Jeremiah 8:8

8 “ ‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?

Read Jeremiah 8:8 Using Other Translations

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.
"How can you say, 'We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us'? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.
“‘How can you say, “We are wise because we have the word of the LORD,” when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies?

What does Jeremiah 8:8 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Jeremiah 8:8

How do ye say, we are wise
Which they were continually boasting of, though they were ignorant of the judgment of the Lord, and were more stupid than the stork, turtle, crane, and swallow: and the law of the Lord is with us?
this was the foundation of their boast, because the law was given to them, and not to the nations of the world, which knew not God, and therefore they must be a wise and understanding people; and this law continued with them, they had it in their synagogues, and in their houses, and read it, and heard, or at least they might and ought to have heard and read it, and in this they trusted; of this character and cast were the Jews in the times of Christ and his apostles, ( Romans 2:17-20 ) to which agrees the Targum,

``how say ye, we are wise, and in the law of the Lord we trust?''
Lo, certainly in vain made he it;
either the law, which was made or given in vain by the Lord to this people, since they made no better use of it, and valued themselves upon having it, without acting according to it; or the pen of the scribe, which was made by him in vain to write it, as follows: the pen of the scribes is in vain;
in vain, and to no purpose, were the scribes employed in writing out copies of the law, when either it was not heard or read, or however the things it enjoined were not put in practice; or the pen of the scribes was in vain, when employed in writing out false copies of the law, or false glosses and interpretations of it, such as were made by the Scribes and Pharisees in Christ's time, and the fathers before them, by whose traditions the word of God was made of none effect: and so the Targum,
``therefore, lo, in vain the scribe hath made the lying pen to falsify;''
that is, the Scriptures. The words may be rendered,
``verily, behold, with a lie he wrought; the pen: is the lie of the scribes F8.''


F8 (Myrpo rqv je hve rqvl hnh Nka) "utique ecce, mendacio operatus est; stylus mendacium scribarum est", Schmidt. Approved by Reinbeck. De Accent. Heb. p. 435.
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