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Jeremiah 26:1--52:34

Context
Jeremiah Is Put on Trial as a False Prophet 1 

26:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah 2  at the beginning of the reign 3  of Josiah’s son, King Jehoiakim of Judah. 26:2 The Lord said, “Go stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. 4  Speak out to all the people who are coming from the towns of Judah to worship in the Lord’s temple. Tell them everything I command you to tell them. Do not leave out a single word! 26:3 Maybe they will pay attention and each of them will stop living the evil way they do. 5  If they do that, then I will forgo destroying them 6  as I had intended to do because of the wicked things they have been doing. 7  26:4 Tell them that the Lord says, 8  ‘You must obey me! You must live according to the way I have instructed you in my laws. 9  26:5 You must pay attention to the exhortations of my servants the prophets. I have sent them to you over and over again. 10  But you have not paid any attention to them. 26:6 If you do not obey me, 11  then I will do to this temple what I did to Shiloh. 12  And I will make this city an example to be used in curses by people from all the nations on the earth.’”

26:7 The priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah say these things in the Lord’s temple. 26:8 Jeremiah had just barely finished saying all the Lord had commanded him to say to all the people. All at once some 13  of the priests, the prophets, and the people grabbed him and shouted, “You deserve to die! 14  26:9 How dare you claim the Lord’s authority to prophesy such things! How dare you claim his authority to prophesy that this temple will become like Shiloh and that this city will become an uninhabited ruin!” 15  Then all the people crowded around Jeremiah.

26:10 However, some of the officials 16  of Judah heard about what was happening 17  and they rushed up to the Lord’s temple from the royal palace. They set up court 18  at the entrance of the New Gate of the Lord’s temple. 19  26:11 Then the priests and the prophets made their charges before the officials and all the people. They said, 20  “This man should be condemned to die 21  because he prophesied against this city. You have heard him do so 22  with your own ears.”

26:12 Then Jeremiah made his defense before all the officials and all the people. 23  “The Lord sent me to prophesy everything you have heard me say against this temple and against this city. 26:13 But correct the way you have been living and do what is right. 24  Obey the Lord your God. If you do, the Lord will forgo destroying you as he threatened he would. 25  26:14 As to my case, I am in your power. 26  Do to me what you deem fair and proper. 26:15 But you should take careful note of this: If you put me to death, you will bring on yourselves and this city and those who live in it the guilt of murdering an innocent man. For the Lord has sent me to speak all this where you can hear it. That is the truth!” 27 

26:16 Then the officials and all the people rendered their verdict to the priests and the prophets. They said, 28  “This man should not be condemned to die. 29  For he has spoken to us under the authority of the Lord our God.” 30  26:17 Then some of the elders of Judah 31  stepped forward and spoke to all the people gathered there. They said, 26:18 “Micah from Moresheth 32  prophesied during the time Hezekiah was king of Judah. 33  He told all the people of Judah,

‘The Lord who rules over all 34  says,

“Zion 35  will become a plowed field.

Jerusalem 36  will become a pile of rubble.

The temple mount will become a mere wooded ridge.”’ 37 

26:19 King Hezekiah and all the people of Judah did not put him to death, did they? Did not Hezekiah show reverence for the Lord and seek the Lord’s favor? 38  Did not 39  the Lord forgo destroying them 40  as he threatened he would? But we are on the verge of bringing great disaster on ourselves.” 41 

26:20 Now there was another man 42  who prophesied as the Lord’s representative 43  against this city and this land just as Jeremiah did. His name was Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim. 44  26:21 When the king and all his bodyguards 45  and officials heard what he was prophesying, 46  the king sought to have him executed. But Uriah found out about it and fled to Egypt out of fear. 47  26:22 However, King Jehoiakim sent some men to Egypt, including Elnathan son of Achbor, 48  26:23 and they brought Uriah back from there. 49  They took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him executed and had his body thrown into the burial place of the common people. 50 

26:24 However, Ahikam son of Shaphan 51  used his influence to keep Jeremiah from being handed over and executed by the people. 52 

Jeremiah Counsels Submission to Babylon

27:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah 53  early in the reign of Josiah’s son, King Zedekiah of Judah. 54  27:2 The Lord told me, 55  “Make a yoke 56  out of leather straps and wooden crossbars and put it on your neck. 27:3 Use it to send messages to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, 57  and Sidon. 58  Send them through 59  the envoys who have come to Jerusalem 60  to King Zedekiah of Judah. 27:4 Charge them to give their masters a message from me. Tell them, ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 61  says to give your masters this message. 62  27:5 “I made the earth and the people and animals on it by my mighty power and great strength, 63  and I give it to whomever I see fit. 64  27:6 I have at this time placed all these nations of yours under the power 65  of my servant, 66  King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I have even made all the wild animals subject to him. 67  27:7 All nations must serve him and his son and grandson 68  until the time comes for his own nation to fall. 69  Then many nations and great kings will in turn subjugate Babylon. 70  27:8 But suppose a nation or a kingdom will not be subject to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Suppose it will not submit to the yoke of servitude to 71  him. I, the Lord, affirm that 72  I will punish that nation. I will use the king of Babylon to punish it 73  with war, 74  starvation, and disease until I have destroyed it. 75  27:9 So do not listen to your prophets or to those who claim to predict the future by divination, 76  by dreams, by consulting the dead, 77  or by practicing magic. They keep telling you, ‘You do not need to be 78  subject to the king of Babylon.’ 27:10 Do not listen to them, 79  because their prophecies are lies. 80  Listening to them will only cause you 81  to be taken far away from your native land. I will drive you out of your country and you will die in exile. 82  27:11 Things will go better for the nation that submits to the yoke of servitude to 83  the king of Babylon and is subject to him. I will leave that nation 84  in its native land. Its people can continue to farm it and live in it. I, the Lord, affirm it!”’” 85 

27:12 I told King Zedekiah of Judah the same thing. I said, 86  “Submit 87  to the yoke of servitude to 88  the king of Babylon. Be subject to him and his people. Then you will continue to live. 27:13 There is no reason why you and your people should die in war 89  or from starvation or disease! 90  That’s what the Lord says will happen to any nation 91  that will not be subject to the king of Babylon. 27:14 Do not listen to the prophets who are telling you that you do not need to serve 92  the king of Babylon. For they are prophesying lies to you. 27:15 For I, the Lord, affirm 93  that I did not send them. They are prophesying lies to you. If you 94  listen to them, I will drive you and the prophets who are prophesying lies out of the land and you will all die in exile.” 95 

27:16 I also told the priests and all the people, “The Lord says, ‘Do not listen to what your prophets are saying. They are prophesying to you that 96  the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple will be brought back from Babylon very soon. 97  But they are prophesying a lie to you. 27:17 Do not listen to them. Be subject to the king of Babylon. Then you 98  will continue to live. Why should this city be made a pile of rubble?’” 99  27:18 I also told them, 100  “If they are really prophets and the Lord is speaking to them, 101  let them pray earnestly to the Lord who rules over all. 102  Let them plead with him not to let the valuable articles that are still left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace, and in Jerusalem be taken away 103  to Babylon. 27:19 For the Lord who rules over all 104  has already spoken about the two bronze pillars, 105  the large bronze basin called ‘The Sea,’ 106  and the movable bronze stands. 107  He has already spoken about the rest of the valuable articles that are left in this city. 27:20 He has already spoken about these things that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not take away when he carried Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem away as captives. 108  27:21 Indeed, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 109  has already spoken 110  about the valuable articles that are left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 27:22 He has said, ‘They will be carried off to Babylon. They will remain there until it is time for me to show consideration for them again. 111  Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ I, the Lord, affirm this!” 112 

Jeremiah Confronted by a False Prophet

28:1 The following events occurred in that same year, early in the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah. To be more precise, it was the fifth month of the fourth year of his reign. 113  The prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, spoke to Jeremiah 114  in the Lord’s temple in the presence of the priests and all the people. 115  28:2 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 116  says, ‘I will break the yoke of servitude 117  to the king of Babylon. 28:3 Before two years are over, I will bring back to this place everything that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took from it and carried away to Babylon. 28:4 I will also bring back to this place Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and all the exiles who were taken to Babylon.’ Indeed, the Lord affirms, 118  ‘I will break the yoke of servitude to the king of Babylon.’”

28:5 Then the prophet Jeremiah responded to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the Lord’s temple. 28:6 The prophet Jeremiah said, “Amen! May the Lord do all this! May the Lord make your prophecy come true! May he bring back to this place from Babylon all the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple and the people who were carried into exile. 28:7 But listen to what I say to you and to all these people. 119  28:8 From earliest times, the prophets who preceded you and me invariably 120  prophesied war, disaster, 121  and plagues against many countries and great kingdoms. 28:9 So if a prophet prophesied 122  peace and prosperity, it was only known that the Lord truly sent him when what he prophesied came true.”

28:10 The prophet Hananiah then took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck and broke it. 28:11 Then he spoke up in the presence of all the people. “The Lord says, ‘In the same way I will break the yoke of servitude of all the nations to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon 123  before two years are over.’” After he heard this, the prophet Jeremiah departed and went on his way. 124 

28:12 But shortly after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 28:13 “Go and tell Hananiah that the Lord says, 125  ‘You have indeed broken the wooden yoke. But you have 126  only succeeded in replacing it with an iron one! 127  28:14 For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 128  says, “I have put an irresistible yoke of servitude on all these nations 129  so they will serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. And they will indeed serve him. I have even given him control over the wild animals.”’” 130  28:15 Then the prophet Jeremiah told the prophet Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord did not send you! You are making these people trust in a lie! 131  28:16 So the Lord says, ‘I will most assuredly remove 132  you from the face of the earth. You will die this very year because you have counseled rebellion against the Lord.’” 133 

28:17 In the seventh month of that very same year 134  the prophet Hananiah died.

Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles

29:1 The prophet Jeremiah sent a letter to the exiles Nebuchadnezzar had carried off from Jerusalem 135  to Babylon. It was addressed to the elders who were left among the exiles, to the priests, to the prophets, and to all the other people who were exiled in Babylon. 136  29:2 He sent it after King Jeconiah, the queen mother, the palace officials, 137  the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had been exiled from Jerusalem. 138  29:3 He sent it with Elasah son of Shaphan 139  and Gemariah son of Hilkiah. 140  King Zedekiah of Judah had sent these men to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 141  The letter said:

29:4 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 142  says to all those he sent 143  into exile to Babylon from Jerusalem, 144  29:5 ‘Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what they produce. 29:6 Marry and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons and allow your daughters get married so that they too can have sons and daughters. Grow in number; do not dwindle away. 29:7 Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the Lord for it. For as it prospers you will prosper.’

29:8 “For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 145  says, ‘Do not let the prophets or those among you who claim to be able to predict the future by divination 146  deceive you. And do not pay any attention to the dreams that you are encouraging them to dream. 29:9 They are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so. 147  But I did not send them. I, the Lord, affirm it!’ 148 

29:10 “For the Lord says, ‘Only when the seventy years of Babylonian rule 149  are over will I again take up consideration for you. 150  Then I will fulfill my gracious promise to you and restore 151  you to your homeland. 152  29:11 For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. 153  ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you 154  a future filled with hope. 155  29:12 When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, 156  I will hear your prayers. 157  29:13 When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, 158  29:14 I will make myself available to you,’ 159  says the Lord. 160  ‘Then I will reverse your plight 161  and will regather you from all the nations and all the places where I have exiled you,’ says the Lord. 162  ‘I will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.’

29:15 “You say, ‘The Lord has raised up prophets of good news 163  for us here in Babylon.’ 29:16 But just listen to what the Lord has to say about 164  the king who occupies David’s throne and all your fellow countrymen who are still living in this city of Jerusalem 165  and were not carried off into exile with you. 29:17 The Lord who rules over all 166  says, ‘I will bring war, 167  starvation, and disease on them. I will treat them like figs that are so rotten 168  they cannot be eaten. 29:18 I will chase after them with war, 169  starvation, and disease. I will make all the kingdoms of the earth horrified at what happens to them. I will make them examples of those who are cursed, objects of horror, hissing scorn, and ridicule among all the nations where I exile them. 29:19 For they have not paid attention to what I said to them through my servants the prophets whom I sent to them over and over again,’ 170  says the Lord. 171  ‘And you exiles 172  have not paid any attention to them either,’ says the Lord. 173  29:20 ‘So pay attention to what I, the Lord, have said, 174  all you exiles whom I have sent to Babylon from Jerusalem.’

29:21 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 175  also has something to say about Ahab son of Kolaiah and Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, who are prophesying lies to you and claiming my authority to do so. 176  ‘I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and he will execute them before your very eyes. 29:22 And all the exiles of Judah who are in Babylon will use them as examples when they put a curse on anyone. They will say, “May the Lord treat you like Zedekiah and Ahab whom the king of Babylon roasted to death in the fire!” 177  29:23 This will happen to them because they have done what is shameful 178  in Israel. They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken lies while claiming my authority. 179  They have spoken words that I did not command them to speak. I know what they have done. I have been a witness to it,’ says the Lord.” 180 

A Response to the Letter and a Subsequent Letter

29:24 The Lord told Jeremiah, “Tell 181  Shemaiah the Nehelamite 182  29:25 that the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 183  has a message for him. 184  Tell him, 185  ‘On your own initiative 186  you sent a letter 187  to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah 188  and to all the other priests and to all the people in Jerusalem. 189  In your letter you said to Zephaniah, 190  29:26 “The Lord has made you priest in place of Jehoiada. 191  He has put you in charge in the Lord’s temple of controlling 192  any lunatic 193  who pretends to be a prophet. 194  And it is your duty to put any such person in the stocks 195  with an iron collar around his neck. 196  29:27 You should have reprimanded Jeremiah from Anathoth who is pretending to be a prophet among you! 197  29:28 For he has even sent a message to us here in Babylon. He wrote and told us, 198  “You will be there a long time. Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what they produce.”’” 199 

29:29 Zephaniah the priest read that letter to the prophet Jeremiah. 200  29:30 Then the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 29:31 “Send a message to all the exiles in Babylon. Tell them, ‘The Lord has spoken about Shemaiah the Nehelamite. “Shemaiah has spoken to you as a prophet even though I did not send him. He is making you trust in a lie. 201  29:32 Because he has done this,” 202  the Lord says, “I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his whole family. There will not be any of them left to experience the good things that I will do for my people. I, the Lord, affirm it! For he counseled rebellion against the Lord.”’” 203 

Introduction to the Book of Consolation

30:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 204  30:2 “The Lord God of Israel says, 205  ‘Write everything that I am about to tell you in a scroll. 206  30:3 For I, the Lord, affirm 207  that the time will come when I will reverse the plight 208  of my people, Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors 209  and they will take possession of it once again.’” 210 

Israel and Judah Will Be Delivered after a Time of Deep Distress

30:4 So here is what the Lord has to say about Israel and Judah. 211 

30:5 Yes, 212  here is what he says:

“You hear cries of panic and of terror;

there is no peace in sight. 213 

30:6 Ask yourselves this and consider it carefully: 214 

Have you ever seen a man give birth to a baby?

Why then do I see all these strong men

grabbing their stomachs in pain like 215  a woman giving birth?

And why do their faces

turn so deathly pale?

30:7 Alas, what a terrible time of trouble it is! 216 

There has never been any like it.

It is a time of trouble for the descendants of Jacob,

but some of them will be rescued out of it. 217 

30:8 When the time for them to be rescued comes,” 218 

says the Lord who rules over all, 219 

“I will rescue you from foreign subjugation. 220 

I will deliver you from captivity. 221 

Foreigners will then no longer subjugate them.

30:9 But they will be subject 222  to the Lord their God

and to the Davidic ruler whom I will raise up as king over them. 223 

30:10 So I, the Lord, tell you not to be afraid,

you descendants of Jacob, my servants. 224 

Do not be terrified, people of Israel.

For I will rescue you and your descendants

from a faraway land where you are captives. 225 

The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace.

They will be secure and no one will terrify them. 226 

30:11 For I, the Lord, affirm 227  that

I will be with you and will rescue you.

I will completely destroy all the nations where I scattered you.

But I will not completely destroy you.

I will indeed discipline you, but only in due measure.

I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished.” 228 

The Lord Will Heal the Wounds of Judah

30:12 Moreover, 229  the Lord says to the people of Zion, 230 

“Your injuries are incurable;

your wounds are severe. 231 

30:13 There is no one to plead your cause.

There are no remedies for your wounds. 232 

There is no healing for you.

30:14 All your allies have abandoned you. 233 

They no longer have any concern for you.

For I have attacked you like an enemy would.

I have chastened you cruelly.

For your wickedness is so great

and your sin is so much. 234 

30:15 Why do you complain about your injuries,

that your pain is incurable?

I have done all this to you

because your wickedness is so great

and your sin is so much.

30:16 But 235  all who destroyed you will be destroyed.

All your enemies will go into exile.

Those who plundered you will be plundered.

I will cause those who pillaged you to be pillaged. 236 

30:17 Yes, 237  I will restore you to health.

I will heal your wounds.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 238 

For you have been called an outcast,

Zion, whom no one cares for.”

The Lord Will Restore Israel and Judah

30:18 The Lord says,

“I will restore the ruined houses of the descendants of Jacob.

I will show compassion on their ruined homes. 239 

Every city will be rebuilt on its former ruins. 240 

Every fortified dwelling will occupy its traditional site. 241 

30:19 Out of those places you will hear songs of thanksgiving 242 

and the sounds of laughter and merriment.

I will increase their number and they will not dwindle away. 243 

I will bring them honor and they will no longer be despised.

30:20 The descendants of Jacob will enjoy their former privileges.

Their community will be reestablished in my favor 244 

and I will punish all who try to oppress them.

30:21 One of their own people will be their leader.

Their ruler will come from their own number. 245 

I will invite him to approach me, and he will do so. 246 

For no one would dare approach me on his own. 247 

I, the Lord, affirm it! 248 

30:22 Then you will again be my people

and I will be your God. 249 

30:23 Just watch! The wrath of the Lord

will come like a storm.

Like a raging storm it will rage down

on the heads of those who are wicked.

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. 250 

31:1 At that time I will be the God of all the clans of Israel 251 

and they will be my people.

I, the Lord, affirm it!” 252 

Israel Will Be Restored and Join Judah in Worship

31:2 The Lord says,

“The people of Israel who survived

death at the hands of the enemy 253 

will find favor in the wilderness

as they journey to find rest for themselves.

31:3 In a far-off land the Lord will manifest himself to them.

He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.

That is why I have continued to be faithful to you. 254 

31:4 I will rebuild you, my dear children Israel, 255 

so that you will once again be built up.

Once again you will take up the tambourine

and join in the happy throng of dancers. 256 

31:5 Once again you will plant vineyards

on the hills of Samaria. 257 

Those who plant them

will once again enjoy their fruit. 258 

31:6 Yes, a time is coming

when watchmen 259  will call out on the mountains of Ephraim,

“Come! Let us go to Zion

to worship the Lord our God!”’” 260 

31:7 Moreover, 261  the Lord says,

“Sing for joy for the descendants of Jacob.

Utter glad shouts for that foremost of the nations. 262 

Make your praises heard. 263 

Then say, ‘Lord, rescue your people.

Deliver those of Israel who remain alive.’ 264 

31:8 Then I will reply, 265  ‘I will bring them back from the land of the north.

I will gather them in from the distant parts of the earth.

Blind and lame people will come with them,

so will pregnant women and women about to give birth.

A vast throng of people will come back here.

31:9 They will come back shedding tears of contrition.

I will bring them back praying prayers of repentance. 266 

I will lead them besides streams of water,

along smooth paths where they will never stumble. 267 

I will do this because I am Israel’s father;

Ephraim 268  is my firstborn son.’”

31:10 Hear what the Lord has to say, O nations.

Proclaim it in the faraway lands along the sea.

Say, “The one who scattered Israel will regather them.

He will watch over his people like a shepherd watches over his flock.”

31:11 For the Lord will rescue the descendants of Jacob.

He will secure their release 269  from those who had overpowered them. 270 

31:12 They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion.

They will be radiant with joy 271  over the good things the Lord provides,

the grain, the fresh wine, the olive oil,

the young sheep and calves he has given to them.

They will be like a well-watered garden

and will not grow faint or weary any more.

31:13 The Lord says, 272  “At that time young women will dance and be glad.

Young men and old men will rejoice. 273 

I will turn their grief into gladness.

I will give them comfort and joy in place of their sorrow.

31:14 I will provide the priests with abundant provisions. 274 

My people will be filled to the full with the good things I provide.”

31:15 The Lord says,

“A sound is heard in Ramah, 275 

a sound of crying in bitter grief.

It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children

and refusing to be comforted, because her children are gone.” 276 

31:16 The Lord says to her, 277 

“Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears! 278 

For your heartfelt repentance 279  will be rewarded.

Your children will return from the land of the enemy.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 280 

31:17 Indeed, there is hope for your posterity. 281 

Your children will return to their own territory.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 282 

31:18 I have indeed 283  heard the people of Israel 284  say mournfully,

‘We were like a calf untrained to the yoke. 285 

You disciplined us and we learned from it. 286 

Let us come back to you and we will do so, 287 

for you are the Lord our God.

31:19 For after we turned away from you we repented.

After we came to our senses 288  we beat our breasts in sorrow. 289 

We are ashamed and humiliated

because of the disgraceful things we did previously.’ 290 

31:20 Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children.

They are the children I take delight in. 291 

For even though I must often rebuke them,

I still remember them with fondness.

So I am deeply moved with pity for them 292 

and will surely have compassion on them.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 293 

31:21 I will say, 294  ‘My dear children of Israel, 295  keep in mind

the road you took when you were carried off. 296 

Mark off in your minds the landmarks.

Make a mental note of telltale signs marking the way back.

Return, my dear children of Israel.

Return to these cities of yours.

31:22 How long will you vacillate, 297 

you who were once like an unfaithful daughter? 298 

For I, the Lord, promise 299  to bring about something new 300  on the earth,

something as unique as a woman protecting a man!’” 301 

Judah Will Be Restored

31:23 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 302  says,

“I will restore the people of Judah to their land and to their towns.

When I do, they will again say 303  of Jerusalem, 304 

‘May the Lord bless you, you holy mountain,

the place where righteousness dwells.’ 305 

31:24 The land of Judah will be inhabited by people who live in its towns

as well as by farmers and shepherds with their flocks. 306 

31:25 I will fully satisfy the needs of those who are weary

and fully refresh the souls of those who are faint. 307 

31:26 Then they will say, ‘Under these conditions I can enjoy sweet sleep

when I wake up and look around.’” 308 

Israel and Judah Will Be Repopulated

31:27 “Indeed, a time is coming,” 309  says the Lord, 310  “when I will cause people and animals to sprout up in the lands of Israel and Judah. 311  31:28 In the past I saw to it that they were uprooted and torn down, that they were destroyed and demolished. But now I will see to it that they are built up and firmly planted. 312  I, the Lord, affirm it!” 313 

The Lord Will Make a New Covenant with Israel and Judah

31:29 “When that time comes, people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but the children’s teeth have grown numb.’ 314  31:30 Rather, each person will die for his own sins. The teeth of the person who eats the sour grapes will themselves grow numb. 315 

31:31 “Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord, 316  “when I will make a new covenant 317  with the people of Israel and Judah. 318  31:32 It will not be like the old 319  covenant that I made with their ancestors 320  when I delivered them 321  from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to them,” 322  says the Lord. 323  31:33 “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel 324  after I plant them back in the land,” 325  says the Lord. 326  “I will 327  put my law within them 328  and write it on their hearts and minds. 329  I will be their God and they will be my people. 330 

31:34 “People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me. 331  For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,” 332  says the Lord. “For 333  I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.”

The Lord Guarantees Israel’s Continuance

31:35 The Lord has made a promise to Israel.

He promises it as the one who fixed the sun to give light by day

and the moon and stars to give light by night.

He promises it as the one who stirs up the sea so that its waves roll.

He promises it as the one who is known as the Lord who rules over all. 334 

31:36 The Lord affirms, 335  “The descendants of Israel will not

cease forever to be a nation in my sight.

That could only happen if the fixed ordering of the heavenly lights

were to cease to operate before me.” 336 

31:37 The Lord says, “I will not reject all the descendants of Israel

because of all that they have done. 337 

That could only happen if the heavens above could be measured

or the foundations of the earth below could all be explored,” 338 

says the Lord. 339 

Jerusalem Will Be Enlarged

31:38 “Indeed a time is coming,” 340  says the Lord, 341  “when the city of Jerusalem 342  will be rebuilt as my special city. 343  It will be built from the Tower of Hananel westward to the Corner Gate. 344  31:39 The boundary line will extend beyond that, straight west from there to the Hill of Gareb and then turn southward to Goah. 345  31:40 The whole valley where dead bodies and sacrificial ashes are thrown 346  and all the terraced fields 347  out to the Kidron Valley 348  on the east as far north 349  as the Horse Gate 350  will be included within this city that is sacred to the Lord. 351  The city will never again be torn down or destroyed.”

Jeremiah Buys a Field

32:1 In the tenth year that Zedekiah was ruling over Judah the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 352  That was the same as the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.

32:2 Now at that time, 353  the armies of the king of Babylon were besieging Jerusalem. 354  The prophet Jeremiah was confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse 355  attached to the royal palace of Judah. 32:3 For King Zedekiah 356  had confined Jeremiah there after he had reproved him for prophesying as he did. He had asked Jeremiah, “Why do you keep prophesying these things? Why do you keep saying that the Lord says, ‘I will hand this city over to the king of Babylon? I will let him capture it. 357  32:4 King Zedekiah of Judah will not escape from the Babylonians. 358  He will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon. He must answer personally to the king of Babylon and confront him face to face. 359  32:5 Zedekiah will be carried off to Babylon and will remain there until I have fully dealt with him. 360  I, the Lord, affirm it! 361  Even if you 362  continue to fight against the Babylonians, 363  you cannot win.’”

