42:1 Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah 1 and all the people of every class, 2 went to the prophet Jeremiah. 42:2 They said to him, “Please grant our request 3 and pray to the Lord your God for all those of us who are still left alive here. 4 For, as you yourself can see, there are only a few of us left out of the many there were before. 5 42:3 Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” 42:4 The prophet Jeremiah answered them, “Agreed! 6 I will indeed pray to the Lord your God as you have asked. I will tell you everything the Lord replies in response to you. 7 I will not keep anything back from you.” 42:5 They answered Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not do just as 8 the Lord sends you to tell us to do. 42:6 We will obey what the Lord our God to whom we are sending you tells us to do. It does not matter whether we like what he tells us or not. We will obey what he tells us to do so that things will go well for us.” 9
42:7 Ten days later the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 42:8 So Jeremiah summoned Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people of every class. 10 42:9 Then Jeremiah said to them, “You sent me to the Lord God of Israel to make your request known to him. Here is what he says to you: 11 42:10 ‘If you will just stay 12 in this land, I will build you up. I will not tear you down. I will firmly plant you. 13 I will not uproot you. For I am filled with sorrow because of the disaster that I have brought on you. 42:11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon whom you now fear. 14 Do not be afraid of him because I will be with you to save you and to rescue you from his power. I, the Lord, affirm it! 15 42:12 I will have compassion on you so that he in turn will have mercy on you and allow you to return to your land.’
42:13 “You must not disobey the Lord your God by saying, ‘We will not stay in this land.’ 42:14 You must not say, ‘No, we will not stay. Instead we will go and live in the land of Egypt where we will not face war, 16 or hear the enemy’s trumpet calls, 17 or starve for lack of food.’ 18 42:15 If you people who remain in Judah do that, then listen to what the Lord says. The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 19 says, ‘If you are so determined 20 to go to Egypt that you go and settle there, 42:16 the wars you fear will catch up with you there in the land of Egypt. The starvation you are worried about will follow you there to 21 Egypt. You will die there. 22 42:17 All the people who are determined to go and settle in Egypt will die from war, starvation, or disease. No one will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 42:18 For 23 the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 24 says, ‘If you go to Egypt, I will pour out my wrath on you just as I poured out my anger and wrath on the citizens of Jerusalem. 25 You will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse. 26 You will never see this place again.’ 27
42:19 “The Lord has told you people who remain in Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be very sure of this: I warn you 28 here and now. 29 42:20 You are making a fatal mistake. 30 For you sent me to the Lord your God and asked me, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us. Tell us what the Lord our God says and we will do it.’ 31 42:21 This day 32 I have told you what he said. 33 But you do not want to obey the Lord by doing what he sent me to tell you. 34 42:22 So now be very sure of this: You will die from war, starvation, or disease in the place where you want to go and live.”
1 sn Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah may have been the same as the Jezaniah son of the Maacathite mentioned in 40:8. The title “the Maacathite” would identify the locality from which his father came, i.e., a region in northern Transjordan east of Lake Huleh. Many think he is also the same man who is named “Azariah” in Jer 43:2 (the Greek version has Azariah both here and in 43:2). It was not uncommon for one man to have two names, e.g., Uzziah who was also named Azariah (compare 2 Kgs 14:21 with 2 Chr 26:1).
2 tn Or “without distinction,” or “All the people from the least important to the most important”; Heb “from the least to the greatest.” This is a figure of speech that uses polar opposites as an all-inclusive designation of everyone without exception (i.e., it included all the people from the least important or poorest to the most important or richest.)
3 tn Heb “please let our petition fall before you.” For the idiom here see 37:20 and the translator’s note there.
4 tn Heb “on behalf of us, [that is] on behalf of all this remnant.”
sn This refers to the small remnant of people who were left of those from Mizpah who had been taken captive by Ishmael after he had killed Gedaliah and who had been rescued from him at Gibeon. There were other Judeans still left in the land of Judah who had not been killed or deported by the Babylonians.
5 tn Heb “For we are left a few from the many as your eyes are seeing us.” The words “used to be” are not in the text but are implicit. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness of English style.
6 tn Heb “I have heard” = “I agree.” For this nuance of the verb see BDB 1034 s.v. שָׁמַע Qal.1.j and compare the usage in Gen 37:27 and Judg 11:17 listed there.
7 tn Heb “all the word which the
8 tn Heb “do according to all the word which.”
