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Jeremiah 15:17

Context

15:17 I did not spend my time in the company of other people,

laughing and having a good time.

I stayed to myself because I felt obligated to you 1 

and because I was filled with anger at what they had done.

Jeremiah 16:21

Context

16:21 The Lord said, 2 

“So I will now let this wicked people know –

I will let them know my mighty power in judgment.

Then they will know that my name is the Lord.” 3 

1 tn Heb “because of your hand.”

2 tn The words “The Lord said” are not in the text. However, it is obvious that he is the speaker. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Or “So I will make known to those nations, I will make known to them at this time my power and my might. Then they will know that my name is the Lord.”

tn There is a decided ambiguity in this text about the identity of the pronoun “them.” Is it his wicked people he has been predicting judgment upon or the nations that have come to recognize the folly of idolatry? The nearer antecedent would argue for that. However, usage of “hand” (translated here “power”) in 6:12; 15:6 and later 21:5 and especially the threatening motif of “at this time” (or “now”) in 10:18 suggest that the “So” goes back logically to vv. 16-18, following a grounds of judgment with the threatened consequence as it has in at least 16 out of 18 occurrences thus far. Moreover it makes decidedly more sense that the Jews will know that his name is the Lord as the result of the present (“at this time”) display of his power in judgment than that the idolaters will at some later (cf. Isa 2:2-4 for possible parallel) time. There has been a decided emphasis that the people of Israel do not “know” him (cf. 2:8; 4:22; 9:3, 6). Now they will, but in a way they did not wish to. There is probably an allusion (and an ironic reversal) here to Exod 3:13-15; 34:5-7. They have presumed upon his graciousness and forgotten that his name not only involves being with them to help but being against them to punish sin. Even if the alternate translation is followed the reference is still to God’s mighty power made known in judging the wicked Judeans. The words “power” and “might” are an example of hendiadys in which two nouns joined by “and” in which one modifies the other.



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