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Jeremiah 13:15-17

Context

13:15 Then I said to the people of Judah, 1 

“Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant!

For the Lord has spoken.

13:16 Show the Lord your God the respect that is due him. 2 

Do it before he brings the darkness of disaster. 3 

Do it before you stumble 4  into distress

like a traveler on the mountains at twilight. 5 

Do it before he turns the light of deliverance you hope for

into the darkness and gloom of exile. 6 

13:17 But if you will not pay attention to this warning, 7 

I will weep alone because of your arrogant pride.

I will weep bitterly and my eyes will overflow with tears 8 

because you, the Lord’s flock, 9  will be carried 10  into exile.”

1 tn The words “Then I said to the people of Judah” are not in the text but are implicit from the address in v. 15 and the content of v. 17. They are supplied in the translation for clarity to show the shift from the Lord speaking to Jeremiah.

2 tn Heb “Give glory/respect to the Lord your God.” For this nuance of the word “glory” (כָּבוֹד, kavod), see BDB 459 s.v. כָּבוֹד 6.b and compare the usage in Mal 1:6 and Josh 7:19.

3 tn The words “of disaster” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation to explain the significance of the metaphor to readers who may not be acquainted with the metaphorical use of light and darkness for salvation and joy and distress and sorrow respectively.

sn For the metaphorical use of these terms the reader should consult O. A. Piper, “Light, Light and Darkness,” IDB 3:130-32. For the association of darkness with the Day of the Lord, the time when he will bring judgment, see, e.g., Amos 5:18-20. For the association of darkness with exile see Isa 9:1-2 (8:23-9:1 HT).

4 tn Heb “your feet stumble.”

5 tn Heb “you stumble on the mountains at twilight.” The added words are again supplied in the translation to help explain the metaphor to the uninitiated reader.

6 tn Heb “and while you hope for light he will turn it into deep darkness and make [it] into gloom.” The meaning of the metaphor is again explained through the addition of the “of” phrases for readers who are unacquainted with the metaphorical use of these terms.

sn For the meaning and usage of the term “deep darkness” (צַלְמָוֶת, tsalmavet), see the notes on Jer 2:6. For the association of the term with exile see Isa 9:2 (9:1 HT). For the association of the word gloom with the Day of the Lord see Isa 60:2; Joel 2:2; Zeph 1:15.

7 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.

8 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.

9 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.

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



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