31:1 At that time I will be the God of all the clans of Israel 1
and they will be my people.
I, the Lord, affirm it!” 2
31:2 The Lord says,
“The people of Israel who survived
death at the hands of the enemy 3
will find favor in the wilderness
as they journey to find rest for themselves.
31:3 In a far-off land the Lord will manifest himself to them.
He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.
That is why I have continued to be faithful to you. 4
31:4 I will rebuild you, my dear children Israel, 5
so that you will once again be built up.
Once again you will take up the tambourine
and join in the happy throng of dancers. 6
31:5 Once again you will plant vineyards
on the hills of Samaria. 7
Those who plant them
will once again enjoy their fruit. 8
31:6 Yes, a time is coming
when watchmen 9 will call out on the mountains of Ephraim,
“Come! Let us go to Zion
to worship the Lord our God!”’” 10
31:7 Moreover, 11 the Lord says,
“Sing for joy for the descendants of Jacob.
Utter glad shouts for that foremost of the nations. 12
Make your praises heard. 13
Then say, ‘Lord, rescue your people.
Deliver those of Israel who remain alive.’ 14
31:8 Then I will reply, 15 ‘I will bring them back from the land of the north.
I will gather them in from the distant parts of the earth.
Blind and lame people will come with them,
so will pregnant women and women about to give birth.
A vast throng of people will come back here.
31:9 They will come back shedding tears of contrition.
I will bring them back praying prayers of repentance. 16
I will lead them besides streams of water,
along smooth paths where they will never stumble. 17
I will do this because I am Israel’s father;
Ephraim 18 is my firstborn son.’”
31:10 Hear what the Lord has to say, O nations.
Proclaim it in the faraway lands along the sea.
Say, “The one who scattered Israel will regather them.
He will watch over his people like a shepherd watches over his flock.”
31:11 For the Lord will rescue the descendants of Jacob.
He will secure their release 19 from those who had overpowered them. 20
31:12 They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion.
They will be radiant with joy 21 over the good things the Lord provides,
the grain, the fresh wine, the olive oil,
the young sheep and calves he has given to them.
They will be like a well-watered garden
and will not grow faint or weary any more.
31:13 The Lord says, 22 “At that time young women will dance and be glad.
Young men and old men will rejoice. 23
I will turn their grief into gladness.
I will give them comfort and joy in place of their sorrow.
31:14 I will provide the priests with abundant provisions. 24
My people will be filled to the full with the good things I provide.”
31:15 The Lord says,
“A sound is heard in Ramah, 25
a sound of crying in bitter grief.
It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted, because her children are gone.” 26
31:16 The Lord says to her, 27
“Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears! 28
For your heartfelt repentance 29 will be rewarded.
Your children will return from the land of the enemy.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 30
31:17 Indeed, there is hope for your posterity. 31
Your children will return to their own territory.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 32
31:18 I have indeed 33 heard the people of Israel 34 say mournfully,
‘We were like a calf untrained to the yoke. 35
You disciplined us and we learned from it. 36
Let us come back to you and we will do so, 37
for you are the Lord our God.
31:19 For after we turned away from you we repented.
After we came to our senses 38 we beat our breasts in sorrow. 39
We are ashamed and humiliated
because of the disgraceful things we did previously.’ 40
31:20 Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children.
They are the children I take delight in. 41
For even though I must often rebuke them,
I still remember them with fondness.
So I am deeply moved with pity for them 42
and will surely have compassion on them.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 43
31:21 I will say, 44 ‘My dear children of Israel, 45 keep in mind
the road you took when you were carried off. 46
Mark off in your minds the landmarks.
Make a mental note of telltale signs marking the way back.
Return, my dear children of Israel.
Return to these cities of yours.
31:22 How long will you vacillate, 47
you who were once like an unfaithful daughter? 48
For I, the Lord, promise 49 to bring about something new 50 on the earth,
something as unique as a woman protecting a man!’” 51
31:23 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 52 says,
“I will restore the people of Judah to their land and to their towns.
