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Jeremiah 12:16

Context
12:16 But they must make sure you learn to follow the religious practices of my people. 1  Once they taught my people to swear their oaths using the name of the god Baal. 2  But then, they must swear oaths using my name, saying, “As surely as the Lord lives, I swear.” 3  If they do these things, 4  then they will be included among the people I call my own. 5 

Jeremiah 44:26

Context
44:26 But 6  listen to what the Lord has to say, all you people of Judah who are living in the land of Egypt. The Lord says, ‘I hereby swear by my own great name that none of the people of Judah who are living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name in their oaths! Never again will any of them use it in an oath saying, “As surely as the Lord God lives….” 7 

1 tn Heb “the ways of my people.” For this nuance of the word “ways” compare 10:2 and the notes there.

2 tn Heb “taught my people to swear by Baal.”

3 tn The words “I swear” are not in the text but are implicit to the oath formula. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

4 tn The words “If they do this” are not in the text. They are part of an attempt to break up a Hebrew sentence which is long and complex into equivalent shorter sentences consistent with contemporary English style. Verse 16 in Hebrew is all one sentence with a long complex conditional clause followed by a short consequence: “If they carefully learn the ways of my people to swear by name, ‘By the life of the Lord,’ as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they will be built up in the midst of my people.” The translation strives to create the same contingencies and modifications by breaking up the sentence into shorter sentences in accord with contemporary English style.

5 tn Heb “they will be built up among my people.” The expression “be built up among” is without parallel. However, what is involved here is conceptually parallel to the ideas expressed in Isa 19:23-25 and Zech 14:16-19. That is, these people will be allowed to live on their own land, to worship the Lord there, and to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts. To translate literally would be meaningless or misleading for many readers.

6 tn Heb “Therefore.” This particle quite often introduces the announcement of judgment after an indictment or accusation of a crime. That is its function here after the statement of cause in vv. 24-25. However, it would not sound right after the immediately preceding ironical or sarcastic commands to go ahead and fulfill their vows. “But” is a better transition unless one wants to paraphrase “Therefore, since you are so determined to do that….”

7 tn Heb “Behold I swear by…that my name will no more be pronounced in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt saying, ‘As the Lord Yahweh lives.’” The sentence has been broken up and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style and the significance of pronouncing the name has been interpreted for the sake of readers who might not be familiar with this biblical idiom.

sn They will no longer be able to invoke his name in an oath because they will all be put to death (v. 27; cf. vv. 11-14).



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