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Jeremiah 22:7

Context

22:7 I will send men against it to destroy it 1 

with their axes and hatchets.

They will hack up its fine cedar panels and columns

and throw them into the fire.

Jeremiah 22:14-15

Context

22:14 He says, “I will build myself a large palace

with spacious upper rooms.”

He cuts windows in its walls,

panels it 2  with cedar, and paints its rooms red. 3 

22:15 Does it make you any more of a king

that you outstrip everyone else in 4  building with cedar?

Just think about your father.

He was content that he had food and drink. 5 

He did what was just and right. 6 

So things went well with him.

Jeremiah 22:23

Context

22:23 You may feel as secure as a bird

nesting in the cedars of Lebanon.

But oh how you 7  will groan 8  when the pains of judgment come on you.

They will be like those of a woman giving birth to a baby. 9 

1 sn Heb “I will sanctify destroyers against it.” If this is not an attenuated use of the term “sanctify” the traditions of Israel’s holy wars are being turned against her. See also 6:4. In Israel’s early wars in the wilderness and in the conquest, the Lord fought for her against the enemies (cf., e.g., Josh 10:11, 14, 42; 24:7; Judg 5:20; 1 Sam 7:10). Now he is going to fight against them (21:5, 13) and use the enemy as his instruments of destruction. For a similar picture of destruction in the temple see the lament in Ps 74:3-7.

2 tc The MT should be emended to read חַלֹּנָיו וְסָפוֹן (khallonayv vÿsafon) instead of חַלֹּנָי וְסָפוּן (khallonay vÿsafon), i.e., the plural noun with third singular suffix rather than the first singular suffix and the infinitive absolute rather than the passive participle. The latter form then parallels the form for “paints” and functions in the same way (cf. GKC 345 §113.z for the infinitive with vav [ו] continuing a perfect). The errors in the MT involve reading the וְ once instead of twice (haplography) and reading the וּ (u) for the וֹ (o).

3 tn The word translated “red” only occurs here and in Ezek 23:14 where it refers to the pictures of the Babylonians on the wall of the temple. Evidently this was a favorite color for decoration. It is usually identified as vermilion, a mineral product from red ocher (cf. C. L. Wickwire, “Vermilion,” IDB 4:748).

4 tn For the use of this verb see Jer 12:5 where it is used of Jeremiah “competing” with horses. The form is a rare Tiphel (see GKC 153 §55.h).

5 tn Heb “Your father, did he not eat and drink and do justice and right.” The copulative vav in front of the verbs here (all Hebrew perfects) shows that these actions are all coordinate not sequential. The contrast drawn here between the actions of Jehoiakim and Josiah show that the phrase eating and drinking should be read in the light of the same contrasts in Eccl 2 which ends with the note of contentment in Eccl 2:24 (see also Eccl 3:13; 5:18 [5:17 HT]; 8:15). The question is, of course, rhetorical setting forth the positive role model against which Jehoiakim’s actions are to be condemned. The key terms here are “then things went well with him” which is repeated in the next verse after the reiteration of Josiah’s practice of justice.

6 sn The father referred to here is the godly king Josiah. He followed the requirements for kings set forth in 22:3 in contrast to his son who did not (22:13).

7 tn Heb “You who dwell in Lebanon, you who are nested in its cedars, how you….” The metaphor has been interpreted for the sake of clarity. The figure here has often been interpreted of the people of Jerusalem living in paneled houses or living in a city dominated by the temple and palace which were built from the cedars of Lebanon. Some even interpret this as a reference to the king who has been characterized as living in a cedar palace, in a veritable Lebanon (cf. vv. 6-7, 14 and see also the alternate interpretation of 21:13-14). However, the reference to “nesting in the cedars” and the earlier reference to “feeling secure” suggests that the figure is rather like that of Ezek 31:6 and Dan 4:12. See also Hab 2:9 where a related figure is used. The forms for “you who dwell” and “you who are nested” in the literal translation are feminine singular participles referring again to personified Jerusalem. (The written forms of these participles are to be explained as participles with a hireq campaginis according to GKC 253 §90.m. The use of the participle before the preposition is to be explained according to GKC 421 §130.a.)

8 tn The verb here should be identified as a Niphal perfect of the verb אָנַח (’anakh) with the א (aleph) left out (so BDB 336 s.v. חָנַן Niph and GKC 80 §23.f, n. 1). The form is already translated that way by the Greek, Latin, and Syriac versions.

9 sn This simile has already been used in Jer 4:31; 6:24 in conjunction with Zion/Jerusalem’s judgment.



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