3:1 “If a man divorces his wife
and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife,
he may not take her back again. 1
Doing that would utterly defile the land. 2
But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods. 3
So what makes you think you can return to me?” 4
says the Lord.
You have had sex with other gods on every one of them. 6
You waited for those gods like a thief lying in wait in the desert. 7
You defiled the land by your wicked prostitution to other gods. 8
3:3 That is why the rains have been withheld,
and the spring rains have not come.
Yet in spite of this you are obstinate as a prostitute. 9
You refuse to be ashamed of what you have done.
You have been my faithful companion ever since I was young.
3:5 You will not always be angry with me, will you?
You will not be mad at me forever, will you?’ 11
That is what you say,
but you continually do all the evil that you can.” 12
3:6 When Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord said to me, “Jeremiah, you have no doubt seen what wayward Israel has done. 13 You have seen how she went up to every high hill and under every green tree to give herself like a prostitute to other gods. 14 3:7 Yet even after she had done all that, I thought that she might come back to me. 15 But she did not. Her sister, unfaithful Judah, saw what she did. 16 3:8 She also saw 17 that I gave wayward Israel her divorce papers and sent her away because of her adulterous worship of other gods. 18 Even after her unfaithful sister Judah had seen this, 19 she still was not afraid, and she too went and gave herself like a prostitute to other gods. 20 3:9 Because she took her prostitution so lightly, she defiled the land 21 through her adulterous worship of gods made of wood and stone. 22 3:10 In spite of all this, 23 Israel’s sister, unfaithful Judah, has not turned back to me with any sincerity; she has only pretended to do so,” 24 says the Lord. 3:11 Then the Lord said to me, “Under the circumstances, wayward Israel could even be considered less guilty than unfaithful Judah. 25
‘Come back to me, wayward Israel,’ says the Lord.
‘I will not continue to look on you with displeasure. 27
For I am merciful,’ says the Lord.
‘I will not be angry with you forever.
and that you have rebelled against the Lord your God.
and have not obeyed my commands,’ says the Lord.
3:14 “Come back to me, my wayward sons,” says the Lord, “for I am your true master. 31 If you do, 32 I will take one of you from each town and two of you from each family group, and I will bring you back to Zion. 3:15 I will give you leaders 33 who will be faithful to me. 34 They will lead you with knowledge and insight. 3:16 In those days, your population will greatly increase 35 in the land. At that time,” says the Lord, “people will no longer talk about having the ark 36 that contains the Lord’s covenant with us. 37 They will not call it to mind, remember it, or miss it. No, that will not be done any more! 38 3:17 At that time the city of Jerusalem 39 will be called the Lord’s throne. All nations will gather there in Jerusalem to honor the Lord’s name. 40 They will no longer follow the stubborn inclinations of their own evil hearts. 41 3:18 At that time 42 the nation of Judah and the nation of Israel will be reunited. 43 Together they will come back from a land in the north to the land that I gave to your ancestors as a permanent possession. ” 44
‘Oh what a joy it would be for me to treat you like a son! 46
What a joy it would be for me to give 47 you a pleasant land,
the most beautiful piece of property there is in all the world!’ 48
I thought you would call me, ‘Father’ 49
and would never cease being loyal to me. 50
like an unfaithful wife who has left her husband,” 52
says the Lord.
3:21 “A noise is heard on the hilltops.
It is the sound of the people of Israel crying and pleading to their gods.
Indeed they have followed sinful ways; 53
they have forgotten to be true to the Lord their God. 54
3:22 Come back to me, you wayward people.
I want to cure your waywardness. 55
Say, 56 ‘Here we are. We come to you
because you are the Lord our God.
3:23 We know our noisy worship of false gods
on the hills and mountains did not help us. 57
We know that the Lord our God
is the only one who can deliver Israel. 58
3:24 From earliest times our worship of that shameful god, Baal,
It has taken away our flocks and our herds,
and even our sons and daughters.
Let us bear the disgrace that we deserve. 62
For we have sinned against the Lord our God,
both we and our ancestors.
From earliest times to this very day
we have not obeyed the Lord our God.’
4:1 “If you, Israel, want to come back,” says the Lord,
“if you want to come back to me 63
you must get those disgusting idols 64 out of my sight
and must no longer go astray. 65
4:2 You must be truthful, honest and upright
when you take an oath saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’ 66
If you do, 67 the nations will pray to be as blessed by him as you are
and will make him the object of their boasting.” 68
to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Like a farmer breaking up hard unplowed ground,
you must break your rebellious will and make a new beginning;
just as a farmer must clear away thorns lest the seed is wasted,
you must get rid of the sin that is ruining your lives. 70
4:4 Just as ritual circumcision cuts away the foreskin
as an external symbol of dedicated covenant commitment,
you must genuinely dedicate yourselves to the Lord
and get rid of everything that hinders your commitment to me, 71
people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem.
If you do not, 72 my anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you
that no one will be able to extinguish.
That will happen because of the evil you have done.”
‘Sound the trumpet 76 throughout the land!’
Shout out loudly,
‘Gather together! Let us flee into the fortified cities!’
Run for safety! Do not delay!
For I am about to bring disaster out of the north.
It will bring great destruction. 78
the one who destroys nations has set out from his home base. 80
He is coming out to lay your land waste.
Your cities will become ruins and lie uninhabited.
4:8 So put on sackcloth!