32:6 So now, Jeremiah said, “The Lord told me, 364  32:7 ‘Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you soon. He will say to you, “Buy my field at Anathoth because you are entitled 365  as my closest relative to buy it.”’ 366  32:8 Now it happened just as the Lord had said! My cousin Hanamel 367  came to me in the courtyard of the guardhouse. He said to me, ‘Buy my field which is at Anathoth in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. Buy it for yourself since you are entitled as my closest relative to take possession of it for yourself.’ When this happened, I recognized that the Lord had indeed spoken to me. 32:9 So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out seven ounces of silver and gave it to him to pay for it. 368  32:10 I signed the deed of purchase, 369  sealed it, and had some men serve as witnesses to the purchase. 370  I weighed out the silver for him on a scale. 32:11 There were two copies of the deed of purchase. One was sealed and contained the order of transfer and the conditions of purchase. 371  The other was left unsealed. 32:12 I took both copies of the deed of purchase 372  and gave them to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah. I gave them to him in the presence 373  of my cousin 374  Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the deed of purchase, and all the Judeans who were housed in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 32:13 In the presence of all these people I instructed Baruch, 32:14 ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 375  says, “Take these documents, both the sealed copy of the deed of purchase and the unsealed copy. Put them in a clay jar so that they may be preserved for a long time to come.”’ 376  32:15 For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 377  says, “Houses, fields, and vineyards will again be bought in this land.”’ 378 

Jeremiah’s Prayer of Praise and Bewilderment

32:16 “After I had given the copies of the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, 32:17 ‘Oh, Lord God, 379  you did indeed 380  make heaven and earth by your mighty power and great strength. 381  Nothing is too hard for you! 32:18 You show unfailing love to thousands. 382  But you also punish children for the sins of their parents. 383  You are the great and powerful God who is known as the Lord who rules over all. 384  32:19 You plan great things and you do mighty deeds. 385  You see everything people do. 386  You reward each of them for the way they live and for the things they do. 387  32:20 You did miracles and amazing deeds in the land of Egypt which have had lasting effect. By this means you gained both in Israel and among humankind a renown that lasts to this day. 388  32:21 You used your mighty power and your great strength to perform miracles and amazing deeds and to bring great terror on the Egyptians. By this means you brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt. 389  32:22 You kept the promise that you swore on oath to their ancestors. 390  You gave them a land flowing with milk and honey. 391  32:23 But when they came in and took possession of it, they did not obey you or live as you had instructed them. They did not do anything that you commanded them to do. 392  So you brought all this disaster on them. 32:24 Even now siege ramps have been built up around the city 393  in order to capture it. War, 394  starvation, and disease are sure to make the city fall into the hands of the Babylonians 395  who are attacking it. 396  Lord, 397  you threatened that this would happen. Now you can see that it is already taking place. 398  32:25 The city is sure to fall into the hands of the Babylonians. 399  Yet, in spite of this, 400  you, Lord God, 401  have said to me, “Buy that field with silver and have the transaction legally witnessed.”’” 402 

The Lord Answers Jeremiah’s Prayer

32:26 The Lord answered Jeremiah. 403  32:27 “I am the Lord, the God of all humankind. There is, indeed, nothing too difficult for me. 404  32:28 Therefore I, the Lord, say: 405  ‘I will indeed hand 406  this city over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonian army. 407  They will capture it. 32:29 The Babylonian soldiers 408  that are attacking this city will break into it and set it on fire. They will burn it down along with the houses where people have made me angry by offering sacrifices to the god Baal and by pouring out drink offerings to other gods on their rooftops. 409  32:30 This will happen because the people of Israel and Judah have repeatedly done what displeases me 410  from their earliest history until now 411  and because they 412  have repeatedly made me angry by the things they have done. 413  I, the Lord, affirm it! 414  32:31 This will happen because 415  the people of this city have aroused my anger and my wrath since the time they built it until now. 416  They have made me so angry that I am determined to remove 417  it from my sight. 32:32 I am determined to do so because the people of Israel and Judah have made me angry with all their wickedness – they, their kings, their officials, their priests, their prophets, and especially the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem 418  have done this wickedness. 419  32:33 They have turned away from me instead of turning to me. 420  I tried over and over again 421  to instruct them, but they did not listen and respond to correction. 422  32:34 They set up their disgusting idols in the temple which I have claimed for my own 423  and defiled it. 32:35 They built places of worship for the god Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they could sacrifice their sons and daughters to the god Molech. 424  Such a disgusting practice was not something I commanded them to do! It never even entered my mind to command them to do such a thing! So Judah is certainly liable for punishment.’ 425 

32:36 “You and your people 426  are right in saying, ‘War, 427  starvation, and disease are sure to make this city fall into the hands of the king of Babylon.’ 428  But now I, the Lord God of Israel, have something further to say about this city: 429  32:37 ‘I will certainly regather my people from all the countries where I will have exiled 430  them in my anger, fury, and great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and allow them to live here in safety. 32:38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 431  32:39 I will give them a single-minded purpose to live in a way that always shows respect for me. They will want to do that for 432  their own good and the good of the children who descend from them. 32:40 I will make a lasting covenant 433  with them that I will never stop doing good to them. 434  I will fill their hearts and minds with respect for me so that 435  they will never again turn 436  away from me. 32:41 I will take delight in doing good to them. I will faithfully and wholeheartedly plant them 437  firmly in the land.’

32:42 “For I, the Lord, say: 438  ‘I will surely bring on these people all the good fortune that I am hereby promising them. I will be just as sure to do that as I have been in bringing all this great disaster on them. 439  32:43 You and your people 440  are saying that this land will become desolate, uninhabited by either people or animals. You are saying that it will be handed over to the Babylonians. 441  But fields 442  will again be bought in this land. 443  32:44 Fields will again be bought with silver, and deeds of purchase signed, sealed, and witnessed. This will happen in the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, the towns in Judah, the southern hill country, the western foothills, and southern Judah. 444  For I will restore them to their land. 445  I, the Lord, affirm it!’” 446 

The Lord Promises a Second Time to Restore Israel and Judah

33:1 The Lord spoke 447  to Jeremiah a second time while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 448  33:2 “I, the Lord, do these things. I, the Lord, form the plan to bring them about. 449  I am known as the Lord. I say to you, 33:3 ‘Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious 450  things which you still do not know about.’ 33:4 For I, the Lord God of Israel, have something more to say about the houses in this city and the royal buildings which have been torn down for defenses against the siege ramps and military incursions of the Babylonians: 451  33:5 ‘The defenders of the city will go out and fight with the Babylonians. 452  But they will only fill those houses and buildings with the dead bodies of the people that I will kill in my anger and my wrath. 453  That will happen because I have decided to turn my back on 454  this city on account of the wicked things they have done. 455  33:6 But I will most surely 456  heal the wounds of this city and restore it and its people to health. 457  I will show them abundant 458  peace and security. 33:7 I will restore Judah and Israel 459  and will rebuild them as they were in days of old. 460  33:8 I will purify them from all the sin that they committed against me. I will forgive all their sins which they committed in rebelling against me. 461  33:9 All the nations will hear about all the good things which I will do to them. This city will bring me fame, honor, and praise before them for the joy that I bring it. The nations will tremble in awe at all the peace and prosperity that I will provide for it.’ 462 

33:10 “I, the Lord, say: 463  ‘You and your people are saying 464  about this place, “It lies in ruins. There are no people or animals in it.” That is true. The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem 465  will soon be desolate, uninhabited either by people or by animals. But happy sounds will again be heard in these places. 33:11 Once again there will be sounds 466  of joy and gladness and the glad celebrations of brides and grooms. 467  Once again people will bring their thank offerings to the temple of the Lord and will say, “Give thanks to the Lord who rules over all. For the Lord is good and his unfailing love lasts forever.” 468  For I, the Lord, affirm 469  that I will restore the land to what it was 470  in days of old.’ 471 

33:12 “I, the Lord who rules over all, say: 472  ‘This place will indeed lie in ruins. There will be no people or animals in it. But there will again be in it and in its towns sheepfolds where shepherds can rest their sheep. 33:13 I, the Lord, say that shepherds will once again count their sheep as they pass into the fold. 473  They will do this in all the towns in the southern hill country, the western foothills, the southern hill country, the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, and the towns of Judah.’ 474 

The Lord Reaffirms His Covenant with David, Israel, and Levi

33:14 “I, the Lord, affirm: 475  ‘The time will certainly come when I will fulfill my gracious promise concerning the nations of Israel and Judah. 476  33:15 In those days and at that time I will raise up for them a righteous descendant 477  of David.

“‘He will do what is just and right in the land. 33:16 Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety 478  and Jerusalem 479  will live in security. At that time Jerusalem will be called “The Lord has provided us with justice.” 480  33:17 For I, the Lord, promise: “David will never lack a successor to occupy 481  the throne over the nation of Israel. 482  33:18 Nor will the Levitical priests ever lack someone to stand before me and continually offer up burnt offerings, sacrifice cereal offerings, and offer the other sacrifices.”’” 483 

33:19 The Lord spoke further to Jeremiah. 484  33:20 “I, Lord, make the following promise: 485  ‘I have made a covenant with the day 486  and with the night that they will always come at their proper times. Only if you people 487  could break that covenant 33:21 could my covenant with my servant David and my covenant with the Levites ever be broken. So David will by all means always have a descendant to occupy his throne as king and the Levites will by all means always have priests who will minister before me. 488  33:22 I will make the children who follow one another in the line of my servant David very numerous. I will also make the Levites who minister before me very numerous. I will make them all as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sands which are on the seashore.’” 489 

33:23 The Lord spoke still further to Jeremiah. 490  33:24 “You have surely noticed what these people are saying, haven’t you? They are saying, 491  ‘The Lord has rejected the two families of Israel and Judah 492  that he chose.’ So they have little regard that my people will ever again be a nation. 493  33:25 But I, the Lord, make the following promise: 494  I have made a covenant governing the coming of day and night. I have established the fixed laws governing heaven and earth. 33:26 Just as surely as I have done this, so surely will I never reject the descendants of Jacob. Nor will I ever refuse to choose one of my servant David’s descendants to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Indeed, 495  I will restore them 496  and show mercy to them.”

The Lord Makes an Ominous Promise to Zedekiah

34:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah while King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem 497  and the towns around it with a large army. This army consisted of troops from his own army and from the kingdoms and peoples of the lands under his dominion. 498  34:2 The Lord God of Israel told Jeremiah 499  to go and give King Zedekiah of Judah a message. He told Jeremiah 500  to tell him, “The Lord says, ‘I am going to 501  hand this city over to the king of Babylon and he will burn it down. 34:3 You yourself will not escape his clutches, but will certainly be captured and handed over to him. You must confront the king of Babylon face to face and answer to him personally. 502  Then you must go to Babylon. 34:4 However, listen to what I, the Lord, promise you, King Zedekiah of Judah. I, the Lord, promise that 503  you will not die in battle or be executed. 504  34:5 You will die a peaceful death. They will burn incense at your burial just as they did at the burial of your ancestors, the former kings who preceded you. 505  They will mourn for you, saying, “Poor, poor master!” 506  Indeed, you have my own word on this. 507  I, the Lord, affirm it!’” 508 

34:6 The prophet Jeremiah told all this to King Zedekiah of Judah in Jerusalem. 34:7 He did this while the army of the king of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem and the cities of Lachish and Azekah. He was attacking these cities because they were the only fortified cities of Judah which were still holding out. 509 

The Lord Threatens to Destroy Those Who Wronged Their Slaves

34:8 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after King Zedekiah had made a covenant 510  with all the people in Jerusalem 511  to grant their slaves their freedom. 34:9 Everyone was supposed to free their male and female Hebrew slaves. No one was supposed to keep a fellow Judean enslaved. 512  34:10 All the people and their leaders had agreed to this. They had agreed to free their male and female slaves and not keep them enslaved any longer. They originally complied with the covenant and freed them. 513  34:11 But later 514  they had changed their minds. They had taken back their male and female slaves that they had freed and forced them to be slaves again. 515  34:12 That was when the Lord spoke to Jeremiah, 516  34:13 “The Lord God of Israel has a message for you. 517  ‘I made a covenant with your ancestors 518  when I brought them out of Egypt where they had been slaves. 519  It stipulated, 520  34:14 “Every seven years each of you must free any fellow Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. After they have served you for six years, you shall set them free.” 521  But your ancestors did not obey me or pay any attention to me. 34:15 Recently, however, you yourselves 522  showed a change of heart and did what is pleasing to me. You granted your fellow countrymen their freedom and you made a covenant to that effect in my presence in the house that I have claimed for my own. 523  34:16 But then you turned right around 524  and showed that you did not honor me. 525  Each of you took back your male and female slaves whom you had freed as they desired, and you forced them to be your slaves again. 526  34:17 So I, the Lord, say: “You have not really obeyed me and granted freedom to your neighbor and fellow countryman. 527  Therefore, I will grant you freedom, the freedom 528  to die in war, or by starvation or disease. I, the Lord, affirm it! 529  I will make all the kingdoms of the earth horrified at what happens to you. 530  34:18 I will punish those people who have violated their covenant with me. I will make them like the calf they cut in two and passed between its pieces. 531  I will do so because they did not keep the terms of the covenant they made in my presence. 532  34:19 I will punish the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, 533  the priests, and all the other people of the land who passed between the pieces of the calf. 534  34:20 I will hand them over to their enemies who want to kill them. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals. 535  34:21 I will also hand King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials over to their enemies who want to kill them. I will hand them over to the army of the king of Babylon, even though they have temporarily withdrawn from attacking you. 536  34:22 For I, the Lord, affirm that 537  I will soon give the order and bring them back to this city. They will fight against it and capture it and burn it down. I will also make the towns of Judah desolate so that there will be no one living in them.”’”

Judah’s Unfaithfulness Contrasted with the Rechabites’ Faithfulness

35:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah when Jehoiakim 538  son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 539  35:2 “Go to the Rechabite community. 540  Invite them to come into one of the side rooms 541  of the Lord’s temple and offer them some wine to drink.” 35:3 So I went and got Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah the grandson of Habazziniah, his brothers, all his sons, and all the rest of the Rechabite community. 35:4 I took them to the Lord’s temple. I took them into the room where the disciples of the prophet Hanan son of Igdaliah stayed. 542  That room was next to the one where the temple officers stayed and above the room where Maaseiah son of Shallum, one of the doorkeepers 543  of the temple, stayed. 35:5 Then I set cups and pitchers full of wine in front of the members of the Rechabite community and said to them, “Have some wine.” 544  35:6 But they answered, “We do not drink wine because our ancestor Jonadab son of Rechab commanded us not to. He told us, ‘You and your children must never drink wine. 35:7 Do not build houses. Do not plant crops. Do not plant a vineyard or own one. 545  Live in tents all your lives. If you do these things you will 546  live a long time in the land that you wander about on.’ 547  35:8 We and our wives and our sons and daughters have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. We have never drunk wine. 548  35:9 We have not built any houses to live in. We do not own any vineyards, fields, or crops. 35:10 We have lived in tents. We have obeyed our ancestor Jonadab and done exactly as he commanded us. 549  35:11 But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded the land we said, ‘Let’s get up and go to Jerusalem 550  to get away from the Babylonian 551  and Aramean armies.’ That is why we are staying here in Jerusalem.”

35:12 Then the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 35:13 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 552  told him, “Go and speak to the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. Tell them, 553  ‘I, the Lord, say: 554  “You must learn a lesson from this 555  about obeying what I say! 556  35:14 Jonadab son of Rechab ordered his descendants not to drink wine. His orders have been carried out. 557  To this day his descendants have drunk no wine because they have obeyed what their ancestor commanded them. But I 558  have spoken to you over and over again, 559  but you have not obeyed me! 35:15 I sent all my servants the prophets to warn you over and over again. They said, “Every one of you, stop doing the evil things you have been doing and do what is right. 560  Do not pay allegiance to other gods 561  and worship them. Then you can continue to live in this land that I gave to you and your ancestors.” But you did not pay any attention or listen to me. 35:16 Yes, 562  the descendants of Jonadab son of Rechab have carried out the orders that their ancestor gave them. But you people 563  have not obeyed me! 35:17 So I, the Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, say: 564  “I will soon bring on Judah and all the citizens of Jerusalem all the disaster that I threatened to bring on them. I will do this because I spoke to them but they did not listen. I called out to them but they did not answer.”’”

35:18 Then Jeremiah spoke to the Rechabite community, “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 565  says, ‘You have obeyed the orders of your ancestor Jonadab. You have followed all his instructions. You have done exactly as he commanded you.’ 35:19 So the Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘Jonadab son of Rechab will never lack a male descendant to serve me.’” 566 

Jehoiakim Burns the Scroll Containing the Lord’s Messages

36:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in the fourth year 567  that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 568  36:2 “Get a scroll. 569  Write on it everything I have told you to say 570  about Israel, Judah, and all the other nations since I began to speak to you in the reign of Josiah until now. 571  36:3 Perhaps when the people of Judah hear about all the disaster I intend to bring on them, they will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing. 572  If they do, I will forgive their sins and the wicked things they have done.” 573 

36:4 So Jeremiah summoned Baruch son of Neriah. Then Jeremiah dictated to Baruch everything the Lord had told him to say and Baruch wrote it all down in a scroll. 574  36:5 Then Jeremiah told Baruch, “I am no longer allowed to go 575  into the Lord’s temple. 36:6 So you go there the next time all the people of Judah come in from their towns to fast 576  in the Lord’s temple. Read out loud where all of them can hear you what I told you the Lord said, which you wrote in the scroll. 577  36:7 Perhaps then they will ask the Lord for mercy and will all stop doing the evil things they have been doing. 578  For the Lord has threatened to bring great anger and wrath against these people.” 579 

36:8 So Baruch son of Neriah did exactly what the prophet Jeremiah had told him to do. He read what the Lord had said from the scroll in the temple of the Lord. 580  36:9 All the people living in Jerusalem 581  and all the people who came into Jerusalem from the towns of Judah came to observe a fast before the Lord. The fast took place in the ninth month of the fifth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 582  36:10 At that time Baruch went into the temple of the Lord. He stood in the entrance of the room of Gemariah the son of Shaphan who had been the royal secretary. 583  That room was in the upper court 584  near the entrance of the New Gate. 585  There, where all the people could hear him, he read from the scroll what Jeremiah had said. 586 

36:11 Micaiah, who was the son of Gemariah and the grandson of Shaphan, heard Baruch read from the scroll everything the Lord had said. 587  36:12 He went down to the chamber of the royal secretary in the king’s palace and found all the court officials in session there. Elishama 588  the royal secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Achbor, 589  Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah, and all the other officials were seated there. 36:13 Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read from the scroll in the hearing of the people. 590  36:14 All the officials sent Jehudi, who was the son of Nethaniah and the grandson of Cushi, to Baruch. They ordered him to tell Baruch, “Come here and bring with you 591  the scroll you read in the hearing of the people.” 592  So Baruch son of Neriah went to them, carrying the scroll in his hand. 593  36:15 They said to him, “Please sit down and read it to us.” So Baruch sat down and read it to them. 594  36:16 When they had heard it all, 595  they expressed their alarm to one another. 596  Then they said to Baruch, “We must certainly give the king a report about everything you have read!” 597  36:17 Then they asked Baruch, “How did you come to write all these words? Do they actually come from Jeremiah’s mouth?” 598  36:18 Baruch answered, “Yes, they came from his own mouth. He dictated all these words to me and I wrote them down in ink on this scroll.” 599  36:19 Then the officials said to Baruch, “You and Jeremiah must go and hide. You must not let anyone know where you are.” 600 

36:20 The officials put the scroll in the room of Elishama, the royal secretary, for safekeeping. 601  Then they went to the court and reported everything 602  to the king. 603  36:21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. He went and got it from the room of Elishama, the royal secretary. Then he himself 604  read it to the king and all the officials who were standing around him. 36:22 Since it was the ninth month of the year, the king was sitting in his winter quarters. 605  A fire was burning in the firepot in front of him. 606  36:23 As soon as Jehudi had read three or four columns 607  of the scroll, the king 608  would cut them off with a penknife 609  and throw them on the fire in the firepot. He kept doing so until the whole scroll was burned up in the fire. 610  36:24 Neither he nor any of his attendants showed any alarm when they heard all that had been read. Nor did they tear their clothes to show any grief or sorrow. 611  36:25 The king did not even listen to Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah, who had urged him not to burn the scroll. 612  36:26 He also ordered Jerahmeel, who was one of the royal princes, 613  Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest the scribe Baruch and the prophet Jeremiah. However, the Lord hid them.

Baruch and Jeremiah Write Another Scroll

36:27 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after Jehoiakim had burned the scroll containing what Jeremiah had spoken and Baruch had written down. 614  36:28 “Get another 615  scroll and write on it everything 616  that was written on the original scroll 617  that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned. 36:29 Tell King Jehoiakim of Judah, ‘The Lord says, “You burned the scroll. You asked 618  Jeremiah, ‘How dare you write in this scroll that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land and wipe out all the people and animals on it?’” 619  36:30 So the Lord says concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah, “None of his line will occupy the throne of David. 620  His dead body will be thrown out to be exposed to scorching heat by day and frost by night. 621  36:31 I will punish him and his descendants and the officials who serve him for the wicked things they have done. 622  I will bring on them, the citizens of Jerusalem, 623  and the people of Judah all the disaster that I threatened to do to them. I will punish them because I threatened them but they still paid no heed.”’” 624  36:32 Then Jeremiah got another scroll and gave it to the scribe Baruch son of Neriah. As Jeremiah dictated, Baruch wrote on this scroll everything that had been on the scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned in the fire. They also added on this scroll several other messages of the same kind. 625 

Introduction to Incidents During the Reign of Zedekiah

37:1 Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Jeconiah 626  son of Jehoiakim as king. He was elevated to the throne of the land of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. 627  37:2 Neither he nor the officials who served him nor the people of Judah paid any attention to what the Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah. 628 

The Lord Responds to Zedekiah’s Hope for Help

37:3 King Zedekiah sent 629  Jehucal 630  son of Shelemiah and the priest Zephaniah 631  son of Maaseiah to the prophet Jeremiah. He told them to say, “Please pray to the Lord our God on our behalf.” 37:4 (Now Jeremiah had not yet been put in prison. 632  So he was still free to come and go among the people as he pleased. 633  37:5 At that time the Babylonian forces 634  had temporarily given up their siege against Jerusalem. 635  They had had it under siege, but withdrew when they heard that the army of Pharaoh had set out from Egypt. 636 ) 37:6 The Lord gave the prophet Jeremiah a message for them. He told him to tell them, 637  37:7 “The Lord God of Israel says, ‘Give a message to the king of Judah who sent you to ask me to help him. 638  Tell him, “The army of Pharaoh that was on its way to help you will go back home to Egypt. 639  37:8 Then the Babylonian forces 640  will return. They will attack the city and will capture it and burn it down. 37:9 Moreover, I, the Lord, warn you not to deceive yourselves into thinking that the Babylonian forces 641  will go away and leave you alone. For they will not go away. 642  37:10 For even if you were to defeat all the Babylonian forces 643  fighting against you so badly that only wounded men were left lying in their tents, they would get up and burn this city down.”’” 644 

Jeremiah is Charged with Deserting, Arrested, and Imprisoned

37:11 The following events also occurred 645  while the Babylonian forces 646  had temporarily withdrawn from Jerusalem 647  because the army of Pharaoh was coming. 37:12 Jeremiah started to leave Jerusalem to go to the territory of Benjamin. He wanted to make sure he got his share of the property that was being divided up among his family there. 648  37:13 But he only got as far as the Benjamin Gate. 649  There an officer in charge of the guards named Irijah, 650  who was the son of Shelemiah and the grandson of Hananiah, stopped him. He seized Jeremiah and said, 651  “You are deserting to the Babylonians!” 652  37:14 Jeremiah answered, “That’s a lie! I am not deserting to the Babylonians.” 653  But Irijah would not listen to him. Irijah put Jeremiah under arrest and took him to the officials. 37:15 The officials were very angry 654  at Jeremiah. They had him flogged and put in prison in the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary, which they had converted into a place for confining prisoners. 655 

37:16 So 656  Jeremiah was put in prison in a cell in the dungeon in Jonathan’s house. 657  He 658  was kept there for a long time. 37:17 Then King Zedekiah had him brought to the palace. There he questioned him privately and asked him, 659  “Is there any message from the Lord?” Jeremiah answered, “Yes, there is.” Then he announced, 660  “You will be handed over to the king of Babylon.” 661  37:18 Then Jeremiah asked King Zedekiah, “What crime have I committed against you, or the officials who serve you, or the people of Judah? What have I done to make you people throw me into prison? 662  37:19 Where now are the prophets who prophesied to you that 663  the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land? 37:20 But now please listen, your royal Majesty, 664  and grant my plea for mercy. 665  Do not send me back to the house of Jonathan, the royal secretary. If you do, I will die there.” 666  37:21 Then King Zedekiah ordered that Jeremiah be committed to the courtyard of the guardhouse. He also ordered that a loaf of bread 667  be given to him every day from the baker’s street until all the bread in the city was gone. So Jeremiah was kept 668  in the courtyard of the guardhouse.

Jeremiah Is Charged with Treason and Put in a Cistern to Die

38:1 Now Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal 669  son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur 670  son of Malkijah had heard 671  the things that Jeremiah had been telling the people. They had heard him say, 38:2 “The Lord says, ‘Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. 672  Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians 673  will live. They will escape with their lives.’” 674  38:3 They had also heard him say, 675  “The Lord says, ‘This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon. They will capture it.’” 676  38:4 So these officials said to the king, “This man must be put to death. For he is demoralizing 677  the soldiers who are left in the city as well as all the other people there by these things he is saying. 678  This 679  man is not seeking to help these people but is trying to harm them.” 680  38:5 King Zedekiah said to them, “Very well, you can do what you want with him. 681  For I cannot do anything to stop you.” 682  38:6 So the officials 683  took Jeremiah and put him in the cistern 684  of Malkijah, one of the royal princes, 685  that was in the courtyard of the guardhouse. There was no water in the cistern, only mud. So when they lowered Jeremiah into the cistern with ropes he sank in the mud. 686 

An Ethiopian Official Rescues Jeremiah from the Cistern

38:7 An Ethiopian, Ebed Melech, 687  a court official in the royal palace, heard that Jeremiah had been put 688  in the cistern. While the king was holding court 689  at the Benjamin Gate, 38:8 Ebed Melech departed the palace and went to speak to the king. He said to him, 38:9 “Your royal Majesty, those men have been very wicked in all that they have done to the prophet Jeremiah. They have thrown him into a cistern and he is sure to die of starvation there because there is no food left in the city. 690  38:10 Then the king gave Ebed Melech the Ethiopian the following order: “Take thirty 691  men with you from here and go pull the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before he dies.” 38:11 So Ebed Melech took the men with him and went to a room under the treasure room in the palace. 692  He got some worn-out clothes and old rags 693  from there and let them down by ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern. 38:12 Ebed Melech 694  called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags and worn-out clothes under your armpits to pad the ropes. 695  Jeremiah did as Ebed Melech instructed. 696  38:13 So they pulled Jeremiah up from the cistern with ropes. Jeremiah, however, still remained confined 697  to the courtyard of the guardhouse.

