In Jeremiah 10 the word senseless (in the NIV) is used three times and anytime I find a word used that many times it signals a trip to the concordance. If you use the King James senseless is translated brutish. Looking in the Strong’s Concordance the word in Hebrew is (number 1197) baar, which means to kindle or consume (by fire or by eating). The NIV translates several words senseless the one in Jeremiah 5:21 basically means “no heart” and the one in Jeremiah 4:22 means “stupid.” Jeremiah (in the NIV) uses senseless more than any other book in the Bible. Psalms is next with most of those words meaning “foolish” or “stupid.”
In Jeremiah 10 three different groups of people are referred to as “senseless” or “brutish”:
- V.8 – Those who are taught by wooden idols (The chapter starts off with a warning about learning the ways of the nations and being terrified by signs in the skies.)
- V.14, 51:17 – Goldsmiths who are making idols. (See Comparison of Jeremiah 10 and 51)
- V.21 – Shepherds who do not inquiry of the Lord. The fruit of that is they do not prosper and their flocks are scattered.
Remember they are going to burned or consumed.
The shepherds are the group that concerns me just because of the “sheep” who are hurt because of their actions. In Mark 3:1 – 6 are examples of this type of shepherd. The Pharisees set a trap for Jesus using a cripple and when the man is restored they are furious and start to find ways to KILL Jesus. I know people are still upset when it comes to the topic of divine healing and other moves of the Holy Spirit. It is sad when any “religious movement” would not stand in awe of someone being healed or set free just because their doctrine never made room for Jesus to do miracles in their life time.