Mourn and wail, saying,
‘The fierce anger of the Lord
has not turned away from us!’” 81
“the king and his officials will lose their courage.
The priests will be struck with horror,
and the prophets will be speechless in astonishment.”
4:10 In response to all this 83 I said, “Ah, Lord God, 84 you have surely allowed 85 the people of Judah and Jerusalem 86 to be deceived by those who say, ‘You will be safe!’ 87 But in fact a sword is already at our throats.” 88
‘A scorching wind will sweep down
It will not be a gentle breeze
for winnowing the grain and blowing away the chaff. 92
Yes, even now I, myself, am calling down judgment on them.’ 94
The roar of his chariots is like that of a whirlwind. 96
His horses move more swiftly than eagles.”
so that you may yet be delivered.
How long will you continue to harbor up
wicked schemes within you?
4:15 For messengers are coming, heralding disaster,
from the city of Dan and from the hills of Ephraim. 100
‘Announce to the surrounding nations, 102
“The enemy is coming!” 103
Proclaim this message 104 to Jerusalem:
“Those who besiege cities 105 are coming from a distant land.
They are ready to raise the battle cry against 106 the towns in Judah.”’
like men guarding a field 108
because they have rebelled against me,”
says the Lord.
will bring this on you.
This is the punishment you deserve, and it will be painful indeed. 110
The pain will be so bad it will pierce your heart.” 111
“Oh, the feeling in the pit of my stomach! 113
I writhe in anguish.
Oh, the pain in my heart! 114
My heart pounds within me.
I cannot keep silent.
For I hear the sound of the trumpet; 115
the sound of the battle cry pierces my soul! 116
so that the whole land lies in ruins.
I see our 118 tents suddenly destroyed,
4:21 “How long must I see the enemy’s battle flags
and hear the military signals of their bugles?” 121
“This will happen 123 because my people are foolish.
They do not know me.
They are like children who have no sense. 124
They have no understanding.
They are skilled at doing evil.
They do not know how to do good.”
I looked up at the sky, and its light had vanished.
4:24 I looked at the mountains and saw that they were shaking.
All the hills were swaying back and forth!
and that all the birds in the sky had flown away.
4:26 I looked and saw that the fruitful land had become a desert
and that all of the cities had been laid in ruins.
The Lord had brought this all about
because of his blazing anger. 128
“The whole land will be desolate;
however, I will not completely destroy it.
4:28 Because of this the land will mourn
and the sky above will grow black. 130
For I have made my purpose known 131
and I will not relent or turn back from carrying it out.” 132
4:29 At the sound of the approaching horsemen and archers
the people of every town will flee.
Some of them will hide in the thickets.
Others will climb up among the rocks.
All the cities will be deserted.
No one will remain in them.
decking yourself out in jewels of gold,
and putting on eye shadow! 136
You are making yourself beautiful for nothing.
Your lovers spurn you.
They want to kill you. 137
a cry of anguish like that of a woman giving birth to her first baby.
It is the cry of Daughter Zion 139 gasping for breath,
My life is ebbing away before these murderers!”
Look around and see for yourselves.
Search through its public squares.
See if any of you can find a single person
who deals honestly and tries to be truthful. 145
But even when you punish these people, they feel no remorse. 152
Even when you nearly destroy them, they refuse to be corrected.
They have become as hardheaded as a rock. 153
They refuse to change their ways. 154
They act like fools because they do not know what the Lord demands. 156
They do not know what their God requires of them. 157
and speak with them.
Surely they know what the Lord demands. 159
Surely they know what their God requires of them.” 160
Yet all of them, too, have rejected his authority
and refuse to submit to him. 161
5:6 So like a lion from the thicket their enemies will kill them.
Like a wolf from the desert they will destroy them.
Like a leopard they will lie in wait outside their cities
and totally destroy anyone who ventures out. 162
For they have rebelled so much
and done so many unfaithful things. 163
“How can I leave you unpunished, Jerusalem? 165
Your people 166 have rejected me
and have worshiped gods that are not gods at all. 167
Each of them lusts after 173 his neighbor’s wife.
5:9 I will surely punish them for doing such things!” says the Lord.
“I will surely bring retribution on such a nation as this!” 174
“March through the vineyards of Israel and Judah and ruin them. 176
But do not destroy them completely.
Strip off their branches
for these people do not belong to the Lord. 177
have been very unfaithful to me,”
says the Lord.
They have said, ‘That is not so! 180
No harm will come to us.
We will not experience war and famine. 181
The Lord has not spoken through them. 183
So, let what they say happen to them.’”
I will make the words that I put in your mouth like fire.
And I will make this people like wood
which the fiery judgments you speak will burn up.” 189
I am about to bring a nation from far away to attack you.
It will be a nation that was founded long ago
and has lasted for a long time.
It will be a nation whose language you will not know.
Its people will speak words that you will not be able to understand.
Their arrows will send you to your grave. 194
5:17 They will eat up your crops and your food.
They will kill off 195 your sons and your daughters.
They will eat up your sheep and your cattle.
They will destroy your vines and your fig trees. 196
Their weapons will batter down 197
the fortified cities you trust in.
5:18 Yet even then 198 I will not completely destroy you,” says the Lord. 5:19 “So then, Jeremiah, 199 when your people 200 ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ tell them, ‘It is because you rejected me and served foreign gods in your own land. So 201 you must serve foreigners 202 in a land that does not belong to you.’
Make it known throughout Judah.