Jeremiah Responds to Zedekiah’s Request for Secret Advice

38:14 Some time later 698  Zedekiah sent and had Jeremiah brought to him at the third entrance 699  of the Lord’s temple. The king said to Jeremiah, “I would like to ask you a question. Do not hide anything from me when you answer.” 700  38:15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I answer you, you will certainly kill me. 701  If I give you advice, you will not listen to me.” 38:16 So King Zedekiah made a secret promise to Jeremiah and sealed it with an oath. He promised, 702  “As surely as the Lord lives who has given us life and breath, 703  I promise you this: I will not kill you or hand you over to those men who want to kill you.” 704 

38:17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “The Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, 705  says, ‘You must surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon. If you do, your life will be spared 706  and this city will not be burned down. Indeed, you and your whole family will be spared. 38:18 But if you do not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be handed over to the Babylonians 707  and they will burn it down. You yourself will not escape from them.’” 708  38:19 Then King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Babylonians. 709  The Babylonians might hand me over to them and they will torture me.” 710  38:20 Then Jeremiah answered, “You will not be handed over to them. Please obey the Lord by doing what I have been telling you. 711  Then all will go well with you and your life will be spared. 712  38:21 But if you refuse to surrender, the Lord has shown me a vision of what will happen. Here is what I saw: 38:22 All the women who are left in the royal palace of Judah will be led out to the officers of the king of Babylon. They will taunt you saying, 713 

‘Your trusted friends misled you;

they have gotten the best of you.

Now that your feet are stuck in the mud,

they have turned their backs on you.’ 714 

38:23 “All your wives and your children will be turned over to the Babylonians. 715  You yourself will not escape from them but will be captured by the 716  king of Babylon. This city will be burned down.” 717 

38:24 Then Zedekiah told Jeremiah, “Do not let anyone know about the conversation we have had. 718  If you do, you will die. 719  38:25 The officials may hear that I have talked with you. They may come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you. 720  Do not hide anything from us. If you do, we will kill you.’ 721  38:26 If they do this, tell 722  them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to die in the dungeon of Jonathan’s house.’” 723  38:27 All the officials did indeed come and question Jeremiah. 724  He told them exactly what the king had instructed him to say. 725  They stopped questioning him any further because no one had actually heard their conversation. 726  38:28 So Jeremiah remained confined 727  in the courtyard of the guardhouse until the day Jerusalem 728  was captured.

The Fall of Jerusalem and Its Aftermath

The following events occurred when Jerusalem 729  was captured. 730 

39:1 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it. The siege began in the tenth month of the ninth year that Zedekiah ruled over Judah. 731  39:2 It lasted until the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 732  On that day they broke through the city walls. 39:3 Then Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim, who was a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer, who was a high official, 733  and all the other officers of the king of Babylon came and set up quarters 734  in the Middle Gate. 735  39:4 When King Zedekiah of Judah and all his soldiers saw them, they tried to escape. They departed from the city during the night. They took a path through the king’s garden and passed out through the gate between the two walls. 736  Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. 737  39:5 But the Babylonian 738  army chased after them. They caught up with Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho 739  and captured him. 740  They took him to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Riblah 741  in the territory of Hamath and Nebuchadnezzar passed sentence on him there. 39:6 There at Riblah the king of Babylon had Zedekiah’s sons put to death while Zedekiah was forced to watch. The king of Babylon also had all the nobles of Judah put to death. 39:7 Then he had Zedekiah’s eyes put out and had him bound in chains 742  to be led off to Babylon. 39:8 The Babylonians 743  burned down the royal palace, the temple of the Lord, and the people’s homes, 744  and they tore down the wall of Jerusalem. 745  39:9 Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, 746  took captive the rest of the people who were left in the city. He carried them off to Babylon along with the people who had deserted to him. 747  39:10 But he 748  left behind in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing. He gave them fields and vineyards at that time.

39:11 Now King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had issued orders concerning Jeremiah. He had passed them on through Nebuzaradan, the captain of his royal guard, 749  39:12 “Find Jeremiah 750  and look out for him. 751  Do not do anything to harm him, 752  but do with him whatever he tells you.” 39:13 So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, Nebushazban, who was a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer, who was a high official, 753  and all the other officers of the king of Babylon 39:14 sent and had Jeremiah brought from the courtyard of the guardhouse. They turned him over to Gedaliah, 754  the son of Ahikam and the grandson of Shaphan, to take him home with him. 755  But Jeremiah stayed among the people. 756 

Ebed Melech Is Promised Deliverance because of His Faith

39:15 757 Now the Lord had spoken to Jeremiah while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse, 758  39:16 “Go 759  and tell Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, “I will carry out against this city what I promised. It will mean disaster and not good fortune for it. 760  When that disaster happens, you will be there to see it. 761  39:17 But I will rescue you when it happens. 762  I, the Lord, affirm it! 763  You will not be handed over to those whom you fear. 764  39:18 I will certainly save you. You will not fall victim to violence. 765  You will escape with your life 766  because you trust in me. I, the Lord, affirm it!”’” 767 

Jeremiah Is Set Free A Second Time

40:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah 768  after Nebuzaradan the captain of the royal guard had set him free at Ramah. 769  He had taken him there in chains 770  along with all the people from Jerusalem 771  and Judah who were being carried off to exile to Babylon. 40:2 The captain of the royal guard took Jeremiah aside and said to him, “The Lord your God threatened this place with this disaster. 40:3 Now he has brought it about. The Lord has done just as he threatened to do. This disaster has happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. 772  40:4 But now, Jeremiah, today I will set you free 773  from the chains on your wrists. If you would like to come to Babylon with me, come along and I will take care of you. 774  But if you prefer not to come to Babylon with me, you are not required to do so. 775  You are free to go anywhere in the land you want to go. 776  Go wherever you choose.” 777  40:5 Before Jeremiah could turn to leave, the captain of the guard added, “Go back 778  to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon appointed to govern 779  the towns of Judah. Go back and live with him 780  among the people. Or go wherever else you choose.” Then the captain of the guard gave Jeremiah some food and a present and let him go. 40:6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah 781  and lived there with him. He stayed there to live among the people who had been left in the land of Judah. 782 

A Small Judean Province is Established at Mizpah

40:7 Now some of the officers of the Judean army and their troops had been hiding in the countryside. They heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam to govern 783  the country. They also heard that he had been put in charge over the men, women, and children from the poorer classes of the land who had not been carried off into exile in Babylon. 784  40:8 So 785  all these officers and their troops came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. The officers who came were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah son of the Maacathite. 786  40:9 Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, took an oath so as to give them and their troops some assurance of safety. 787  “Do not be afraid to submit to the Babylonians. 788  Settle down in the land and submit to the king of Babylon. Then things will go well for you. 40:10 I for my part will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians 789  whenever they come to us. You for your part go ahead and harvest the wine, the dates, the figs, 790  and the olive oil, and store them in jars. Go ahead and settle down in the towns that you have taken over.” 791  40:11 Moreover, all the Judeans who were in Moab, Ammon, Edom, and all the other countries heard what had happened. They heard that the king of Babylon had allowed some people to stay in Judah and that he had appointed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, to govern them. 40:12 So all these Judeans returned to the land of Judah from the places where they had been scattered. They came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. Thus they harvested a large amount of wine and dates and figs. 792 

Ishmael Murders Gedaliah and Carries the Judeans at Mizpah off as Captives

40:13 Johanan and all the officers of the troops that had been hiding in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. 40:14 They said to him, “Are you at all aware 793  that King Baalis of Ammon has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to kill you?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam would not believe them. 40:15 Then Johanan son of Kareah spoke privately to Gedaliah there at Mizpah, “Let me go and kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah before anyone knows about it. Otherwise he will kill you 794  and all the Judeans who have rallied around you will be scattered. Then what remains of Judah will disappear.” 40:16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, “Do not do that 795  because what you are saying about Ishmael is not true.” 796 

41:1 But in the seventh month 797  Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama who was a member of the royal family and had been one of Zedekiah’s chief officers, came with ten of his men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah. While they were eating a meal together with him there at Mizpah, 41:2 Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him stood up, pulled out their swords, and killed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. Thus Ishmael killed the man that the king of Babylon had appointed to govern the country. 41:3 Ishmael also killed all the Judeans 798  who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah and the Babylonian 799  soldiers who happened to be there. 800 

41:4 On the day after Gedaliah had been murdered, before anyone even knew about it, 41:5 eighty men arrived from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria. 801  They had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes, and cut themselves to show they were mourning. 802  They were carrying grain offerings and incense to present at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. 803  41:6 Ishmael son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them. He was pretending to cry 804  as he walked along. When he met them, he said to them, “Come with me to meet Gedaliah son of Ahikam.” 805  41:7 But as soon as they were inside the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men who were with him slaughtered them and threw their bodies 806  in a cistern. 41:8 But there were ten men among them who said 807  to Ishmael, “Do not kill us. For we will give you the stores of wheat, barley, olive oil, and honey we have hidden in a field. 808  So he spared their lives and did not kill 809  them along with the rest. 810  41:9 Now the cistern where Ishmael threw all the dead bodies of those he had killed was a large one 811  that King Asa had constructed as part of his defenses against King Baasha of Israel. 812  Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled it with dead bodies. 813  41:10 Then Ishmael took captive all the people who were still left alive in Mizpah. This included the royal princesses 814  and all the rest of the people in Mizpah that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had put under the authority of Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took all these people captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.

Johanan Rescues the People Ishmael Had Carried Off

41:11 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him heard about all the atrocities 815  that Ishmael son of Nethaniah had committed. 41:12 So they took all their troops and went to fight against Ishmael son of Nethaniah. They caught up with him near the large pool 816  at Gibeon. 41:13 When all the people that Ishmael had taken captive saw 817  Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers with him, they were glad. 41:14 All those people that Ishmael had taken captive from Mizpah turned and went over to Johanan son of Kareah. 41:15 But Ishmael son of Nethaniah managed to escape from Johanan along with eight of his men, and he went on over to Ammon.

41:16 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him led off all the people who had been left alive at Mizpah. They had rescued them from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after he killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. They led off the men, women, children, soldiers, and court officials whom they had brought away from Gibeon. 41:17 They set out to go to Egypt to get away from the Babylonians, 818  but stopped at Geruth Kimham 819  near Bethlehem. 820  41:18 They were afraid of what the Babylonians might do 821  because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed to govern the country.

The Survivors Ask the Lord for Advice but Refuse to Follow It

42:1 Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah 822  and all the people of every class, 823  went to the prophet Jeremiah. 42:2 They said to him, “Please grant our request 824  and pray to the Lord your God for all those of us who are still left alive here. 825  For, as you yourself can see, there are only a few of us left out of the many there were before. 826  42:3 Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” 42:4 The prophet Jeremiah answered them, “Agreed! 827  I will indeed pray to the Lord your God as you have asked. I will tell you everything the Lord replies in response to you. 828  I will not keep anything back from you.” 42:5 They answered Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not do just as 829  the Lord sends you to tell us to do. 42:6 We will obey what the Lord our God to whom we are sending you tells us to do. It does not matter whether we like what he tells us or not. We will obey what he tells us to do so that things will go well for us.” 830 

42:7 Ten days later the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 42:8 So Jeremiah summoned Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people of every class. 831  42:9 Then Jeremiah said to them, “You sent me to the Lord God of Israel to make your request known to him. Here is what he says to you: 832  42:10 ‘If you will just stay 833  in this land, I will build you up. I will not tear you down. I will firmly plant you. 834  I will not uproot you. For I am filled with sorrow because of the disaster that I have brought on you. 42:11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon whom you now fear. 835  Do not be afraid of him because I will be with you to save you and to rescue you from his power. I, the Lord, affirm it! 836  42:12 I will have compassion on you so that he in turn will have mercy on you and allow you to return to your land.’

42:13 “You must not disobey the Lord your God by saying, ‘We will not stay in this land.’ 42:14 You must not say, ‘No, we will not stay. Instead we will go and live in the land of Egypt where we will not face war, 837  or hear the enemy’s trumpet calls, 838  or starve for lack of food.’ 839  42:15 If you people who remain in Judah do that, then listen to what the Lord says. The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 840  says, ‘If you are so determined 841  to go to Egypt that you go and settle there, 42:16 the wars you fear will catch up with you there in the land of Egypt. The starvation you are worried about will follow you there to 842  Egypt. You will die there. 843  42:17 All the people who are determined to go and settle in Egypt will die from war, starvation, or disease. No one will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 42:18 For 844  the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 845  says, ‘If you go to Egypt, I will pour out my wrath on you just as I poured out my anger and wrath on the citizens of Jerusalem. 846  You will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse. 847  You will never see this place again.’ 848 

42:19 “The Lord has told you people who remain in Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be very sure of this: I warn you 849  here and now. 850  42:20 You are making a fatal mistake. 851  For you sent me to the Lord your God and asked me, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us. Tell us what the Lord our God says and we will do it.’ 852  42:21 This day 853  I have told you what he said. 854  But you do not want to obey the Lord by doing what he sent me to tell you. 855  42:22 So now be very sure of this: You will die from war, starvation, or disease in the place where you want to go and live.”

43:1 Jeremiah finished telling all the people all these things the Lord their God had sent him to tell them. 856  43:2 Then Azariah 857  son of Hoshaiah, Johanan son of Kareah, and other arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie! The Lord our God did not send you to tell us, ‘You must not go to Egypt and settle there.’ 43:3 But Baruch son of Neriah is stirring you up against us. 858  He wants to hand us over 859  to the Babylonians 860  so that they will kill us or carry us off into exile in Babylon.” 43:4 So Johanan son of Kareah, all the army officers, and all the rest of the people did not obey the Lord’s command to stay in the land. 43:5 Instead Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led off all the Judean remnant who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered. 861  43:6 They also led off all the men, women, children, and royal princesses 862  that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had left with Gedaliah, 863  the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. This included the prophet Jeremiah and Baruch son of Neriah. 43:7 They went on to Egypt 864  because they refused to obey the Lord, and came to Tahpanhes. 865 

Jeremiah Predicts that Nebuchadnezzar Will Plunder Egypt and Its Gods

43:8 At Tahpanhes the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 866  43:9 “Take some large stones 867  and bury them in the mortar of the clay pavement 868  at the entrance of Pharaoh’s residence 869  here in Tahpanhes. Do it while the people of Judah present there are watching. 870  43:10 Then tell them, 871  ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 872  says, “I will bring 873  my servant 874  King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I will set his throne over these stones which I 875  have buried. He will pitch his royal tent 876  over them. 43:11 He will come and attack Egypt. Those who are destined to die of disease will die of disease. Those who are destined to be carried off into exile will be carried off into exile. Those who are destined to die in war will die in war. 877  43:12 He will set fire 878  to the temples of the gods of Egypt. He will burn their gods or carry them off as captives. 879  He will pick Egypt clean like a shepherd picks the lice from his clothing. 880  He will leave there unharmed. 881  43:13 He will demolish the sacred pillars in the temple of the sun 882  in Egypt and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.”’”

The Lord Will Punish the Judean Exiles in Egypt for Their Idolatry

44:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah concerning 883  all the Judeans who were living in the land of Egypt, those in Migdol, Tahpanhes, Memphis, and in the region of southern Egypt. 884  44:2 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 885  says, ‘You have seen all the disaster I brought on Jerusalem 886  and all the towns of Judah. Indeed, they now lie in ruins and are deserted. 887  44:3 This happened because of the wickedness the people living there did. 888  They made me angry 889  by worshiping and offering sacrifice to 890  other gods whom neither they nor you nor your ancestors 891  previously knew. 892  44:4 I sent my servants the prophets to you people over and over 893  again warning you not to do this disgusting thing I hate. 894  44:5 But the people of Jerusalem and Judah 895  would not listen or pay any attention. They would not stop the wickedness they were doing nor quit sacrificing to other gods. 896  44:6 So my anger and my wrath were poured out and burned like a fire through the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. That is why they have become the desolate ruins that they are today.’

44:7 “So now the Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, 897  asks, ‘Why will you do such great harm to yourselves? Why should every man, woman, child, and baby of yours be destroyed from the midst of Judah? Why should you leave yourselves without a remnant? 44:8 That is what will result from your making me angry by what you are doing. 898  You are making me angry by sacrificing to other gods here in the land of Egypt where you live. You will be destroyed for doing that! You will become an example used in curses 899  and an object of ridicule among all the nations of the earth. 900  44:9 Have you forgotten all the wicked things that have been done in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem by your ancestors, by the kings of Judah and their 901  wives, by you and your wives? 44:10 To this day your people 902  have shown no contrition! They have not revered me nor followed the laws and statutes I commanded 903  you and your ancestors.’

44:11 “Because of this, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘I am determined to bring disaster on you, 904  even to the point of destroying all the Judeans here. 905  44:12 I will see to it that all the Judean remnant that was determined to go 906  and live in the land of Egypt will be destroyed. Here in the land of Egypt they will fall in battle 907  or perish from starvation. People of every class 908  will die in war or from starvation. They will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse. 909  44:13 I will punish those who live in the land of Egypt with war, starvation, and disease just as I punished Jerusalem. 44:14 None of the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah. Though they long to return and live there, none of them shall return except a few fugitives.’” 910 

44:15 Then all the men who were aware that their wives were sacrificing to other gods, as well as all their wives, answered Jeremiah. There was a great crowd of them representing all the people who lived in northern and southern Egypt. 911  They answered, 44:16 “We will not listen to what you claim the Lord has spoken to us! 912  44:17 Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. 913  We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven 914  just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles. 915  44:18 But ever since we stopped sacrificing and pouring out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven, we have been in great need. Our people have died in wars or of starvation.” 916  44:19 The women added, 917  “We did indeed sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven. But it was with the full knowledge and approval of our husbands that we made cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her.” 918 

44:20 Then Jeremiah replied to all the people, both men and women, who responded to him in this way. 919  44:21 “The Lord did indeed remember and call to mind what you did! He remembered the sacrifices you and your ancestors, your kings, your leaders, and all the rest of the people of the land offered to other gods 920  in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. 921  44:22 Finally the Lord could no longer endure your wicked deeds and the disgusting things you did. That is why your land has become the desolate, uninhabited ruin that it is today. That is why it has become a proverbial example used in curses. 922  44:23 You have sacrificed to other gods! You have sinned against the Lord! You have not obeyed the Lord! You have not followed his laws, his statutes, and his decrees! That is why this disaster that is evident to this day has happened to you.” 923 

44:24 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people, particularly to all the women. 924  “Listen to what the Lord has to say all you people of Judah who are in Egypt. 44:25 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘You women 925  have confirmed by your actions what you vowed with your lips! You said, “We will certainly carry out our vows to sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.” Well, then fulfill your vows! Carry them out!’ 926  44:26 But 927  listen to what the Lord has to say, all you people of Judah who are living in the land of Egypt. The Lord says, ‘I hereby swear by my own great name that none of the people of Judah who are living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name in their oaths! Never again will any of them use it in an oath saying, “As surely as the Lord God lives….” 928  44:27 I will indeed 929  see to it that disaster, not prosperity, happens to them. 930  All the people of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will die in war or from starvation until not one of them is left. 44:28 Some who survive in battle will return to the land of Judah from the land of Egypt. But they will be very few indeed! 931  Then the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will know whose word proves true, 932  mine or theirs.’ 44:29 Moreover the Lord says, 933  ‘I will make something happen to prove that I will punish you in this place. I will do it so that you will know that my threats to bring disaster on you will prove true. 934  44:30 I, the Lord, promise that 935  I will hand Pharaoh Hophra 936  king of Egypt over to his enemies who are seeking to kill him. I will do that just as surely as I handed King Zedekiah of Judah over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, his enemy who was seeking to kill him.’”

Baruch is Rebuked but also Comforted

45:1 The prophet Jeremiah spoke to Baruch son of Neriah while he was writing down in a scroll the words that Jeremiah spoke to him. 937  This happened in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 938  45:2 “The Lord God of Israel has a message for you, Baruch. 45:3 ‘You have said, “I feel so hopeless! 939  For the Lord has added sorrow to my suffering. 940  I am worn out from groaning. I can’t find any rest.”’”

45:4 The Lord told Jeremiah, 941  “Tell Baruch, 942  ‘The Lord says, “I am about to tear down what I have built and to uproot what I have planted. I will do this throughout the whole earth. 943  45:5 Are you looking for great things for yourself? Do not look for such things. For I, the Lord, affirm 944  that I am about to bring disaster on all humanity. 945  But I will allow you to escape with your life 946  wherever you go.”’”

Prophecies Against Foreign Nations 947 

46:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah about the nations. 948 

The Prophecy about Egypt’s Defeat at Carchemish

46:2 He spoke about Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt which was encamped along the Euphrates River at Carchemish. Now this was the army that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling 949  over Judah. 950 

46:3 “Fall into ranks with your shields ready! 951 

Prepare to march into battle!

46:4 Harness the horses to the chariots!

Mount your horses!

Put on your helmets and take your positions!

Sharpen you spears!

Put on your armor!

46:5 What do I see?” 952  says the Lord. 953 

“The soldiers 954  are terrified.

They are retreating.

They have been defeated.

They are overcome with terror; 955 

they desert quickly

without looking back.

46:6 But even the swiftest cannot get away.

Even the strongest cannot escape. 956 

There in the north by the Euphrates River

they stumble and fall in defeat. 957 

46:7 “Who is this that rises like the Nile,

like its streams 958  turbulent at flood stage?

46:8 Egypt rises like the Nile,

like its streams turbulent at flood stage.

Egypt says, ‘I will arise and cover the earth.

I will destroy cities and the people who inhabit them.’

46:9 Go ahead and 959  charge into battle, you horsemen!

Drive furiously, you charioteers!

Let the soldiers march out into battle,

those from Ethiopia and Libya who carry shields,

and those from Lydia 960  who are armed with the bow. 961 

46:10 But that day belongs to the Lord God who rules over all. 962 

It is the day when he will pay back his enemies. 963 

His sword will devour them until its appetite is satisfied!

It will drink their blood until it is full! 964 

For the Lord God who rules over all 965  will offer them up as a sacrifice

in the land of the north by the Euphrates River.

46:11 Go up to Gilead and get medicinal ointment, 966 

you dear poor people of Egypt. 967 

But it will prove useless no matter how much medicine you use; 968 

there will be no healing for you.

46:12 The nations will hear of your devastating defeat. 969 

your cries of distress will echo throughout the earth.

In the panic of their flight one soldier will trip over another

and both of them will fall down defeated.” 970 

The Lord Predicts that Nebuchadnezzar Will Attack and Plunder Egypt

46:13 The Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about Nebuchadnezzar coming to attack the land of Egypt. 971 

46:14 “Make an announcement throughout Egypt.

Proclaim it in Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes. 972 

‘Take your positions and prepare to do battle.

For the enemy army is destroying all the nations around you.’ 973 

46:15 Why will your soldiers 974  be defeated? 975 

They will not stand because I, the Lord, will thrust 976  them down.

46:16 I will make many stumble. 977 

They will fall over one another in their hurry to flee. 978 

They will say, ‘Get up!

Let’s go back to our own people.

Let’s go back to our homelands

because the enemy is coming to destroy us.’ 979 

46:17 There at home they will say, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is just a big noise! 980 

He has let the most opportune moment pass by.’ 981 

46:18 I the King, whose name is the Lord who rules over all, 982  swear this:

I swear as surely as I live that 983  a conqueror is coming.

He will be as imposing as Mount Tabor is among the mountains,

as Mount Carmel is against the backdrop of the sea. 984 

46:19 Pack your bags for exile,

you inhabitants of poor dear Egypt. 985 

For Memphis will be laid waste.

It will lie in ruins 986  and be uninhabited.

46:20 Egypt is like a beautiful young cow.

But northern armies will attack her like swarms of stinging flies. 987 

46:21 Even her mercenaries 988 

will prove to be like pampered, 989  well-fed calves.

For they too will turn and run away.

They will not stand their ground

when 990  the time for them to be destroyed comes,

the time for them to be punished.

46:22 Egypt will run away, hissing like a snake, 991 

as the enemy comes marching up in force.

They will come against her with axes

as if they were woodsmen chopping down trees.

46:23 The population of Egypt is like a vast, impenetrable forest.

But I, the Lord, affirm 992  that the enemy will cut them down.

For those who chop them down will be more numerous than locusts.

They will be too numerous to count. 993 

46:24 Poor dear Egypt 994  will be put to shame.

She will be handed over to the people from the north.”

46:25 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 995  says, “I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes. 996  I will punish Egypt, its gods, and its kings. I will punish Pharaoh and all who trust in him. 997  46:26 I will hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar and his troops, who want to kill them. But later on, people will live in Egypt again as they did in former times. I, the Lord, affirm it!” 998 

A Promise of Hope for Israel

46:27 999 “You descendants of Jacob, my servants, 1000  do not be afraid;

do not be terrified, people of Israel.

For I will rescue you and your descendants

from the faraway lands where you are captives. 1001 

The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace.

They will be secure and no one will terrify them.

46:28 I, the Lord, tell 1002  you not to be afraid,

you descendants of Jacob, my servant,

for I am with you.

Though I completely destroy all the nations where I scatter you,

I will not completely destroy you.

I will indeed discipline you but only in due measure.

