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Jeremiah 13:12-14

Context

13:12 “So tell them, 1  ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, says, “Every wine jar is made to be filled with wine.”’ 2  And they will probably say to you, ‘Do you not think we know 3  that every wine jar is supposed to be filled with wine?’ 13:13 Then 4  tell them, ‘The Lord says, “I will soon fill all the people who live in this land with stupor. 5  I will also fill the kings from David’s dynasty, 6  the priests, the prophets, and the citizens of Jerusalem with stupor. 7  13:14 And I will smash them like wine bottles against one another, children and parents alike. 8  I will not show any pity, mercy, or compassion. Nothing will keep me from destroying them,’ 9  says the Lord.”

1 tn Heb “So you shall say this word [or message] to them.”

2 tn Heb “Every wine jar is supposed to be filled with wine.”

sn Some scholars understand this as a popular proverb like that in Jer 31:29 and Ezek 18:2. Instead this is probably a truism; the function of wine jars is to be filled with wine. This may relate to the preceding where the Lord has set forth his intention for Israel. It forms the basis for a ironic threat of judgment because they have failed to fulfill his purpose.

3 tn This is an attempt to render a construction which involves an infinitive of a verb being added before the same verb in a question which expects a positive answer. There may, by the way, be a pun being passed back and forth here involving the sound play been “fool” (נָבָל, naval) and “wine bottle” (נֶבֶל, nebel).

4 tn The Greek version is likely right in interpreting the construction of two perfects preceded by the conjunction as contingent or consequential here, i.e., “and when they say…then say.” See GKC 494 §159.g. However, to render literally would create a long sentence. Hence, the words “will probably” have been supplied in v. 12 in the translation to set up the contingency/consequential sequence in the English sentences.

5 sn It is probably impossible to convey in a simple translation all the subtle nuances that are wrapped up in the words of this judgment speech. The word translated “stupor” here is literally “drunkenness” but the word has in the context an undoubted intended double reference. It refers first to the drunken like stupor of confusion on the part of leaders and citizens of the land which will cause them to clash with one another. But it also probably refers to the reeling under God’s wrath that results from this (cf. Jer 25:15-29, especially vv. 15-16). Moreover there is still the subtle little play on wine jars. The people are like the wine jars which were supposed to be filled with wine. They were to be a special people to bring glory to God but they had become corrupt. Hence, like wine jars they would be smashed against one another and broken to pieces (v. 14). All of this, both “fill them with the stupor of confusion” and “make them reel under God’s wrath,” cannot be conveyed in one translation.

6 tn Heb “who sit on David’s throne.”

7 tn In Hebrew this is all one long sentence with one verb governing compound objects. It is broken up here in conformity with English style.

8 tn Or “children along with their parents”; Heb “fathers and children together.”

9 tn Heb “I will not show…so as not to destroy them.”



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