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Jeremiah 4:22 & meaning...


my people are foolish, they don’t know me. They are foolish children, and they have no understanding. They are skillful in doing evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.”

Jeremiah 4:22


Jeremiah 4 [19.] My anguish, my anguish! I am pained at my very heart; my heart is disquieted in me; I can’t hold my peace; because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. 20 Destruction on destruction is cried; for the whole land is laid waste: suddenly are my tents destroyed, and my curtains in a moment. How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?

Jeremiah 4 [22.] “For my people are foolish, they don’t know me. They are foolish children, and they have no understanding. They are skillful in doing evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” I saw the earth, and, behold, it was waste and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I saw the mountains, and behold, they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth. I saw, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the sky had fled. I saw, and behold, the fruitful field was a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down at the presence of Yahweh, before his fierce anger. For Yahweh says, “The whole land shall be a desolation; yet will I not make a full end. For this the earth will mourn, and the heavens above be black; because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and I have not repented, neither will I turn back from it.”


  • Foolishness and Ignorance: 

Jeremiah begins by lamenting the spiritual condition of the people of Judah. He describes them as "foolish" and lacking knowledge of God. Despite their religious practices and outward appearance of piety, they fail to truly know and understand God. Their ignorance stems from a deliberate rejection of God's truth and a refusal to heed His warnings.

  • Lack of Understanding: 

Jeremiah further emphasizes the spiritual blindness of the people by describing them as "foolish children" with "no understanding." Their lack of understanding is not due to intellectual incapacity but rather to a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the truth of God's word and the seriousness of their sin.

  • Skillful in Evil: 

Despite their ignorance of God and lack of understanding, the people of Judah are described as "skillful in doing evil." This indictment reveals the depth of their depravity and the extent to which sin has permeated their lives. They have become adept at indulging in sinful practices and are characterized by a pattern of rebellion against God.

  • Inability to Do Good: 

Conversely, Jeremiah notes that while the people excel in evil, they have "no knowledge" or understanding of how to do good. Their moral compass is so distorted by sin that they are incapable of discerning right from wrong or pursuing righteousness. This highlights the pervasive nature of sin and its debilitating effects on the human heart and mind.

Significance for Today: 

Although Jeremiah's message was directed specifically to the people of Judah in his time, the underlying themes of spiritual blindness, sinfulness, and the need for repentance remain relevant for us today. Like the people of Judah, we can become ensnared by our own foolishness and ignorance, failing to recognize the gravity of our sin and our need for God's mercy and forgiveness.

Cross References:

Psalm 14:1: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none who does good." This verse echoes the theme of spiritual foolishness and moral corruption due to a rejection of God's truth.

Proverbs 1:7: "The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs reinforces the importance of acknowledging God and seeking wisdom, contrasting the attitudes of the wise and the foolish.

In summary, Jeremiah 4:22 serves as a poignant reminder of the dangers of spiritual blindness and moral corruption that result from willful ignorance and rebellion against God. It challenges us to examine our own hearts and attitudes, recognizing our need for God's grace and guidance in discerning right from wrong and living according to His will.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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