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Jeremiah 20:9

Context

20:9 Sometimes I think, “I will make no mention of his message.

I will not speak as his messenger 1  any more.”

But then 2  his message becomes like a fire

locked up inside of me, burning in my heart and soul. 3 

I grow weary of trying to hold it in;

I cannot contain it.

Jeremiah 23:36

Context
23:36 You must no longer say that the Lord’s message is burdensome. 4  For what is ‘burdensome’ 5  really pertains to what a person himself says. 6  You are misrepresenting 7  the words of our God, the living God, the Lord who rules over all. 8 

Jeremiah 31:20

Context

31:20 Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children.

They are the children I take delight in. 9 

For even though I must often rebuke them,

I still remember them with fondness.

So I am deeply moved with pity for them 10 

and will surely have compassion on them.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 11 

1 tn Heb “speak in his name.” This idiom occurs in passages where someone functions as the messenger under the authority of another. See Exod 5:23; Deut 18:19, 29:20; Jer 14:14. The antecedent in the first line is quite commonly misidentified as being “him,” i.e., the Lord. Comparison, however, with the rest of the context, especially the consequential clause “then it becomes” (וְהָיָה, vÿhayah), and Jer 23:36 shows that it is “the word of the Lord.”

2 tn The English sentence has again been restructured for the sake of English style. The Hebrew construction involves two vav consecutive perfects in a condition and consequence relation, “If I say to myself…then it [his word] becomes.” See GKC 337 §112.kk for the construction.

3 sn Heb “It is in my heart like a burning fire, shut up in my bones.” In addition to standing as part for the whole, the “bones” for the person (e.g., Ps 35:10), the bones were associated with fear (e.g., Job 4:14) and with pain (e.g., Job 33:19, Ps 102:3 [102:4 HT]) and joy or sorrow (e.g., Ps 51:8 [51:10 HT]). As has been mentioned several times, the heart was connected with intellectual and volitional concerns.

4 tn Heb “burden of the Lord.”

5 tn Heb “the burden.”

6 tn Heb “The burden is [or will be] to a man his word.” There is a good deal of ambiguity regarding how this line is to be rendered. For the major options and the issues involved W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:651-52 should be consulted. Most of them are excluded by the observation that מַשָּׂא probably does not mean “oracle” anywhere in this passage (see note on v. 33 regarding the use of this word). Hence it does not mean “every man’s word becomes his oracle” as in NIV or “for that ‘burden’ [= oracle] is what he entrusts to the man of his word” (W. McKane, Jeremiah [ICC], 1:600-601). The latter is also ruled out by the fact that the antecedent of “his” on “his word” is clearly the word “man” in front of it. This would be the only case where the phrase “man of his word” occurs. There is also no textual reason for repointing the noun with the article as the noun with the interrogative to read “For how can his word become a burden to anyone?” There are, of course, other options but this is sufficient to show that the translation has been chosen after looking at other alternatives.

7 tn Heb “turning.” See BDB 245 s.v. הָפַךְ Qal.1.c and Lev 13:55; Jer 13:33 “changing, altering.”

8 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”

sn See the study note on 2:19 for the explanation of the significance of this title.

9 tn Heb “Is Ephraim a dear son to me or a child of delight?” For the substitution of Israel for Ephraim and the plural pronouns for the singular see the note on v. 18. According to BDB 210 s.v. הֲ 1.c the question is rhetorical having the force of an impassioned affirmation. See 1 Sam 2:27; Job 41:9 (41:1 HT) for parallel usage.

10 tn Heb “my stomach churns for him.” The parallelism shows that this refers to pity or compassion.

11 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”



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