11:22 So the Lord who rules over all 1 said, “I will surely 2 punish them! Their young men will be killed in battle. 3 Their sons and daughters will die of starvation.
that you, yourself, had actually prepared as such? 6
Then anguish and agony will grip you
like that of a woman giving birth to a baby. 7
1 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”
sn For the significance of the term see the notes at 2:19 and 7:3.
3 tn Heb “will die by the sword.” Here “sword” stands contextually for “battle” while “starvation” stands for death by starvation during siege.
4 tn Or perhaps more rhetorically equivalent, “Will you not be surprised?”
5 tn The words “The
6 tn Or “to be rulers.” The translation of these two lines is somewhat uncertain. The sentence structure of these two lines raises problems in translation. The Hebrew text reads: “What will you do when he appoints over you [or punishes you (see BDB 823 s.v. פָּקַד Qal.B.2 for the former, Qal.A.3 for the latter)] and you, yourself, taught them over you friends [or chiefs (see BDB 48 s.v. I אַלּוּף 2 and Ps 55:13 for the former and BDB 49 s.v. II אַלּוּף and Exod 15:15 for the latter)] for a head.” The translation assumes that the clause “and you, yourself, taught them [= made them accustomed, i.e., “prepared”] [to be] over you” is parenthetical coming between the verb “appoint” and its object and object modifier (i.e., “appointed over you allies for rulers”). A quick check of other English versions will show how varied the translation of these lines has been. Most English versions seem to ignore the second “over you” after “you taught them.” Some rearrange the text to get what they think is a sensible meaning. For a fairly thorough treatment see W. McKane, Jeremiah (ICC), 1:308-10.
sn What is being alluded to here is the political policy of vacillating alliances through which Judah brought about her own downfall, allying herself first with Assyria, then Egypt, then Babylon, and then Egypt again. See 2 Kgs 23:29–24:7 for an example of this policy and the disastrous consequences.
7 tn Heb “Will not pain [here = mental anguish] take hold of you like a woman giving birth.” The question is rhetorical expecting a positive answer.