I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished.” 1003 

Judgment on the Philistine Cities

47:1 The Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah 1004  about the Philistines before Pharaoh attacked Gaza. 1005 

47:2 “Look! Enemies are gathering in the north like water rising in a river. 1006 

They will be like an overflowing stream.

They will overwhelm the whole country and everything in it like a flood.

They will overwhelm the cities and their inhabitants.

People will cry out in alarm.

Everyone living in the country will cry out in pain.

47:3 Fathers will hear the hoofbeats of the enemies’ horses,

the clatter of their chariots and the rumbling of their wheels.

They will not turn back to save their children

because they will be paralyzed with fear. 1007 

47:4 For the time has come

to destroy all the Philistines.

The time has come to destroy all the help

that remains for Tyre 1008  and Sidon. 1009 

For I, the Lord, will 1010  destroy the Philistines,

that remnant that came from the island of Crete. 1011 

47:5 The people of Gaza will shave their heads in mourning.

The people of Ashkelon will be struck dumb.

How long will you gash yourselves to show your sorrow, 1012 

you who remain of Philistia’s power? 1013 

47:6 How long will you cry out, 1014  ‘Oh, sword of the Lord,

how long will it be before you stop killing? 1015 

Go back into your sheath!

Stay there and rest!’ 1016 

47:7 But how can it rest 1017 

when I, the Lord, have 1018  given it orders?

I have ordered it to attack

the people of Ashkelon and the seacoast. 1019 

Judgment Against Moab

48:1 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 1020  spoke about Moab. 1021 

“Sure to be judged is Nebo! Indeed, 1022  it will be destroyed!

Kiriathaim 1023  will suffer disgrace. It will be captured!

Its fortress 1024  will suffer disgrace. It will be torn down! 1025 

48:2 People will not praise Moab any more.

The enemy will capture Heshbon 1026  and plot 1027  how to destroy Moab, 1028 

saying, ‘Come, let’s put an end to that nation!’

City of Madmen, you will also be destroyed. 1029 

A destructive army will march against you. 1030 

48:3 Cries of anguish will arise in Horonaim,

‘Oh, the ruin and great destruction!’

48:4 “Moab will be crushed.

Her children will cry out in distress. 1031 

48:5 Indeed they will climb the slopes of Luhith,

weeping continually as they go. 1032 

For on the road down to Horonaim

they will hear the cries of distress over the destruction. 1033 

48:6 They will hear, ‘Run! Save yourselves!

Even if you must be like a lonely shrub in the desert!’ 1034 

48:7 “Moab, you trust in the things you do and in your riches.

So you too will be conquered.

Your god Chemosh 1035  will go into exile 1036 

along with his priests and his officials.

48:8 The destroyer will come against every town.

Not one town will escape.

The towns in the valley will be destroyed.

The cities on the high plain will be laid waste. 1037 

I, the Lord, have spoken! 1038 

48:9 Set up a gravestone for Moab,

for it will certainly be laid in ruins! 1039 

Its cities will be laid waste

and become uninhabited.”

48:10 A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!

A curse on anyone who keeps from carrying out his destruction! 1040 

48:11 “From its earliest days Moab has lived undisturbed.

It has never been taken into exile.

Its people are like wine allowed to settle undisturbed on its dregs,

never poured out from one jar to another.

They are like wine which tastes like it always did,

whose aroma has remained unchanged. 1041 

48:12 But the time is coming when I will send

men against Moab who will empty it out.

They will empty the towns of their people,

then will lay those towns in ruins. 1042 

I, the Lord, affirm it! 1043 

48:13 The people of Moab will be disappointed by their god Chemosh.

They will be as disappointed as the people of Israel were

when they put their trust in the calf god at Bethel. 1044 

48:14 How can you men of Moab say, ‘We are heroes,

men who are mighty in battle?’

48:15 Moab will be destroyed. Its towns will be invaded.

Its finest young men will be slaughtered. 1045 

I, the King, the Lord who rules over all, 1046  affirm it! 1047 

48:16 Moab’s destruction is at hand.

Disaster will come on it quickly.

48:17 Mourn for that nation, all you nations living around it,

all of you nations that know of its fame. 1048 

Mourn and say, ‘Alas, its powerful influence has been broken!

Its glory and power have been done away!’ 1049 

48:18 Come down from your place of honor;

sit on the dry ground, 1050  you who live in Dibon. 1051 

For the one who will destroy Moab will attack you;

he will destroy your fortifications.

48:19 You who live in Aroer, 1052 

stand by the road and watch.

Question the man who is fleeing and the woman who is escaping.

Ask them, ‘What has happened?’

48:20 They will answer, ‘Moab is disgraced, for it has fallen!

Wail and cry out in mourning!

Announce along the Arnon River

that Moab has been destroyed.’

48:21 “Judgment will come on the cities on the high plain: 1053  on Holon, Jahzah, and Mephaath, 48:22 on Dibon, Nebo, and Beth Diblathaim, 48:23 on Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul, and Beth Meon, 48:24 on Kerioth and Bozrah. It will come on all the towns of Moab, both far and near. 48:25 Moab’s might will be crushed. Its power will be broken. 1054  I, the Lord, affirm it! 1055 

48:26 “Moab has vaunted itself against me.

So make him drunk with the wine of my wrath 1056 

until he splashes 1057  around in his own vomit,

until others treat him as a laughingstock.

48:27 For did not you people of Moab laugh at the people of Israel?

Did you think that they were nothing but thieves, 1058 

that you shook your head in contempt 1059 

every time you talked about them? 1060 

48:28 Leave your towns, you inhabitants of Moab.

Go and live in the cliffs.

Be like a dove that makes its nest

high on the sides of a ravine. 1061 

48:29 I have heard how proud the people of Moab are,

I know how haughty they are.

I have heard how arrogant, proud, and haughty they are,

what a high opinion they have of themselves. 1062 

48:30 I, the Lord, affirm that 1063  I know how arrogant they are.

But their pride is ill-founded.

Their boastings will prove to be false. 1064 

48:31 So I will weep with sorrow for Moab.

I will cry out in sadness for all of Moab.

I will moan 1065  for the people of Kir Heres.

48:32 I will weep for the grapevines of Sibmah

just like the town of Jazer weeps over them. 1066 

Their branches once spread as far as the Dead Sea. 1067 

They reached as far as the town of Jazer. 1068 

The destroyer will ravage

her fig, date, 1069  and grape crops.

48:33 Joy and gladness will disappear

from the fruitful land of Moab. 1070 

I will stop the flow of wine from the winepresses.

No one will stomp on the grapes there and shout for joy. 1071 

The shouts there will be shouts of soldiers,

not the shouts of those making wine. 1072 

48:34 Cries of anguish raised from Heshbon and Elealeh

will be sounded as far as Jahaz. 1073 

They will be sounded from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah.

For even the waters of Nimrim will be dried up.

48:35 I will put an end in Moab

to those who make offerings at her places of worship. 1074 

I will put an end to those who sacrifice to other gods.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 1075 

48:36 So my heart moans for Moab

like a flute playing a funeral song.

Yes, like a flute playing a funeral song,

my heart moans for the people of Kir Heres.

For the wealth they have gained will perish.

48:37 For all of them will shave their heads in mourning.

They will all cut off their beards to show their sorrow.

They will all make gashes in their hands.

They will all put on sackcloth. 1076 

48:38 On all the housetops in Moab

and in all its public squares

there will be nothing but mourning.

For I will break Moab like an unwanted jar.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 1077 

48:39 Oh, how shattered Moab will be!

Oh, how her people will wail!

Oh, how she will turn away 1078  in shame!

Moab will become an object of ridicule,

a terrifying sight to all the nations that surround her.”

48:40 For the Lord says,

“Look! Like an eagle with outspread wings

a nation will swoop down on Moab. 1079 

48:41 Her towns 1080  will be captured.

Her fortresses will be taken.

At that time the soldiers of Moab will be frightened

like a woman in labor. 1081 

48:42 Moab will be destroyed and no longer be a nation, 1082 

because she has vaunted herself against the Lord.

48:43 Terror, pits, and traps 1083  are in store

for the people who live in Moab. 1084 

I, the Lord, affirm it! 1085 

48:44 Anyone who flees at the sound of terror

will fall into a pit.

Anyone who climbs out of the pit

will be caught in a trap. 1086 

For the time is coming

when I will punish the people of Moab. 1087 

I, the Lord, affirm it! 1088 

48:45 In the shadows of the walls of Heshbon

those trying to escape will stand helpless.

For a fire will burst forth from Heshbon.

Flames will shoot out from the former territory of Sihon.

They will burn the foreheads of the people of Moab,

the skulls of those war-loving people. 1089 

48:46 Moab, you are doomed! 1090 

You people who worship Chemosh will be destroyed.

Your sons will be taken away captive.

Your daughters will be carried away into exile. 1091 

48:47 Yet in days to come

I will reverse Moab’s ill fortune.” 1092 

says the Lord. 1093 

The judgment against Moab ends here.

Judgment Against Ammon

49:1 The Lord spoke about the Ammonites. 1094 

“Do you think there are not any people of the nation of Israel remaining?

Do you think there are not any of them remaining to reinherit their land?

Is that why you people who worship the god Milcom 1095 

have taken possession of the territory of Gad and live in his cities? 1096 

49:2 Because you did that,

I, the Lord, affirm that 1097  a time is coming

when I will make Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon,

hear the sound of the battle cry.

It will become a mound covered with ruins. 1098 

Its villages will be burned to the ground. 1099 

Then Israel will take back its land

from those who took their land from them.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 1100 

49:3 Wail, you people in Heshbon, because Ai in Ammon is destroyed.

Cry out in anguish, you people in the villages surrounding 1101  Rabbah.

Put on sackcloth and cry out in mourning.

Run about covered with gashes. 1102 

For your god Milcom will go into exile

along with his priests and officials. 1103 

49:4 Why do you brag about your great power?

Your power is ebbing away, 1104  you rebellious people of Ammon, 1105 

who trust in your riches and say,

‘Who would dare to attack us?’

49:5 I will bring terror on you from every side,”

says the Lord God who rules over all. 1106 

“You will be scattered in every direction. 1107 

No one will gather the fugitives back together.

49:6 Yet in days to come

I will reverse Ammon’s ill fortune.” 1108 

says the Lord. 1109 

Judgment Against Edom

49:7 The Lord who rules over all 1110  spoke about Edom. 1111 

“Is wisdom no longer to be found in Teman? 1112 

Can Edom’s counselors not give her any good advice? 1113 

Has all of their wisdom turned bad? 1114 

49:8 Turn and flee! Take up refuge in remote places, 1115 

you people who live in Dedan. 1116 

For I will bring disaster on the descendants of Esau.

I have decided it is time for me to punish them. 1117 

49:9 If grape pickers came to pick your grapes,

would they not leave a few grapes behind? 1118 

If robbers came at night,

would they not pillage only what they needed? 1119 

49:10 But I will strip everything away from Esau’s descendants.

I will uncover their hiding places so they cannot hide.

Their children, relatives, and neighbors will all be destroyed.

Not one of them will be left!

49:11 Leave your orphans behind and I will keep them alive.

Your widows too can depend on me.” 1120 

49:12 For the Lord says, “If even those who did not deserve to drink from the cup of my wrath must drink from it, do you think you will go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must certainly drink from the cup of my wrath. 1121  49:13 For I solemnly swear,” 1122  says the Lord, “that Bozrah 1123  will become a pile of ruins. It will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example to be used in curses. 1124  All the towns around it will lie in ruins forever.”

49:14 I said, 1125  “I have heard a message from the Lord.

A messenger has been sent among the nations to say,

‘Gather your armies and march out against her!

Prepare to do battle with her!’” 1126 

49:15 The Lord says to Edom, 1127 

“I will certainly make you small among nations.

I will make you despised by all humankind.

49:16 The terror you inspire in others 1128 

and the arrogance of your heart have deceived you.

You may make your home in the clefts of the rocks;

you may occupy the highest places in the hills. 1129 

But even if you made your home where the eagles nest,

I would bring you down from there,”

says the Lord.

49:17 “Edom will become an object of horror.

All who pass by it will be filled with horror;

they will hiss out their scorn

because of all the disasters that have happened to it. 1130 

49:18 Edom will be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah

and the towns that were around them.

No one will live there.

No human being will settle in it,”

says the Lord.

49:19 “A lion coming up from the thick undergrowth along the Jordan 1131 

scatters the sheep in the pastureland around it. 1132 

So too I will chase the Edomites off their land. 1133 

Then I will appoint over it whomever I choose. 1134 

For there is no one like me, and there is no one who can call me to account. 1135 

There is no 1136  ruler 1137  who can stand up against me.

49:20 So listen to what I, the Lord, have planned against Edom,

what I intend to do to 1138  the people who live in Teman. 1139 

Their little ones will be dragged off.

I will completely destroy their land because of what they have done. 1140 

49:21 The people of the earth will quake when they hear of their downfall. 1141 

Their cries of anguish will be heard all the way to the Gulf of Aqaba. 1142 

49:22 Look! Like an eagle with outspread wings,

a nation will soar up and swoop down on Bozrah.

At that time the soldiers of Edom will be as fearful

as a woman in labor.” 1143 

Judgment Against Damascus

49:23 The Lord spoke 1144  about Damascus. 1145 

“The people of Hamath and Arpad 1146  will be dismayed

because they have heard bad news.

Their courage will melt away because of worry.

Their hearts will not be able to rest. 1147 

49:24 The people of Damascus will lose heart and turn to flee.

Panic will grip them.

Pain and anguish will seize them

like a woman in labor.

49:25 How deserted will that once-famous city 1148  be,

that city that was once filled with 1149  joy! 1150 

49:26 For her young men will fall in her city squares.

All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”

says the Lord who rules over all. 1151 

49:27 “I will set fire to the walls of Damascus;

it will burn up the palaces of Ben Hadad.” 1152 

Judgment Against Kedar and Hazor

49:28 The Lord spoke about Kedar 1153  and the kingdoms of Hazor 1154  that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered.

“Army of Babylon, 1155  go and attack Kedar.

Lay waste those who live in the eastern desert. 1156 

49:29 Their tents and their flocks will be taken away.

Their tent curtains, equipment, and camels will be carried off.

People will shout 1157  to them,

‘Terror is all around you!’” 1158 

49:30 The Lord says, 1159  “Flee quickly, you who live in Hazor. 1160 

Take up refuge in remote places. 1161 

For King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has laid out plans to attack you.

He has formed his strategy on how to defeat you.” 1162 

49:31 The Lord says, 1163  “Army of Babylon, 1164  go and attack

a nation that lives in peace and security.

They have no gates or walls to protect them. 1165 

They live all alone.

49:32 Their camels will be taken as plunder.

Their vast herds will be taken as spoil.

I will scatter to the four winds

those desert peoples who cut their hair short at the temples. 1166 

I will bring disaster against them

from every direction,” says the Lord. 1167 

49:33 “Hazor will become a permanent wasteland,

a place where only jackals live. 1168 

No one will live there.

No human being will settle in it.” 1169 

Judgment Against Elam

49:34 Early in the reign 1170  of King Zedekiah of Judah, the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about Elam. 1171 

49:35 The Lord who rules over all said,

“I will kill all the archers of Elam,

who are the chief source of her military might. 1172 

49:36 I will cause enemies to blow through Elam from every direction

like the winds blowing in from the four quarters of heaven.

I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds.

There will not be any nation where the refugees of Elam will not go. 1173 

49:37 I will make the people of Elam terrified of their enemies,

who are seeking to kill them.

I will vent my fierce anger

and bring disaster upon them,” 1174  says the Lord. 1175 

“I will send armies chasing after them 1176 

until I have completely destroyed them.

49:38 I will establish my sovereignty over Elam. 1177 

I will destroy their king and their leaders,” 1178  says the Lord. 1179 

49:39 “Yet in days to come

I will reverse Elam’s ill fortune.” 1180 

says the Lord. 1181 

Judgment Against Babylon

50:1 The Lord spoke concerning Babylon and the land of Babylonia 1182  through the prophet Jeremiah. 1183 

50:2 “Announce 1184  the news among the nations! Proclaim it!

Signal for people to pay attention! 1185 

Declare the news! Do not hide it! Say:

‘Babylon will be captured.

Bel 1186  will be put to shame.

Marduk will be dismayed.

Babylon’s idols will be put to shame.

Her disgusting images 1187  will be dismayed. 1188 

50:3 For a nation from the north 1189  will attack Babylon.

It will lay her land waste.

People and animals will flee out of it.

No one will inhabit it.’

50:4 “When that time comes,” says the Lord, 1190 

“the people of Israel and Judah will return to the land together.

They will come back with tears of repentance

as they seek the Lord their God. 1191 

50:5 They will ask the way to Zion;

they will turn their faces toward it.

They will come 1192  and bind themselves to the Lord

in a lasting covenant that will never be forgotten. 1193 

50:6 “My people have been lost sheep.

Their shepherds 1194  have allow them to go astray.

They have wandered around in the mountains.

They have roamed from one mountain and hill to another. 1195 

They have forgotten their resting place.

50:7 All who encountered them devoured them.

Their enemies who did this said, ‘We are not liable for punishment!

For those people have sinned against the Lord, their true pasture. 1196 

They have sinned against the Lord in whom their ancestors 1197  trusted.’ 1198 

50:8 “People of Judah, 1199  get out of Babylon quickly!

Leave the land of Babylonia! 1200 

Be the first to depart! 1201 

Be like the male goats that lead the herd.

50:9 For I will rouse into action and bring against Babylon

a host of mighty nations 1202  from the land of the north.

They will set up their battle lines against her.

They will come from the north and capture her. 1203 

Their arrows will be like a skilled soldier 1204 

who does not return from the battle empty-handed. 1205 

50:10 Babylonia 1206  will be plundered.

Those who plunder it will take all they want,”

says the Lord. 1207 

50:11 “People of Babylonia, 1208  you plundered my people. 1209 

That made you happy and glad.

You frolic about like calves in a pasture. 1210 

Your joyous sounds are like the neighs of a stallion. 1211 

50:12 But Babylonia will be put to great shame.

The land where you were born 1212  will be disgraced.

Indeed, 1213  Babylonia will become the least important of all nations.

It will become a dry and barren desert.

50:13 After I vent my wrath on it Babylon will be uninhabited. 1214 

It will be totally desolate.

All who pass by will be filled with horror and will hiss out their scorn

because of all the disasters that have happened to it. 1215 

50:14 “Take up your battle positions all around Babylon,

all you soldiers who are armed with bows. 1216 

Shoot 1217  all your arrows at her! Do not hold any back! 1218 

For she has sinned against the Lord.

50:15 Shout the battle cry from all around the city.

She will throw up her hands in surrender. 1219 

Her towers 1220  will fall.

Her walls will be torn down.

Because I, the Lord, am wreaking revenge, 1221 

take out your vengeance on her!

Do to her as she has done!

50:16 Kill all the farmers who sow the seed in the land of Babylon.

Kill all those who wield the sickle at harvest time. 1222 

Let all the foreigners return to their own people.

Let them hurry back to their own lands

to escape destruction by that enemy army. 1223 

50:17 “The people of Israel are like scattered sheep

which lions have chased away.

First the king of Assyria devoured them. 1224 

Now last of all King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has gnawed their bones. 1225 

50:18 So I, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all, say: 1226 

‘I will punish the king of Babylon and his land

just as I punished the king of Assyria.

50:19 But I will restore the flock of Israel to their own pasture.

They will graze on Mount Carmel and the land of Bashan.

They will eat until they are full 1227 

on the hills of Ephraim and the land of Gilead. 1228 

50:20 When that time comes,

no guilt will be found in Israel.

No sin will be found in Judah. 1229 

For I will forgive those of them I have allowed to survive. 1230 

I, the Lord, affirm it!’” 1231 

50:21 The Lord says, 1232 

“Attack 1233  the land of Merathaim

and the people who live in Pekod! 1234 

Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them! 1235 

Do just as I have commanded you! 1236 

50:22 The noise of battle can be heard in the land of Babylonia. 1237 

There is the sound of great destruction.

50:23 Babylon hammered the whole world to pieces.

But see how that ‘hammer’ has been broken and shattered! 1238 

See what an object of horror

Babylon has become among the nations!

50:24 I set a trap for you, Babylon;

you were caught before you knew it.

You fought against me.

So you were found and captured. 1239 

50:25 I have opened up the place where my weapons are stored. 1240 

I have brought out the weapons for carrying out my wrath. 1241 

For I, the Lord God who rules over all, 1242 

have work to carry out in the land of Babylonia. 1243 

50:26 Come from far away and attack Babylonia! 1244 

Open up the places where she stores her grain!

Pile her up in ruins! 1245  Destroy her completely! 1246 

Do not leave anyone alive! 1247 

50:27 Kill all her soldiers! 1248 

Let them be slaughtered! 1249 

They are doomed, 1250  for their day of reckoning 1251  has come,

the time for them to be punished.”

50:28 Listen! Fugitives and refugees are coming from the land of Babylon.

They are coming to Zion to declare there

how the Lord our God is getting revenge,

getting revenge for what they have done to his temple. 1252 

50:29 “Call for archers 1253  to come against Babylon!

Summon against her all who draw the bow!

Set up camp all around the city!

Do not allow anyone to escape!

Pay her back for what she has done.

Do to her what she has done to others.

For she has proudly defied me, 1254 

the Holy One of Israel. 1255 

50:30 So her young men will fall in her city squares.

All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”

says the Lord. 1256 

50:31 “Listen! I am opposed to you, you proud city,” 1257 

says the Lord God who rules over all. 1258 

“Indeed, 1259  your day of reckoning 1260  has come,

the time when I will punish you. 1261 

50:32 You will stumble and fall, you proud city;

no one will help you get up.

I will set fire to your towns;

it will burn up everything that surrounds you.” 1262 

50:33 The Lord who rules over all 1263  says,

“The people of Israel are oppressed.

So too are the people of Judah. 1264 

All those who took them captive are holding them prisoners.

They refuse to set them free.

50:34 But the one who will rescue them 1265  is strong.

He is known as the Lord who rules over all. 1266 

He will strongly 1267  champion their cause.

As a result 1268  he will bring peace and rest to the earth,

but trouble and turmoil 1269  to the people who inhabit Babylonia. 1270 

50:35 “Destructive forces will come against the Babylonians,” 1271  says the Lord. 1272 

“They will come against the people who inhabit Babylonia,

against her leaders and her men of wisdom.

50:36 Destructive forces will come against her false prophets; 1273 

they will be shown to be fools! 1274 

Destructive forces will come against her soldiers;

they will be filled with terror! 1275 

50:37 Destructive forces will come against her horses and her 1276  chariots.

Destructive forces will come against all the foreign troops within her; 1277 

they will be as frightened as women! 1278 

Destructive forces will come against her treasures;

they will be taken away as plunder!

50:38 A drought will come upon her land;

her rivers and canals will be dried up. 1279 

All of this will happen because her land is filled with idols. 1280 

Her people act like madmen because of 1281  those idols they fear. 1282 

50:39 Therefore desert creatures and jackals will live there.

Ostriches 1283  will dwell in it too. 1284 

But no people will ever live there again.

No one will dwell there for all time to come. 1285 

50:40 I will destroy Babylonia just like I did

Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns.

No one will live there. 1286 

No human being will settle in it,”

says the Lord. 1287 

50:41 “Look! An army is about to come from the north.

A mighty nation and many kings 1288  are stirring into action

in faraway parts of the earth.

50:42 Its soldiers are armed with bows and spears.

They are cruel and show no mercy.

They sound like the roaring sea

as they ride forth on their horses.

Lined up in formation like men going into battle,

they are coming against you, fair Babylon! 1289 

50:43 The king of Babylon will become paralyzed with fear 1290 

when he hears news of their coming. 1291 

Anguish will grip him,

agony like that of a woman giving birth to a baby. 1292 

50:44 “A lion coming up from the thick undergrowth along the Jordan

scatters the sheep in the pastureland around it.

So too I will chase the Babylonians off of their land.

Then I will appoint over it whomever I choose.

For there is no one like me.

There is no one who can call me to account.

There is no ruler that can stand up against me.

50:45 So listen to what I, the Lord, have planned against Babylon,

what I intend to do to the people who inhabit the land of Babylonia. 1293 

Their little ones will be dragged off.

I will completely destroy their land because of what they have done.

50:46 The people of the earth will quake when they hear Babylon has been captured.

Her cries of anguish will be heard by the other nations.” 1294 

51:1 The Lord says,

“I will cause a destructive wind 1295  to blow

against 1296  Babylon and the people who inhabit Babylonia. 1297 

51:2 I will send people to winnow Babylonia like a wind blowing away chaff. 1298 

They will winnow her and strip her land bare. 1299 

This will happen when 1300  they come against her from every direction,

when it is time to destroy her. 1301 

51:3 Do not give her archers time to string their bows

or to put on their coats of armor. 1302 

Do not spare any of her young men.

Completely destroy 1303  her whole army.

51:4 Let them fall 1304  slain in the land of Babylonia, 1305 

mortally wounded in the streets of her cities. 1306 

51:5 “For Israel and Judah will not be forsaken 1307 

by their God, the Lord who rules over all. 1308 

For the land of Babylonia is 1309  full of guilt

against the Holy One of Israel. 1310 

51:6 Get out of Babylonia quickly, you foreign people. 1311 

Flee to save your lives.

Do not let yourselves be killed because of her sins.

For it is time for the Lord to wreak his revenge.

He will pay Babylonia 1312  back for what she has done. 1313 

51:7 Babylonia had been a gold cup in the Lord’s hand.

She had made the whole world drunk.

The nations had drunk from the wine of her wrath. 1314 

So they have all gone mad. 1315 

51:8 But suddenly Babylonia will fall and be destroyed. 1316 

Cry out in mourning over it!

Get medicine for her wounds!

Perhaps she can be healed!

51:9 Foreigners living there will say, 1317 

‘We tried to heal her, but she could not be healed.

Let’s leave Babylonia 1318  and each go back to his own country.

For judgment on her will be vast in its proportions.

It will be like it is piled up to heaven, stacked up into the clouds.’ 1319 

51:10 The exiles from Judah will say, 1320 

‘The Lord has brought about a great deliverance for us! 1321 

Come on, let’s go and proclaim in Zion

what the Lord our God has done!’

