.
14 And he that cannot put to death one that offendeth him holdeth a sceptre, as though he were a judge of the country.
14 Habet etiam in manu gladium et securim, se autem de bello et a latronibus non liberat. Unde vobis notum sit quia non sunt dii:
15 He hath also in his right hand a dagger and an axe: but cannot deliver himself from war and thieves.
15 non ergo timueritis eos. Sicut enim vas hominis confractum inutile efficitur, tales sunt et dii illorum.
16 Whereby they are known not to be gods: therefore fear them not.
16 Constitutis illis in domo, oculi eorum pleni sunt pulvere a pedibus introëuntium.
17 For like as a vessel that a man useth is nothing worth when it is broken; even so it is with their gods: when they be set up in the temple, their eyes be full of dust through the feet of them that come in.
17 Et sicut alicui qui regem offendit circumseptæ sunt januæ, aut sicut ad sepulchrum adductum mortuum: ita tutantur sacerdotes ostia clausuris et seris, ne a latronibus expolientur.
18 And as the doors are made sure on every side upon him that offendeth the king, as being committed to suffer death: even so the priests make fast their temples with doors, with locks, and bars, lest their gods be spoiled with robbers.
18 Lucernas accendunt illis, et quidem multas, ex quibus nullam videre possunt: sunt autem sicut trabes in domo.
19 They light them candles, yea, more than for themselves, whereof they cannot see one.
19 Corda vero eorum dicunt elingere serpentes qui de terra sunt, dum comedunt eos, et vestimentum ipsorum, et non sentiunt.
20 They are as one of the beams of the temple, yet they say their hearts are gnawed upon by things creeping out of the earth; and when they eat them and their clothes, they feel it not.
20 Nigræ fiunt facies eorum a fumo qui in domo fit.
21 Their faces are blacked through the smoke that cometh out of the temple.
21 Supra corpus eorum et supra caput eorum volant noctuæ, et hirundines, et aves etiam, similiter et cattæ.
22 Upon their bodies and heads sit bats, swallows, and birds, and the cats also.
22 Unde sciatis quia non sunt dii: ne ergo timueritis eos.
23 By this ye may know that they are no gods: therefore fear them not.
23 ¶ Aurum etiam quod habent ad speciem est: nisi aliquis exterserit æruginem, non fulgebunt: neque enim dum conflarentur, sentiebant.
24 Notwithstanding the gold that is about them to make them beautiful, except they wipe off the rust, they will not shine: for neither when they were molten did they feel it.
24 Ex omni pretio empta sunt, in quibus spiritus non inest ipsis.
25 The things wherein there is no breath are bought for a most high price.
25 Sine pedibus, in humeris portantur, ostentantes ignobilitatem suam hominibus: confundantur etiam qui colunt ea.
26 They are borne upon shoulders, having no feet, whereby they declare unto men that they be nothing worth.
26 Propterea si ceciderint in terram, a semetipsis non consurgunt: neque si quis eum statuerit rectum, per semetipsum stabit: sed sicut mortuis munera eorum illis apponentur.
27 They also that serve them are ashamed: for if they fall to the ground at any time, they cannot rise up again of themselves: neither, if one set them upright, can they move of themselves: neither, if they be bowed down, can they make themselves straight: but they set gifts before them, as unto dead men.
27 Hostias illorum vendunt sacerdotes ipsorum, et abutuntur: similiter et mulieres eorum decerpentes, neque infirmo, neque mendicanti, aliquid impertiunt.
28 As for the things that are sacrificed unto them, their priests sell and abuse; in like manner their wives lay up part thereof in salt; but unto the poor and impotent they give nothing of it.
28 De sacrificiis eorum fœtæ et menstruatæ contingunt. Scientes itaque ex his quia non sunt dii, ne timeatis eos.
29 Menstruous women and women in childbed eat their sacrifices: by these things ye may know that they are no gods: fear them not.
29 Unde enim vocantur dii? quia mulieres apponunt diis argenteis, et aureis, et ligneis:
30 For how can they be called gods? because women set meat before the gods of silver, gold, and wood.
30 et in domibus eorum sacerdotes sedent habentes tunicas scissas, et capita et barbam rasam, quorum capita nuda sunt.
31 And the priests sit in their temples, having their clothes rent, and their heads and beards shaven, and nothing upon their heads.
31 Rugiunt autem clamantes contra deos suos sicut in cœna mortui.
32 They roar and cry before their gods, as men do at the feast when one is dead.
32 Vestimenta eorum auferunt sacerdotes, et vestiunt uxores suas et filios suos.
33 The priests also take off their garments, and clothe their wives and children.
33 Neque si quid mali patiuntur ab aliquo, neque si quid boni, poterunt retribuere: neque regem constituere possunt, neque auferre.