5:21 Tell them: ‘Hear this,
you foolish people who have no understanding,
who have eyes but do not discern,
who have ears but do not perceive: 205
5:22 “You should fear me!” says the Lord.
“You should tremble in awe before me! 206
I made the sand to be a boundary for the sea,
a permanent barrier that it can never cross.
Its waves may roll, but they can never prevail.
They may roar, but they can never cross beyond that boundary.” 207
5:23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts.
They have turned aside and gone their own way. 208
“Let us revere the Lord our God.
It is he who gives us the autumn rains and the spring rains at the proper time.
It is he who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.” 210
Your sins have deprived you of my bounty.’ 212
5:26 “Indeed, there are wicked scoundrels among my people.
They lie in wait like bird catchers hiding in ambush. 213
They set deadly traps 214 to catch people.
their houses are filled with the gains of their fraud and deceit. 216
That is how they have gotten so rich and powerful. 217
There is no limit to the evil things they do. 220
They do not plead the cause of the fatherless in such a way as to win it.
They do not defend the rights of the poor.
5:29 I will certainly punish them for doing such things!” says the Lord.
“I will certainly bring retribution on such a nation as this! 221
5:30 “Something horrible and shocking
is going on in the land of Judah:
5:31 The prophets prophesy lies.
The priests exercise power by their own authority. 222
And my people love to have it this way.
But they will not be able to help you when the time of judgment comes! 223
1 tn Heb “May he go back to her again?” The question is rhetorical and expects a negative answer.
sn For the legal background for the illustration that is used here see Deut 24:1-4.
2 tn Heb “Would the land not be utterly defiled?” The stative is here rendered actively to connect better with the preceding. The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer.
3 tn Heb “But you have played the prostitute with many lovers.”
4 tn Heb “Returning to me.” The form is the bare infinitive which the KJV and ASV have interpreted as an imperative “Yet, return to me!” However, it is more likely that a question is intended, expressing surprise in the light of the law alluded to and the facts cited. For the use of the infinitive absolute in the place of a finite verb, cf. GKC 346 §113.ee. For the introduction of a question without a question marker, cf. GKC 473 §150.a.
5 tn Heb “and see.”
6 tn Heb “Where have you not been ravished?” The rhetorical question expects the answer “nowhere,” which suggests she has engaged in the worship of pagan gods on every one of the hilltops.
7 tn Heb “You sat for them [the lovers, i.e., the foreign gods] beside the road like an Arab in the desert.”
8 tn Heb “by your prostitution and your wickedness.” This is probably an example of hendiadys where, when two nouns are joined by “and,” one expresses the main idea and the other qualifies it.
9 tn Heb “you have the forehead of a prostitute.”
10 tn Heb “Have you not just now called out to me, ‘[you are] my father!’?” The rhetorical question expects a positive answer.
11 tn Heb “Will he keep angry forever? Will he maintain [it] to the end?” The questions are rhetorical and expect a negative answer. The change to direct address in the English translation is intended to ease the problem of the rapid transition, common in Hebrew style (but not in English), from second person direct address in the preceding lines to third person indirect address in these two lines. See GKC 462 §144.p.
12 tn Heb “You do the evil and you are able.” This is an example of hendiadys, meaning “You do all the evil that you are able to do.”
13 tn “Have you seen…” The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer.
14 tn Heb “she played the prostitute there.” This is a metaphor for Israel’s worship; she gave herself to the worship of other gods like a prostitute gives herself to her lovers. There seems no clear way to completely spell out the metaphor in the translation.
15 tn Or “I said to her, ‘Come back to me!’” The verb אָמַר (’amar) usually means “to say,” but here it means “to think,” of an assumption that turns out to be wrong (so HALOT 66.4 s.v. אמר); cf. Gen 44:28; Jer 3:19; Pss 82:6; 139:11; Job 29:18; Ruth 4:4; Lam 3:18.
sn Open theists suggest that passages such as this indicate God has limited foreknowledge; however, more traditional theologians view this passage as an extended metaphor in which God presents himself as a deserted husband, hoping against hope that his adulterous wife might return to him. The point of the metaphor is not to make an assertion about God’s foreknowledge, but to develop the theme of God’s heartbreak due to Israel’s unrepentance.
16 tn The words “what she did” are not in the text but are implicit from the context and are supplied in the translation for clarification.
17 tc Heb “she [‘her sister, unfaithful Judah’ from the preceding verse] saw” with one Hebrew
18 tn Heb “because she committed adultery.” The translation is intended to spell out the significance of the metaphor.
19 tn The words “Even after her unfaithful sister, Judah, had seen this” are not in the Hebrew text but are implicit in the connection and are supplied for clarification.
20 tn Heb “she played the prostitute there.” This is a metaphor for Israel’s worship; she gave herself to the worship of other gods like a prostitute gives herself to her lovers. There seems no clear way to completely spell out the metaphor in the translation.
21 tc The translation reads the form as a causative (Hiphil, תַּהֲנֵף, tahanef) with some of the versions in place of the simple stative (Qal, תֶּחֱנַף, tekhenaf) in the MT.
22 tn Heb “because of the lightness of her prostitution, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood.”
23 tn Heb “And even in all this.”
24 tn Heb “ has not turned back to me with all her heart but only in falsehood.”
