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Jeremiah 10:6-7

Context

10:6 I said, 1 

“There is no one like you, Lord. 2 

You are great.

And you are renowned for your power. 3 

10:7 Everyone should revere you, O King of all nations, 4 

because you deserve to be revered. 5 

For there is no one like you

among any of the wise people of the nations nor among any of their kings. 6 

Jeremiah 10:16

Context

10:16 The Lord, who is the inheritance 7  of Jacob’s descendants, 8  is not like them.

He is the one who created everything.

And the people of Israel are those he claims as his own. 9 

He is known as the Lord who rules over all.” 10 

1 tn The words “I said” are not in the Hebrew text, but there appears to be a shift in speaker. Someone is now addressing the Lord. The likely speaker is Jeremiah, so the words “I said” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

2 tn The form that introduces this line has raised debate. The form מֵאֵין (meen) normally means “without” and introduces a qualification of a term expressing desolation or “so that not” and introduces a negative result (cf. BDB 35 s.v. II אַיִן 6.b). Neither of these nuances fit either this verse or the occurrence in v. 7. BDB 35 s.v. II אַיִן 6.b.γ notes that some have explained this as a strengthened form of אַיִן (’ayin) which occurs in a similar phrase five other times (cf., e.g., 1 Kgs 8:23). Though many including BDB question the validity of this solution it is probably better than the suggestion that BDB gives of repointing to מֵאַיִן (meayin, “whence”), which scarcely fits the context of v. 7, or the solution of HALOT 41 s.v. I אַיִן, which suggests that the מ (mem) is a double writing (dittograph) of the final consonant from the preceding word. That would assume that the scribe made the same error twice or was influenced the second time by the first erroneous writing.

3 tn Heb “Great is your name in power.”

4 tn Heb “Who should not revere you…?” The question is rhetorical and expects a negative answer.

5 tn Heb “For it is fitting to you.”

6 tn Heb “their royalty/dominion.” This is a case of substitution of the abstract for the concrete “royalty, royal power” for “kings” who exercise it.

7 tn The words “The Lord who is” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation for clarity. For the significance of the words that follow them see the study note that follows.

sn The phrase the portion of Jacob’s descendants, which is applied to God here, has its background in the division of the land where each tribe received a portion of the land of Palestine except the tribe of Levi whose “portion” was the Lord. As the other tribes lived off what their portion of the land provided, the tribe of Levi lived off what the Lord provided, i.e., the tithes and offerings dedicated to him. Hence to have the Lord as one’s portion is to have him provide for all one’s needs (see Ps 16:5 in the context of vv. 2, 6 and Lam 3:24 in the context of vv. 22-23).

8 tn Heb “The Portion of Jacob.” “Descendants” is implied, and is supplied in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Heb “And Israel is the tribe of his possession.”

10 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies is his name.”

sn For this rendering of the name for God and its significance see 2:19 and the study note there.



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