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Jeremiah 14:13-14

Context

14:13 Then I said, “Oh, Lord God, 1  look! 2  The prophets are telling them that you said, 3  ‘You will not experience war or suffer famine. 4  I will give you lasting peace and prosperity in this land.’” 5 

14:14 Then the Lord said to me, “Those prophets are prophesying lies while claiming my authority! 6  I did not send them. I did not commission them. 7  I did not speak to them. They are prophesying to these people false visions, worthless predictions, 8  and the delusions of their own mind.

1 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” The translation follows the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the Hebrew word for God for the proper name Yahweh.

2 tn Heb “Behold.” See the translator’s note on usage of this particle in 1:6.

3 tn The words “that you said” are not in the text but are implicit from the first person in the affirmation that follows. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Heb “You will not see sword and you will not have starvation [or hunger].”

5 tn Heb “I will give you unfailing peace in this place.” The translation opts for “peace and prosperity” here for the word שָׁלוֹם (shalom) because in the context it refers both to peace from war and security from famine and plague. The word translated “lasting” (אֱמֶת, ’emet) is a difficult to render here because it has broad uses: “truth, reliability, stability, steadfastness,” etc. “Guaranteed” or “lasting” seem to fit the context the best.

6 tn Heb “Falsehood those prophets are prophesying in my name.” In the OT, the “name” reflected the person’s character (cf. Gen 27:36; 1 Sam 25:25) or his reputation (Gen 11:4; 2 Sam 8:13). To speak in someone’s name was to act as his representative or carry his authority (1 Sam 25:9; 1 Kgs 21:8).

7 tn Heb “I did not command them.” Compare 1 Chr 22:12 for usage.

8 tn Heb “divination and worthlessness.” The noun “worthlessness” stands as a qualifying “of” phrase (= to an adjective; an attributive genitive in Hebrew) after a noun in Zech 11:17; Job 13:4. This is an example of hendiadys where two nouns are joined by “and” with one serving as the qualifier of the other.

sn The word translated “predictions” here is really the word “divination.” Divination was prohibited in Israel (cf. Deut 18:10, 14). The practice of divination involved various mechanical means to try to predict the future. The word was used here for its negative connotations in a statement that is rhetorically structured to emphasize the falseness of the promises of the false prophets. It would be unnatural to contemporary English style to try to capture this emphasis in English. In the Hebrew text the last sentence reads: “False vision, divination, and worthlessness and the deceitfulness of their heart they are prophesying to them.” For the emphasis in the preceding sentence see the note there.



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