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Jeremiah 1:6

Context

1:6 I answered, “Oh, Lord God, 1  I really 2  do not know how to speak well enough for that, 3  for I am too young.” 4 

Jeremiah 1:9

Context
1:9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I will most assuredly give you the words you are to speak for me. 5 

1 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.”

sn The translation follows the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the Hebrew word for “God” for the proper name Yahweh in this compound name. See the study note on v. 2 for the substitution of “Lord” in a similar kind of situation.

2 tn Heb “Behold, I do not know how to speak.” The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, commonly rendered “behold”) often introduces a speech and calls special attention to a specific word or the statement as a whole (see IBHS 675-78 §40.2.1).

3 tn The words “well enough for that” are implicit and are supplied in the translation for clarity. Jeremiah is not claiming an absolute inability to speak.

4 tn Heb “I am a boy/youth.” The Hebrew word can refer to an infant (Exod 2:6), a young boy (1 Sam 2:11), a teenager (Gen 21:12), or a young man (2 Sam 18:5). The translation is deliberately ambiguous since it is unclear how old Jeremiah was when he was called to begin prophesying.

5 tn Heb “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.” This is an example of the Hebrew “scheduling” perfect or the “prophetic” perfect where a future event is viewed as so certain it is spoken of as past. The Hebrew particle rendered here “assuredly” (Heb הִנֵּה, hinneh) underlines the certitude of the promise for the future. See the translator’s note on v. 6.

sn The passage is reminiscent of Deut 18:18 which refers to the Lord’s promise of future revelation through a line of prophets who, like Moses, would speak God’s word.



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