13:4 “Take the shorts that you bought and are wearing 1 and go at once 2 to Perath. 3 Bury the shorts there 4 in a crack in the rocks.”
13:6 Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go at once to Perath and get 5 the shorts I ordered you to bury there.”
2 tn Heb “Get up and go.” The first verb is not literal but is idiomatic for the initiation of an action.
3 tn There has been a great deal of debate about whether the place referred to here is a place (Parah [= Perath] mentioned in Josh 18:23, modern Khirbet Farah, near a spring ’ain Farah) about three and a half miles from Anathoth which was Jeremiah’s home town or the Euphrates River. Elsewhere the word “Perath” always refers to the Euphrates but it is either preceded by the word “river of” or there is contextual indication that the Euphrates is being referred to. Because a journey to the Euphrates and back would involve a journey of more than 700 miles (1,100 km) and take some months, scholars both ancient and modern have questioned whether “Perath” refers to the Euphrates here and if it does whether a real journey was involved. Most of the attempts to identify the place with the Euphrates involve misguided assumptions that this action was a symbolic message to Israel about exile or the corrupting influence of Assyria and Babylon. However, unlike the other symbolic acts in Jeremiah (and in Isaiah and Ezekiel) the symbolism is not part of a message to the people but to Jeremiah; the message is explained to him (vv. 9-11) not the people. In keeping with some of the wordplays that are somewhat common in Jeremiah it is likely that the reference here is to a place, Parah, which was near Jeremiah’s hometown, but whose name would naturally suggest to Jeremiah later in the
5 tn Heb “Get from there.” The words “from there” are not necessary to the English sentence. They would lead to a redundancy later in the verse, i.e., “from there…bury there.”