51:11 “Sharpen 1322  your arrows!

Fill your quivers! 1323 

The Lord will arouse a spirit of hostility in 1324  the kings of Media. 1325 

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. 1326 

51:12 Give the signal to attack Babylon’s wall! 1327 

Bring more guards! 1328 

Post them all around the city! 1329 

Put men in ambush! 1330 

For the Lord will do what he has planned.

He will do what he said he would do to the people of Babylon. 1331 

51:13 “You who live along the rivers of Babylon, 1332 

the time of your end has come.

You who are rich in plundered treasure,

it is time for your lives to be cut off. 1333 

51:14 The Lord who rules over all 1334  has solemnly sworn, 1335 

‘I will fill your land with enemy soldiers.

They will swarm over it like locusts. 1336 

They will raise up shouts of victory over it.’

51:15 He is the one who 1337  by his power made the earth.

He is the one who by his wisdom fixed the world in place,

by his understanding he spread out the heavens.

51:16 When his voice thunders, the waters in the heavens roar.

He makes the clouds rise from the far-off horizons.

He makes the lightning flash out in the midst of the rain.

He unleashes the wind from the places where he stores it.

51:17 All idolaters will prove to be stupid and ignorant.

Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made.

For the image he forges is merely a sham.

There is no breath in any of those idols.

51:18 They are worthless, objects to be ridiculed.

When the time comes to punish them, they will be destroyed.

51:19 The Lord, who is the portion of the descendants of Jacob, is not like them.

For he is the one who created everything,

including the people of Israel whom he claims as his own. 1338 

He is known as the Lord who rules over all. 1339 

51:20 “Babylon, 1340  you are my war club, 1341 

my weapon for battle.

I used you to smash nations. 1342 

I used you to destroy kingdoms.

51:21 I used you to smash horses and their riders. 1343 

I used you to smash chariots and their drivers.

51:22 I used you to smash men and women.

I used you to smash old men and young men.

I used you to smash young men and young women.

51:23 I used you to smash shepherds and their flocks.

I used you to smash farmers and their teams of oxen.

I used you to smash governors and leaders.” 1344 

51:24 “But I will repay Babylon

and all who live in Babylonia

for all the wicked things they did in Zion

right before the eyes of you Judeans,” 1345 

says the Lord. 1346 

51:25 The Lord says, 1347  “Beware! I am opposed to you, Babylon! 1348 

You are like a destructive mountain that destroys all the earth.

I will unleash my power against you; 1349 

I will roll you off the cliffs and make you like a burned-out mountain. 1350 

51:26 No one will use any of your stones as a cornerstone.

No one will use any of them in the foundation of his house.

For you will lie desolate forever,” 1351 

says the Lord. 1352 

51:27 “Raise up battle flags throughout the lands.

Sound the trumpets calling the nations to do battle.

Prepare the nations to do battle against Babylonia. 1353 

Call for these kingdoms to attack her:

Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. 1354 

Appoint a commander to lead the attack. 1355 

Send horses 1356  against her like a swarm of locusts. 1357 

51:28 Prepare the nations to do battle against her. 1358 

Prepare the kings of the Medes.

Prepare their governors and all their leaders. 1359 

Prepare all the countries they rule to do battle against her. 1360 

51:29 The earth will tremble and writhe in agony. 1361 

For the Lord will carry out his plan.

He plans to make the land of Babylonia 1362 

a wasteland where no one lives. 1363 

51:30 The soldiers of Babylonia will stop fighting.

They will remain in their fortified cities.

They will lose their strength to do battle. 1364 

They will be as frightened as women. 1365 

The houses in her cities will be set on fire.

The gates of her cities will be broken down. 1366 

51:31 One runner after another will come to the king of Babylon.

One messenger after another will come bringing news. 1367 

They will bring news to the king of Babylon

that his whole city has been captured. 1368 

51:32 They will report that the fords have been captured,

the reed marshes have been burned,

the soldiers are terrified. 1369 

51:33 For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all says,

‘Fair Babylon 1370  will be like a threshing floor

which has been trampled flat for harvest.

The time for her to be cut down and harvested

will come very soon.’ 1371 

51:34 “King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon

devoured me and drove my people out.

Like a monster from the deep he swallowed me.

He filled his belly with my riches.

He made me an empty dish.

He completely cleaned me out.” 1372 

51:35 The person who lives in Zion says,

“May Babylon pay for the violence done to me and to my relatives.”

Jerusalem says,

“May those living in Babylonia pay for the bloodshed of my people.” 1373 

51:36 Therefore the Lord says,

“I will stand up for your cause.

I will pay the Babylonians back for what they have done to you. 1374 

I will dry up their sea.

I will make their springs run dry. 1375 

51:37 Babylon will become a heap of ruins.

Jackals will make their home there. 1376 

It will become an object of horror and of hissing scorn,

a place where no one lives. 1377 

51:38 The Babylonians are all like lions roaring for prey.

They are like lion cubs growling for something to eat. 1378 

51:39 When their appetites are all stirred up, 1379 

I will set out a banquet for them.

I will make them drunk

so that they will pass out, 1380 

they will fall asleep forever,

they will never wake up,” 1381 

says the Lord. 1382 

51:40 “I will lead them off to be slaughtered

like lambs, rams, and male goats.” 1383 

51:41 “See how Babylon 1384  has been captured!

See how the pride of the whole earth has been taken!

See what an object of horror

Babylon has become among the nations! 1385 

51:42 The sea has swept over Babylon.

She has been covered by a multitude 1386  of its waves. 1387 

51:43 The towns of Babylonia have become heaps of ruins.

She has become a dry and barren desert.

No one lives in those towns any more.

No one even passes through them. 1388 

51:44 I will punish the god Bel in Babylon.

I will make him spit out what he has swallowed.

The nations will not come streaming to him any longer.

Indeed, the walls of Babylon will fall.” 1389 

51:45 “Get out of Babylon, my people!

Flee to save your lives

from the fierce anger of the Lord! 1390 

51:46 Do not lose your courage or become afraid

because of the reports that are heard in the land.

For a report will come in one year.

Another report will follow it in the next.

There will be violence in the land

with ruler fighting against ruler.”

51:47 “So the time will certainly come 1391 

when I will punish the idols of Babylon.

Her whole land will be put to shame.

All her mortally wounded will collapse in her midst. 1392 

51:48 Then heaven and earth and all that is in them

will sing for joy over Babylon.

For destroyers from the north will attack it,”

says the Lord. 1393 

51:49 “Babylon must fall 1394 

because of the Israelites she has killed, 1395 

just as the earth’s mortally wounded fell

because of Babylon. 1396 

51:50 You who have escaped the sword, 1397 

go, do not delay. 1398 

Remember the Lord in a faraway land.

Think about Jerusalem. 1399 

51:51 ‘We 1400  are ashamed because we have been insulted. 1401 

Our faces show our disgrace. 1402 

For foreigners have invaded

the holy rooms 1403  in the Lord’s temple.’

51:52 Yes, but the time will certainly come,” 1404  says the Lord, 1405 

“when I will punish her idols.

Throughout her land the mortally wounded will groan.

51:53 Even if Babylon climbs high into the sky 1406 

and fortifies her elevated stronghold, 1407 

I will send destroyers against her,” 1408 

says the Lord. 1409 

51:54 Cries of anguish will come from Babylon,

the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians.

51:55 For the Lord is ready to destroy Babylon,

and put an end to her loud noise.

Their waves 1410  will roar like turbulent 1411  waters.

They will make a deafening noise. 1412 

51:56 For a destroyer is attacking Babylon. 1413 

Her warriors will be captured;

their bows will be broken. 1414 

For the Lord is a God who punishes; 1415 

he pays back in full. 1416 

51:57 “I will make her officials and wise men drunk,

along with her governors, leaders, 1417  and warriors.

They will fall asleep forever and never wake up,” 1418 

says the King whose name is the Lord who rules over all. 1419 

51:58 This is what the Lord who rules over all 1420  says,

“Babylon’s thick wall 1421  will be completely demolished. 1422 

Her high gates will be set on fire.

The peoples strive for what does not satisfy. 1423 

The nations grow weary trying to get what will be destroyed.” 1424 

51:59 This is the order Jeremiah the prophet gave to Seraiah son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, when he went to King Zedekiah of Judah in Babylon during the fourth year of his reign. 1425  (Seraiah was a quartermaster.) 1426  51:60 Jeremiah recorded 1427  on one scroll all the judgments 1428  that would come upon Babylon – all these prophecies 1429  written about Babylon. 51:61 Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “When you arrive in Babylon, make sure 1430  you read aloud all these prophecies. 1431  51:62 Then say, ‘O Lord, you have announced that you will destroy this place so that no people or animals live in it any longer. Certainly it will lie desolate forever!’ 51:63 When you finish reading this scroll aloud, tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates River. 1432  51:64 Then say, ‘In the same way Babylon will sink and never rise again because of the judgments 1433  I am ready to bring upon her; they will grow faint.’”

The prophecies of Jeremiah end here. 1434 

The Fall of Jerusalem

52:1 1435 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled in Jerusalem 1436  for eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal 1437  daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah. 52:2 He did what displeased the Lord 1438  just as Jehoiakim had done.

52:3 What follows is a record of what happened to Jerusalem and Judah because of the Lord’s anger when he drove them out of his sight. 1439  Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 52:4 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and set up camp outside it. 1440  They built siege ramps all around it. He arrived on the tenth day of the tenth month in the ninth year that Zedekiah ruled over Judah. 1441  52:5 The city remained under siege until Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 52:6 By the ninth day of the fourth month 1442  the famine in the city was so severe the residents 1443  had no food. 52:7 They broke through the city walls, and all the soldiers tried to escape. They left the city during the night. They went through the gate between the two walls that is near the king’s garden. 1444  (The Babylonians had the city surrounded.) Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. 1445  52:8 But the Babylonian army chased after the king. They caught up with Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, 1446  and his entire army deserted him. 52:9 They captured him and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah 1447  in the territory of Hamath and he passed sentence on him there. 52:10 The king of Babylon had Zedekiah’s sons put to death while Zedekiah was forced to watch. He also had all the nobles of Judah put to death there at Riblah. 52:11 He had Zedekiah’s eyes put out and had him bound in chains. 1448  Then the king of Babylon had him led off to Babylon and he was imprisoned there until the day he died.

52:12 On the tenth 1449  day of the fifth month, 1450  in the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard 1451  who served 1452  the king of Babylon, arrived in Jerusalem. 52:13 He burned down the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem, including every large house. 52:14 The whole Babylonian army that came with the captain of the royal guard tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem. 52:15 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, took into exile some of the poor, 1453  the rest of the people who remained in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the rest of the craftsmen. 52:16 But he 1454  left behind some of the poor 1455  and gave them fields and vineyards.

52:17 The Babylonians broke the two bronze pillars in the temple of the Lord, as well as the movable stands and the large bronze basin called the “The Sea.” 1456  They took all the bronze to Babylon. 52:18 They also took the pots, shovels, 1457  trimming shears, 1458  basins, pans, and all the bronze utensils used by the priests. 1459  52:19 The captain of the royal guard took the gold and silver bowls, censers, 1460  basins, pots, lampstands, pans, and vessels. 1461  52:20 The bronze of the items that King Solomon made for the Lord’s temple (including the two pillars, the large bronze basin called “The Sea,” the twelve bronze bulls under “The Sea,” and the movable stands 1462 ) was too heavy to be weighed. 52:21 Each of the pillars was about 27 feet 1463  high, about 18 feet 1464  in circumference, three inches 1465  thick, and hollow. 52:22 The bronze top of one pillar was about seven and one-half feet 1466  high and had bronze latticework and pomegranate-shaped ornaments all around it. The second pillar with its pomegranate-shaped ornaments was like it. 52:23 There were ninety-six pomegranate-shaped ornaments on the sides; in all there were one hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments over the latticework that went around it.

52:24 The captain of the royal guard took Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest who was second in rank, and the three doorkeepers. 1467  52:25 From the city he took an official who was in charge of the soldiers, seven of the king’s advisers who were discovered in the city, an official army secretary who drafted citizens 1468  for military service, and sixty citizens who were discovered in the middle of the city. 52:26 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 52:27 The king of Babylon ordered them to be executed 1469  at Riblah in the territory of Hamath.

So Judah was taken into exile away from its land. 52:28 Here is the official record of the number of people 1470  Nebuchadnezzar carried into exile: In the seventh year, 1471  3,023 Jews; 52:29 in Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year, 1472  832 people from Jerusalem; 52:30 in Nebuchadnezzar’s twenty-third year, 1473  Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, carried into exile 745 Judeans. In all 4,600 people went into exile.

Jehoiachin in Exile

52:31 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, on the twenty-fifth 1474  day of the twelfth month, 1475  Evil-Merodach, in the first year of his reign, pardoned 1476  King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison. 52:32 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a more prestigious position than 1477  the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 52:33 Jehoiachin 1478  took off his prison clothes and ate daily in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. 52:34 He was given daily provisions by the king of Babylon for the rest of his life until the day he died.

1 sn Beginning with Jer 26 up to Jer 45 the book narrates in third person style incidents in the life of Jeremiah and prophecies (or sermons) he gave in obedience to the Lord’s commands. Baruch is the probable narrator, passing on information gleaned from Jeremiah himself. (See Jer 36:4, 18, 32; 45:1 and also 32:13-14 where it is clear that Baruch is Jeremiah’s scribe or secretary.) Chapters 26-29 contain narratives concerning reactions to Jeremiah’s prophecies and his conflict with the prophets who were prophesying that things would be all right (see, e.g., 14:14-15; 23:21).

2 tn The words “to Jeremiah” are not in the Hebrew text. They are added by the Old Latin (not the Vulgate) and the Syriac versions. They are implicit, however, to the narrative style which speaks of Jeremiah in the third person (cf. vv. 7, 12). They have been supplied in the translation for clarity.

3 tn It is often thought that the term here is equivalent to a technical term in Akkadian (reshsharruti) which refers to the part of the year remaining from the death or deposing of the previous king until the beginning of the calendar year when the new king officially ascended the throne. In this case it would refer to the part of the year between September, 609 b.c. when Jehoiakim was placed on the throne as a puppet king by Pharaoh Necho (2 Kgs 23:34-35) and April, 608 b.c. when he would have been officially celebrated as king. However, it will be suggested below in conjunction with the textual problems in 27:1 and 28:1 that the term does not necessarily refer to this period.

4 sn It is generally agreed that the incident recorded in this chapter relates to the temple message that Jeremiah gave in 7:1-15. The message there is summarized here in vv. 3-6. The primary interest here is in the response to that message.

5 tn Heb “will turn from his wicked way.”

6 tn For the idiom and translation of terms involved here see 18:8 and the translator’s note there.

sn The Lord is being consistent in the application of the principle laid down in Jer 18:7-8 that reformation of character will result in the withdrawal of the punishment of “uprooting, tearing down, destroying.” His prophecies of doom are conditional threats, open to change with change in behavior.

7 tn Heb “because of the wickedness of their deeds.”

8 tn Heb “thus says the Lord, ‘…’.” The use of the indirect quotation in the translation eliminates one level of embedded quotation to avoid confusion.

9 tn Heb “by walking in my law which I set before you.”

sn Examples of those laws are found in Jer 7:5-6, 9. The law was summarized or epitomized in the ten commandments which are called the “words of the covenant” in Exod 34:28, but it contained much more. However, when Israel is taken to task by God, it often relates to their failure to live up to the standards of the ten commandments (Heb “the ten words”; see Hos 4:1-3; Jer 7:9).

10 tn See the translator’s note on 7:13 for the idiom here.

11 tn 26:4-6 are all one long sentence containing a long condition with subordinate clauses (vv. 4-5) and a compound consequence in v. 6: Heb “If you will not obey me by walking in my law…by paying attention to the words of the prophets which…and you did not pay heed, then I will make…and I will make…” The sentence has been broken down in conformity to contemporary English style but an attempt has been made to reflect all the subordinations in the English translation.

12 sn See the study note on Jer 7:13.

13 tn The translation again represents an attempt to break up a long complex Hebrew sentence into equivalent English ones that conform more to contemporary English style: Heb “And as soon as Jeremiah finished saying all that…the priests…grabbed him and said…” The word “some” has been supplied in the translation, because obviously it was not all the priests, the prophets, and all the people, but only some of them. There is, of course, rhetorical intent here to show that all were implicated, although all may not have actually participated. (This is a common figure called synecdoche where all is put for a part – all for all kinds or representatives of all kinds. See E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 614-19, and compare usage in Acts 10:12; Matt 3:5.)

14 tn Or “You must certainly die!” The construction here is again emphatic with the infinitive preceding the finite verb (cf. Joüon 2:423 §123.h, and compare usage in Exod 21:28).

15 tn Heb “Why have you prophesied in the Lord’s name, saying, ‘This house will become like Shiloh and this city will become a ruin without inhabitant?’” It is clear from the context here and in 7:1-15 that the emphasis is on “in the Lord’s name” and that the question is rhetorical. The question is not a quest for information but an accusation, a remonstrance. (For this figure see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 953-54, who calls a question like this a rhetorical question of remonstrance or expostulation. For good examples see Pss 11:1; 50:16.) For the significance of “prophesying in the Lord’s name” see the study note on 14:14. The translation again utilizes the indirect quote to eliminate one level of embedded quotation.

sn They are questioning his right to claim the Lord’s authority for what they see as a false prophecy. They believed that the presence of the Lord in the temple guaranteed their safety (7:4, 10, 14) and that the Lord could not possibly be threatening its destruction. Hence they were ready to put him to death as a false prophet according to the law of Moses (Deut 18:20).

16 sn These officials of Judah were officials from the royal court. They may have included some of the officials mentioned in Jer 36:12-25. They would have been concerned about any possible “illegal” proceedings going on in the temple.

17 tn Heb “these things.”

18 tn Heb “they sat” or “they took their seats.” However, the context is one of judicial trial.

sn The gateway or gate complex of an ancient Near Eastern city was often used for court assemblies (cf. Deut 21:19; 22:15; Ruth 4:1; Isa 29:21). Here the gate of the temple was used for the convening of a court to try Jeremiah for the charge of being a false prophet.

19 tn The translation follows many Hebrew mss and ancient versions in reading the word “house” (= temple) here. The majority of Hebrew mss do not have this word. It is, however, implicit in the construction “the New Gate of the Lord.”

sn The location of the New Gate is uncertain. It is mentioned again in Jer 36:10 where it is connected with the upper (i.e., inner) court of the temple. Some equate it with the Upper Gate that Jotham rebuilt during his reign (2 Kgs 15:35; Jotham reigned from 750-735 b.c.). That gate, however, has already been referred to as the Upper Gate of Benjamin in Jer 20:2 (for more detail see the study note there) and would not likely have been called something different here.

20 tn Heb “the priests and prophets said to the leaders and the people….” The long sentence has been broken up to conform better with contemporary English style and the situational context is reflected in “laid their charges.”

21 tn Heb “a sentence of death to this man.”

22 tn Heb “it.”

23 tn Heb “Jeremiah said to all the leaders and all the people….” See the note on the word “said” in the preceding verse.

24 tn Heb “Make good your ways and your actions.” For the same expression see 7:3, 5; 18:11.

25 tn For the idiom and translation of terms involved here see 18:8 and the translator’s note there.

sn The Lord is being consistent in the application of the principle laid down in Jer 18:7-8 that reformation of character will result in the withdrawal of the punishment of “uprooting, tearing down, destroying.” His prophecies of doom are conditional threats, open to change with change in behavior.

26 tn Heb “And I, behold I am in your hand.” Hand is quite commonly used for “power” or “control” in biblical contexts.

27 tn Heb “For in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak in your ears all these words/things.”

28 tn Heb “Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets…”

29 sn Contrast v. 11.

30 tn Heb “For in the name of the Lord our God he has spoken to us.” The emphasis is on “in the name of…”

sn The priests and false prophets claimed that they were speaking in the Lord’s name (i.e., as his representatives and with his authority [see 1 Sam 25:9; 1 Kgs 21:8 and cf. the study note on Jer 23:27]) and felt that Jeremiah’s claims to be doing so were false (see v. 9). Jeremiah (and the Lord) charged that the opposite was the case (cf. 14:14-15; 23:21). The officials and the people, at least at this time, accepted his claims that the Lord had sent him (vv. 12, 15).

31 tn Heb “elders of the land.”

sn The elders were important land-owning citizens, separate from the “heads” or leaders of the tribes, the officers and the judges. They were very influential in both the judicial, political, and religious proceedings of the cities and the state. (See, e.g., Josh 24:1; 2 Sam 19:11; 2 Kgs 23:1 for elders of Israel/Judah, and Deut 21:1-9; Ruth 4:1-2 for elders of the cities.)

32 sn Micah from Moresheth was a contemporary of Isaiah (compare Mic 1:1 with Isa 1:1) from the country town of Moresheth in the hill country southwest of Jerusalem. The prophecy referred to is found in Mic 3:12. This is the only time in the OT where an OT prophet is quoted verbatim and identified.

33 sn Hezekiah was co-regent with his father Ahaz from 729-715 b.c. and sole ruler from 715-686 b.c. His father was a wicked king who was responsible for the incursions of the Assyrians (2 Kgs 16; 2 Chr 28). Hezekiah was a godly king, noted for his religious reforms and for his faith in the Lord in the face of the Assyrian threat (2 Kgs 18–19; 2 Chr 32:1-23). The deliverance of Jerusalem in response to his prayers of faith (2 Kgs 19:14-19, 29-36) was undoubtedly well-known to the people of Jerusalem and Judah and may have been one of the prime reasons for their misplaced trust in the inviolability of Zion/Jerusalem (see Ps 46, 76) though the people of Micah’s day already believed it too (Mic 3:11).

34 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”

sn For an explanation of this title for God see the study note on 2:19.

35 sn Zion was first of all the citadel that David captured (2 Sam 5:6-10), then the city of David and the enclosed temple area, then the whole city of Jerusalem. It is often in poetic parallelism with Jerusalem as it is here (see, e.g., Ps 76:2; Amos 1:2).

36 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

37 sn There is irony involved in this statement. The text reads literally “high places of a forest/thicket.” The “high places” were the illicit places of worship that Jerusalem was supposed to replace. Because of their sin, Jerusalem would be like one of the pagan places of worship with no place left sacrosanct. It would even be overgrown with trees and bushes. So much for its inviolability!

38 tn This Hebrew idiom (חָלָה פָּנִים, khalah panim) is often explained in terms of “stroking” or “patting the face” of someone, seeking to gain his favor. It is never used in a literal sense and is found in contexts of prayer (Exod 32:11; Ps 119:158), worship (Zech 8:21-22), humble submission (2 Chr 3:12), or amendment of behavior (Dan 9:13). All were true to one extent or another of Hezekiah.

39 tn The he interrogative (הַ)with the negative governs all three of the verbs, the perfect and the two vav (ו) consecutive imperfects that follow it. The next clause has disjunctive word order and introduces a contrast. The question expects a positive answer.

40 tn For the translation of the terms involved here see the translator’s note on 18:8.

41 tn Or “great harm to ourselves.” The word “disaster” (or “harm”) is the same one that has been translated “destroying” in the preceding line and in vv. 3 and 13.

42 sn This is a brief parenthetical narrative about an otherwise unknown prophet who was executed for saying the same things Jeremiah did. It is put here to show the real danger that Jeremiah faced for saying what he did. There is nothing in the narrative here to show any involvement by Jehoiakim. This was a “lynch mob” instigated by the priests and false prophets which was stymied by the royal officials supported by some of the elders of Judah. Since it is disjunctive or parenthetical it is unclear whether this incident happened before or after that in the main narrative being reported.

43 tn Heb “in the name of the Lord,” i.e., as his representative and claiming his authority. See the study note on v. 16.

44 tn Heb “Now also a man was prophesying in the name of the Lord, Uriah son of…, and he prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah.” The long Hebrew sentence has been broken up in conformity with contemporary English style and the major emphasis brought out by putting his prophesying first, then identifying him.

45 tn Heb “all his mighty men/soldiers.” It is unlikely that this included all the army. It more likely was the palace guards or royal bodyguards (see 2 Sam 23 where the same word is used of David’s elite corps).

46 tn Heb “his words.”

47 tn Heb “But Uriah heard and feared and fled and entered Egypt.”

48 sn Elnathan son of Achbor was one of the officials who urged Jeremiah and Baruch to hide after they heard Jeremiah’s prophecies read before them (Jer 36:11-19). He was also one of the officials who urged Jehoiakim not to burn the scroll containing Jeremiah’s prophecies (Jer 36:25). He may have been Jehoiakim’s father-in-law (2 Kgs 24:6, 8).

49 tn Heb “from Egypt.”

sn A standard part of international treaties at this time was a stipulation of mutual extradition of political prisoners. Jehoiakim was a vassal of Pharaoh Necho (see 2 Kgs 23:34-35) and undoubtedly had such a treaty with him.

50 sn The burial place of the common people was the public burial grounds, distinct from the family tombs, where poor people without any distinction were buried. It was in the Kidron Valley east of Jerusalem (2 Kgs 23:6). The intent of reporting this is to show the ruthlessness of Jehoiakim.

51 sn Ahikam son of Shaphan was an official during the reign of Jehoiakim’s father, Josiah (2 Kgs 22:12, 14). He was also the father of Gedaliah who became governor of Judah after the fall of Jerusalem (Jer 40:5). The particle at the beginning of the verse is meant to contrast the actions of this man with the actions of Jehoiakim. The impression created by this verse is that it took more than just the royal officials’ opinion and the elders’ warnings to keep the priests and prophets from swaying popular opinion to put Jeremiah to death.

52 tn Heb “Nevertheless, the hand of Ahikam son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he would not be given (even more literally, ‘so as not to give him’) into the hand of the people to kill him.” “Hand” is often used for “aid,” “support,” “influence,” “power,” “control.”

53 sn The names of Jeremiah and of Nebuchadnezzar are spelled differently in the Hebrew of chapter 27-29. That and other literary features show that these three chapters are all closely related. The events of these three chapters all take place within the space of one year (cf. 28:1; 29:17).

