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Jeremiah 16:6

Context
16:6 Rich and poor alike will die in this land. They will not be buried or mourned. People will not cut their bodies or shave off their hair to show their grief for them. 1 

Jeremiah 41:5

Context
41:5 eighty men arrived from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria. 2  They had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes, and cut themselves to show they were mourning. 3  They were carrying grain offerings and incense to present at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. 4 

Jeremiah 47:5

Context

47:5 The people of Gaza will shave their heads in mourning.

The people of Ashkelon will be struck dumb.

How long will you gash yourselves to show your sorrow, 5 

you who remain of Philistia’s power? 6 

1 sn These were apparently pagan customs associated with mourning (Isa 15:2; Jer 47:5) which were forbidden in Israel (Lev 19:8; 21:5) but apparently practiced anyway (Jer 41:5).

2 sn Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria were all cities in the northern kingdom of Israel with important religious and political histories. When Israel was destroyed in 722 b.c., some of the Israelites had been left behind and some of the Judeans had taken up residence in these northern cities. People residing there had participated in the reforms of Hezekiah (2 Chr 30:11) and Josiah (2 Chr 34:9) and were evidently still faithfully following the Jewish calendar. They would have been on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish New Year and the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:34).

map For the location of Samaria see Map2 B1; Map4 D3; Map5 E2; Map6 A4; Map7 C1.

3 tn The words “to show they were mourning” are not in the text but are implicit in the acts. They are supplied in the translation for clarification for readers who may not be familiar with ancient mourning customs.

4 tn The words “in Jerusalem” are not in the text but are implicit. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

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

5 sn Shaving one’s head and gashing one’s body were customs to show mourning or sadness for the dead (cf. Deut 14:1; Mic 1:16; Ezek 27:31; Jer 16:6; 48:37).

6 tn Or “you who are left alive on the Philistine plain.” Or “you who remain of the Anakim.” The translation follows the suggestion of several of the modern commentaries that the word עֵמֶק (’emeq) means “strength” or “power” here (see J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 698; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 310; and see also HALOT 803 s.v. II עֵמֶק). It is a rare homonym of the word that normally means “valley” that seems to be an inappropriate designation of the Philistine plain. Many of the modern English versions and commentaries follow the Greek version which reads here “remnant of the Anakim” (עֲנָקִים [’anaqim] instead of עִמְקָם [’imqam], a confusion of basically one letter). This emendation is followed by both BDB 771 s.v. עֵמֶק and KBL 716 s.v. עֵמֶק. The Anakim were generally associated with the southern region around Hebron but an enclave of them was known to have settled in Gaza, Gath, and Ekron, three of the Philistine cities (cf. Josh 11:22). However, the fact that this judgment is directed against the Philistines not the Anakim and that this homonym apparently appears also in Jer 49:4 makes the reading of “power” more likely here.



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