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Jeremiah 22:3-4

Context
22:3 The Lord says, “Do what is just and right. Deliver those who have been robbed from those 1  who oppress them. Do not exploit or mistreat foreigners who live in your land, children who have no fathers, or widows. 2  Do not kill innocent people 3  in this land. 22:4 If you are careful to 4  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. 5 

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

2 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).

3 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).

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

5 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.



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