When I do, they will again say 53 of Jerusalem, 54
‘May the Lord bless you, you holy mountain,
the place where righteousness dwells.’ 55
31:24 The land of Judah will be inhabited by people who live in its towns
as well as by farmers and shepherds with their flocks. 56
31:25 I will fully satisfy the needs of those who are weary
and fully refresh the souls of those who are faint. 57
31:26 Then they will say, ‘Under these conditions I can enjoy sweet sleep
when I wake up and look around.’” 58
31:27 “Indeed, a time is coming,” 59 says the Lord, 60 “when I will cause people and animals to sprout up in the lands of Israel and Judah. 61 31:28 In the past I saw to it that they were uprooted and torn down, that they were destroyed and demolished. But now I will see to it that they are built up and firmly planted. 62 I, the Lord, affirm it!” 63
31:29 “When that time comes, people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but the children’s teeth have grown numb.’ 64 31:30 Rather, each person will die for his own sins. The teeth of the person who eats the sour grapes will themselves grow numb. 65
31:31 “Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord, 66 “when I will make a new covenant 67 with the people of Israel and Judah. 68 31:32 It will not be like the old 69 covenant that I made with their ancestors 70 when I delivered them 71 from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to them,” 72 says the Lord. 73 31:33 “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel 74 after I plant them back in the land,” 75 says the Lord. 76 “I will 77 put my law within them 78 and write it on their hearts and minds. 79 I will be their God and they will be my people. 80
31:34 “People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me. 81 For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,” 82 says the Lord. “For 83 I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.”
31:35 The Lord has made a promise to Israel.
He promises it as the one who fixed the sun to give light by day
and the moon and stars to give light by night.
He promises it as the one who stirs up the sea so that its waves roll.
He promises it as the one who is known as the Lord who rules over all. 84
31:36 The Lord affirms, 85 “The descendants of Israel will not
cease forever to be a nation in my sight.
That could only happen if the fixed ordering of the heavenly lights
were to cease to operate before me.” 86
31:37 The Lord says, “I will not reject all the descendants of Israel
because of all that they have done. 87
That could only happen if the heavens above could be measured
or the foundations of the earth below could all be explored,” 88
says the Lord. 89
31:38 “Indeed a time is coming,” 90 says the Lord, 91 “when the city of Jerusalem 92 will be rebuilt as my special city. 93 It will be built from the Tower of Hananel westward to the Corner Gate. 94 31:39 The boundary line will extend beyond that, straight west from there to the Hill of Gareb and then turn southward to Goah. 95 31:40 The whole valley where dead bodies and sacrificial ashes are thrown 96 and all the terraced fields 97 out to the Kidron Valley 98 on the east as far north 99 as the Horse Gate 100 will be included within this city that is sacred to the Lord. 101 The city will never again be torn down or destroyed.”
1 sn This verse repeats v. 22 but with specific reference to all the clans of Israel, i.e., to all Israel and Judah. It functions here as a transition to the next section which will deal with the restoration of Israel (31:3-20) and Judah (31:21-25) and their reunification in the land (31:27-29) under a new covenant relation with God (31:31-37). See also the study note on 30:3 for further reference to this reunification in Jeremiah and the other prophets.
2 tn Heb “Oracle of the
3 tn Heb “who survived the sword.”
sn This refers to the remnant of northern Israel who had not been killed when Assyria conquered Israel in 722
4 tn Or “The people of Israel who survived the onslaughts of Egypt and Amalek found favor in the wilderness as they journeyed to find rest. At that time long ago the
5 tn Heb “Virgin Israel.”
sn For the significance of this metaphor see the note on Jer 14:17. Here the emphasis appears on his special love and care for his people and the hint (further developed in vv. 21-22) that, though guilty of sin, he considers them like an innocent young virgin.
6 sn Contrast Jer 7:34 and 25:10.
7 map For location see Map2-B1; Map4-D3; Map5-E2; Map6-A4; Map7-C1.
