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Jeremiah 11:16

Context

11:16 I, the Lord, once called 1  you a thriving olive tree,

one that produced beautiful fruit.

But I will set you 2  on fire,

fire that will blaze with a mighty roar. 3 

Then all your branches will be good for nothing. 4 

Jeremiah 13:17

Context

13:17 But if you will not pay attention to this warning, 5 

I will weep alone because of your arrogant pride.

I will weep bitterly and my eyes will overflow with tears 6 

because you, the Lord’s flock, 7  will be carried 8  into exile.”

Jeremiah 25:14

Context
25:14 For many nations and great kings will make slaves of the king of Babylon and his nation 9  too. I will repay them for all they have done!’” 10 

Jeremiah 28:4

Context
28:4 I will also bring back to this place Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and all the exiles who were taken to Babylon.’ Indeed, the Lord affirms, 11  ‘I will break the yoke of servitude to the king of Babylon.’”

1 tn Heb “The Lord once called you….” This is another example of the rapid shift in person that is common to Hebrew style which is not common in English and could lead to confusion for some readers. Here and in the verses that follow the person has been shifted to first person for consistency in English.

2 tn The verb form used here is another example of a verb expressing that the action is as good as done (the Hebrew prophetic perfect).

3 tn Heb “At the sound of a mighty roar he will set fire to it.” For the shift from third person “he” to the first person “I” see the preceding note. The Hebrew use of the pronouns in vv. 16-17 for the olive tree and the people that it represents is likely to cause confusion if retained. In v. 16 the people are “you” and the olive tree is “it.” The people are again “you” in v. 17 but part of the metaphor is carried over, i.e., “he ‘planted’ you.” It creates less confusion in the flow of the passage if the metaphorical identification is carried out throughout by addressing the people/plant as “you.”

4 tn The verb here has most commonly been derived from a root meaning “to be broken” (cf. BDB 949 s.v. II רָעַע) which fits poorly with the metaphor of setting the plant on fire. Another common option is to emend it to a verb meaning “to be burned up” (בָּעַר, baar). However, it is better to follow the lead of the Greek version which translates “be good for nothing” (ἠχρειώθησαν, hcreiwqhsan) and derive the verb from רָעַע (raa’) meaning “be bad/evil” (cf. BDB 949 and compare the nuance of the adjective from this verb in BDB 948 s.v. רַע 5).

5 tn Heb “If you will not listen to it.” For the use of the feminine singular pronoun to refer to the idea(s) expressed in the preceding verse(s), see GKC 440-41 §135.p.

6 tn Heb “Tearing [my eye] will tear and my eye will run down [= flow] with tears.”

sn The depth of Jeremiah’s sorrow for the sad plight of his people, if they refuse to repent, is emphasized by the triple repetition of the word “tears” twice in an emphatic verbal expression (Hebrew infinitive before finite verb) and once in the noun.

7 tn Heb “because the Lord’s flock will…” The pronoun “you” is supplied in the translation to avoid the shift in English from the second person address at the beginning to the third person affirmation at the end. It also helps explain the metaphor of the people of Israel as God’s flock for some readers who may be unfamiliar with that metaphor.

8 tn The verb is once again in the form of “as good as done” (the Hebrew prophetic perfect).

9 tn Heb “make slaves of them.” The verb form here indicates that the action is as good as done (the Hebrew prophetic perfect). For the use of the verb rendered “makes slaves” see parallel usage in Lev 25:39, 46 (cf. BDB 713 s.v. עָבַד 3).

10 tn Heb “according to their deeds and according to the work of their hands.” The two phrases are synonymous; it would be hard to represent them both in translation without being redundant. The translation attempts to represent them by the qualifier “all” before the first phrase.

11 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

sn Notice again that the “false” prophet uses the same formula and claims the same source for his message as the true prophet has (cf. 27:22).



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