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Jeremiah 23:20

Context

23:20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back

until he has fully carried out his intended purposes. 1 

In days to come 2 

you people will come to understand this clearly. 3 

Jeremiah 30:24

Context

30:24 The anger of the Lord will not turn back

until he has fully carried out his intended purposes.

In days to come you will come to understand this. 4 

Jeremiah 51:11

Context

51:11 “Sharpen 5  your arrows!

Fill your quivers! 6 

The Lord will arouse a spirit of hostility in 7  the kings of Media. 8 

For he intends to destroy Babylonia.

For that is how the Lord will get his revenge –

how he will get his revenge for the Babylonians’ destruction of his temple. 9 

1 tn Heb “until he has done and until he has carried out the purposes of his heart.”

2 tn Heb “in the latter days.” However, as BDB 31 s.v. אַחֲרִית b suggests, the meaning of this idiom must be determined from the context. Sometimes it has remote, even eschatological, reference and other times it has more immediate reference as it does here and in Jer 30:23 where it refers to the coming days of Babylonian conquest and exile.

3 tn The translation is intended to reflect a Hebrew construction where a noun functions as the object of a verb from the same root word (the Hebrew cognate accusative).

4 sn Jer 30:23-24 are almost a verbatim repetition of 23:19-20. There the verses were addressed to the people of Jerusalem as a warning that the false prophets had no intimate awareness of the Lord’s plans which were plans of destruction for wicked Israel not plans of peace and prosperity. Here they function as further assurance that the Lord will judge the wicked nations oppressing them when he reverses their fortunes and restores them once again to the land as his special people (cf. vv. 18-22).

5 sn The imperatives here and in v. 12 are directed to the soldiers in the armies of the kings from the north (here identified as the kings of Media [see also 50:3, 9; 51:27-28]). They have often been addressed in this prophecy as though they were a present force (see 50:14-16; 50:21 [and the study note there]; 50:26, 29; 51:3) though the passage as a whole is prophetic of the future. This gives some idea of the ideal stance that the prophets adopted when they spoke of the future as though already past (the use of the Hebrew prophetic perfect which has been referred to often in the translator’s notes).

6 tn The meaning of this word is debated. The most thorough discussion of this word including etymology and usage in the OT and Qumran is in HALOT 1409-10 s.v. שֶׁלֶט, where the rendering “quiver” is accepted for all the uses of this word in the OT. For a more readily accessible discussion for English readers see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:422-23. The meaning “quiver” fits better with the verb “fill” than the meaning “shield” which is adopted in BDB 1020 s.v. שֶׁלֶט. “Quiver” is the meaning adopted also in NRSV, REB, NAB, and NJPS.

7 tn Heb “The Lord has stirred up the spirit of…” The verb is rendered here as a prophetic perfect. The rendering “arouse a spirit of hostility” is an attempt to render some meaning to the phrase and not simply ignore the word “spirit” as many of the modern English versions do. For a fuller discussion including cross references see the translator’s note on v. 1.

8 sn Media was a country in what is now northwestern Iran. At the time this prophecy was probably written they were the dominating force in the northern region, the most likely enemy to Babylon. By the time Babylon fell in 538 b.c. the Medes had been conquered and incorporated in the Persian empire by Cyrus. However, several times in the Bible this entity is known under the combined entity of Media and Persia (Esth 1:3, 4, 18, 19; 10:2; Dan 5:28; 6:8, 12, 15; 8:20). Dan 5:31 credits the capture of Babylon to Darius the Mede, which may have been another name for Cyrus or the name by which Daniel refers to a Median general named Gobryas.

9 tn Heb “For it is the vengeance of the Lord, vengeance for his temple.” As in the parallel passage in 50:28, the genitival construction has been expanded in the translation to clarify for the English reader what the commentaries in general agree is involved.

sn Verse 11c-f appears to be a parenthetical or editorial comment by Jeremiah to give some background for the attack which is summoned in vv. 11-12.



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