8 sn The terms used here refer to the enjoyment of a period of peace and stability and the reversal of the curse (contrast, e.g., Deut 28:30). The Hebrew word translated “enjoy its fruit” is a technical one that refers to the owner of a vineyard getting to enjoy its fruit in the fifth year after it was planted, the crops of the first three years lying fallow, and that of the fourth being given to the
9 sn Watchmen were stationed at vantage points to pass on warning of coming attack (Jer 6:17; Ezek 33:2, 6) or to spread the news of victory (Isa 52:8). Here reference is made to the watchmen who signaled the special times of the year such as the new moon and festival times when Israel was to go to Jerusalem to worship. Reference is not made to these in the Hebrew Bible but there is a good deal of instruction regarding them in the later Babylonian Talmud.
10 sn Not only will Israel and Judah be reunited under one ruler (cf. 23:5-6), but they will share a unified place and practice of worship once again in contrast to Israel using the illicit places of worship, illicit priesthood, and illicit feasts instituted by Jeroboam (1 Kgs 12:26-31) and continued until the downfall of Samaria in 722
11 tn See the translator’s notes on 30:5, 12.
12 tn Heb “for the head/chief of the nations.” See BDB 911 s.v. רֹאשׁ 3.c and compare usage in Ps 18:44 referring to David as the “chief” or “foremost ruler” of the nations.
13 tn It is unclear who the addressees of the masculine plural imperatives are in this verse. Possibly they are the implied exiles who are viewed as in the process of returning and praying for their fellow countrymen.
14 tc Or “The
15 tn The words “And I will reply” are not in the text but the words vv. 8-9 appear to be the answer to the petition at the end of v. 7. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity.
16 tn Heb “They will come with weeping; I will bring them with supplication.” The ideas of contrition and repentance are implicit from the context (cf. vv. 18-19) and are supplied for clarity.
17 sn Jer 31:8-9 are reminiscent of the “New Exodus” motif of Isa 40-66 which has already been referred to in Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8. See especially Isa 35:3-10; 40:3-5, 11; 41:17-20; 42:14-17; 43:16-21; 49:9-13. As there, the New Exodus will so outstrip the old that the old will pale in comparison and be almost forgotten (see Jer 23:7-8).
18 sn Ephraim was the second son of Joseph who was elevated to a place of prominence in the family of Jacob by the patriarch’s special blessing. It was the strongest tribe in northern Israel and Samaria lay in its territory. It is often used as a poetic parallel for Israel as here. The poetry is not speaking of two separate entities here; it is a way of repeating an idea for emphasis. Moreover, there is no intent to show special preference for northern Israel over Judah. All Israel is metaphorically God’s son and the object of his special care and concern (Exod 4:22; Deut 32:6).
19 sn Two rather theologically significant metaphors are used in this verse. The Hebrew word translated “will set…free” is a word used in the legal sphere for paying a redemption price to secure the freedom of a person or thing (see, e.g., Exod 13:13, 15). It is used metaphorically and theologically to refer to Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage (Deut 15:15; Mic 6:4) and its deliverance from Babylonian exile (Isa 35:10). The word translated “secure their release” is a word used in the sphere of family responsibility where a person paid the price to free an indentured relative (Lev 25:48, 49) or paid the price to restore a relative’s property seized to pay a debt (Lev 25:25, 33). This word, too, was used to refer metaphorically and theologically to Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage (Exod 6:6) or release from Babylonian exile (Isa 43:1-4; 44:22). These words are traditionally translated “ransom” and “redeem” and are a part of traditional Jewish and Christian vocabulary for physical and spiritual deliverance.
20 tn Heb “from the hand/power of the one too strong for him.”
21 tn Reading a Qal perfect from the root II נָהַר (nahar; so KBL 509 s.v. and HALOT 639 s.v.) rather than I נָהַר (so BDB 625 s.v.).
