NETBible KJV GRK-HEB XRef Arts Hymns
  Discovery Box

Jeremiah 14:1-6

Context
A Lament over the Ravages of Drought 1 

14:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah 2  about the drought. 3 

14:2 “The people of Judah are in mourning.

The people in her cities are pining away.

They lie on the ground expressing their sorrow. 4 

Cries of distress come up to me 5  from Jerusalem. 6 

14:3 The leading men of the cities send their servants for water.

They go to the cisterns, 7  but they do not find any water there.

They return with their containers 8  empty.

Disappointed and dismayed, they bury their faces in their hands. 9 

14:4 They are dismayed because the ground is cracked 10 

because there has been no rain in the land.

The farmers, too, are dismayed

and bury their faces in their hands.

14:5 Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn 11  in the field

because there is no grass.

14:6 Wild donkeys stand on the hilltops

and pant for breath like jackals.

Their eyes are strained looking for food,

because there is none to be found.” 12 

1 sn The form of Jer 14:1–15:9 is very striking rhetorically. It consists essentially of laments and responses to them. However, what makes it so striking is its deviation from normal form (cf. 2 Chr 20:5-17 for what would normally be expected). The descriptions of the lamentable situation come from the mouth of God not the people (cf.14:1-6, 17-18). The prophet utters the petitions with statements of trust (14:7-9, 19-22) and the Lord answers not with oracles promising deliverance but promising doom (14:10; 15:1-9). In the course of giving the first oracle of doom, the Lord commands Jeremiah not to pray for the people (14:11-12) and Jeremiah tries to provide an excuse for their actions (14:13). The Lord responds to that with an oracle of doom on the false prophets (14:14-16).

2 tn Heb “That which came [as] the word of the Lord to Jeremiah.” The introductory formula here is a variation of that found in 7:1; 10:1; 11:1, i.e., “The word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah.” The relative pronoun “which” (אֲשֶׁר, ’asher) actually precedes the noun it modifies. See BDB 82 s.v. אֲשֶׁר 6.a for discussion and further examples.

3 sn Drought was one of the punishments for failure to adhere to the terms of their covenant with God. See Deut 28:22-24; Lev 26:18-20.

4 tn Heb “Judah mourns, its gates pine away, they are in mourning on the ground.” There are several figures of speech involved here. The basic figure is that of personification where Judah and it cities are said to be in mourning. However, in the third line the figure is a little hard to sustain because “they” are in mourning on the ground. That presses the imagination of most moderns a little too far. Hence the personification has been interpreted “people of” throughout. The term “gates” here is used as part for whole for the “cities” themselves as in several other passages in the OT (cf. BDB 1045 s.v. שַׁעַר 2.b, c and see, e.g., Isa 14:31).

5 tn The words “to me” are not in the text. They are implicit from the fact that the Lord is speaking. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

6 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

7 tn Though the concept of “cisterns” is probably not familiar to some readers, it would be a mistake to translate this word as “well.” Wells have continual sources of water. Cisterns were pits dug in the ground and lined with plaster to hold rain water. The drought had exhausted all the water in the cisterns.

8 tn The word “containers” is a generic word in Hebrew = “vessels.” It would probably in this case involve water “jars” or “jugs.” But since in contemporary English one would normally associate those terms with smaller vessels, “containers” may be safer.

9 tn Heb “they cover their heads.” Some of the English versions have gone wrong here because of the “normal” use of the words translated here “disappointed” and “dismayed.” They are regularly translated “ashamed” and “disgraced, humiliated, dismayed” elsewhere (see e.g., Jer 22:22); they are somewhat synonymous terms which are often parallel or combined. The key here, however, is the expression “they cover their heads” which is used in 2 Sam 15:30 for the expression of grief. Moreover, the word translated here “disappointed” (בּוֹשׁ, bosh) is used that way several times. See for example Jer 12:13 and consult examples in BDB 101 s.v. בּוֹשׁ Qal.2. A very similar context with the same figure is found in Jer 2:36-37.

10 tn For the use of the verb “is cracked” here see BDB 369 s.v. חָתַת Qal.1 and compare the usage in Jer 51:56 where it refers to broken bows. The form is a relative clause without relative pronoun (cf., GKC 486-87 §155.f). The sentence as a whole is related to the preceding through a particle meaning “because of” or “on account of.” Hence the subject and verb have been repeated to make the connection.

11 tn Heb “she gives birth and abandons.”

12 tn Heb “their eyes are strained because there is no verdure.”



TIP #05: Try Double Clicking on any word for instant search. [ALL]
created in 0.07 seconds
powered by bible.org