54 tc The reading here is based on a few Hebrew mss and the Syriac and Arabic versions. The majority of Hebrew mss and most of the versions read “At the beginning of the reign of Josiah’s son, Jehoiakim king of Judah” as in 26:1. The LXX does not have this whole verse. It has long been recognized that the text of 27:1 is textually corrupt. The date formula in the majority of Hebrew mss at 27:1 is contradictory both with the context of the passage which deals with an event in the reign of Zedekiah (see vv. 3, 13 and v. 20 which presupposes that Jeconiah, Jehoiakim’s son, has been taken captive [i.e., after the death of Jehoiakim!]) and the date formula in 28:1 which refers to an event “in that same year” and then qualifies it with “Early in the reign of Zedekiah.” Hence it is preferable to read “Zedekiah” here in place of “Jehoiakim” and explain the error in the Hebrew manuscripts as an erroneous copying of 26:1.

sn If the text of 28:1 is correct, the date here would be sometime in the fourth year of Zedekiah which would be 594/3 b.c. Zedekiah had been placed on the throne as a puppet king by Nebuchadnezzar after he deposed Zedekiah’s nephew, Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) and sent him, his family, some of the temple treasures, and some of the Judean leaders away to Babylon (2 Kgs 23:8-17). The author does not state directly why the envoys from the nations mentioned in v. 3 were in Jerusalem, but the implication is that they were there trying to interest Zedekiah in rebelling. Modern scholars have used the data here and in 28:1 and in the Babylonian Chronicles (it contains a record of major events of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign) to suggest a plausible background for such a meeting. Nebuchadnezzar had to put down an uprising in the east and quell a rebellion in Babylon itself in the two years prior to this meeting. Some “prophets” in the nation of Israel and in these other nations (see vv. 9-10) saw in these events hopes for not having to pay tribute to (i.e., submit to the yoke of) Nebuchadnezzar and were counseling rebellion. Jeremiah saw this as foolhardy and counseled otherwise. Again, there is a conflict between “prophets” which is what this whole section (Jer 27–29) is all about.

55 tn There is some disjunction in the narrative of this chapter. The introduction in v. 1 presents this as a third person narrative. But the rest of the passage reports the narrative in first person. Thus the text reads here “Thus the Lord said to me…” In vv. 12, 16 the narrative picks up in first person report and never indicates that Jeremiah carried out the command in vv. 2-4 that introduces the message which he repeats in summary form himself to Zedekiah. The report is thus an “unedited” first person report. This may create some confusion for some readers, but it is best to leave it in first person here because of the continuation in vv. 12, 16.

56 sn The yoke is a common biblical symbol of political servitude (see, e.g., Deut 28:48; 1 Kgs 12:4, 9, 10). From the context of 1 Kgs 12 it is clear that it applied to taxation and the provision of conscript labor. In international political contexts it involved the payment of heavy tribute which was often conscripted from the citizens (see, e.g., 2 Kgs 15:19-20; 23:34-35) and the furnishing of military contingents for the sovereign’s armies (see, e.g., 2 Kgs 24:2). Jeremiah’s message here combines both a symbolic action (the wearing of a yoke) and words of explanation as in Jer 19:1-13. (See Isa 20:1-6 for an example outside of Jeremiah.) The casting off of the yoke has been used earlier in Jer 2:20, 5:5 to refer to Israel’s failure to remain spiritually “subject” or faithful to God.

57 map For location see Map1 A2; Map2 G2; Map4 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

58 sn The nations of Edom, Moab, and Ammon were east of Judah. They were sometimes allies and sometimes enemies. The nations of Tyre and Sidon were on the sea coast north and west of Judah. They are best known for their maritime trade during the reign of Solomon. They were more commonly allies of Israel and Judah than enemies.

map For the location of Sidon see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

59 tn Heb “send by means of them” [i.e., the straps and crossbars made into a yoke] to…through.” The text is broken up in conformity with contemporary English style. Many English versions ignore the suffix on the end of “send” and find some support for this on the basis of its absence in the Lucianic Greek text. However, it is probably functioning metonymically here for the message which they see symbolized before them and is now explained clearly to them.

60 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

61 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.”

sn See study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for the significance of this title.

62 tn Heb “Give them a charge to their masters saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel, “Thus you shall say unto your masters…”’” The sentence is broken up in conformity with contemporary English style.

63 tn Heb “by my great power and my outstretched arm.” Again “arm” is symbolical for “strength.” Compare the similar expression in 21:5.

64 sn See Dan 4:17 for a similar statement.

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

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

67 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.

68 sn This is a figure that emphasizes that they will serve for a long time but not for an unlimited duration. The kingdom of Babylon lasted a relatively short time by ancient standards. It lasted from 605 b.c. when Nebuchadnezzar defeated Necho at Carchemish until the fall of Babylon in 538 b.c. There were only four rulers. Nebuchadnezzar was succeeded by his son, Evil Merodach (cf. 52:31), and two other rulers who were not descended from him.

69 tn Heb “until the time of his land, even his, comes.” The independent pronoun is placed here for emphasis on the possessive pronoun. The word “time” is used by substitution for the things that are done in it (compare in the NT John 2:4; 7:30; 8:20 “his hour had not yet come”).

sn See Jer 25:12-14, 16.

70 tn Heb “him.” This is a good example of the figure of substitution where the person is put for his descendants or the nation or subject he rules. (See Gen 28:13-14 for another good example and Acts 22:7 in the NT.)

71 tn Heb “put their necks in the yoke of.” See the study note on v. 2 for the figure.

72 tn Heb “oracle of the Lord.”

73 tn Heb “The nation and/or the kingdom which will not serve him, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck in the yoke of the king of Babylon, by sword, starvation, and disease I will punish [or more literally, “visit upon”] that nation, oracle of the Lord.” The long complex Hebrew sentence has been broken up in conformity with contemporary English style and the figures interpreted for the sake of clarity. The particle אֵת, the sign of the accusative, before “which will not put…” is a little unusual here. For its use to introduce a new topic (here a second relative clause) see BDB 85 s.v. אֵת 3.α.

74 tn Heb “with/by the sword.”

75 tc The verb translated “destroy” (תָּמַם, tamam) is usually intransitive in the stem of the verb used here. It is found in a transitive sense elsewhere only in Ps 64:7. BDB 1070 s.v. תָּמַם 7 emends both texts. In this case they recommend תִּתִּי (titi): “until I give them into his hand.” That reading is suggested by the texts of the Syriac and Targumic translations (see BHS fn c). The Greek translation supports reading the verb “destroy” but treats it as though it were intransitive “until they are destroyed by his hand” (reading תֻּמָּם [tummam]). The MT here is accepted as the more difficult reading and support is seen in the transitive use of the verb in Ps 64:7.

tn Heb “I will punish that nation until I have destroyed them [i.e., its people] by his hand.” “Hand” here refers to agency. Hence, “I will use him.”

76 sn Various means of divination are alluded to in the OT. For example, Ezek 21:26-27 alludes to throwing down arrows to see which way they fall and consulting the shape of the liver of slaughtered animals. Gen 44:5 alludes to reading the future through pouring liquid in a cup. The means alluded to in this verse were all classified as pagan and prohibited as illegitimate in Deut 18:10-14. The Lord had promised that he would speak to them through prophets like Moses (Deut 18:15, 18). But even prophets could lie. Hence, the Lord told them that the test of a true prophet was whether what he said came true or not (Deut 18:20-22). An example of false prophesying and the vindication of the true as opposed to the false will be given in the chapter that follows this.

77 sn An example of this is seen in 1 Sam 28.

78 tn The verb in this context is best taken as a negative obligatory imperfect. See IBHS 508-9 §31.4g for discussion and examples. See Exod 4:15 as an example of positive obligation.

79 tn The words “Don’t listen to them” have been repeated from v. 9a to pick up the causal connection between v. 9a and v. 10 that is formally introduced by a causal particle in v. 10 in the original text.

80 tn Heb “they are prophesying a lie.”

81 tn Heb “lies will result in your being taken far…” (לְמַעַן [lÿmaan] + infinitive). This is a rather clear case of the particle לְמַעַן introducing result (contra BDB 775 s.v. מַעַן note 1. There is no irony in this statement; it is a bold prediction).

82 tn The words “out of your country” are not in the text but are implicit in the meaning of the verb. The words “in exile” are also not in the text but are implicit in the context. These words have been supplied in the translation for clarity.

83 tn Heb “put their necks in the yoke of.” See the study note on v. 2 for the figure.

84 tn The words “Things will go better for” are not in the text. They are supplied contextually as a means of breaking up the awkward syntax of the original which reads “The nation which brings its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and subjects itself to him, I will leave it…”

85 tn Heb “oracle of the Lord.”

86 tn Heb “I spoke to Zedekiah…according to all these words, saying.”

87 sn The verbs in this verse are all plural. They are addressed to Zedekiah and his royal advisers (compare 22:2).

88 tn Heb “put their necks in the yoke of.” See the study note on v. 2 for the figure.

89 tn Heb “with/by the sword.”

90 tn Heb “Why should you and your people die…?” The rhetorical question expects the answer made explicit in the translation, “There is no reason!”

91 tn Heb “…disease according to what the Lord spoke concerning the nation that…”

92 tn The verb in this context is best taken as a negative obligatory imperfect. See IBHS 508 §31.4g for discussion and examples. See Exod 4:15 as an example of positive obligation.

93 tn Heb “oracle of the Lord.”

94 sn The verbs are again plural referring to the king and his royal advisers.

95 tn Heb “…drive you out and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying lies.”

sn For the fulfillment of this prophecy see Jer 39:5-7; 52:7-11; 2 Kgs 25:4-7.

96 tn Heb “don’t listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you….” The sentence has been broken up for the sake of English style and one level of embedded quotes has been eliminated to ease complexity.

97 sn This refers to the valuable articles of the temple treasury which were carried off by Nebuchadnezzar four years earlier when he carried off Jeconiah, his family, some of his nobles, and some of the cream of Judean society (2 Kgs 24:10-16, especially v. 13 and see also vv. 19-20 in the verses following).

98 tn The imperative with vav (ו) here and in v. 12 after another imperative are a good example of the use of the imperative to introduce a consequence. (See GKC 324-25 §110.f and see Gen 42:18. This is a common verb in this idiom.)

99 tn According to E. W. Bullinger (Figures of Speech, 954) both this question and the one in v. 13 are examples of rhetorical questions of prohibition / “don’t let this city be made a pile of rubble.”

100 tn The words “I also told them” are not in the text, but it is obvious from the fact that the Lord is spoken about in the third person in vv. 18, 19, 21 that he is not the speaker. This is part of Jeremiah’s own speech to the priests and the people (v. 16). These words are supplied in the translation for clarity.

101 tn Heb “the word of the Lord is with them.”

102 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”

sn For the significance of this title see the study note on 2:19.

103 tn Heb “…speaking to them, let them entreat the Lord…so that the valuable articles…will not go to Babylon.” The long original sentence has been broken up for the sake of English style.

104 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.” For the significance of this title see the note at 2:19.

105 tn The words “two bronze” are not in the text. They have been supplied in the translation to help identify the referent.

sn The two bronze pillars are the two free-standing pillars at the entrance of the temple (Jakin and Boaz) described in 1 Kgs 7:15-22.

106 tn The words “the large bronze basin called” are not in the text. They have been supplied in the translation to help identify the referent.

sn “The Sea” refers to the large basin that was mounted on twelve bronze bulls. It stood in front of the temple and contained water for the priests to bathe themselves (2 Chr 4:6; cf. Exod 30:17-21). It is described in 1 Kgs 7:23-26.

107 tn The words “movable bronze” are not in the text. They have been supplied in the translation to help identify the referent. See the study note for further reference.

sn The bronze stands are the movable bronze stands described in 1 Kgs 7:27-37. They were the stands for the bronze basins described in 1 Kgs 7:38-39. According to 2 Chr 4:6 the latter were used to wash the burnt offerings. The priests would have been very concerned especially about the big bronze basin and the movable stands and their basins because they involved their ritual purification apart from which they would have had no sanctity. These articles (or furnishings in this case) were broken up and the bronze carried away to Babylon along with all the other bronze, silver, and gold furnishings when the temple and the city were destroyed in 587 b.c. (see 2 Kgs 25:13-15; Jer 52:17-19).

108 tn 27:19-20 are all one long sentence in Hebrew. It has been broken up for the sake of English style. Some of the sentences still violate contemporary English style (e.g., v. 20) but breaking them down any further would lose the focus. For further discussion see the study note on v. 21.

109 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” For the significance of this title see the note at 2:19.

110 sn Some of the flavor of the repetitive nature of Hebrew narrative is apparent in vv. 19-21. In the Hebrew original vv. 19-20 are all one long sentence with complex coordination and subordinations. I.e., all the objects in v. 19 are all objects of the one verb “has spoken about” and the description in v. 20 is one long relative or descriptive clause. The introductory “For the Lord…has already spoken” is repeated in v. 21 from v. 19 and reference is made to the same articles once again, only in the terms that were used in v. 18b. By this means, attention is focused for these people (here the priests and the people) on articles which were of personal concern for them and the climax or the punch line is delayed to the end. The point being made is that the false prophets are mistaken; not only will the articles taken to Babylon not be returned “very soon” but the Lord had said that the ones that remained would be taken there as well. They ought rather pray that the Lord will change his mind and not carry them off as well.

111 tn This verb is a little difficult to render here. The word is used in the sense of taking note of something and acting according to what is noticed. It is the word that has been translated several times throughout Jeremiah as “punish [someone].” It is also used in the opposite of sense of taking note and “show consideration for” (or “care for;” see, e.g., Ruth 1:6). Here the nuance is positive and is further clarified by the actions that follow, bringing them back and restoring them.

112 tn Heb “oracle of the Lord.”

113 tc The original text is unusually full here and deemed by many scholars to be corrupt: Heb “And it happened in that year in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, in the fifth month Hananiah…said to…” Many scholars see a contradiction between “in the fourth year” and “in the beginning of the reign.” These scholars point to the fact that the Greek version does not have “in that year” and “in the beginning of the reign of”; it merely reads “in the fourth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth month.” These scholars generally also regard the heading at 27:1 to be unoriginal and interpret the heading in the MT here as a faulty harmonization of the original (that in the Greek version) with the erroneous one in the Hebrew of 27:1. However, it is just as possible that the Greek version in both places is an attempt to harmonize the data of 27:1 and 28:1. I.e., it left out both the heading at 27:1, and “in that year” and “at the beginning of the reign of” in the heading here because it thought the data was contradictory. However, it is just as likely that there is really no contradiction here. I.e., the term “beginning of the reign” can include the fourth year. E. H. Merrill has argued that the term here refers not to the accession year (see the translator’s note on 26:1) but to the early years in general (“The ‘Accession Year’ and Davidic Chronology,” JANESCU 19 [1989]: 105-6, and cf. note 18 for bibliography on Akkadian parallels). Hence the phrase has been translated both here and in 27:1 “early in the reign of…” For other attempts at harmonization see the discussion in G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 41, n. 1a.

sn The dating here is very full and precise. “In that same year” ties the events here in with the messages that Jeremiah delivered to the envoys, the king and his court, and the priests and people while wearing the yoke symbolizing servitude to Nebuchadnezzar. The text wants to show that the events here transpired shortly after those in Jer 27 and that Jeremiah is still wearing the yoke. The supplying of the precise month is important because the end of the chapter will show that Jeremiah’s prophecy regarding Hananiah was fulfilled two months later. Hence Jeremiah is the true prophet and Hananiah and the others (27:16) are false. The supplying of the year is perhaps significant because the author states in 51:59 that Zedekiah went to Babylon that same year, probably to pledge his loyalty. The suggestion lies ready to hand that the events of this chapter and the preceding one lead to his dismissal of the false prophet Hananiah’s advice and the acceptance of Jeremiah’s.

114 tn Heb “to me.” The rest of the chapter is all in third person narrative (see vv. 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 15). Hence, many explain the first person here as a misunderstanding of the abbreviation “to Jeremiah” (אֶל יִרְמִיָּה [’el yirmiyyah] = אֵלַי, [’elay]). It is just as likely that there is a similar kind of disjunction here that was found in 27:1-2 only in the opposite direction. There what started out as a third person report was really a first person report. Here what starts out as a first person report is really a third person report. The text betrays both the hands of the narrator, probably Baruch, and the reportee, Jeremiah, who dictated a synopsis of his messages and his stories to Baruch to write down (Jer 36:4, 32).

115 tn Heb “And it happened in that year in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, in the fifth month, Hananiah son of Azzur the prophet who was from Gibeon said to me in…” The sentence has been broken up in conformity with contemporary English style and the flavor given in modern equivalent terms.

116 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See the study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for the explanation of this title.

117 sn See the study note on 27:2 for this figure. Hananiah is given the same title “the prophet” as Jeremiah throughout the chapter and claims to speak with the same authority (compare v. 2a with 27:21a). He even speaks like the true prophet; the verb form “I will break” is in the “prophetic perfect” emphasizing certitude. His message here is a contradiction of Jeremiah’s message recorded in the preceding chapter (compare especially v. 3 with 27:16, 19-22 and v. 4 with 22:24-28). The people and the priests are thus confronted with a choice of whom to believe. Who is the “true” prophet and who is the “false” one? Only fulfillment of their prophecies will prove which is which (see Deut 18:21-22).

118 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

sn Notice again that the “false” prophet uses the same formula and claims the same source for his message as the true prophet has (cf. 27:22).

119 tn Heb “Listen to this word/message which I am about to speak in your ears and the ears of all these people.”

120 tn The word “invariably” is not in the text but is implicit in the context and in the tense of the Hebrew verb. It is supplied in the translation for clarity and to help bring out the contrast in the next verse.

121 tc Many Hebrew mss read “starvation/famine” which is the second member of a common triad “sword, famine, and plague” in Jeremiah. This triad occurs thirteen times in the book and undoubtedly influenced a later scribe to read “starvation [= famine]” here. For this triad see the note on 14:14. The words “disaster and plagues” are missing in the LXX.

122 tn The verbs in this verse are to be interpreted as iterative imperfects in past time rather than as futures because of the explicit contrast that is drawn in the two verses by the emphatic syntactical construction of the two verses. Both verses begin with a casus pendens construction to throw the two verses into contrast: HebThe prophets who were before me and you from ancient times, they prophesied…The prophet who prophesied peace, when the word of that prophet came true, that prophet was known that the Lord truly sent him.”

123 tn Heb “I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from upon the necks of all the nations.”

124 tn Heb “Then the prophet Jeremiah went his way.”

125 tn Heb “Hananiah, ‘Thus says the Lord….” The translation uses an indirect quotation here used to eliminate one level of embedded quotation.

126 tn The Greek version reads “I have made/put” rather than “you have made/put.” This is the easier reading and is therefore rejected.

127 tn Heb “the yoke bars of wood you have broken, but you have made in its stead yoke bars of iron.”

sn This whole incident (and the preceding one in Jer 28) is symbolic. Jeremiah’s wearing of the yoke was symbolic of the Lord’s message to submit to Babylonian authority. Hananiah’s breaking of the yoke was a prediction that that authority would not last beyond two years. By breaking the yoke he was encouraging rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar’s (and hence the Lord’s) authority (cf. 27:9, 14). However, rebelling would only result in further, harsher, more irresistible measures by Nebuchadnezzar to control such rebellion.

128 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See the study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for this title.

129 tn Heb “An iron yoke I have put on the necks of all these nations.”

130 sn The emphasis is on the absoluteness of Nebuchadnezzar’s control. The statement is once again rhetorical and not to be taken literally. See the study note on 27:6.

131 tn Or “You are giving these people false assurances.”

132 sn There is a play on words here in Hebrew between “did not send you” and “will…remove you.” The two verbs are from the same root word in Hebrew. The first is the simple active and the second is the intensive.

133 sn In giving people false assurances of restoration when the Lord had already told them to submit to Babylon, Hananiah was really counseling rebellion against the Lord. What Hananiah had done was contrary to the law of Deut 13:6 and was punishable by death.

134 sn Comparison with Jer 28:1 shows that this whole incident took place in the space of two months. Hananiah had prophesied that the captivity would be over before two years had past. However, before two months were past, Hananiah himself died in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy of his death. His death was a validation of Jeremiah as a true prophet. The subsequent events of 588 b.c. would validate Jeremiah’s prophesies and invalidate those of Hananiah.

135 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

136 tn Jer 29:1-3 are all one long sentence in Hebrew containing a parenthetical insertion. The text reads “These are the words of the letter which the prophet Jeremiah sent to the elders…people whom Nebuchadnezzar had exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon after King Jeconiah…had gone from Jerusalem by the hand of Elasah…whom Zedekiah sent…saying, ‘Thus says the Lord…’” The sentence has been broken up for the sake of contemporary English style and clarity.

137 tn This term is often mistakenly understood to refer to a “eunuch.” It is clear, however, in Gen 39:1 that “eunuchs” could be married. On the other hand it is clear from Isa 59:3-5 that some who bore this title could not have children. In this period, it is possible that the persons who bore this title were high officials like the rab saris who was a high official in the Babylonian court (cf. Jer 39:3, 13; 52:25). For further references see HALOT 727 s.v. סָרִיס 1.c.

138 sn See 2 Kgs 24:14-16 and compare the study note on Jer 24:1.

139 sn Elasah son of Shaphan may have been the brother of Ahikam, who supported Jeremiah when the priests and the prophets in Jerusalem sought to kill Jeremiah for preaching that the temple and the city would be destroyed (cf. 26:24).

140 sn This individual is not the same as the Gemariah mentioned in 36:10, 11, 12, 25 who was one of the officials who sought to have the first scroll of Jeremiah’s prophecies preserved. He may, however, have been a son or grandson of the High Priest who discovered the book of the law during the reign of Josiah (cf., e.g., 2 Kgs 22:8, 10) which was so instrumental in Josiah’s reforms.

141 sn It is unclear whether this incident preceded or followed those in the preceding chapter. It is known from 52:59 that Zedekiah himself had made a trip to Babylon in the same year mentioned in 28:1 and that Jeremiah had used that occasion to address a prophecy of disaster to Babylon. It is not impossible that Jeremiah sent two such disparate messages at the same time (see Jer 25:8-11, 12-14, 17-18, 26).

142 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.”

sn See study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for the explanation of this title.

143 tn Heb “I sent.” This sentence exhibits a rapid switch in person, here from the third person to the first. Such switches are common to Hebrew poetry and prophecy (cf. GKC 462 §144.p). Contemporary English, however, does not exhibit such rapid switches and it creates confusion for the careful reader. Such switches have regularly been avoided in the translation.

sn Elsewhere Nebuchadnezzar is seen as the one who carried them into exile (cf. 27:20; 29:1). Here and in v. 14 the Lord is seen as the one who sends them into exile. The Lord is the ultimate cause and Nebuchadnezzar is his agent or servant (cf. 25:9; 27:6 and notes).

144 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

145 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.”

sn See study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for the explanation of this title.

146 sn See the study notes on 27:9 for this term.

147 tn Heb “prophesying lies to you in my name.”

sn For the significance of “in my name” see the study notes on 14:14 and 23:27.

148 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

149 sn See the study note on Jer 25:11 for the reckoning of the seventy years.

150 tn See the translator’s note on Jer 27:22 for this term.

151 tn Verse 10 is all one long sentence in the Hebrew original: “According to the fullness of Babylon seventy years I will take thought of you and I will establish my gracious word to you by bringing you back to this place.” The sentence has been broken up to conform better to contemporary English style.

152 tn Heb “this place.” The text has probably been influenced by the parallel passage in 27:22. The term appears fifteen times in Jeremiah and is invariably a reference to Jerusalem or Judah.

sn See Jer 27:22 for this promise.

153 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

154 tn Heb “I know the plans that I am planning for you, oracle of the Lord, plans of well-being and not for harm to give to you….”

155 tn Or “the future you hope for”; Heb “a future and a hope.” This is a good example of hendiadys where two formally coordinated nouns (adjectives, verbs) convey a single idea where one of the terms functions as a qualifier of the other. For this figure see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 658-72. This example is discussed on p. 661.

156 tn Heb “come and pray to me.” This is an example of verbal hendiadys where two verb formally joined by “and” convey a main concept with the second verb functioning as an adverbial qualifier.

157 tn Or “You will call out to me and come to me in prayer and I will hear your prayers.” The verbs are vav consecutive perfects and can be taken either as unconditional futures or as contingent futures. See GKC 337 §112.kk and 494 §159.g and compare the usage in Gen 44:22 for the use of the vav consecutive perfects in contingent futures. The conditional clause in the middle of 29:13 and the deuteronomic theology reflected in both Deut 30:1-5 and 1 Kgs 8:46-48 suggest that the verbs are continent futures here. For the same demand for wholehearted seeking in these contexts which presuppose exile see especially Deut 30:2, 1 Kgs 8:48.

158 tn Or “If you wholeheartedly seek me”; Heb “You will seek me and find [me] because you will seek me with all your heart.” The translation attempts to reflect the theological nuances of “seeking” and “finding” and the psychological significance of “heart” which refers more to intellectual and volitional concerns in the OT than to emotional ones.

159 tn Heb “I will let myself be found by you.” For this nuance of the verb see BDB 594 s.v. מָצָא Niph.1.f and compare the usage in Isa 65:1; 2 Chr 15:2. The Greek version already noted that nuance when it translated the phrase “I will manifest myself to you.”

160 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

161 tn Heb “restore your fortune.” Alternately, “I will bring you back from exile.” This idiom occurs twenty-six times in the OT and in several cases it is clearly not referring to return from exile but restoration of fortunes (e.g., Job 42:10; Hos 6:11–7:1; Jer 33:11). It is often followed as here by “regather” or “bring back” (e.g., Jer 30:3; Ezek 29:14) so it is often misunderstood as “bringing back the exiles.” The versions (LXX, Vulg., Tg., Pesh.) often translate the idiom as “to go away into captivity,” deriving the noun from שְׁבִי (shÿvi, “captivity”). However, the use of this expression in Old Aramaic documents of Sefire parallels the biblical idiom: “the gods restored the fortunes of the house of my father again” (J. A. Fitzmyer, The Aramaic Inscriptions of Sefire [BibOr], 100-101, 119-20). The idiom means “to turn someone's fortune, bring about change” or “to reestablish as it was” (HALOT 1386 s.v. 3.c). In Ezek 16:53 it is paralleled by the expression “to restore the situation which prevailed earlier.” This amounts to restitutio in integrum, which is applicable to the circumstances surrounding the return of the exiles.