22 tn Heb “Oracle of the
23 tc The translation follows the reading of the LXX (Greek version). The Hebrew reads “will dance and be glad, young men and old men together.” The Greek version presupposes a Qal imperfect of a rare verb (יַחְדּוּ [yakhdu] from the verb חָדָה [khadah]; see BDB 292 s.v. II חָדָה Qal) as opposed to the Hebrew text which reads a common adverb יַחְדָּו (yakhdav). The consonantal text is the same but the vocalization is different. There are no other examples of the syntax of the adverb used this way (i.e., of a compound subject added to a third subject) and the vocalization of the Hebrew text can be explained on the basis of a scribe misvocalizing the text based on his greater familiarity with the adverb.
24 tn Heb “I will satiate the priests with fat.” However, the word translated “fat” refers literally to the fat ashes of the sacrifices (see Lev 1:16; 4:2 and cf. BDB 206 s.v. דֶּשֶׁן 2. The word is used more abstractly for “abundance” or “rich food” (see Job 36:16 and BDB 206 s.v. דֶּשֶׁן 1). The people and the priests were prohibited from eating the fat (Lev 7:23-24).
25 sn Ramah is a town in Benjamin approximately five miles (8 km) north of Jerusalem. It was on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem. Traditionally, Rachel’s tomb was located near there at a place called Zelzah (1 Sam 10:2). Rachel was the mother of Joseph and Benjamin and was very concerned about having children because she was barren (Gen 30:1-2) and went to great lengths to have them (Gen 30:3, 14-15, 22-24). She was the grandmother of Ephraim and Manasseh which were two of the major tribes in northern Israel. Here Rachel is viewed metaphorically as weeping for her “children,” the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh, who had been carried away into captivity in 722
26 tn Or “gone into exile” (cf. v. 16), though some English versions take this as meaning “dead” (e.g., NCV, CEV, NLT), presumably in light of Matt 2:18.
27 tn The words “to her” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
28 tn Heb “Refrain your voice from crying and your eyes from tears.”
29 tn Heb “your work.” Contextually her “work” refers to her weeping and refusing to be comforted, that is, signs of genuine repentance (v. 15).
30 tn Heb “Oracle of the
31 tn For this nuance for the Hebrew word אַחֲרִית (’akharit) see BDB 31 s.v. אַחֲרִית d and compare usage in Pss 37:38; 109:13. Others translate “your future” but the “future” lies with the return of her descendants, her posterity.
32 tn Heb “Oracle of the
33 tn The use of “indeed” is intended to reflect the infinitive absolute which precedes the verb for emphasis (see IBHS 585-86 §35.3.1f).
34 tn Heb “Ephraim.” See the study note on 31:9. The more familiar term is used, the term “people” added to it, and plural pronouns used throughout the verse to aid in understanding.
35 tn Heb “like an untrained calf.” The metaphor is that of a calf who has never been broken to bear the yoke (cf. Hos 4:16; 10:11).
sn Jer 2:20; 5:5 already referred to Israel’s refusal to bear the yoke of loyalty and obedience to the
36 tn The verb here is from the same root as the preceding and is probably an example of the “tolerative Niphal,” i.e., “I let myself be disciplined/I responded to it.” See IBHS 389-90 §23.4g and note the translation of some of the examples there, especially Isa 19:22; 65:1.
37 tn Heb “Bring me back in order that I may come back.” For the use of the plural pronouns see the marginal note at the beginning of the verse. The verb “bring back” and “come back” are from the same root in two different verbal stems and in the context express the idea of spiritual repentance and restoration of relationship not physical return to the land. (See BDB 999 s.v. שׁוּב Hiph.2.a for the first verb and 997 s.v. Qal.6.c for the second.) For the use of the cohortative to express purpose after the imperative see GKC 320 §108.d or IBHS 575 §34.5.2b.
sn There is a wordplay on several different nuances of the same Hebrew verb in vv. 16-19. The Hebrew verb shub refers both to their turning away from God (v. 19) and to their turning back to him (v. 18). It is also the word that is used for their return to their homeland (vv. 16-17).
