“Lord, you give me strength and protect me.
You are the one I can run to for safety when I am in trouble. 2
Nations from all over the earth
will come to you and say,
‘Our ancestors had nothing but false gods –
worthless idols that could not help them at all. 3
16:20 Can people make their own gods?
No, what they make are not gods at all.” 4
“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.” 6
1 tn The words “Then I said” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation to show the shift from God, who has been speaking to Jeremiah, to Jeremiah, who here addresses God.
sn The shift here is consistent with the interruptions that have taken place in chapters 14 and 15 and in Jeremiah’s response to God’s condemnation of the people of Judah’s idolatry in chapter 10 (note especially vv. 6-16).
2 tn Heb “O
3 tn Once again the translation has sacrificed some of the rhetorical force for the sake of clarity and English style: Heb “Only falsehood did our ancestors possess, vanity and [things in which?] there was no one profiting in them.”
sn This passage offers some rather forceful contrasts. The
5 tn The words “The
6 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
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