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Jeremiah 22:1-5

Context

22:1 The Lord told me, 1  “Go down 2  to the palace of the king of Judah. Give him a message from me there. 3  22:2 Say: ‘Listen, O king of Judah who follows in David’s succession. 4  You, your officials, and your subjects who pass through the gates of this palace must listen to what the Lord says. 5  22:3 The Lord says, “Do what is just and right. Deliver those who have been robbed from those 6  who oppress them. Do not exploit or mistreat foreigners who live in your land, children who have no fathers, or widows. 7  Do not kill innocent people 8  in this land. 22:4 If you are careful to 9  obey these commands, then the kings who follow in David’s succession and ride in chariots or on horses will continue to come through the gates of this palace, as will their officials and their subjects. 10  22:5 But, if you do not obey these commands, I solemnly swear 11  that this palace will become a pile of rubble. I, the Lord, affirm it!” 12 

Jeremiah 23:5-6

Context

23:5 “I, the Lord, promise 13  that a new time will certainly come 14 

when I will raise up for them a righteous branch, 15  a descendant of David.

He will rule over them with wisdom and understanding 16 

and will do what is just and right in the land. 17 

23:6 Under his rule 18  Judah will enjoy safety 19 

and Israel will live in security. 20 

This is the name he will go by:

‘The Lord has provided us with justice.’ 21 

1 tn The word “me “ is not in the text. It is, however, implicit and is supplied in the translation for clarity.

2 sn The allusion here is to going down from the temple to the palace which was on a lower eminence. See 36:12 in its context.

3 tn Heb “And speak there this word:” The translation is intended to eliminate an awkward and lengthy sentence.

4 tn Heb “who sits on David’s throne.”

5 tn Heb “Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah who sits on the throne of David, you, and your officials and your people who pass through these gates.”

6 tn Heb “from the hand [or power] of.”

7 tn Heb “aliens, orphans, or widows” treating the terms as generic or collective. However, the term “alien” carries faulty connotations and the term “orphan” is not totally appropriate because the Hebrew term does not necessarily mean that both parents have died.

sn These were classes of people who had no one to look out for their rights. The laws of Israel, however, were careful to see that their rights were guarded (cf. Deut 10:18) and that provision was made for meeting their needs (cf. Deut 24:19-21). The Lord promised to protect them (cf. Ps 146:9) and a curse was called down on any who deprived them of justice (cf. Deut 27:19).

8 tn Heb “Do not shed innocent blood.”

sn Do not kill innocent people. For an example of one of the last kings who did this see Jer 36:20-23. Manasseh was notorious for having done this and the book of 2 Kgs attributes the ultimate destruction of Judah to this crime and his sin of worshiping false gods (2 Kgs 21:16; 24:4).

9 tn The translation here reflects the emphasizing infinitive absolute before the verb.

10 tn Heb “There will come through the gates of this city the kings…riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials…” The structure of the original text is broken up here because of the long compound subject which would make the English sentence too long. Compare 17:25 for the structure and wording of this sentence.

11 sn Heb “I swear by myself.” Oaths were guaranteed by invoking the name of a god or swearing by “his life.” See Jer 12:16; 44:26. Since the Lord is incomparably great, he could swear by no higher (see Heb 6:13-16) than to swear by himself or his own great name.

12 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

13 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

14 tn Heb “Behold the days are coming.”

15 tn Heb “a righteous sprig to David” or “a righteous shoot” (NAB).

sn This passage and the parallel in Jer 33:15 are part of a growing number of prayers and prophecies regarding an ideal ruler to come forth from the Davidic line who will bring the justice, security, and well-being that the continuing line of Davidic rulers did not. Though there were periodic kings like Josiah who did fulfill the ideals set forth in Jer 22:3 (see Jer 22:15), by and large they were more like Jehoiakim who did not (see Jer 22:13). Hence the Lord brought to an end the Davidic rule. The potential for the ideal, however, remained because of God’s promise to David (2 Sam 7:16). The Davidic line became like a tree which was cut down, leaving only a stump. But from that stump God would bring forth a “shoot,” a “sprig” which would fulfill the ideals of kingship. See Isa 11:1-6 and Zech 3:8, 6:12 for this metaphor and compare Dan 4:14-15, 23, 26 for a different but related use of the metaphor.

16 tn Heb “he will reign as king and act wisely.” This is another example of the use of two verbs joined by “and” where one becomes the adverbial modifier of the other (hendiadys). For the nuance of the verb “act wisely” rather than “prosper” see Amos 5:13; Ps 2:10 (cf. BDB 968 s.v. שָׂכַל Hiph.5).

17 sn This has been the constant emphasis in this section. See 22:3 for the demand, 22:15 for its fulfillment, and 22:13 for its abuse. The ideal king would follow in the footsteps of his illustrious ancestor David (2 Sam 8:15) who set this forth as an ideal for his dynasty (2 Sam 23:3) and prayed for it to be true of his son Solomon (Ps 72:1-2).

18 tn Heb “In his days [= during the time he rules].”

19 tn Parallelism and context (cf. v. 4) suggest this nuance for the word often translated “be saved.” For this nuance elsewhere see Ps 119:117; Prov 28:18 for the verb (יָשַׁע [yasha’] in the Niphal); and Ps 12:6; Job 5:4, 11 for the related noun (יֶשַׁע, yesha’).

20 sn It should be noted that this brief oracle of deliverance implies the reunification of Israel and Judah under the future Davidic ruler. Jeremiah has already spoken about this reunification earlier in 3:18 and will have more to say about it in 30:3; 31:27, 31. This same ideal was espoused in the prophecies of Hosea (1:10-11 [2:1-2 HT]), Isaiah (11:1-4, 10-12), and Ezekiel (37:15-28) all of which have messianic and eschatological significance.

21 tn Heb “his name will be called ‘The Lord our righteousness’.”

sn The Hebrew word translated “justice” here is very broad in its usage, and it is hard to catch all the relevant nuances for this word in this context. It is used for “vindication” in legal contexts (see, e.g., Job 6:29), for “deliverance” or “salvation” in exilic contexts (see, e.g., Isa 58:8), and in the sense of ruling, judging with “justice” (see, e.g., Lev 19:15; Isa 32:1). Here it probably sums up the justice that the Lord provides through raising up this ruler as well as the safety, security, and well-being that result (see vv. 5-6a). In the NT this takes on soteriological connotations (see 1 Cor 1:31 in its context).



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