38 tn For this meaning of the verb see HAL 374 s.v. יָדַע Nif 5 or W. L. Holladay, Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 129. REB translates “Now that I am submissive” relating the verb to a second root meaning “be submissive.” (See HALOT 375 s.v. II יָדַע and J. Barr, Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament, 19-21, for evidence for this verb. Other passages cited with this nuance are Judg 8:16; Prov 10:9; Job 20:20.)
39 tn Heb “I struck my thigh.” This was a gesture of grief and anguish (cf. Ezek 21:12 [21:17 HT]). The modern equivalent is “to beat the breast.”
40 tn Heb “because I bear the reproach of my youth.” For the plural referents see the note at the beginning of v. 18.
sn The expression the disgraceful things we did in our earlier history refers to the disgrace that accompanied the sins that Israel did in her earlier years before she learned the painful lesson of submission to the
41 tn Heb “Is Ephraim a dear son to me or a child of delight?” For the substitution of Israel for Ephraim and the plural pronouns for the singular see the note on v. 18. According to BDB 210 s.v. הֲ 1.c the question is rhetorical having the force of an impassioned affirmation. See 1 Sam 2:27; Job 41:9 (41:1 HT) for parallel usage.
42 tn Heb “my stomach churns for him.” The parallelism shows that this refers to pity or compassion.
43 tn Heb “Oracle of the
44 tn The words “I will say” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation to mark the transition from the address about Israel in a response to Rachel’s weeping (vv. 15-20) to a direct address to Israel which is essentially the answer to Israel’s prayer of penitence (cf. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 121.)
45 tn Heb “Virgin Israel.” For the significance see the study note on 31:3.
46 tn Heb “Set your mind to the highway, the way which you went.” The phrase “the way you went” has been translated “the road you took when you were carried off” to help the reader see the reference to the exile implicit in the context. The verb “which you went” is another example of the old second feminine singular which the Masoretes typically revocalize (Kethib הָלָכְתִּי [halakhti]; Qere הָלָכְתְּ [halakht]). The vocative has been supplied in the translation at the beginning to help make the transition from third person reference to Ephraim/Israel in the preceding to second person in the following and to identify the referent of the imperatives. Likewise, this line has been moved to the front to show that the reference to setting up sign posts and landmarks is not literal but figurative, referring to making a mental note of the way they took when carried off so that they can easily find their way back. Lines three and four in the Hebrew text read, “Set up sign posts for yourself; set up guideposts/landmarks for yourself.” The word translated “telltale signs marking the way” occurs only here. Though its etymology and precise meaning are unknown, all the lexicons agree in translating it as “sign post” or something similar based on the parallelism.
47 tn The translation “dilly-dally” is suggested by J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB), 276. The verb occurs only here in this stem (the Hitpael) and only one other time in any other stem (the Qal in Song 5:6). The dictionaries define it as “to turn this way and that” (cf., e.g., BDB 330 s.v. חָמַק Hithp.). In the context it refers to turning this way and that looking for the way back.
48 sn Israel’s backsliding is forgotten and forgiven. They had once been characterized as an apostate people (3:14, 22; the word “apostate” and “unfaithful” are the same in Hebrew) and figuratively depicted as an adulterous wife (3:20). Now they are viewed as having responded to his invitation (compare 31:18-19 with 3:22-25). Hence they are no longer depicted as an unfaithful daughter but as an unsullied virgin (see the literal translation of “my dear children” in vv. 4, 21 and the study note on v. 4.)
49 tn Heb “For the
50 sn Heb “create.” This word is always used with God as the subject and refers to the production of something new or unique, like the creation of the world and the first man and woman (Gen 1:1; 2:3; 1:27; 5:1) or the creation of a new heavens and a new earth in a new age (Isa 65:17), or the bringing about of new and unique circumstances (Num 16:30). Here reference is made contextually to the new exodus, that marvelous deliverance which will be so great that the old will pale in comparison (see the first note on v. 9).