162 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

163 tn The words “of good news” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

164 tn Heb “But thus says the Lord about.” The words “just listen to what” are supplied in the translation to help show the connection with the preceding.

sn Jeremiah answers their claims that the Lord has raised up prophets to encourage them that their stay will be short by referring to the Lord’s promise that the Lord’s plans are not for restoration but for further destruction.

165 tn The words “of Jerusalem” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to identify the referent and avoid the possible confusion that “this city” refers to Babylon.

166 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.” See the study note on 2:19 for explanation of this title.

167 tn Heb “the sword.”

168 tn The meaning of this word is somewhat uncertain. It occurs only here in the Hebrew Bible. BDB 1045 s.v. שֹׁעָר relates it to the noun “horrible thing” (translated “something shocking”) in Jer 5:30; 23:14 and defines it as “horrid, disgusting.” HALOT 1495 s.v. שֹׁעָר relates it to the same noun and define it as “rotten; corrupt.” That nuance is accepted here.

sn Compare Jer 24:8-10 in its context for the figure here.

169 tn Heb “with the sword.”

170 tn See the translator’s note on 7:13 for an explanation of this idiom.

171 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

172 tn The word “exiles” is not in the text. It is supplied in the translation to clarify the referent of “you.”

173 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

174 tn Heb “pay attention to the word of the Lord.” However, the Lord is speaking in the words just previous to this and in the words which follow (“whom I have sent”). This is another example of the shift from third person referent to first person which is common in Hebrew poetry and prophecy but is not common in English style. The person has been adjusted in the translation to avoid confusion.

175 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.”

sn See study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for the explanation of this title.

176 tn Heb “prophesying lies in my name.” For an explanation of this idiom see the study notes on 14:14 and 23:27.

177 sn Being roasted to death in the fire appears to have been a common method of execution in Babylon. See Dan 3:6, 19-21. The famous law code of the Babylonian king Hammurabi also mandated this method of execution for various crimes a thousand years earlier. There is a satirical play on words involving their fate, “roasted them to death” (קָלָם, qalam), and the fact that that fate would become a common topic of curse (קְלָלָה, qÿlalah) pronounced on others in Babylon.

178 tn It is commonly assumed that this word is explained by the two verbal actions that follow. The word (נְבָלָה, nÿvalah) is rather commonly used of sins of unchastity (cf., e.g., Gen 34:7; Judg 19:23; 2 Sam 13:12) which would fit the reference to adultery. However, the word is singular and not likely to cover both actions that follow. The word is also used of the greedy act of Achan (Josh 7:15) which threatened Israel with destruction and the churlish behavior of Nabal (1 Sam 25:25) which threatened him and his household with destruction. The word is also used of foolish talk in Isa 9:17 (9:16 HT) and Isa 32:6. It is possible that this refers to a separate act, one that would have brought the death penalty from Nebuchadnezzar, i.e., the preaching of rebellion in conformity with the message of the false prophets in Jerusalem and other nations (cf. 27:9, 13). Hence it is possible that the translation should read: “This will happen because of their vile conduct. They have propagated rebellion. They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives. They have spoken words that I did not command them to speak. They have spoken lies while claiming my authority.”

179 tn Heb “prophesying lies in my name.” For an explanation of this idiom see the study notes on 14:14 and 23:27.

180 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

181 tn The words “The Lord told Jeremiah” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation here to indicate the shift in topic and the shift in addressee (the imperative “tell” is second singular). The introduction supplied in the translation here matches that in v. 30 where the words are in the text.

182 tn It is unclear whether this is a family name or a place name. The word occurs nowhere else in the Hebrew Bible.

183 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.”

sn See study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for the explanation of this title.

184 tn Heb “Tell Shemaiah the Nehelamite, ‘Thus says Yahweh of armies the God of Israel….” The indirect quotation is used in the translation to avoid the complexity of embedding a quotation within a quotation.

185 sn Jer 29:24-32 are concerned with Jeremiah’s interaction with a false prophet named Shemaiah. The narrative in this section is not in strict chronological order and is somewhat elliptical. It begins with a report of a message that Jeremiah appears to have delivered directly to Shemaiah and refers to a letter that Shemaiah sent to the priest Zephaniah encouraging him to reprimand Jeremiah for what Shemaiah considered treasonous words in his letter to the exiles (vv. 24-28; compare v. 28 with v. 5). However, Jeremiah is in Jerusalem and Shemaiah is in Babylon. The address must then be part of a second letter Jeremiah sent to Babylon. Following this the narrative refers to Zephaniah reading Shemaiah’s letter to Jeremiah and Jeremiah sending a further letter to the captives in Babylon (vv. 29-32). This is probably not a third letter but part of the same letter in which Jeremiah reprimands Shemaiah for sending his letter to Zephaniah (vv. 25-28; the same letter referred to in v. 29). The order of events thus is: Jeremiah sent a letter to the captives counseling them to settle down in Babylon (vv. 1-23). Shemaiah sent a letter to Zephaniah asking him to reprimand Jeremiah (vv. 26-28). After Zephaniah read that letter to Jeremiah (v. 29), Jeremiah wrote a further letter to Babylon reprimanding him (vv. 25-28, 31) and pronouncing judgment on him (v. 32). The elliptical nature of the narrative is reflected in the fact that vv. 25-27 are part of a long causal sentence which sets forth an accusation but has no corresponding main clause or announcement of judgment. This kind of construction involves a rhetorical figure (called aposiopesis) where what is begun is not finished for various rhetorical reasons. Here the sentence that is broken off is part of an announcement of judgment which is not picked up until v. 32 after a further (though related) accusation (v. 31b).

186 tn Heb “In your [own] name.” See the study note on 23:27 for the significance of this idiom.

187 tn Heb “letters.” Though GKC 397 §124.b, n. 1 denies it, this is probably a case of the plural of extension. For a similar usage see Isa 37:14 where the plural “letters” is referred to later as an “it.” Even if there were other “letters,” the focus is on the letter to Zephaniah.

188 sn According to Jer 52:24 and 2 Kgs 25:18 Zephaniah son of Maaseiah was second in command to the high priest. He was the high ranking priest who was sent along with a civic official to inquire of the Lord’s will from Jeremiah by Zedekiah on two separate occasions (Jer 21:1; 37:3).

189 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

190 tn The words “In your letter you said to Zephaniah” are not in the text: Heb “you sent a letter to…, saying.” The sentence has been broken up to conform better to contemporary English style and these words have been supplied in the translation to make the transition to the address to Zephaniah in vv. 26-28.

191 tn Heb “in place of Jehoiada the priest.” The word “the priest” is unnecessary to the English sentence.

192 tc Heb “The Lord has appointed you priest in place of the priest Jehoiada to be overseer in the house of the Lord for/over.” The translation is based on a reading presupposed by several of the versions. The Hebrew text reads “The Lord has…to be overseers [in] the house of the Lord for/over.” The reading here follows that of the Greek, Syriac, and Latin versions in reading פָּקִיד בְּבֵית (paqid bÿvet) in place of פְּקִדִים בֵּית (pÿqidim bet). There has been a confusion of the ם (mem) and בּ (bet) and a transposition of the י (yod) and ד (dalet).

193 sn The Hebrew term translated lunatic applies to anyone who exhibits irrational behavior. It was used for example of David who drooled and scratched on the city gate to convince Achish not to arrest him as a politically dangerous threat (1 Sam 21:14). It was often used contemptuously of the prophets by those who wanted to play down the significance of their words (2 Kgs 9:11; Hos 9:7 and here).

194 tn The verb here is a good example of what IBHS 431 §26.2f calls the estimative-declarative reflexive where a person presents himself in a certain light. For examples of this usage see 2 Sam 13:5; Prov 13:7.

195 tn See the translator’s note on 20:2 for this word which only occurs here and in 20:2-3.

196 tn This word only occurs here in the Hebrew Bible. All the lexicons are agreed as seeing it referring to a collar placed around the neck. The basis for this definition are the cognate languages (see, e.g., HALOT 958-59 s.v. צִינֹק for the most complete discussion).

197 tn Heb “So why have you not reprimanded Jeremiah…?” The rhetorical question functions as an emphatic assertion made explicit in the translation.

198 tn Heb “For he has sent to us in Babylon, saying….” The quote, however, is part of the earlier letter.

199 sn See v. 5.

200 tn Heb “in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.”

201 tn Or “is giving you false assurances.”

202 tn Heb “Therefore.”

203 sn Compare the same charge against Hananiah in Jer 28:16 and see the note there. In this case, the false prophesy of Shemaiah is not given but it likely had the same tenor since he wants Jeremiah reprimanded for saying that the exile will be long and the people are to settle down in Babylon.

204 tn Compare the headings at 7:1; 11:1; 18:1; 21:1 and the translator’s note at those places.

205 tn Heb “Thus says Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel, saying….” For significance of the title “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel” see the note at 2:19.

206 tn Heb “Write all the words which I speak to you in a scroll.” The verb “which I speak” is the instantaneous use of the perfect tense (cf. GKC 311-12 §106.i or IBHS 488-89 §30.5.1d). The words that the Lord is about to speak follow in chs. 30–31.

sn Reference is made here to the so-called “Book of Consolation” which is the most extended treatment of the theme of hope or deliverance in the book. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet both of judgment (of tearing down and destroying) and of deliverance (of replanting and rebuilding; see Jer 1:10). Jeremiah lamented that he had to predominantly pronounce judgment but he has periodically woven in prophecies of hope after judgment in 3:14-18; 16:14-15; 23:3-8; 24:4-7; 29:10-14, 32. The oracles of hope contained in these chapters are undated but reference is made in them to the restoration of both Israel which had gone into exile in Assyria in 722 b.c. and Judah which began to be exiled in 605 and 597 b.c. Jeremiah had already written as early as the reign of Zedekiah about the exiles who were the good figs who were to experience the “good” of restoration (24:4-7; 29:10-14) and had spoken of the further exile of those who remained in Judah. So it is possible that these oracles fit in roughly the same time frame as chapters 27–29.

207 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

208 tn Heb “restore the fortune.” For the translation and meaning of this idiom see the note at 29:14.

209 tn Heb “fathers.”

210 sn As the nations of Israel and Judah were united in their sin and suffered the same fate – that of exile and dispersion – (cf. Jer 3:8; 5:11; 11:10, 17) so they will ultimately be regathered from the nations and rejoined under one king, a descendant of David, and regain possession of their ancestral lands. The prophets of both the eighth and seventh century looked forward to this ideal (see, e.g., Hos 1:11 (2:2 HT); Isa 11:11-13; Jer 23:5-6; 30:3; 33:7; Ezek 37:15-22). This has already been anticipated in Jer 3:18.

211 tn Heb “And these are the words/things that the Lord speaks concerning Israel and Judah.”

212 tn The particle כִּי (ki) is functioning here as loosely causal or epexegetical of the preceding introduction. For this usage cf. BDB 473-74 s.v. כִּי 3.c. This nuance borders on that of the intensive use of כִּי. See the discussion in BDB 472 s.v. כִּי note and כִּי 1.e.

213 tn Heb “We have heard the sound of panic and of fear, and there is no peace.” It is generally agreed that the person of the verb presupposes that this is an unintroduced quote of the people.

214 tn Heb “Ask and see/consider.”

215 tn Heb “with their hands on their loins.” The word rendered “loins” refers to the area between the ribs and the thighs.

216 tn Heb “Alas [or Woe] for that day will be great.” For the use of the particle “Alas” to signal a time of terrible trouble, even to sound the death knell for someone, see the translator’s note on 22:13.

sn The reference to a terrible time of trouble (Heb “that day”) is a common shorthand reference in the prophets to “the Day of the Lord.” The “Day of the Lord” refers to a time when God intervenes in judgment against the wicked. The time referent can be either near or far, referring to something as near as the Assyrian threat in the time of Ahaz (Isa 7:18, 20, 21, 23) or as distant as the eschatological battle of God against Gog when he attacks Israel (Ezek 38:14, 18). The judgment can be against Israel’s enemies and result in Israel’s deliverance (Jer 50:30-34). At other times as here the Day of the Lord involves judgment on Israel itself. Here reference is to the judgment that the northern kingdom, Israel, has already experienced (cf., e.g., Jer 3:8) and which the southern kingdom, Judah, is in the process of experiencing and which Jeremiah has lamented over several times and even described in hyperbolic and apocalyptic terms in Jer 4:19-31.

217 tn Heb “It is a time of trouble for Jacob but he will be saved out of it.”

sn Jacob here is figurative for the people descended from him. Moreover the figure moves from Jacob = descendants of Jacob to only a part of those descendants. Not all of his descendants who have experienced and are now experiencing trouble will be saved. Only a remnant (i.e., the good figs, cf., e.g., Jer 23:3; 31:7) will see the good things that the Lord has in store for them (Jer 24:5-6). The bad figs will suffer destruction through war, starvation, and disease (cf., e.g., Jer 24:8-10 among many other references).

218 tn Heb “And it shall happen in that day.”

sn The time for them to be rescued (Heb “that day”) is the day of deliverance from the trouble alluded to at the end of the preceding verse, not the day of trouble mentioned at the beginning. Israel (even the good figs) will still need to go through the period of trouble (cf. vv. 10-11).

219 tn Heb “Oracle of Yahweh of armies.” See the study note on 2:19 for explanation of the title for God.

220 tn Heb “I will break his yoke from upon your neck.” For the explanation of the figure see the study note on 27:2. The shift from third person at the end of v. 7 to second person in v. 8c, d and back to third person in v. 8e is typical of Hebrew poetry in the book of Psalms and in the prophetic books (cf., GKC 351 §114.p and compare usage in Deut 32:15; Isa 5:8 listed there). The present translation, like several other modern ones, has typically leveled them to the same person to avoid confusion for modern readers who are not accustomed to this poetic tradition.

sn In the immediate context the reference to the yoke of their servitude to foreign domination (Heb “his yoke”) should be understood as a reference to the yoke of servitude to Nebuchadnezzar which has been referred to often in Jer 27-28 (see, e.g., 27:8, 12; 28:2, 4, 11). The end of that servitude has already been referred to in 25:11-14; 29:11-14. Like many other passages in the OT it has been given a later eschatological reinterpretation in the light of subsequent bondages and lack of complete fulfillment, i.e., of restoration to the land and restoration of the Davidic monarchy.

221 tn Heb “I will tear off their bands.” The “bands” are the leather straps which held the yoke bars in place (cf. 27:2). The metaphor of the “yoke on the neck” is continued. The translation reflects the sense of the metaphor but not the specific referent.

222 tn The word “subject” in this verse and “subjugate” are from the same root word in Hebrew. A deliberate contrast is drawn between the two powers that they will serve.

223 tn Heb “and to David their king whom I will raise up for them.”

sn The Davidic ruler which I will raise up as king over them refers to a descendant of David who would be raised up over a regathered and reunited Israel and Judah. He is called “David” in Hos 3:5, Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25 and referred to as a shoot or sprig of Jesse in Isa 11:1, 10 and a “righteous branch” springing from David (the Davidic line). He is called “David” because he is from the Davidic line and because David is the type of the ideal king whom the prophets looked forward to. See further the study notes on 23:5 for this ideal king and for his relation to the NT fulfillment in the person of Jesus the Christ.

224 tn Heb “So do not be afraid, my servant Jacob, oracle of the Lord.” Here and elsewhere in the verse the terms Jacob and Israel are poetic for the people of Israel descended from the patriarch Jacob. The terms have been supplied throughout with plural referents for greater clarity.

225 tn Heb “For I will rescue you from far away, your descendants from the land of their captivity.”

226 sn Compare the ideals of the Mosaic covenant in Lev 26:6, the Davidic covenant in 2 Sam 7:10-11, and the new covenant in Ezek 34:25-31.

227 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

228 tn The translation “entirely unpunished” is intended to reflect the emphatic construction of the infinitive absolute before the finite verb.

229 tn The particle כִּי (ki) here is parallel to the one in v. 5 that introduces the first oracle. See the discussion in the translator’s note there.

230 tn The pronouns in vv. 10-17 are second feminine singular referring to a personified entity. That entity is identified in v. 17 as Zion, which here stands for the people of Zion.

231 sn The wounds to the body politic are those of the incursions from the enemy from the north referred to in Jer 4:6; 6:1 over which Jeremiah and even God himself have lamented (Jer 8:21; 10:19; 14:17). The enemy from the north has been identified as Babylon and has been identified as the agent of God’s punishment of his disobedient people (Jer 1:15; 4:6; 25:9).

232 tc The translation of these first two lines follows the redivision of the lines suggested in NIV and NRSV rather than that of the Masoretes who read, “There is no one who pleads your cause with reference to [your] wound.”

sn This verse exhibits a mixed metaphor of an advocate pleading someone’s case (cf., Jer 5:28; 22:18) and of a physician applying medicine to wounds and sores resulting from them (see, e.g., Jer 8:18 for the latter metaphor). Zion’s sins are beyond defense and the wounds inflicted upon her beyond healing. However, God, himself, in his own time will forgive her sins (Jer 31:34; 33:8) and heal her wounds (Jer 30:17).

233 tn Heb “forgotten you.”

234 tn Heb “attacked you like…with the chastening of a cruel one because of the greatness of your iniquity [and because] your sins are many.” The sentence has been broken down to conform to contemporary English style and better poetic scansion.

235 tn For the translation of this particle, which is normally translated “therefore” and often introduces an announcement of judgment, compare the usage at Jer 16:14 and the translator’s note there. Here as there it introduces a contrast, a rather unexpected announcement of salvation. For a similar use see also Hos 2:14 (2:16 HT). Recognition of this usage makes the proposed emendation of BHS of לָכֵן כָּל (lakhen kol) to וְכָל (vÿkhol) unnecessary.

236 sn With the exception of the second line there is a definite attempt at wordplay in each line to underline the principle of lex talionis on a national and political level. This principle has already been appealed to in the case of the end of Babylonian sovereignty in 25:14; 27:7.

237 tn Again the particle כִּי (ki) appears to be intensive rather than causal. Compare the translator’s note on v. 12. It is possible that it has an adversative sense as an implicit contrast with v. 13 which expresses these concepts in the negative (cf. BDB 474 s.v. כִּי 3.e for this use in statements which are contextually closer to one another).

238 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

239 tn Heb “I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and will have compassion on his habitations.” For the meaning of the idiom “restore the fortunes of” see the translator’s note on 29:14. The “tents of Jacob” refers to their homes or houses (see BDB 14 s.v. אֹהֶל 2 and compare usage in Judg 19:9; Mal 2:12). The word “ruined” has been supplied in the translation to show more clearly the idea of restoration of their houses on their former sites in conformity to the concepts in the latter half of the verse.

240 sn Heb “on its tel.” A tel is a site where successive layers of occupation are built upon one another after the destruction or decay of the former city. The original site was not abandoned because it had been chosen for strategic purposes, such as proximity to water or ease of defense. Many modern archaeological sites have the designation “Tel” as a component of their name because of this practice.

241 tn Heb “according to its custom [or plan].” Cf. BDB 1049 s.v. מִשְׁפָּט 6.d and compare usage in 1 Sam 27:11.

242 tn Heb “Out of them will come thanksgiving and a sound of those who are playful.”

243 sn Compare Jer 29:6.

244 tn Heb “his children will be as in former times and his congregation/community will be established before me.” “His children” refers to “Jacob” who has been referred to in v. 18 in the phrase “I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob.” “His children” are thus the restored exiles. Some commentaries see the reference here to the restoration of numbers in accordance with the previous verse. However, the last line of this verse and the reference to the ruler in the following verse suggests rather restoration of the religious and political institutions to their former state. For the use of the word translated “community” (עֵדָה, ’edah) to refer to a political congregation as well as its normal use to refer to a religious one see 1 Kgs 12:20. For the idea of “in my favor” (i.e., under the eye and regard of) for the Hebrew phrase used here (לְפָנַי, lÿfanay) see BDB 817 s.v. פָּנֶה II.4.a(b).

245 sn The statement their ruler will come from their own number accords with the regulation in Deut 17:15. They would not be ruled by a foreign leader but by one of their own people. In v. 9 he is specifically said to come from the Davidic line. See the study note there.

246 sn Ordinarily this prerogative was confined to the priests and the Levites and even then under strict regulations (cf., e.g., Num 8:19; 16:10; Lev 16:10; 21:17; 22:3). Uzziah king of Judah violated this and suffered leprosy for having done so (2 Chr 26:16-20). It is clear, however, that both David and Solomon on occasion exercised priestly functions in the presence of the ark or the altar which it was normally lawful for only the priests to approach (cf., e.g., 2 Sam 6:13-14; 1 Kgs 8:22, 54-55). Here reference is probably not to the normal prerogatives of offering sacrifice or burning incense but access to God’s special presence at special times for the purpose of consultation.

247 tn Heb “For who is he who would pledge his heart to draw near to me.” The question is a rhetorical one expecting the answer “no one” and is a way of expressing an emphatic negative (see BDB 566 s.v. מִי f[c]). The concept of “pledging” something refers to putting up security in guarantee of payment. Here the word is used figuratively of “putting up one’s heart [i.e., his very being (cf. BDB 524 s.v. לֵב 7 and Ps 22:26)]” for the privilege of access to God. The rhetorical question denies that any one would do that if he were not bidden by God to do so.

248 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

249 sn This was their highest privilege (cf. Exod 6:7, Lev 26:12; Jer 24:7) but also their greatest responsibility (cf. Jer 7:3; 11:4). It is a formula referring to a covenant relationship in which God pledges to protect, provide, and be present with his people and they in turn promise to be loyal and obedient to him (see Deut 26:17-18; 29:10-13).

250 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).

251 sn This verse repeats v. 22 but with specific reference to all the clans of Israel, i.e., to all Israel and Judah. It functions here as a transition to the next section which will deal with the restoration of Israel (31:3-20) and Judah (31:21-25) and their reunification in the land (31:27-29) under a new covenant relation with God (31:31-37). See also the study note on 30:3 for further reference to this reunification in Jeremiah and the other prophets.

252 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

253 tn Heb “who survived the sword.”

sn This refers to the remnant of northern Israel who had not been killed when Assyria conquered Israel in 722 b.c. or who had not died in exile. References to Samaria in v. 5 and to Ephraim in vv. 6, 9 make clear that northern Israel is in view here.

254 tn Or “The people of Israel who survived the onslaughts of Egypt and Amalek found favor in the wilderness as they journeyed to find rest. At that time long ago the Lord manifested himself to them. He said, ‘I have…That is why I have drawn you to myself through my unfailing kindness.’” For the basis for each of these translations see the translator’s note. There is debate whether the reference here is to God’s preservation of Israel during their wandering in the Sinai desert or his promise to protect and preserve them on their return through the Arabian desert on the way back from Assyria and Babylon (see e.g., Isa 42:14-16; 43:16-21; Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8). The only finite verbs in vv. 2-3a before the introduction of the quote are perfects which can denote either a past act or a future act viewed as certain of fulfillment (the prophetic perfect; see GKC 312-13 §106.n and see examples in Jer 11:16; 13:17; 25:14; 28:4). The phrase at the beginning of v. 3 can either refer to temporal (cf. BDB 935 s.v. רָחוֹק 2.b and Isa 22:11) or spatial distance (cf. BDB 935 s.v. רָחוֹק 2.a[2] and Isa 5:29; 59:14). The verb in the final clause in v. 3 can refer to either the continuance of God’s love as in Ps 36:10 (cf. BDB 604 s.v. מָשַׁךְ Qal.5) or drawing someone to him in electing, caring love as in Hos 11:4 (cf. BDB 604 s.v. מָשַׁךְ Qal.1). The translation has opted for the prophetic reference to future deliverance because of the preceding context, the use of מֵרָחוֹק (merakhoq) to refer to the far off land of exile in Jer 30:10; 46:27; 51:50, and the reference to survivors from the sword being called on to remember the Lord in that far off land in 51:50.

255 tn Heb “Virgin Israel.”

sn For the significance of this metaphor see the note on Jer 14:17. Here the emphasis appears on his special love and care for his people and the hint (further developed in vv. 21-22) that, though guilty of sin, he considers them like an innocent young virgin.

256 sn Contrast Jer 7:34 and 25:10.

257 map For location see Map2 B1; Map4 D3; Map5 E2; Map6 A4; Map7 C1.

258 sn The terms used here refer to the enjoyment of a period of peace and stability and the reversal of the curse (contrast, e.g., Deut 28:30). The Hebrew word translated “enjoy its fruit” is a technical one that refers to the owner of a vineyard getting to enjoy its fruit in the fifth year after it was planted, the crops of the first three years lying fallow, and that of the fourth being given to the Lord (cf. Lev 19:23-25).

259 sn Watchmen were stationed at vantage points to pass on warning of coming attack (Jer 6:17; Ezek 33:2, 6) or to spread the news of victory (Isa 52:8). Here reference is made to the watchmen who signaled the special times of the year such as the new moon and festival times when Israel was to go to Jerusalem to worship. Reference is not made to these in the Hebrew Bible but there is a good deal of instruction regarding them in the later Babylonian Talmud.

260 sn Not only will Israel and Judah be reunited under one ruler (cf. 23:5-6), but they will share a unified place and practice of worship once again in contrast to Israel using the illicit places of worship, illicit priesthood, and illicit feasts instituted by Jeroboam (1 Kgs 12:26-31) and continued until the downfall of Samaria in 722 b.c.

261 tn See the translator’s notes on 30:5, 12.

262 tn Heb “for the head/chief of the nations.” See BDB 911 s.v. רֹאשׁ 3.c and compare usage in Ps 18:44 referring to David as the “chief” or “foremost ruler” of the nations.

263 tn It is unclear who the addressees of the masculine plural imperatives are in this verse. Possibly they are the implied exiles who are viewed as in the process of returning and praying for their fellow countrymen.