9 tn Heb “Whether good or whether evil we will hearken to the voice of the
10 tn Or “without distinction,” or “All the people from the least important to the most important”; Heb “from the least to the greatest.” This is a figure of speech that uses polar opposites as an all-inclusive designation of everyone without exception (i.e., it included all the people from the least important or poorest to the most important or richest.)
11 tn Heb “Thus says the
sn Their “request” is that Jeremiah would tell them where to go and what to do (v. 3).
12 tn The word “just” is intended to reflect the infinitive absolute before the finite verb emphasizing here the condition rather than the verb root (see Joüon 2:423 §123.g, and compare the usage in Exod 15:26). The form looks like the infinitive absolute of the verb שׁוּב (shuv), but all the versions interpret it as though it is from יָשַׁב (yashav) which is the root of the verb that follows it. Either this is a textual error of the loss of a י (yod) or this is one of the cases that GKC 69 §19.i list as the possible loss of a weak consonant at the beginning of a word.
13 tn Or “I will firmly plant you in the land,” or “I will establish you.” This is part of the metaphor that has been used of God (re)establishing Israel in the land. See 24:6; 31:28; 32:41.
14 sn See Jer 41:18 for their reason for fear.
15 tn Heb “oracle of the
16 tn Heb “see [or experience] war.”
17 tn Heb “hear the sound of the trumpet.” The trumpet was used to gather the troops and to sound the alarm for battle.
18 tn Jer 42:13-14 are a long complex condition (protasis) whose consequence (apodosis) does not begin until v. 15. The Hebrew text of vv. 13-14 reads: 42:13 “But if you say [or continue to say (the form is a participle)], ‘We will not stay in this land’ with the result that you do not obey [or “more literally, do not hearken to the voice of] the
19 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See the study note on 2:19 for the translation and significance of this title.
20 tn Heb “set your face to.” See Jer 42:17; 44:11; Dan 11:17; 2 Kgs 12:17 (12:18 HT) for parallel usage.
21 tn Or “will follow you right into Egypt,” or “will dog your steps all the way to Egypt”; Heb “cling after.” This is the only case of this verb with this preposition in the Qal stem. However, it is used with this preposition several times in the Hiphil, all with the meaning of “to pursue closely.” See BDB 180 s.v. דָּבַק Hiph.2 and compare Judg 20:45; 1 Sam 14:22; 1 Chr 10:2.
22 tn The repetition of the adverb “there” in the translation of vv. 14, 16 is to draw attention to the rhetorical emphasis on the locale of Egypt in the original text of both v. 14 and v. 16. In v. 14 they say, “to the land of Egypt we will go…and there we will live.” In v. 16 God says, “wars…there will catch up with you…the hunger…there will follow after you…and there you will die.” God rhetorically denies their focus on Egypt as a place of safety and of relative prosperity. That can only be found in Judah under the protective presence of the
23 tn Or “Indeed.”
24 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See the study note on 2:19 for the translation and significance of this title.
25 map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.
26 tn See the study note on 24:9 and the usage in 29:22 for the meaning and significance of this last phrase.
27 tn Or “land.” The reference is, of course, to the land of Judah.
28 tn Heb “Know for certain that I warn you…” The idea of “for certain” is intended to reflect the emphatic use of the infinitive absolute before the volitive use of the imperfect (see IBHS 587-88 §35.3.1h and 509 §31.5b). The substitution “of this:” for “that” has been made to shorten the sentence in conformity with contemporary English style.
29 tn Heb “today.”
30 tn Heb “you are erring at the cost of your own lives” (BDB 1073 s.v. תָּעָה Hiph.3 and HALOT 1626 s.v. תָּעָה Hif 4, and cf. BDB 90 s.v. בְּ 3 and see parallels in 1 Kgs 2:23; 2 Sam 23:17 for the nuance of “at the cost of your lives”). This fits the context better than “you are deceiving yourselves” (KBL 1035 s.v. תָּעָה Hif 4). The reading here follows the Qere הִתְעֵיתֶם (hit’etem) rather than the Kethib which has a metathesis of י (yod) and ת (tav), i.e., הִתְעֵתֶים. The Greek text presupposes הֲרֵעֹתֶם (hare’otem, “you have done evil”), but that reading is generally rejected as secondary.
31 tn Heb “According to all which the
32 tn Or “Today.”
33 tn The words “what he said” are not in the text but are implicit and seem necessary for clarity.
34 tn Heb “But you have not hearkened to the voice of [idiomatic for “obeyed” see BDB 1034 s.v. שָׁמַע Qal.1.m] the