51 tn The meaning of this last line is uncertain. The translation has taken it as proverbial for something new and unique. For a fairly complete discussion of most of the options see C. Feinberg, “Jeremiah,” EBC 6:571. For the nuance of “protecting” for the verb here see BDB 686 s.v. סָבַב Po‘ 1 and compare the usage in Deut 32:10.
52 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See 7:3 and the study note of 2:19 for the rendering of this title and an explanation of its significance.
53 tn Heb “They [i.e., people (the indefinite plural, GKC 460 §144.g)] will again say in the land of Judah and in its cities when I restore their fortunes.” For the meaning of the idiom “to restore the fortunes” see the translator’s note on 29:14.
54 tn The words “of Jerusalem” are not in the text but it is implicit in the titles that follow. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity to aid in identifying the referent.
map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.
55 sn The blessing pronounced on the city of Zion/Jerusalem by the restored exiles looks at the restoration of its once exalted state as the city known for its sanctity and its just dealing (see Isa 1:21 and Ps 122). This was a reversal of the state of Jerusalem in the time of Isaiah and Jeremiah where wickedness not righteousness characterized the inhabitants of the city (cf. Isa 1:21; Jer 4:14; 5:1; 13:27). The blessing here presupposes the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and the temple which gave the city its sanctity.
56 tn The translation “those who move about with their flocks” is based on an emendation of the Hebrew text which reads a third plural Qal perfect (נָסְעוּ, nos’u) to a masculine plural Qal participle in the construct (נֹסְעֵי, nosÿ’e) as suggested in the BHS fn. For the use of the construct participle before a noun with a preposition see GKC 421 §130.a. It is generally agreed that three classes of people are referred to here, townspeople, farmers, and shepherds. But the syntax of the Hebrew sentence is a little awkward: “And they [i.e., “people” (the indefinite plural, GKC 460 §144.g)] will live in it, Judah and all its cities [an apposition of nearer definition (GKC 425-26 §131.n)], [along with] farmers and those who move about with their flocks.” The first line refers awkwardly to the townspeople and the other two classes are added asyndetically (i.e., without the conjunction “and”).
57 tn The verbs here again emphasize that the actions are as good as done (i.e., they are prophetic perfects; cf. GKC 312-13 §106.n).
sn For the concept here compare Jer 31:12 where the promise was applied to northern Israel. This represents the reversal of the conditions that would characterize the exiles according to the covenant curse of Deut 28:65-67.
58 tn Or “When I, Jeremiah, heard this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very pleasant.” The text is somewhat enigmatic. It has often been explained as an indication that Jeremiah had received this communication (30:3–31:26) while in a prophetic trance (compare Dan 10:9). However, there is no other indication that this is a vision or a vision report. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 124, 128-29) suggest that this is a speech of the restored (and refreshed) exiles like that which is formally introduced in v. 23. This speech, however, is not formally introduced. This interpretation is also reflected in TEV, CEV and is accepted here as fitting the context better and demanding less presuppositions. The Hebrew text reads literally, “Upon this I awoke and looked and my sleep was sweet to me.” Keown, Scalise, and Smothers have the best discussion of these two options as well as several other options.
59 tn Heb “Behold days are coming!” The particle “Behold” is probably used here to emphasize the reality of a fact. See the translator’s note on 1:6.
sn This same expression is found in the introduction to the Book of Consolation (Jer 30:1-3) and in the introduction to the promise of a new covenant (or covenant; 31:31). In all three passages it is emphasized that the conditions apply to both Israel and Judah. The
60 tn Heb “Oracle of the
61 tn Heb “Behold, the days are coming and [= when] I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of people and of animals.” For the significance of the metaphor see the study note.
sn The metaphor used here presupposes that drawn in Hos 2:23 (2:25 HT) which is in turn based on the wordplay with Jezreel (meaning “God sows”) in Hos 2:22. The figure is that of plant seed in the ground which produces a crop; here what are sown are the “seeds of people and animals.” For a similar picture of the repopulating of Israel and Judah see Ezek 36:10-11. The promise here reverses the scene of devastation that Jeremiah had depicted apocalyptically and hyperbolically in Jer 4:23-29 as judgment for Judah’s sins.
