“O Lord, intervene for the honor of your name 2
even though our sins speak out against us. 3
Indeed, 4 we have turned away from you many times.
We have sinned against you.
14:8 You have been the object of Israel’s hopes.
You have saved them when they were in trouble.
Why have you become like a resident foreigner 5 in the land?
Why have you become like a traveler who only stops in to spend the night?
like a champion 7 who cannot save anyone?
You are indeed with us, 8
and we belong to you. 9
Do not abandon us!”
“They truly 11 love to go astray.
They cannot keep from running away from me. 12
So I am not pleased with them.
and punish them for their sins.”
14:20 Lord, we confess that we have been wicked.
We confess that our ancestors have done wrong. 16
We have indeed 17 sinned against you.
Do not treat with disdain the place where your glorious throne sits. 20
Be mindful of your covenant with us. Do not break it! 21
Do the skies themselves send showers?
Is it not you, O Lord our God, who does this? 23
So we put our hopes in you 24
because you alone do all this.”
1 tn The words “Then I said” are not in the text. However, it cannot be a continuation of the
2 tn Heb “Act for the sake of your name.” The usage of “act” in this absolute, unqualified sense cf. BDB 794 s.v. עָוֹשָׂה Qal.I.r and compare the usage, e.g., in 1 Kgs 8:32 and 39. For the nuance of “for the sake of your name” compare the usage in Isa 48:9 and Ezek 20:9, 14.
3 tn Or “bear witness against us,” or “can be used as evidence against us,” to keep the legal metaphor. Heb “testify against.”
4 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) can scarcely be causal here; it is either intensive (BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e) or concessive (BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 2.c). The parallel usage in Gen 18:20 argues for the intensive force as does the fact that the concessive has already been expressed by אִם (’im).
5 tn It would be a mistake to translate this word as “stranger.” This word (גֵּר, ger) refers to a resident alien or resident foreigner who stays in a country not his own. He is accorded the privilege of protection through the common rights of hospitality but he does not have the rights of the native born or citizen. The simile here is particularly effective. The land was the
6 tn This is the only time this word occurs in the Hebrew Bible. The lexicons generally take it to mean “confused” or “surprised” (cf., e.g., BDB 187 s.v. דָּהַם). However, the word has been found in a letter from the seventh century in a passage where it must mean something like “be helpless”; see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:433, for discussion and bibliography of an article where this letter is dealt with.
8 tn Heb “in our midst.”
10 tn Heb “Thus said the
11 tn It is difficult to be certain how the particle כֵּן (ken, usually used for “thus, so”) is to be rendered here. BDB 485 s.v. כֵּן 1.b says that the force sometimes has to be elicited from the general context and points back to the line of v. 9. IHBS 666 §39.3.4e states that when there is no specific comparative clause preceding a general comparison is intended. They point to Judg 5:31 as a parallel. Ps 127:2 may also be an example if כִּי (ki) is not to be read (cf. BHS fn). “Truly” seemed the best way to render this idea in contemporary English.
12 tn Heb “They do not restrain their feet.” The idea of “away from me” is implicit in the context and is supplied in the translation for clarity.
13 tn Heb “remember.”
14 tn Heb “their iniquities.”
15 tn Heb “on behalf of these people for benefit.”
16 tn Heb “We acknowledge our wickedness [and] the iniquity of our [fore]fathers.” For the use of the word “know” to mean “confess,” “acknowledge” cf. BDB 394 s.v. יָדַע, Qal.1.f and compare the usage in Jer 3:13.
sn For a longer example of an individual identifying with the nation and confessing their sins and the sins of their forefathers see Ps 106.
17 tn This is another example of the intensive use of כִּי (ki). See BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e.
18 tn Heb “For the sake of your name.”
20 tn English versions quite commonly supply “us” as an object for the verb in the first line. This is probably wrong. The Hebrew text reads: “Do not treat with contempt for the sake of your name; do not treat with disdain your glorious throne.” This is case of poetic parallelism where the object is left hanging until the second line. For an example of this see Prov 13:1 in the original and consult E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 103-4. There has also been some disagreement whether “your glorious throne” refers to the temple (as in 17:12) or Jerusalem (as in 3:17). From the beginning of the prayer in v. 19 where a similar kind of verb has been used with respect to Zion/Jerusalem it would appear that the contextual referent is Jerusalem. The absence of an object from the first line makes it possible to retain part of the metaphor in the translation and still convey some meaning.
sn The place of God’s glorious throne was first of all the ark of the covenant where God was said to be enthroned between the cherubim, then the temple that housed it, then the city itself. See 2 Kgs 19:14-15 in the context of Sennacherib’s attack on Jerusalem.
21 tn Heb “Remember, do not break your covenant with us.”
23 tn Heb “Is it not you, O
24 tn The rhetorical negatives are balanced by a rhetorical positive.