25 tn Heb “Wayward Israel has proven herself to be more righteous than unfaithful Judah.”
sn A comparison is drawn here between the greater culpability of Judah, who has had the advantage of seeing how God disciplined her sister nation for having sinned and yet ignored the warning and committed the same sin, and the culpability of Israel who had no such advantage.
26 tn Heb “Go and proclaim these words to the north.” The translation assumes that the message is directed toward the exiles of northern Israel who have been scattered in the provinces of Assyria to the north.
27 tn Heb “I will not cause my face to fall on you.”
28 tn Heb “Only acknowledge your iniquity.”
29 tn The words “You must confess” are repeated to convey the connection. The Hebrew text has an introductory “that” in front of the second line and a coordinative “and” in front of the next two lines.
30 tc MT reads דְּרָכַיִךְ (dÿrakhayikh, “your ways”), but the BHS editors suggest דּוֹדַיִךְ (dodayikh, “your breasts”) as an example of orthographic confusion. While the proposal makes sense, it remains a conjectural emendation since it is not supported by any actual manuscripts or ancient versions.
tn Heb “scattered your ways with foreign [gods]” or “spread out your breasts to strangers.”
31 tn Or “I am your true husband.”
sn There is a wordplay between the term “true master” and the name of the pagan god Baal. The pronoun “I” is emphatic, creating a contrast between the
32 tn The words, “If you do” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection of the Hebrew verb with the preceding.
33 tn Heb “shepherds.”
34 tn Heb “after/according to my [own] heart.”
35 tn Heb “you will become numerous and fruitful.”
36 tn Or “chest.”
37 tn Heb “the ark of the covenant.” It is called this because it contained the tables of the law which in abbreviated form constituted their covenant obligations to the
38 tn Or “Nor will another one be made”; Heb “one will not do/make [it?] again.”
40 tn Heb “will gather to the name of the
41 tn Heb “the stubbornness of their evil hearts.”
42 tn Heb “In those days.”
43 tn Heb “the house of Judah will walk together with the house of Israel.”
44 tn Heb “the land that I gave your [fore]fathers as an inheritance.”
46 tn Heb “How I would place you among the sons.” Israel appears to be addressed here contextually as the
sn The imagery here appears to be that of treating the wife as an equal heir with the sons and of giving her the best piece of property.
47 tn The words “What a joy it would be for me to” are not in the Hebrew text but are implied in the parallel structure.
48 tn Heb “the most beautiful heritage among the nations.”
49 tn Heb “my father.”
50 tn Heb “turn back from [following] after me.”
51 tn Heb “house of Israel.”
52 tn Heb “a wife unfaithful from her husband.”
53 tn Heb “A sound is heard on the hilltops, the weeping of the supplication of the children of Israel because [or indeed] they have perverted their way.” At issue here is whether the supplication is made to Yahweh in repentance because of what they have done or whether it is supplication to the pagan gods which is evidence of their perverted ways. The reference in this verse to the hilltops where idolatry was practiced according to 3:2 and the reference to Israel’s unfaithfulness in the preceding verse make the latter more likely. For the asseverative use of the Hebrew particle (here rendered “indeed”) where the particle retains some of the explicative nuance; cf. BDB 472-73 s.v. כִּי 1.e and 3.c.
54 tn Heb “have forgotten the
56 tn Or “They say.” There is an obvious ellipsis of a verb of saying here since the preceding words are those of the
57 tn Heb “Truly in vain from the hills the noise/commotion [and from] the mountains.” The syntax of the Hebrew sentence is very elliptical here.
58 tn Heb “Truly in the
59 tn Heb “From our youth the shameful thing has eaten up…” The shameful thing is specifically identified as Baal in Jer 11:13. Compare also the shift in certain names such as Ishbaal (“man of Baal”) to Ishbosheth (“man of shame”).
61 tn Heb “Let us lie down in….”
62 tn Heb “Let us be covered with disgrace.”
63 tn Or “If you, Israel, want to turn [away from your shameful ways (those described in 3:23-25)]…then you must turn back to me.” Or perhaps, “Israel, you must turn back…Yes, you must turn back to me.”
64 tn Heb “disgusting things.”
65 tn Or possibly, “If you get those disgusting idols out of my sight, you will not need to flee.” This is less probable because the normal meaning of the last verb is “to wander,” “ to stray.”
66 tn Heb “If you [= you must, see the translator’s note on the word “do” later in this verse] swear/take an oath, ‘As the
67 tn 4:1-2a consists of a number of “if” clauses, two of which are formally introduced by the Hebrew particle אִם (’im) while the others are introduced by the conjunction “and,” followed by a conjunction (“and” = “then”) with a perfect in 4:2b which introduces the consequence. The translation “You must…. If you do,” was chosen to avoid a long and complicated sentence.
68 tn Heb “bless themselves in him and make their boasts in him.”
69 tn The Hebrew particle is obviously asseverative here since a causal connection appears to make little sense.
70 tn Heb “Plow up your unplowed ground and do not sow among the thorns.” The translation is an attempt to bring out the force of a metaphor. The idea seems to be that they are to plow over the thorns and make the ground ready for the seeds which will produce a new crop where none had been produced before.
71 tn Heb “Circumcise yourselves to the
72 tn Heb “lest.”
74 tn It is unclear who the addressees of the masculine plural imperatives are here. They may be the citizens of Jerusalem and Judah who are sounding the alarm to others. However, the first person reference to the
76 tn Heb “ram’s horn,” but the modern equivalent is “trumpet” and is more readily understandable.