62 tn Heb “Just as I watched over them to uproot and to tear down, to destroy and demolish, so I will watch over them to build and to plant.” The words here repeat those of 1:10 and 1:12.
63 tn Heb “Oracle of the
64 tn This word only occurs here and in the parallel passage in Ezek 18:2 in the Qal stem and in Eccl 10:10 in the Piel stem. In the latter passage it refers to the bluntness of an ax that has not been sharpened. Here the idea is of the “bluntness” of the teeth, not from having ground them down due to the bitter taste of sour grapes but to the fact that they have lost their “edge,” “bite,” or “sharpness” because they are numb from the sour taste. For this meaning for the word see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:197.
sn This is a proverbial statement that is also found in Ezek 18:2. It served to articulate the complaint that the present generation was suffering for the accrued sins of their ancestors (cf. Lam 5:7) and that the
65 sn The
66 tn Heb “Oracle of the
67 tn Or “a renewed covenant” (also in vv. 22-23).
68 tn Heb “the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
69 tn The word “old” is not in the text but is implicit in the use of the word “new.” It is supplied in the translation for greater clarity.
70 tn Heb “fathers.”
sn This refers to the Mosaic covenant which the nation entered into with God at Sinai and renewed on the plains of Moab. The primary biblical passages explicating this covenant are Exod 19–24 and the book of Deuteronomy; see as well the study note on Jer 11:2 for the form this covenant took and its relation to the warnings of the prophets. The renewed document of Deuteronomy was written down and provisions made for periodic public reading and renewal of commitment to it (Deut 31:9-13). Josiah had done this after the discovery of the book of the law (which was either Deuteronomy or a synopsis of it) early in the ministry of Jeremiah (2 Kgs 23:1-4; the date would be near 622
71 tn Heb “when I took them by the hand and led them out.”
72 tn Or “I was their master.” See the study note on 3:14.
sn The metaphor of Yahweh as husband and Israel as wife has been used already in Jer 3 and is implicit in the repeated allusions to idolatry as spiritual adultery or prostitution. The best commentary on the faithfulness of God to his “husband-like” relation is seen in the book of Hosea, especially in Hos 1-3.
73 tn Heb “Oracle of the
74 tn Heb “with the house of Israel.” All commentators agree that the term here refers to both the whole nation which was divided into the house of Israel and the house of Judah in v. 30.
75 tn Heb “after those days.” Commentators are generally agreed that this refers to the return from exile and the repopulation of the land referred to in vv. 27-28 and not to something subsequent to the time mentioned in v. 30. This is the sequencing that is also presupposed in other new covenant passages such as Deut 30:1-6; Ezek 11:17-20; 36:24-28.
76 tn Heb “Oracle of the
77 tn Heb “‘But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after these days:’ says the
78 tn Heb “in their inward parts.” The Hebrew word here refers to the seat of the thoughts, emotions, and decisions (Jer 9:8 [9:7 HT]). It is essentially synonymous with “heart” in Hebrew psychological terms.
79 tn The words “and minds” is not in the text but is supplied in the translation to bring the English psychology more into line with the Hebrew where the “heart” is the center both of knowing/thinking/reflecting and deciding/willing.
sn Two contexts are relevant for understanding this statement. First is the context of the first or old covenant which was characterized by a law written on stone tablets (e.g., Exod 32:15-16; 34:1, 28; Deut 4:13; 5:22; 9:10) or in a “book” or “scroll” (Deut 31:9-13) which could be lost (cf. 2 Kgs 22:8), forgotten (Hos 4:6), ignored (Jer 6:19; Amos 4:2), or altered (Jer 8:8). Second is the context of the repeated fault that Jeremiah has found with their stubborn (3:17; 7:24; 9:14; 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12; 23:17), uncircumcised (4:4; 9:26), and desperately wicked hearts (4:4; 17:9). Radical changes were necessary to get the people to obey the law from the heart and not just pay superficial or lip service to it (3:10; 12:2). Deut 30:1-6; Ezek 11:17-20; 36:24-28 speak of these radical changes. The
80 sn Compare Jer 24:7; 30:22; 31:1 and see the study note on 30:2.
