Jeremiah 1:2

1:2 The Lord began to speak to him in the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amon ruled over Judah.

Jeremiah 3:2-3

3:2 “Look up at the hilltops and consider this.

You have had sex with other gods on every one of them.

You waited for those gods like a thief lying in wait in the desert.

You defiled the land by your wicked prostitution to other gods.

3:3 That is why the rains have been withheld,

and the spring rains have not come.

Yet in spite of this you are obstinate as a prostitute.

You refuse to be ashamed of what you have done.

Jeremiah 4:11

4:11 “At that time the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be told,

‘A scorching wind will sweep down

from the hilltops in the desert on my dear people. 10 

It will not be a gentle breeze

for winnowing the grain and blowing away the chaff. 11 


sn The translation reflects the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the word for “Lord” for the proper name for Israel’s God which is now generally agreed to have been Yahweh. Jewish scribes wrote the consonants YHWH but substituted the vowels for the word “Lord.” The practice of calling him “Lord” rather than using his proper name is also reflected in the Greek translation which is the oldest translation of the Hebrew Bible. The meaning of the name Yahweh occurs in Exod 3:13-14 where God identifies himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and tells Moses that his name is “I am” (אֶהְיֶה, ’ehyeh). However, he instructs the Israelites to refer to him as YHWH (“Yahweh” = “He is”); see further Exod 34:5-6.

tn Heb “to whom the word of the Lord came.” The present translation is more in keeping with contemporary English idiom. The idea of “began to speak” comes from the context where the conclusion of his speaking is signaled by the phrases “until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah” and “until the people of Jerusalem were taken into exile” in v. 3.

tn Heb “and see.”

tn Heb “Where have you not been ravished?” The rhetorical question expects the answer “nowhere,” which suggests she has engaged in the worship of pagan gods on every one of the hilltops.

tn Heb “You sat for them [the lovers, i.e., the foreign gods] beside the road like an Arab in the desert.”

tn Heb “by your prostitution and your wickedness.” This is probably an example of hendiadys where, when two nouns are joined by “and,” one expresses the main idea and the other qualifies it.

tn Heb “you have the forehead of a prostitute.”

tn Heb “this people and Jerusalem.”

tn Heb “A scorching wind from the hilltops in the desert toward…”

sn The allusion is, of course, to the destructive forces of the enemy armies of Babylon compared above in 4:7 to a destructive lion and here to the destructive desert winds of the Near Eastern sirocco.

10 tn Heb “daughter of my people.” The term “daughter of” is appositional to “my people” and is supplied in the translation as a term of sympathy and endearment. Compare the common expression “daughter of Zion.”

11 tn Heb “not for winnowing and not for cleansing.” The words “It will not be a gentle breeze” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection. They are supplied in the translation here for clarification.