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Jeremiah 10:6-8

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 

10:8 The people of those nations 7  are both stupid and foolish.

Instruction from a wooden idol is worthless! 8 

Jeremiah 10:10

Context

10:10 The Lord is the only true God.

He is the living God and the everlasting King.

When he shows his anger the earth shakes.

None of the nations can stand up to his fury.

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 Or “Those wise people and kings are…” It is unclear whether the subject is the “they” of the nations in the preceding verse, or the wise people and kings referred to. The text merely has “they.”

8 tn Heb “The instruction of vanities [worthless idols] is wood.” The meaning of this line is a little uncertain. Various proposals have been made to make sense, most of which involve radical emendation of the text. For some examples see J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 323-24, fn 6. However, this is probably a case of the bold predication that discussed in GKC 452 §141.d, some examples of which may be seen in Ps 109:4 “I am prayer,” and Ps 120:7 “I am peace.”



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