Scribes

 

How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.

Jeremiah 8:8

 

jews and judeochristians love to quote this verse OUT OF CONTEXT to attempt to justify their foolish notion that Jeremiah believed the scribes had made the Pentateuch, the Torah, or the first five books of the Holy Bible, into a "lie".  But let's look at what Jeremiah, who's the LAST man on Earth who'd suggest changing or abolishing or disrespecting the Word of God, ACTUALLY wrote:

 

Jeremiah 8:1 At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves:

Jeremiah 8:2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshiped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.

Jeremiah 8:3 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts.

Jeremiah 8:4 Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return?

Jeremiah 8:5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slid back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.

Jeremiah 8:6 I hearkened and heard, but they spoke not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle.

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.

Jeremiah 8:8 How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.

Jeremiah 8:9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?

Jeremiah 8:10 Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.

 

 

We can easily see that it was not Jeremiah himself who complained that the Torah had been changed by the "pen of the scribes", but that he was QUOTING those Israelites of the House of Israel who refused to obey the Word of God, and used this as an EXCUSE not to.  The placement of the quotation marks which are not in the original Hebrew or Gaelic text makes a big difference in what we believe Jeremiah wrote and intended:

  1. Jeremiah 8:8 How do ye say, "We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us?" Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.
  2. Jeremiah 8:8 How do ye say, "We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it;" the pen of the scribes is in vain.
  3. Jeremiah 8:8 How do ye say, "We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain."

Other translators are not much help in determining what Jeremiah intended to say, so we must put this into context with Jeremiah's overall message and realize that he would have been a HUGE fool and hypocrite to have condemned the Israelites for refusing to obey the Word of God, if he himself believed that they couldn't even know what God's Word was because it had been altered by the scribes:

(CEV) You say, "We are wise because we have the teachings and laws of the LORD." But I say that your teachers have turned my words into lies!

(RSV) "How can you say, 'We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us'? But, behold, the false pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.

NEITHER of these can be correct, because BOTH of them insinuate or believe that it was Jeremiah himself who claimed that the Word of God had been turned into a "lie" by the scribes.

BOTH of these thoughts are so totally contrary to every other word that Jeremiah ever wrote that it's hard to conceive of the "scholar" who would honestly believe such a thing.  The ONLY correct translation is "C" above:

Jeremiah 8:8 How do ye say, "We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain."

Or perhaps we can conclude from the CEV translation that this is a direct quotation:

Jeremiah 8:8 You say, "We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain."

 

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Jeremiah was talking about THE PHARISEES of his day -- those engaged in the CURRENT ruling of the Israeli nation as the religious ruling class.

THE BIBLE IS FILLED WITH WARNINGS AGAINST FALSE PROPHETS -- LIKE MOHAMMED.   Once again, God is warning against those who DEVIATE from the Penteteuch (Torah).

Your interpretation is without any factual support whatsoever, and in violent disagreement with everything else that we find in Jeremiah and the rest of the Bible.

JEREMIAH 11  EXPLICITLY TELLS US THAT WE SHOULD FOLLOW THE PENTETEUCH (TORAH) FAITHFULLY.

3 Tell them that this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Cursed is the man who does not obey the terms of this covenant- 4 the terms I commanded your forefathers when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.' I said, 'Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. 5 Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey'-the land you possess today."
      I answered, "Amen, LORD."

 6 The LORD said to me, "Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: 'Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. 7 From the time I brought your forefathers up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, "Obey me." 8 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.' "

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AND GOD PROMISED TO RETURN ISRAEL TO THE LAND GIVEN TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL:

Jeremiah 12

14 This is what the LORD says: "As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the house of Judah from among them.

15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to his own inheritance and his own country. 16 And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, 'As surely as the LORD lives'-even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people. 17 But if any nation does not listen, I will completely uproot and destroy it," declares the LORD.