81 tn Heb “teach…, saying, ‘Know the
sn As mentioned in the translator’s note on 9:3 (9:2 HT) “knowing” God in covenant contexts like this involves more than just an awareness of who he is (9:23 [9:22 HT]). It involves an acknowledgment of his sovereignty and whole hearted commitment to obedience to him. This is perhaps best seen in the parallelisms in Hos 4:1; 6:6 where “the knowledge of God” is parallel with faithfulness and steadfast love and in the context of Hos 4 refers to obedience to the
82 sn This statement should be understood against the background of Jer 8:8-9 where class distinctions were drawn and certain people were considered to have more awareness and responsibility for knowing the law and also Jer 5:1-5 and 9:3-9 where the sinfulness of Israel was seen to be universal across these class distinctions and no trust was to be placed in friends, neighbors, or relatives because all without distinction had cast off God’s yoke (i.e., refused to submit themselves to his authority).
83 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) that introduces this clause refers to more than just the preceding clause (i.e., that all will know the
84 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.” See the study note on 2:19 for this title. In the Hebrew text the verse reads: “Thus says the
85 tn Heb “Oracle of the
86 tn Heb “‘If these fixed orderings were to fail to be present before me,’ oracle of the
87 sn This answers Jeremiah’s question in 14:19.
88 tn Heb “If the heavens above could be measured or the foundations of the earth below be explored, then also I could reject all the seed of Israel for all they have done.”
89 tn Heb “Oracle of the
90 tc The words “is coming” (בָּאִים, ba’im) are not in the written text (Kethib) but are supplied in the margin (Qere), in several Hebrew
sn On this idiom compare vv. 27, 31.
91 tn Heb “Oracle of the
92 map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.
93 tn Heb “the city will be built to [or for] the
94 tn The word “westward” is not in the text but is supplied in the translation to give some orientation.
sn The Tower of Hananel is referred to in Neh 3:1; 12:39; Zech 14:10. According to the directions given in Neh 3 it was in the northern wall, perhaps in the northeast corner, north of the temple mount. The Corner Gate is mentioned again in 2 Kgs 14:13; 2 Chr 25:23; 26:9; Zech 14:10. It is generally agreed that it was located in the northwest corner of the city.
95 tn The words “west” and “southward” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to give some orientation.
sn The location of the Hill of Gareb and the place called Goah are not precisely known. However, it has been plausibly suggested from the other localities mentioned that the reference is to the hill west of the Hinnom valley mentioned in Josh 15:8. The location of Goah is generally placed south of that near the southwest corner of the Hinnom Valley which is referred to in the next verse.
96 sn It is generally agreed that this refers to the Hinnom Valley which was on the southwestern and southern side of the city. It was here where the people of Jerusalem had burned their children as sacrifices and where the
97 tc The translation here follows the Qere and a number of Hebrew
98 sn The Kidron Valley is the valley that joins the Hinnom Valley in the southeastern corner of the city and runs northward on the east side of the city.
99 tn The words “on the east” and “north” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to give orientation.
100 sn The Horse Gate is mentioned in Neh 3:28 and is generally considered to have been located midway along the eastern wall just south of the temple area.
101 tn The words “will be included within this city that is” are not in the text. The text merely says that “The whole valley…will be sacred to the
sn The area that is here delimited is larger than any of the known boundaries of Jerusalem during the OT period. Again, this refers to the increase in population of the restored community (cf. 31:27).