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Jeremiah 25:9

Context
25:9 So I, the Lord, affirm that 1  I will send for all the peoples of the north 2  and my servant, 3  King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and all the nations that surround it. I will utterly destroy 4  this land, its inhabitants, and all the nations that surround it 5  and make them everlasting ruins. 6  I will make them objects of horror and hissing scorn. 7 

Jeremiah 27:6

Context
27:6 I have at this time placed all these nations of yours under the power 8  of my servant, 9  King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I have even made all the wild animals subject to him. 10 

1 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

2 sn The many allusions to trouble coming from the north are now clarified: it is the armies of Babylon which included within it contingents from many nations. See 1:14, 15; 4:6; 6:1, 22; 10:22; 13:20 for earlier allusions.

3 sn Nebuchadnezzar is called the Lord’s servant also in Jer 27:6; 43:10. He was the Lord’s servant in that he was the agent used by the Lord to punish his disobedient people. Assyria was earlier referred to as the Lord’s “rod” (Isa 10:5-6) and Cyrus is called his “shepherd” and his “anointed” (Isa 44:28; 45:1). P. C. Craigie, P. H. Kelley, and J. F. Drinkard (Jeremiah 1-25 [WBC], 364) make the interesting observation that the terms here are very similar to the terms in v. 4. The people of Judah ignored the servants, the prophets, he sent to turn them away from evil. So he will send other servants whom they cannot ignore.

4 tn The word used here was used in the early years of Israel’s conquest for the action of killing all the men, women, and children in the cities of Canaan, destroying all their livestock, and burning their cities down. This policy was intended to prevent Israel from being corrupted by paganism (Deut 7:2; 20:17-18; Josh 6:18, 21). It was to be extended to any city that led Israel away from worshiping God (Deut 13:15) and any Israelite who brought an idol into his house (Deut 7:26). Here the policy is being directed against Judah as well as against her neighbors because of her persistent failure to heed God’s warnings through the prophets. For further usage of this term in application to foreign nations in the book of Jeremiah see 50:21, 26; 51:3.

5 tn Heb “will utterly destroy them.” The referent (this land, its inhabitants, and the nations surrounding it) has been specified in the translation for clarity, since the previous “them” referred to Nebuchadnezzar and his armies.

sn This is essentially the introduction to the “judgment on the nations” in vv. 15-29 which begins with Jerusalem and Judah (v. 18) and ultimately ends with Babylon itself (“Sheshach” in v. 26; see note there for explanation of the term).

6 sn The Hebrew word translated “everlasting” is the word often translated “eternal.” However, it sometimes has a more limited time reference. For example it refers to the lifetime of a person who became a “lasting slave” to another person (see Exod 21:6; Deut 15:17). It is also used to refer to the long life wished for a king (1 Kgs 1:31; Neh 2:3). The time frame here is to be qualified at least with reference to Judah and Jerusalem as seventy years (see 29:10-14 and compare v. 12).

7 tn Heb “I will make them an object of horror and a hissing and everlasting ruins.” The sentence has been broken up to separate the last object from the first two which are of slightly different connotation, i.e., they denote the reaction to the latter.

sn Compare Jer 18:16 and 19:8 and the study note at 18:16.

8 tn Heb “have given…into the hand of.”

9 sn See the study note on 25:9 for the significance of the application of this term to Nebuchadnezzar.

10 tn Heb “I have given…to him to serve him.” The verb “give” in this syntactical situation is functioning like the Hiphil stem, i.e., as a causative. See Dan 1:9 for parallel usage. For the usage of “serve” meaning “be subject to” compare 2 Sam 22:44 and BDB 713 s.v. עָבַד 3.

sn This statement is rhetorical, emphasizing the totality of Nebuchadnezzar’s dominion. Neither here nor in Dan 2:38 is it to be understood literally.



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