77 tn Heb “Raise up a signal toward Zion.”
78 tn Heb “out of the north, even great destruction.”
79 tn Heb “A lion has left its lair.” The metaphor is turned into a simile for clarification. The word translated “lair” has also been understood to refer to a hiding place. However, it appears to be cognate in meaning to the word translated “lair” in Ps 10:9; Jer 25:38, a word which also refers to the abode of the
80 tn Heb “his place.”
81 tn Or “wail because the fierce anger of the
82 tn Heb “In that day.”
83 tn The words “In response to all this” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to clarify the connection.
84 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” The translation follows the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the Hebrew word for God for the proper name Yahweh.
85 tn Or “You have deceived.” The Hiphil of נָשָׁא (nasha’, “to deceive”) is understood in a tolerative sense here: “to allow [someone] to be deceived.” IBHS 446 §27.5c notes that this function of the hiphil describes caused activity that is welcome to the undersubject, but unacceptable or disagreeable to a third party. Jerusalem and Judah welcomed the assurances of false prophets who deceived them. Although this was detestable to God, he allowed it.
86 tn Heb “this people and Jerusalem.”
87 tn Heb “Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace’”; or “You have deceived the people of Judah and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace.’” The words “you will be safe” are, of course, those of the false prophets (cf., Jer 6:14; 8:11; 14:13; 23:16-17). It is difficult to tell whether the charge here is meant literally as the emotional outburst of the prophet (compare for example, Jer 15:18) or whether it is to be understood as a figure of speech in which a verb of direct causation is to be understood as permissive or tolerative, i.e., God did not command the prophets to say this but allowed them to do so. While it is not beyond God to use false prophets to accomplish his will (cf., e.g., 1 Kgs 22:19-23), he elsewhere in the book of Jeremiah directly denies having sent the false prophets to say such things as this (cf., e.g., Jer 14:14-15; 23:21, 32). For examples of the use of this figure of speech, see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 571, 823 and compare Ezek 20:25. The translation given attempts to resolve the issue.
89 tn Heb “this people and Jerusalem.”
90 tn Heb “A scorching wind from the hilltops in the desert toward…”
sn The allusion is, of course, to the destructive forces of the enemy armies of Babylon compared above in 4:7 to a destructive lion and here to the destructive desert winds of the Near Eastern sirocco.
91 tn Heb “daughter of my people.” The term “daughter of” is appositional to “my people” and is supplied in the translation as a term of sympathy and endearment. Compare the common expression “daughter of Zion.”
92 tn Heb “not for winnowing and not for cleansing.” The words “It will not be a gentle breeze” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection. They are supplied in the translation here for clarification.
93 tn The word “No” is not in the text but is carried over from the connection with the preceding line “not for…”
94 tn Heb “will speak judgments against them.”
95 tn Heb “he is coming up like clouds.” The words “The enemy” are supplied in the translation to identify the referent and the word “gathering” is supplied to try to convey the significance of the simile, i.e., that of quantity and of an approaching storm.
96 tn Heb “his chariots [are] like a whirlwind.” The words “roar” and “sound” are supplied in the translation to clarify the significance of the simile.
97 tn The words “I cry out” are not in the text, but the words that follow are obviously not the
98 tn Heb “Woe to us!” The words “woe to” are common in funeral laments and at the beginning of oracles of judgment. In many contexts they carry the connotation of hopelessness or apprehensiveness of inevitable doom.
99 tn Heb “Oh, Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil.”
100 tn Heb “For a voice declaring from Dan and making heard disaster from the hills of Ephraim.”
101 tn The words “They are saying” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection and are supplied in the translation for clarification.
102 tn The word “surrounding” is not in the text but is implicit and is supplied in the translation for clarification.
103 tc Or “Here they come!” Heb “Look!” or “Behold!” Or “Announce to the surrounding nations, indeed [or yes] proclaim to Jerusalem, ‘Besiegers…’” The text is very elliptical here. Some of the modern English versions appear to be emending the text from הִנֵּה (hinneh, “behold”) to either הֵנָּה (hennah, “these things”; so NEB), or הַזֶּה (hazzeh, “this”; so NIV). The solution proposed here is as old as the LXX which reads, “Behold, they have come.”
104 tn The words, “this message,” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to make the introduction of the quote easier.
106 tn Heb “They have raised their voices against.” The verb here, a vav (ו) consecutive with an imperfect, continues the nuance of the preceding participle “are coming.”
107 tn Heb “will surround her.” The antecedent is Jerusalem in the preceding verse. The referent is again made explicit in the translation to avoid any possible lack of clarity. The verb form here is a form of the verb that emphasizes the fact as being as good as done (i.e., it is a prophetic perfect).
108 sn There is some irony involved in the choice of the simile since the men guarding a field were there to keep thieves from getting in and stealing the crops. Here the besiegers are guarding the city to keep people from getting out.
109 tn Heb “Your way and your deeds.”
110 tn Heb “How bitter!”
111 tn Heb “Indeed, it reaches to your heart.” The subject must be the pain alluded to in the last half of the preceding line; the verb is masculine, agreeing with the adjective translated “painful.” The only other possible antecedent “punishment” is feminine.
112 tn The words “I said” are not in the text. They are used to mark the shift from the
113 tn Heb “My bowels! My bowels!”
114 tn Heb “the walls of my heart!”
115 tn Heb “ram’s horn,” but the modern equivalent is “trumpet” and is more readily understandable.
