Jeremiah 10:19-21

19 Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is severe. But I said, "Truly this is my punishment, and I must bear it."
20 My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are no more; there is no one to spread my tent again, and to set up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds are stupid, and do not inquire of the Lord; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered.

Jeremiah 10:19-21 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 10

This chapter shows that there is no comparison to be made between God and the idols of the Gentiles; represents the destruction of the Jews as near at hand; and is closed with some petitions of the prophet. It begins by way of preface with an exhortation to hear the word of the Lord, and a dehortation not to learn the way of the Heathens, or be dismayed at their signs, since their customs were in vain, Jer 10:1-3 which lead on to expose their idols, and set forth the greatness and glory of God. Their idols are described by the matter and makers of them, Jer 10:3,4,9 and from their impotence to speak, to stand, to move, or do either good or evil, Jer 10:4,5, but, on the other hand, God is described by the greatness of his name and power, and by the reverence that belongs unto him; in comparison of whom all the wise men of the nations are brutish, foolish, and vain, Jer 10:6-8, by the epithets of true, living, and everlasting, and by the terribleness of his wrath, Jer 10:10, by his power and wisdom, in making the heavens and the earth, in causing thunder and lightning, wind and rain, when the gods that have no share in these shall utterly perish, Jer 10:11-13 their makers being brutish, and brought to shame; and they falsehood and breathless vanity, the work of errors, and so shall come to ruin, Jer 10:14,15, but he, who is Jacob's portion, and whose inheritance Israel is, is not like them; being the former of all things, and his name the Lord of hosts, Jer 10:16 and next follows a prophecy of the destruction of the Jews; wherefore they are bid to gather up their wares, since in a very little time, and at once, the Lord would fling them out of the land, and bring them into distress, Jer 10:17,18, upon which the prophet expresses his sympathy with his people in trouble, and the part of grief he took and bore with them, Jer 10:19, the particulars of his distress, through the desolation of the land, and the captivity of the people, with the cause and authors of it, by whose means these things were brought upon them, are mentioned, Jer 10:20,21, and the Chaldean army, the instruments of their ruin, are represented as just at hand, Jer 10:22, when the prophet, directing himself to God, acknowledges the impotence of man in general to help and guide himself, deprecates correction in anger to himself in particular, and prays that the wrath of God might be poured down upon the Heathens, by whom his people were devoured, consumed, and made desolate, Jer 10:23-25.

Jeremiah 10:19-21 In-Context

17 Gather up your bundle from the ground, O you who live under siege!
18 For thus says the Lord: I am going to sling out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, so that they shall feel it.
19 Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is severe. But I said, "Truly this is my punishment, and I must bear it."
20 My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are no more; there is no one to spread my tent again, and to set up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds are stupid, and do not inquire of the Lord; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered.
22 Hear, a noise! Listen, it is coming— a great commotion from the land of the north to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a lair of jackals.
23 I know, O Lord, that the way of human beings is not in their control, that mortals as they walk cannot direct their steps.