34 Whether it be evil that one doeth unto them, or good, they are not able to recompense it: they can neither set up a king, nor put him down.
34 Similiter neque dare divitias possunt, neque malum retribuere. Si quis illis votum voverit et non reddiderit, neque hoc requirunt.
35 In like manner, they can neither give riches nor money: though a man make a vow unto them, and keep it not, they will not require it.
35 Hominem a morte non liberant, neque infirmum a potentiori eripiunt.
36 They can save no man from death, neither deliver the weak from the mighty.
36 Hominem cæcum ad visum non restituunt; de necessitate hominem non liberabunt.
37 They cannot restore a blind man to his sight, nor help any man in his distress.
37 Viduæ non miserebuntur, neque orphanis benefacient.
38 They can shew no mercy to the widow, nor do good to the fatherless.
38 Lapidibus de monte similes sunt dii illorum, lignei, et lapidei, et aurei, et argentei: qui autem colunt ea, confundentur.
39 Their gods of wood, and which are overlaid with gold and silver, are like the stones that be hewn out of the mountain: they that worship them shall be confounded.
39 Quomodo ergo æstimandum est aut dicendum illos esse deos?
40 How should a man then think and say that they are gods, when even the Chaldeans themselves dishonour them?
40 Adhuc enim ipsis Chaldæis non honorantibus ea: qui cum audierint mutum non posse loqui, offerunt illud ad Bel, postulantes ab eo loqui:
41 Who if they shall see one dumb that cannot speak, they bring him, and intreat Bel that he may speak, as though he were able to understand.
41 quasi possint sentire qui non habent motum! Et ipsi, cum intellexerint, relinquent ea: sensum enim non habent ipsi dii illorum.
42 Yet they cannot understand this themselves, and leave them: for they have no knowledge.
42 Mulieres autem circumdatæ funibus in viis sedent, succendentes ossa olivarum:
43 The women also with cords about them, sitting in the ways, burn bran for perfume: but if any of them, drawn by some that passeth by, lie with him, she reproacheth her fellow, that she was not thought as worthy as herself, nor her cord broken.
43 cum autem aliqua ex ipsis, attracta ab aliquo transeunte, dormierit cum eo, proximæ suæ exprobrat quod ea non sit digna habita, sicut ipsa, neque funis ejus diruptus sit.
44 Whatsoever is done among them is false: how may it then be thought or said that they are gods?
44 Omnia autem quæ illis fiunt, falsa sunt: quomodo æstimandum aut dicendum est illos esse deos?
45 They are made of carpenters and goldsmiths: they can be nothing else than the workmen will have them to be.
45 ¶ A fabris autem et ab aurificibus facta sunt: nihil aliud erunt, nisi id quod volunt esse sacerdotes.
46 And they themselves that made them can never continue long; how should then the things that are made of them be gods?
46 Artifices etiam ipsi, qui ea faciunt, non sunt multi temporis: numquid ergo possunt ea, quæ fabricata sunt ab ipsis, esse dii?
47 For they left lies and reproaches to them that come after.
47 Reliquerunt autem falsa et opprobrium postea futuris.
48 For when there cometh any war or plague upon them, the priests consult with themselves, where they may be hidden with them.
48 Nam cum supervenerit illis prælium et mala, cogitant sacerdotes apud se ubi se abscondant cum illis.
49 How then cannot men perceive that they be no gods, which can neither save themselves from war, nor from plague?
49 Quomodo ergo sentiri debeant quoniam dii sunt, qui nec de bello se liberant, neque de malis se eripiunt?
50 For seeing they be but of wood, and overlaid with silver and gold, it shall be known hereafter that they are false:
50 Nam cum sint lignea, inaurata et inargentata, scietur postea quia falsa sunt ab universis gentibus et regibus: quæ manifesta sunt quia non sunt dii, sed opera manuum hominum, et nullum Dei opus cum illis.
51 And it shall manifestly appear to all nations and kings that they are no gods, but the works of men's hands, and that there is no work of God in them.
51 Unde ergo notum est quia non sunt dii, sed opera manuum hominum, et nullum Dei opus in ipsis est.
52 Who then may not know that they are no gods?
52 Regem regioni non suscitant, neque pluviam hominibus dabunt.
53 For neither can they set up a king in the land, nor give rain unto men.
53 Judicium quoque non discernent, neque regiones liberabunt ab injuria, quia nihil possunt, sicut corniculæ inter medium cæli et terræ.
54 Neither can they judge their own cause, nor redress a wrong, being unable: for they are as crows between heaven and earth.