116 tc The translation reflects a different division of the last two lines than that suggested by the Masoretes. The written text (the Kethib) reads “for the sound of the ram’s horn I have heard [or “you have heard,” if the form is understood as the old second feminine singular perfect] my soul” followed by “the battle cry” in the last line. The translation is based on taking “my soul” with the last line and understanding an elliptical expression “the battle cry [to] my soul.” Such an elliptical expression is in keeping with the elliptical nature of the exclamations at the beginning of the verse (cf. the literal translations of the first two lines of the verse in the notes on the words “stomach” and “heart”).
117 tn The words, “I see” are not in the text here or at the beginning of the third line. They are supplied in the translation to show that this is Jeremiah’s vision of what will happen as a result of the invasion announced in 4:5-9, 11-17a.
118 tn Heb “my.” This is probably not a reference to Jeremiah’s own tents since he foresees the destruction of the whole land. Jeremiah so identifies with the plight of his people that he sees the destruction of their tents as though they were his very own. It would probably lead to confusion to translate literally and it is not uncommon in Hebrew laments for the community or its representative to speak of the community as an “I.” See for example the interchange between first singular and first plural pronouns in Ps 44:4-8.
119 tn Heb “my.”
120 tn It is not altogether clear what Jeremiah intends by the use of this metaphor. In all likelihood he means that the defenses of Israel’s cities and towns have offered no more resistance than nomads’ tents. However, in light of the fact that the word “tent” came to be used generically for a person’s home (cf. 1 Kgs 8:66; 12:16), it is possible that Jeremiah is here referring to the destruction of their homes and the resultant feeling of homelessness and loss of even elementary protection. Given the lack of certainty the present translation is rather literal here.
121 tn Heb “the sound of ram’s horns,” but the modern equivalent is “bugles” and is more readily understandable.
122 tn These words are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to show clearly the shift in speaker. Jeremiah has been speaking; now the
124 tn Heb “They are senseless children.”
125 tn Heb “I looked at the land and behold...” This indicates the visionary character of Jeremiah’s description of the future condition of the land of Israel.
126 tn Heb “formless and empty.” This is a case of hendiadys (two nouns joined by “and” both describe the same thing): one noun retains its full nominal force, the other functions as an adjective. The words תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ (tohu vavohu) allude to Gen 1:2, hyperbolically picturing a reversal of creation and return to the original precreation chaos.
127 tn Heb “there was no man/human being.”
128 tn Heb “because of the
129 tn Heb “For this is what the
130 sn The earth and the heavens are personified here and depicted in the act of mourning and wearing black clothes because of the destruction of the land of Israel.
131 tn Heb “has spoken and purposed.” This is an example of hendiadys where two verbs are joined by “and” but one is meant to serve as a modifier of the other.
132 tn Heb “will not turn back from it.”
133 tn Heb “And you that are doomed to destruction.” The referent is supplied from the following context and the fact that Zion/Jerusalem represents the leadership which was continually making overtures to foreign nations for help.
134 tn Heb “What are you accomplishing…?” The rhetorical question assumes a negative answer, made clear by the translation in the indicative.
135 tn Heb “clothing yourself in scarlet.”
136 tn Heb “enlarging your eyes with antimony.” Antimony was a black powder used by women as eyeliner to make their eyes look larger.
137 tn Heb “they seek your life.”
138 tn The particle כִּי (ki) is more likely asseverative here than causal.
139 sn Jerusalem is personified as a helpless maiden.
140 tn Heb “spreading out her hands.” The idea of asking or pleading for help is implicit in the figure.
142 tn These words are not in the text, but since the words at the end are obviously those of the
143 tn It is not clear who is being addressed here. The verbs are plural so they are not addressed to Jeremiah per se. Since the passage is talking about the people of Jerusalem, it is unlikely they are addressed here except perhaps rhetorically. Some have suggested that the heavenly court is being addressed here as in Job 1:6-8; 2:1-3. It is clear from Jer 23:18, 22; Amos 3:7 that the prophets had access to this heavenly counsel through visions (cf. 1 Kgs 22:19-23), so Jeremiah could have been privy to this speech through that means. Though these are the most likely addressee, it is too presumptuous to supply such an explicit addressee without clearer indication in the text. The translation will just have to run the risk of the probable erroneous assumption by most English readers that the addressee is Jeremiah.
145 tn Heb “who does justice and seeks faithfulness.”
146 tn Heb “squares. If you can find…if there is one person…then I will…”
147 tn Heb “forgive [or pardon] it.”
148 tn Heb “Though they say, ‘As surely as the
149 tc The translation follows many Hebrew
tn Heb “Surely.”
150 tn Heb “they swear falsely.”
151 tn Heb “O
152 tn Commentaries and lexicons debate the meaning of the verb here. The MT is pointed as though from a verb meaning “to writhe in anguish or contrition” (חוּל [khul]; see, e.g., BDB 297 s.v. חוּל 2.c), but some commentaries and lexicons repoint the text as though from a verb meaning “to be sick,” thus “to feel pain” (חָלָה [khalah]; see, e.g., HALOT 304 s.v. חָלָה 3). The former appears more appropriate to the context.
153 tn Heb “They made their faces as hard as a rock.”
154 tn Or “to repent”; Heb “to turn back.”
155 tn Heb “Surely they are poor.” The translation is intended to make clear the explicit contrasts and qualifications drawn in this verse and the next.
