Study Without Observance: Jeremiah 8:8-9


While studying this weekend, I came across a parsha which is somewhat confusing. After inquiring on the internet, I have yet to find an orthodox or Hasidic site explanation of the following text. What is Hashem telling Jeremiah?

Jeremiah 8:8-9

How can you say, “We are wise, And we possess the Instruction of the LORD”? Assuredly, from the lying pens of scribes!

The wise shall be put to shame, Shall be dismayed and caught; See, they reject the word of the LORD, So their wisdom amounts to nothing.

אֵיכָ֤ה תֹֽאמְרוּ֙ חֲכָמִ֣ים אֲנַ֔חְנוּ וְתוֹרַ֥ת יְהֹוָ֖ה אִתָּ֑נוּ אָכֵן֙ הִנֵּ֣ה לַשֶּׁ֣קֶר עָשָׂ֔ה עֵ֖ט שֶׁ֥קֶר סֹפְרִֽים׃ הֹבִ֣שׁוּ חֲכָמִ֔ים חַ֖תּוּ וַיִּלָּכֵ֑דוּ הִנֵּ֤ה בִדְבַר־יְהֹוָה֙ מָאָ֔סוּ וְחׇכְמַ֥ת מֶ֖ה לָהֶֽם

Are these scribes those who interpret the written Torah for the Jewish people?




  1. The Radak, Rabbi David Kimche, understands the word “lasheker” as “for nothing.” The verse means that Jeremiah is telling the people that they may think that they are well versed in Torah but their knowledge is worthless since they do not keep what the Torah commands them to do. Subsequently, the scribes who wrote down the Torah are writing lies, as they do not believe what they are writing. They will be put to shame because their wisdom will not help them in any way since it is not founded in the Holy Torah.

    Best wishes from the Team