54 Etenim cum inciderit ignis in domum deorum ligneorum, argenteorum et aureorum, sacerdotes quidem ipsorum fugient, et liberabuntur: ipsi vero sicut trabes in medio comburentur.
55 Whereupon when fire falleth upon the house of gods of wood, or laid over with gold or silver, their priests will flee away, and escape; but they themselves shall be burned asunder like beams.
55 Regi autem et bello non resistent. Quomodo ergo æstimandum est aut recipiendum quia dii sunt?
56 Moreover they cannot withstand any king or enemies: how can it then be thought or said that they be gods?
56 Non a furibus, neque a latronibus se liberabunt dii lignei, et lapidei, et inaurati, et inargentati: quibus hi qui fortiores sunt,
57 Neither are those gods of wood, and laid over with silver or gold, able to escape either from thieves or robbers.
57 aurum et argentum, et vestimentum quo operti sunt, auferent illis, et abibunt, nec sibi auxilium ferent.
58 Whose gold, and silver, and garments wherewith they are clothed, they that are strong do take, and go away withal: neither are they able to help themselves.
58 ¶ Itaque melius est esse regem ostentantem virtutem suam, aut vas in domo utile, in quo gloriabitur qui possidet illud, vel ostium in domo, quod custodit quæ in ipsa sunt, quam falsi dii.
59 Therefore it is better to be a king that sheweth his power, or else a profitable vessel in an house, which the owner shall have use of, than such false gods; or to be a door in an house, to keep such things safe as be therein, than such false gods; or a pillar of wood in a palace, than such false gods.
59 Sol quidem et luna ac sidera, cum sint splendida et emissa ad utilitates, obaudiunt:
60 For sun, moon, and stars, being bright, and sent to do their offices, are obedient.
60 similiter et fulgur cum apparuerit, perspicuum est: idipsum autem et spiritus in omni regione spirat:
61 In like manner the lightning when it breaketh forth is easy to be seen; and after the same manner the wind bloweth in every country.
61 et nubes, quibus cum imperatum fuerit a Deo perambulare universum orbem, perficiunt quod imperatum est eis:
62 And when God commandeth the clouds to go over the whole world, they do as they are bidden.
62 ignis etiam missus desuper, ut consumat montes et silvas, facit quod præceptum est ei: hæc autem neque speciebus, neque virtutibus, uni eorum similia sunt.
63 And the fire sent from above to consume hills and woods doeth as it is commanded: but these are like unto them neither in shew nor power.
63 Unde neque existimandum est, neque dicendum illos esse deos, quando non possunt neque judicium judicare, neque quidquam facere hominibus.
64 Wherefore it is neither to be supposed nor said that they are gods, seeing they are able neither to judge causes, nor to do good unto men.
64 Scientes itaque quia non sunt dii, ne ergo timueritis eos.
65 Knowing therefore that they are no gods, fear them not.
65 Neque enim regibus maledicent, neque benedicent.
66 For they can neither curse nor bless kings:
66 Signa etiam in cælo gentibus non ostendunt: neque ut sol lucebunt, neque illuminabunt ut luna.
67 Neither can they shew signs in the heavens among the heathen, nor shine as the sun, nor give light as the moon.
67 Bestiæ meliores sunt illis, quæ possunt fugere sub tectum ac prodesse sibi.
68 The beasts are better than they: for they can get under a covert, and help themselves.
68 Nullo itaque modo nobis est manifestum quia sunt dii: propter quod ne timeatis eos.
69 It is then by no means manifest unto us that they are gods: therefore fear them not.
69 ¶ Nam sicut in cucumerario formido nihil custodit, ita sunt dii illorum lignei, et argentei, et inaurati.
70 For as a scarecrow in a garden of cucumbers keepeth nothing: so are their gods of wood, and laid over with silver and gold.
70 Eodem modo et in horto spina alba, supra quam omnis avis sedet, similiter et mortuo projecto in tenebris, similes sunt dii illorum lignei, et inaurati, et inargentati.
71 And likewise their gods of wood, and laid over with silver and gold, are like to a white thorn in an orchard, that every bird sitteth upon; as also to a dead body, that is cast into the dark.
71 A purpura quoque et murice, quæ supra illos tineant, scietis itaque quia non sunt dii: ipsi etiam postremo comeduntur, et erunt opprobrium in regione.
72 And ye shall know them to be no gods by the bright purple that rotteth upon them: and they themselves afterward shall be eaten, and shall be a reproach in the country.
72 Melior est homo justus qui non habet simulacra, nam erit longe ab opprobriis.
73 Better therefore is the just man that hath none idols: for he shall be far from reproach.
About the Latin Text
The Latin text displayed here is that of the Clementine Vulgate, as digitized by the Clementine Text Project.