156 tn Heb “the way of the
157 tn Heb “the judgment [or ordinance] of their God.”
158 tn Or “people in power”; Heb “the great ones.”
159 tn Heb “the way of the
160 tn Heb “the judgment [or ordinance] of their God.”
162 tn Heb “So a lion from the thicket will kill them. A wolf from the desert will destroy them. A leopard will watch outside their cities. Anyone who goes out from them will be torn in pieces.” However, it is unlikely that, in the context of judgment that Jeremiah has previously been describing, literal lions are meant. The animals are metaphorical for their enemies. Compare Jer 4:7.
163 tn Heb “their rebellions are so many and their unfaithful acts so numerous.”
164 tn These words are not in the text, but are supplied in the translation to make clear who is speaking.
166 tn Heb “your children.”
167 tn Heb “and they have sworn [oaths] by not-gods.”
168 tn Heb “I satisfied them to the full.”
169 tn Heb “they committed adultery.” It is difficult to decide whether literal adultery with other women or spiritual adultery with other gods is meant. The word for adultery is used for both in the book of Jeremiah. For examples of its use for spiritual adultery see 3:8, 9; 9:2. For examples of its use for literal adultery see 7:9; 23:14. The context here could argue for either. The swearing by other gods and the implicit contradiction in their actions in contrast to the expected gratitude for supplying their needs argues for spiritual adultery. However, the reference to prostitution in the next line and the reference to chasing after their neighbor’s wives argues for literal adultery. The translation opts for spiritual adultery because of the contrast implicit in the concessive clause.
170 tn There is a great deal of debate about the meaning of this word. Most of the modern English versions follow the lead of lexicographers who relate this word to a noun meaning “troop” and understand it to mean “they trooped together” (cf. BDB 151 s.v. גָּדַד Hithpo.2 and compare the usage in Mic 5:1 [4:14 HT]). A few of the modern English versions and commentaries follow the reading of the Greek and read a word meaning “they lodged” (reading ִיתְגּוֹרְרוּ [yitggorÿru] from I גּוּר [gur; cf. HALOT 177 s.v. Hithpo. and compare the usage in 1 Kgs 17:20] instead of יִתְגֹּדָדוּ [yitggodadu]). W. L. Holladay (Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 1:180) sees a reference here to the cultic practice of cutting oneself in supplication to pagan gods (cf. BDB 151 s.v. גָּדַד Hithpo.1 and compare the usage in 1 Kgs 18:28). The houses of prostitutes would then be a reference to ritual prostitutes at the pagan shrines. The translation follows BDB and the majority of modern English versions.
171 tn Heb “to a house of a prostitute.”
172 tn The meanings of these two adjectives are uncertain. The translation of the first adjective is based on assuming that the word is a defectively written participle related to the noun “testicle” (a Hiphil participle מַאֲשִׁכִים [ma’ashikhim] from a verb related to אֶשֶׁךְ [’eshekh, “testicle”]; cf. Lev 21:20) and hence “having testicles” (cf. HALOT 1379 s.v. שָׁכָה) instead of the Masoretic form מַשְׁכִּים (mashkim) from a root שָׁכָה (shakhah), which is otherwise unattested in either verbal or nominal forms. The second adjective is best derived from a verb root meaning “to feed” (a Hophal participle מוּזָנִים [muzanim, the Kethib] from a root זוּן [zun; cf. BDB 266 s.v. זוּן] for which there is the cognate noun מָזוֹן [mazon; cf. 2 Chr 11:23]). This is more likely than the derivation from a root יָזַן ([yazan]reading מְיֻזָּנִים [mÿyuzzanim], a Pual participle with the Qere) which is otherwise unattested in verbal or nominal forms and whose meaning is dependent only on a supposed Arabic cognate (cf. HALOT 387 s.v. יָזַן).
173 tn Heb “neighs after.”
174 tn Heb “Should I not punish them…? Should I not bring retribution…?” The rhetorical questions have the force of strong declarations.
175 tn These words to not appear in the Hebrew text but have been added in the translation for the sake of clarity to identify the implied addressee.
176 tn Heb “through her vine rows and destroy.” No object is given but “vines” must be implicit. The word for “vineyards” (or “vine rows”) is a hapax legomenon and its derivation is debated. BDB 1004 s.v. שּׁוּרָה repoints שָׁרוֹתֶיהָ (sharoteha) to שֻׁרוֹתֶיהָ (shuroteha) and relates it to a Mishnaic Hebrew and Palestinian Aramaic word meaning “row.” HALOT 1348 s.v. שּׁוּרָה also repoints to שֻׁרוֹתֶיהָ and relates it to a noun meaning “wall,” preferring to see the reference here to the walled terraces on which the vineyards were planted. The difference in meaning is minimal.
177 tn Heb “for they do not belong to the
178 tn Heb “the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
179 tn Heb “have denied the
180 tn Or “he will do nothing”; Heb “Not he [or it]!”
181 tn Heb “we will not see the sword and famine.”
182 tn Heb “will be wind.”
sn There is a wordplay on the Hebrew word translated “wind” (רוּחַ, ruakh) which also means “spirit.” The prophets spoke by inspiration of the Spirit of the
183 tc Heb “the word is not in them.” The MT has a highly unusual form here, the Piel perfect with the definite article (הַדִּבֵּר, haddibber). It is undoubtedly best to read with the LXX (Greek version) and one Hebrew
184 tn Heb “Therefore.”
sn Here the emphasis appears to be on the fact that the
186 tn The words, “to me” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection. They are supplied in the translation for clarification.
187 tn Heb “you have spoken.” The text here דַּבֶּרְכֶם (dabberkhem, “you have spoken”) is either a case of a scribal error for דַּבֶּרָם (dabberam, “they have spoken”) or an example of the rapid shift in addressee which is common in Jeremiah.
188 tn Heb “this word.”
189 tn Heb “like wood and it [i.e., the fire I put in your mouth] will consume them.”
190 tn Heb “oracle of the
191 tn Heb “Behold!”
192 tn Heb “house of Israel.”
193 tn Heb “All of them are mighty warriors.”
194 tn Heb “his quiver [is] an open grave.” The order of the lines has been reversed to make the transition from “nation” to “their arrows” easier.
195 tn Heb “eat up.”
196 tn Or “eat up your grapes and figs”; Heb “eat up your vines and your fig trees.”
sn It was typical for an army in time of war in the ancient Near East not only to eat up the crops but to destroy the means of further production.
197 tn Heb “They will beat down with the sword.” The term “sword” is a figure of speech (synecdoche) for military weapons in general. Siege ramps, not swords, beat down city walls; swords kill people, not city walls.
198 tn Heb “in those days.”
199 tn The word, “Jeremiah,” is not in the text but the second person address in the second half of the verse is obviously to him. The word is supplied in the translation here for clarity.
200 tn The MT reads the second masculine plural; this is probably a case of attraction to the second masculine plural pronoun in the preceding line. An alternative would be to understand a shift from speaking first to the people in the first half of the verse and then speaking to Jeremiah in the second half where the verb is second masculine singular. E.g., “When you [people] say, “Why…?” then you, Jeremiah, tell them…”
201 tn Heb “As you left me and…, so you will….” The translation was chosen so as to break up a rather long and complex sentence.
202 sn This is probably a case of deliberate ambiguity (double entendre). The adjective “foreigners” is used for both foreign people (so Jer 30:8; 51:51) and foreign gods (so Jer 2:25; 3:13). See also Jer 16:13 for the idea of having to serve other gods in the lands of exile.
203 sn The verbs are second plural here. Jeremiah, speaking for the
204 tn Heb “in the house of Jacob.”
205 tn Heb “they have eyes but they do not see, they have ears but they do not hear.”
206 tn Heb “Should you not fear me? Should you not tremble in awe before me?” The rhetorical questions expect the answer explicit in the translation.
207 tn Heb “it.” The referent is made explicit to avoid any possible confusion.
208 tn The words, “their own way” are not in the text but are implicit and are supplied in the translation for clarity.
209 tn Heb “say in their hearts.”
210 tn Heb “who keeps for us the weeks appointed for harvest.”
211 tn Heb “have turned these things away.”
212 tn Heb “have withheld the good from you.”
213 tn The meaning of the last three words is uncertain. The pointing and meaning of the Hebrew word rendered “hiding in ambush” is debated. BDB relates the form (כְּשַׁךְ, kÿshakh) to a root שָׁכַךְ (shakhakh), which elsewhere means “decrease, abate” (cf. BDB 1013 s.v. שָׁכַךְ), and notes that this is usually understood as “like the crouching of fowlers,” but they say this meaning is dubious. HALOT 1345 s.v. I שׁוֹר questions the validity of the text and offers three proposals; the second appears to create the least textual modification, i.e., reading כְּשַׂךְ (kesakh, “as in the hiding place of (bird catchers)”; for the word שַׂךְ (sakh) see HALOT 1236 s.v. שׂךְ 4 and compare Lam 2:6 for usage. The versions do not help. The Greek does not translate the first two words of the line. The proposal given in HALOT is accepted with some hesitancy.
214 tn Heb “a destroying thing.”
215 tn The words, “that have been caught” are not in the text but are implicit in the comparison.
217 tn Heb “therefore they have gotten great and rich.”
218 tn These words are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to show that this line is parallel with the preceding.
219 tn The meaning of this word is uncertain. This verb occurs only here. The lexicons generally relate it to the word translated “plate” in Song 5:14 and understand it to mean “smooth, shiny” (so BDB 799 s.v. I עֶשֶׁת) or “fat” (so HALOT 850 s.v. II עֶשֶׁת). The word in Song 5:14 more likely means “smooth” than “plate” (so TEV). So “sleek” is most likely here.
220 tn Heb “they cross over/transgress with respect to matters of evil.”
sn There is a wordplay in the use of this word which has twice been applied in v. 22 to the sea not crossing the boundary set for it by God.
221 tn Heb “Should I not punish…? Should I not bring retribution…?” The rhetorical questions function as emphatic declarations.
sn These words are repeated from 5:9 to give a kind of refrain justifying again the necessity of punishment in the light of such sins.
222 tn Heb “they shall rule at their hands.” Since the word “hand” can be used figuratively for authority or mean “side” and the pronoun “them” can refer to the priests themselves or the prophets, the following translations have also been suggested: “the priests rule under their [the prophets’] directions,” or “the priests rule in league with them [the prophets].” From the rest of the book it would appear that the prophets did not exercise authority over the priests nor did they exercise the same authority over the people that the priests did. Hence it probably mean “by their own hand/power/authority.”
223 tn Heb “But what will you do at its end?” The rhetorical question implies a negative answer: “Nothing!”