264 tc Or “The Lord will rescue his people. He will deliver those of Israel who remain alive.” The translation used in the text follows the Hebrew: “Rescue your people, O Lord, the remnant of Israel.” The alternate translation which is preferred by several modern English versions (e.g., REB, TEV) and a majority of modern commentaries (see, e.g., J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 569; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 273, n. s-s) follows the reading of the Greek version and the Aramaic Targum and appears more appropriate to the context of praise presupposed by the preceding imperatives. The difference in the two readings are the omission of one vowel letter and the confusion of a final ךְ (kaf) and a וֹ (holem-vav) which are very similar in form. (The Greek presupposes הוֹשִׁיעַ יְהוָה אֶת־עַמּוֹ [hoshia yÿhvahet-ammo] for the Hebrew הוֹשַׁע יְהוָה אֶת־עַמְּךְ [hoshayÿhvahet-ammÿkh].) The key to a decision here is the shift from the verbs of praise to the imperative “say” which introduces the quotation; there is a shift from praise to petition. The shift in mood is not uncommon, occurring, for example, in Ps 118:25 and 126:4; it is the shift in mood between praise for what has begun to petition for what is further hoped for. It is easier to explain the origin contextually of the Greek and Targum than it is the Hebrew text, thus the Greek and Targum are probably a secondary smoothing of the text (this is the decision of the D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 4:263). The mood of prayer also shows up in v. 9 and again in vv. 17-18.

265 tn The words “And I will reply” are not in the text but the words vv. 8-9 appear to be the answer to the petition at the end of v. 7. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity.

266 tn Heb “They will come with weeping; I will bring them with supplication.” The ideas of contrition and repentance are implicit from the context (cf. vv. 18-19) and are supplied for clarity.

267 sn Jer 31:8-9 are reminiscent of the “New Exodus” motif of Isa 40-66 which has already been referred to in Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8. See especially Isa 35:3-10; 40:3-5, 11; 41:17-20; 42:14-17; 43:16-21; 49:9-13. As there, the New Exodus will so outstrip the old that the old will pale in comparison and be almost forgotten (see Jer 23:7-8).

268 sn Ephraim was the second son of Joseph who was elevated to a place of prominence in the family of Jacob by the patriarch’s special blessing. It was the strongest tribe in northern Israel and Samaria lay in its territory. It is often used as a poetic parallel for Israel as here. The poetry is not speaking of two separate entities here; it is a way of repeating an idea for emphasis. Moreover, there is no intent to show special preference for northern Israel over Judah. All Israel is metaphorically God’s son and the object of his special care and concern (Exod 4:22; Deut 32:6).

269 sn Two rather theologically significant metaphors are used in this verse. The Hebrew word translated “will set…free” is a word used in the legal sphere for paying a redemption price to secure the freedom of a person or thing (see, e.g., Exod 13:13, 15). It is used metaphorically and theologically to refer to Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage (Deut 15:15; Mic 6:4) and its deliverance from Babylonian exile (Isa 35:10). The word translated “secure their release” is a word used in the sphere of family responsibility where a person paid the price to free an indentured relative (Lev 25:48, 49) or paid the price to restore a relative’s property seized to pay a debt (Lev 25:25, 33). This word, too, was used to refer metaphorically and theologically to Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage (Exod 6:6) or release from Babylonian exile (Isa 43:1-4; 44:22). These words are traditionally translated “ransom” and “redeem” and are a part of traditional Jewish and Christian vocabulary for physical and spiritual deliverance.

270 tn Heb “from the hand/power of the one too strong for him.”

271 tn Reading a Qal perfect from the root II נָהַר (nahar; so KBL 509 s.v. and HALOT 639 s.v.) rather than I נָהַר (so BDB 625 s.v.).

272 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” This phrase has been brought up to the beginning of v. 13 from the end of v. 14 to introduce the transition from third person description by Jeremiah to first person address by the Lord.

273 tc The translation follows the reading of the LXX (Greek version). The Hebrew reads “will dance and be glad, young men and old men together.” The Greek version presupposes a Qal imperfect of a rare verb (יַחְדּוּ [yakhdu] from the verb חָדָה [khadah]; see BDB 292 s.v. II חָדָה Qal) as opposed to the Hebrew text which reads a common adverb יַחְדָּו (yakhdav). The consonantal text is the same but the vocalization is different. There are no other examples of the syntax of the adverb used this way (i.e., of a compound subject added to a third subject) and the vocalization of the Hebrew text can be explained on the basis of a scribe misvocalizing the text based on his greater familiarity with the adverb.

274 tn Heb “I will satiate the priests with fat.” However, the word translated “fat” refers literally to the fat ashes of the sacrifices (see Lev 1:16; 4:2 and cf. BDB 206 s.v. דֶּשֶׁן 2. The word is used more abstractly for “abundance” or “rich food” (see Job 36:16 and BDB 206 s.v. דֶּשֶׁן 1). The people and the priests were prohibited from eating the fat (Lev 7:23-24).

275 sn Ramah is a town in Benjamin approximately five miles (8 km) north of Jerusalem. It was on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem. Traditionally, Rachel’s tomb was located near there at a place called Zelzah (1 Sam 10:2). Rachel was the mother of Joseph and Benjamin and was very concerned about having children because she was barren (Gen 30:1-2) and went to great lengths to have them (Gen 30:3, 14-15, 22-24). She was the grandmother of Ephraim and Manasseh which were two of the major tribes in northern Israel. Here Rachel is viewed metaphorically as weeping for her “children,” the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh, who had been carried away into captivity in 722 b.c.

276 tn Or “gone into exile” (cf. v. 16), though some English versions take this as meaning “dead” (e.g., NCV, CEV, NLT), presumably in light of Matt 2:18.

277 tn The words “to her” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

278 tn Heb “Refrain your voice from crying and your eyes from tears.”

279 tn Heb “your work.” Contextually her “work” refers to her weeping and refusing to be comforted, that is, signs of genuine repentance (v. 15).

280 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

281 tn For this nuance for the Hebrew word אַחֲרִית (’akharit) see BDB 31 s.v. אַחֲרִית d and compare usage in Pss 37:38; 109:13. Others translate “your future” but the “future” lies with the return of her descendants, her posterity.

282 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

283 tn The use of “indeed” is intended to reflect the infinitive absolute which precedes the verb for emphasis (see IBHS 585-86 §35.3.1f).

284 tn Heb “Ephraim.” See the study note on 31:9. The more familiar term is used, the term “people” added to it, and plural pronouns used throughout the verse to aid in understanding.

285 tn Heb “like an untrained calf.” The metaphor is that of a calf who has never been broken to bear the yoke (cf. Hos 4:16; 10:11).

sn Jer 2:20; 5:5 already referred to Israel’s refusal to bear the yoke of loyalty and obedience to the Lord’s demands. Here Israel expresses that she has learned from the discipline of exile and is ready to bear his yoke.

286 tn The verb here is from the same root as the preceding and is probably an example of the “tolerative Niphal,” i.e., “I let myself be disciplined/I responded to it.” See IBHS 389-90 §23.4g and note the translation of some of the examples there, especially Isa 19:22; 65:1.

287 tn Heb “Bring me back in order that I may come back.” For the use of the plural pronouns see the marginal note at the beginning of the verse. The verb “bring back” and “come back” are from the same root in two different verbal stems and in the context express the idea of spiritual repentance and restoration of relationship not physical return to the land. (See BDB 999 s.v. שׁוּב Hiph.2.a for the first verb and 997 s.v. Qal.6.c for the second.) For the use of the cohortative to express purpose after the imperative see GKC 320 §108.d or IBHS 575 §34.5.2b.

sn There is a wordplay on several different nuances of the same Hebrew verb in vv. 16-19. The Hebrew verb shub refers both to their turning away from God (v. 19) and to their turning back to him (v. 18). It is also the word that is used for their return to their homeland (vv. 16-17).

288 tn For this meaning of the verb see HAL 374 s.v. יָדַע Nif 5 or W. L. Holladay, Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 129. REB translates “Now that I am submissive” relating the verb to a second root meaning “be submissive.” (See HALOT 375 s.v. II יָדַע and J. Barr, Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament, 19-21, for evidence for this verb. Other passages cited with this nuance are Judg 8:16; Prov 10:9; Job 20:20.)

289 tn Heb “I struck my thigh.” This was a gesture of grief and anguish (cf. Ezek 21:12 [21:17 HT]). The modern equivalent is “to beat the breast.”

290 tn Heb “because I bear the reproach of my youth.” For the plural referents see the note at the beginning of v. 18.

sn The expression the disgraceful things we did in our earlier history refers to the disgrace that accompanied the sins that Israel did in her earlier years before she learned the painful lesson of submission to the Lord through the discipline of exile. For earlier references to the sins of her youth (i.e., in her earlier years as a nation) see 3:24-25; 22:21 and see also 32:29. At the time that these verses were written, neither northern Israel or Judah had expressed the kind of contrition voiced in vv. 18-19. As one commentator notes, the words here are both prophetic and instructive.

291 tn Heb “Is Ephraim a dear son to me or a child of delight?” For the substitution of Israel for Ephraim and the plural pronouns for the singular see the note on v. 18. According to BDB 210 s.v. הֲ 1.c the question is rhetorical having the force of an impassioned affirmation. See 1 Sam 2:27; Job 41:9 (41:1 HT) for parallel usage.

292 tn Heb “my stomach churns for him.” The parallelism shows that this refers to pity or compassion.

293 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

294 tn The words “I will say” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation to mark the transition from the address about Israel in a response to Rachel’s weeping (vv. 15-20) to a direct address to Israel which is essentially the answer to Israel’s prayer of penitence (cf. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 121.)

sn The Lord here invites Israel to stop dilly-dallying and prepare themselves to return because he is prepared to do something new and miraculous.

295 tn Heb “Virgin Israel.” For the significance see the study note on 31:3.

296 tn Heb “Set your mind to the highway, the way which you went.” The phrase “the way you went” has been translated “the road you took when you were carried off” to help the reader see the reference to the exile implicit in the context. The verb “which you went” is another example of the old second feminine singular which the Masoretes typically revocalize (Kethib הָלָכְתִּי [halakhti]; Qere הָלָכְתְּ [halakht]). The vocative has been supplied in the translation at the beginning to help make the transition from third person reference to Ephraim/Israel in the preceding to second person in the following and to identify the referent of the imperatives. Likewise, this line has been moved to the front to show that the reference to setting up sign posts and landmarks is not literal but figurative, referring to making a mental note of the way they took when carried off so that they can easily find their way back. Lines three and four in the Hebrew text read, “Set up sign posts for yourself; set up guideposts/landmarks for yourself.” The word translated “telltale signs marking the way” occurs only here. Though its etymology and precise meaning are unknown, all the lexicons agree in translating it as “sign post” or something similar based on the parallelism.

297 tn The translation “dilly-dally” is suggested by J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB), 276. The verb occurs only here in this stem (the Hitpael) and only one other time in any other stem (the Qal in Song 5:6). The dictionaries define it as “to turn this way and that” (cf., e.g., BDB 330 s.v. חָמַק Hithp.). In the context it refers to turning this way and that looking for the way back.

298 sn Israel’s backsliding is forgotten and forgiven. They had once been characterized as an apostate people (3:14, 22; the word “apostate” and “unfaithful” are the same in Hebrew) and figuratively depicted as an adulterous wife (3:20). Now they are viewed as having responded to his invitation (compare 31:18-19 with 3:22-25). Hence they are no longer depicted as an unfaithful daughter but as an unsullied virgin (see the literal translation of “my dear children” in vv. 4, 21 and the study note on v. 4.)

299 tn Heb “For the Lord will create.” The person has been shifted to avoid the possible confusion for some readers of a third person reference to the Lord in what has otherwise been a first person address. The verb “will create” is another one of the many examples of the prophetic perfect that have been seen in the book of Jeremiah. For the significance of the verb “create” here see the study note on “bring about something new.”

300 sn Heb “create.” This word is always used with God as the subject and refers to the production of something new or unique, like the creation of the world and the first man and woman (Gen 1:1; 2:3; 1:27; 5:1) or the creation of a new heavens and a new earth in a new age (Isa 65:17), or the bringing about of new and unique circumstances (Num 16:30). Here reference is made contextually to the new exodus, that marvelous deliverance which will be so great that the old will pale in comparison (see the first note on v. 9).

301 tn The meaning of this last line is uncertain. The translation has taken it as proverbial for something new and unique. For a fairly complete discussion of most of the options see C. Feinberg, “Jeremiah,” EBC 6:571. For the nuance of “protecting” for the verb here see BDB 686 s.v. סָבַב Po‘ 1 and compare the usage in Deut 32:10.

302 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See 7:3 and the study note of 2:19 for the rendering of this title and an explanation of its significance.

303 tn Heb “They [i.e., people (the indefinite plural, GKC 460 §144.g)] will again say in the land of Judah and in its cities when I restore their fortunes.” For the meaning of the idiom “to restore the fortunes” see the translator’s note on 29:14.

304 tn The words “of Jerusalem” are not in the text but it is implicit in the titles that follow. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity to aid in identifying the referent.

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

305 sn The blessing pronounced on the city of Zion/Jerusalem by the restored exiles looks at the restoration of its once exalted state as the city known for its sanctity and its just dealing (see Isa 1:21 and Ps 122). This was a reversal of the state of Jerusalem in the time of Isaiah and Jeremiah where wickedness not righteousness characterized the inhabitants of the city (cf. Isa 1:21; Jer 4:14; 5:1; 13:27). The blessing here presupposes the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and the temple which gave the city its sanctity.

306 tn The translation “those who move about with their flocks” is based on an emendation of the Hebrew text which reads a third plural Qal perfect (נָסְעוּ, nosu) to a masculine plural Qal participle in the construct (נֹסְעֵי, nosÿe) as suggested in the BHS fn. For the use of the construct participle before a noun with a preposition see GKC 421 §130.a. It is generally agreed that three classes of people are referred to here, townspeople, farmers, and shepherds. But the syntax of the Hebrew sentence is a little awkward: “And they [i.e., “people” (the indefinite plural, GKC 460 §144.g)] will live in it, Judah and all its cities [an apposition of nearer definition (GKC 425-26 §131.n)], [along with] farmers and those who move about with their flocks.” The first line refers awkwardly to the townspeople and the other two classes are added asyndetically (i.e., without the conjunction “and”).

307 tn The verbs here again emphasize that the actions are as good as done (i.e., they are prophetic perfects; cf. GKC 312-13 §106.n).

sn For the concept here compare Jer 31:12 where the promise was applied to northern Israel. This represents the reversal of the conditions that would characterize the exiles according to the covenant curse of Deut 28:65-67.

308 tn Or “When I, Jeremiah, heard this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very pleasant.” The text is somewhat enigmatic. It has often been explained as an indication that Jeremiah had received this communication (30:3–31:26) while in a prophetic trance (compare Dan 10:9). However, there is no other indication that this is a vision or a vision report. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 124, 128-29) suggest that this is a speech of the restored (and refreshed) exiles like that which is formally introduced in v. 23. This speech, however, is not formally introduced. This interpretation is also reflected in TEV, CEV and is accepted here as fitting the context better and demanding less presuppositions. The Hebrew text reads literally, “Upon this I awoke and looked and my sleep was sweet to me.” Keown, Scalise, and Smothers have the best discussion of these two options as well as several other options.

309 tn Heb “Behold days are coming!” The particle “Behold” is probably used here to emphasize the reality of a fact. See the translator’s note on 1:6.

sn This same expression is found in the introduction to the Book of Consolation (Jer 30:1-3) and in the introduction to the promise of a new covenant (or covenant; 31:31). In all three passages it is emphasized that the conditions apply to both Israel and Judah. The Lord will reverse their fortunes and restore them to their lands (30:3), increase their numbers and build them up (31:27-28), and make a new covenant with them involving forgiveness of sins (31:31-34).

310 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

311 tn Heb “Behold, the days are coming and [= when] I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of people and of animals.” For the significance of the metaphor see the study note.

sn The metaphor used here presupposes that drawn in Hos 2:23 (2:25 HT) which is in turn based on the wordplay with Jezreel (meaning “God sows”) in Hos 2:22. The figure is that of plant seed in the ground which produces a crop; here what are sown are the “seeds of people and animals.” For a similar picture of the repopulating of Israel and Judah see Ezek 36:10-11. The promise here reverses the scene of devastation that Jeremiah had depicted apocalyptically and hyperbolically in Jer 4:23-29 as judgment for Judah’s sins.

312 tn Heb “Just as I watched over them to uproot and to tear down, to destroy and demolish, so I will watch over them to build and to plant.” The words here repeat those of 1:10 and 1:12.

313 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

314 tn This word only occurs here and in the parallel passage in Ezek 18:2 in the Qal stem and in Eccl 10:10 in the Piel stem. In the latter passage it refers to the bluntness of an ax that has not been sharpened. Here the idea is of the “bluntness” of the teeth, not from having ground them down due to the bitter taste of sour grapes but to the fact that they have lost their “edge,” “bite,” or “sharpness” because they are numb from the sour taste. For this meaning for the word see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:197.

sn This is a proverbial statement that is also found in Ezek 18:2. It served to articulate the complaint that the present generation was suffering for the accrued sins of their ancestors (cf. Lam 5:7) and that the Lord was hence unjust (Ezek 18:25, 29). However, Jeremiah had repeatedly warned his own generation that they were as guilty or even more so than their ancestors. The ancestors were indeed guilty of sin but the present generation had compounded the problem by their stubborn refusal to turn back to God despite repeated warnings from the prophets and hence God would withhold judgment no longer (cf. especially Jer 16:10-13 and compare Jer 7:24-34; 9:12-16 (9:11-15 HT); 11:1-13).

315 sn The Lord answers their charge by stating that each person is responsible for his own sin and will himself bear the consequences. Ezek 18 has a more extended treatment of this and shows that this extends not just to the link between parents and children but between former behavior and future behavior of the same individual. To a certain extent the principle articulated here is anticipatory of the statement in v. 34 which refers to the forgiveness of former sins.

316 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

317 tn Or “a renewed covenant” (also in vv. 22-23).

318 tn Heb “the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”

319 tn The word “old” is not in the text but is implicit in the use of the word “new.” It is supplied in the translation for greater clarity.

320 tn Heb “fathers.”

sn This refers to the Mosaic covenant which the nation entered into with God at Sinai and renewed on the plains of Moab. The primary biblical passages explicating this covenant are Exod 19–24 and the book of Deuteronomy; see as well the study note on Jer 11:2 for the form this covenant took and its relation to the warnings of the prophets. The renewed document of Deuteronomy was written down and provisions made for periodic public reading and renewal of commitment to it (Deut 31:9-13). Josiah had done this after the discovery of the book of the law (which was either Deuteronomy or a synopsis of it) early in the ministry of Jeremiah (2 Kgs 23:1-4; the date would be near 622 b.c. shortly after Jeremiah began prophesying in 627 [see the note on Jer 1:2]). But it is apparent from Jeremiah’s confrontation with Judah after that time that the commitment of the people was only superficial (cf. Jer 3:10). The prior history of the nations of Israel and Judah and Judah’s current practice had been one of persistent violation of this covenant despite repeated warnings of the prophets that God would punish them for that (see especially Jer 7, 11). Because of that, Israel had been exiled (cf., e.g., Jer 3:8), and now Judah was threatened with the same (cf., e.g., Jer 7:15). Jer 30–31 look forward to a time when both Israel and Judah will be regathered, reunited, and under a new covenant which includes the same stipulations but with a different relationship (v. 32).

321 tn Heb “when I took them by the hand and led them out.”

322 tn Or “I was their master.” See the study note on 3:14.

sn The metaphor of Yahweh as husband and Israel as wife has been used already in Jer 3 and is implicit in the repeated allusions to idolatry as spiritual adultery or prostitution. The best commentary on the faithfulness of God to his “husband-like” relation is seen in the book of Hosea, especially in Hos 1-3.

323 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

324 tn Heb “with the house of Israel.” All commentators agree that the term here refers to both the whole nation which was divided into the house of Israel and the house of Judah in v. 30.

325 tn Heb “after those days.” Commentators are generally agreed that this refers to the return from exile and the repopulation of the land referred to in vv. 27-28 and not to something subsequent to the time mentioned in v. 30. This is the sequencing that is also presupposed in other new covenant passages such as Deut 30:1-6; Ezek 11:17-20; 36:24-28.

326 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

327 tn Heb “‘But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after these days:’ says the Lord, ‘I will….’” The sentence has been reworded and restructured to avoid the awkwardness of the original style.

328 tn Heb “in their inward parts.” The Hebrew word here refers to the seat of the thoughts, emotions, and decisions (Jer 9:8 [9:7 HT]). It is essentially synonymous with “heart” in Hebrew psychological terms.

329 tn The words “and minds” is not in the text but is supplied in the translation to bring the English psychology more into line with the Hebrew where the “heart” is the center both of knowing/thinking/reflecting and deciding/willing.

sn Two contexts are relevant for understanding this statement. First is the context of the first or old covenant which was characterized by a law written on stone tablets (e.g., Exod 32:15-16; 34:1, 28; Deut 4:13; 5:22; 9:10) or in a “book” or “scroll” (Deut 31:9-13) which could be lost (cf. 2 Kgs 22:8), forgotten (Hos 4:6), ignored (Jer 6:19; Amos 4:2), or altered (Jer 8:8). Second is the context of the repeated fault that Jeremiah has found with their stubborn (3:17; 7:24; 9:14; 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12; 23:17), uncircumcised (4:4; 9:26), and desperately wicked hearts (4:4; 17:9). Radical changes were necessary to get the people to obey the law from the heart and not just pay superficial or lip service to it (3:10; 12:2). Deut 30:1-6; Ezek 11:17-20; 36:24-28 speak of these radical changes. The Lord will remove the “foreskin” of their heart and give them a circumcised heart, or take away their “stony” heart and give them a new heart. With this heart they will be able to obey his laws, statutes, ordinances, and commands (Deut 30:8; Ezek 11:20; 36:27). The new covenant does not entail a new law; it is the same law that Jeremiah has repeatedly accused them of rejecting or ignoring (6:19; 9:13; 16:11; 26:4; 44:10). What does change is their inner commitment to keep it. Jeremiah has already referred to this in Jer 24:7 and will refer to it again in Jer 32:39.

330 sn Compare Jer 24:7; 30:22; 31:1 and see the study note on 30:2.

331 tn Heb “teach…, saying, ‘Know the Lord.’” The indirect quote has been chosen for stylistic reasons, i.e., to better parallel the following line.

sn As mentioned in the translator’s note on 9:3 (9:2 HT) “knowing” God in covenant contexts like this involves more than just an awareness of who he is (9:23 [9:22 HT]). It involves an acknowledgment of his sovereignty and whole hearted commitment to obedience to him. This is perhaps best seen in the parallelisms in Hos 4:1; 6:6 where “the knowledge of God” is parallel with faithfulness and steadfast love and in the context of Hos 4 refers to obedience to the Lord’s commands.

332 sn This statement should be understood against the background of Jer 8:8-9 where class distinctions were drawn and certain people were considered to have more awareness and responsibility for knowing the law and also Jer 5:1-5 and 9:3-9 where the sinfulness of Israel was seen to be universal across these class distinctions and no trust was to be placed in friends, neighbors, or relatives because all without distinction had cast off God’s yoke (i.e., refused to submit themselves to his authority).

333 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) that introduces this clause refers to more than just the preceding clause (i.e., that all will know the Lord) but to all of vv. 31-34a (See BDB 474 s.v. כִּי 3.c).

334 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.” See the study note on 2:19 for this title. In the Hebrew text the verse reads: “Thus says the Lord who provides the sun for light by day, the fixed ordering of the moon and stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar, whose name is Yahweh of armies, ‘…’” The hymnic introduction to the quote which does not begin until v. 36 has been broken down to avoid a long awkward sentence in English. The word “said” has been translated “made a promise” to reflect the nature of the content in vv. 36-37. The first two lines of the Hebrew poetry are a case of complex or supplementary ellipsis where the complete idea of “providing/establishing the fixed laws” is divided between the two lines (cf. E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 110-13). The necessity for recombining the ellipsis is obvious from reference to the fixed ordering in the next verse. (Some commentators prefer to delete the word as an erroneous glossing of the word in the following line (see, e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 277, n. y).

335 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

336 tn Heb “‘If these fixed orderings were to fail to be present before me,’ oracle of the Lord, ‘then the seed of Israel could cease from being a nation before me forever (or more literally, “all the days”).’” The sentence has been broken up to conform more to modern style. The connection has been maintained by reversing the order of condition and consequence and still retaining the condition in the second clause. For the meaning of “cease to operate” for the verb מוּשׁ (mush) compare the usage in Isa 54:10; Ps 55:11 (55:12 HT); Prov 17:13 where what is usually applied to persons or things is applied to abstract things like this (see HALOT 506 s.v. II מוּשׁ Qal for general usage).

337 sn This answers Jeremiah’s question in 14:19.

338 tn Heb “If the heavens above could be measured or the foundations of the earth below be explored, then also I could reject all the seed of Israel for all they have done.”

339 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

340 tc The words “is coming” (בָּאִים, baim) are not in the written text (Kethib) but are supplied in the margin (Qere), in several Hebrew mss and in the versions. It is part of the idiom that also occurs in vv. 27, 31.

sn On this idiom compare vv. 27, 31.

341 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

342 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

343 tn Heb “the city will be built to [or for] the Lord.” The words “of Jerusalem” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity. However, the word occurs in a first person speech so the translation has accommodated the switch in person as it has in a number of other places (compare also NIV, TEV, ICV).

344 tn The word “westward” is not in the text but is supplied in the translation to give some orientation.

sn The Tower of Hananel is referred to in Neh 3:1; 12:39; Zech 14:10. According to the directions given in Neh 3 it was in the northern wall, perhaps in the northeast corner, north of the temple mount. The Corner Gate is mentioned again in 2 Kgs 14:13; 2 Chr 25:23; 26:9; Zech 14:10. It is generally agreed that it was located in the northwest corner of the city.

345 tn The words “west” and “southward” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to give some orientation.

sn The location of the Hill of Gareb and the place called Goah are not precisely known. However, it has been plausibly suggested from the other localities mentioned that the reference is to the hill west of the Hinnom valley mentioned in Josh 15:8. The location of Goah is generally placed south of that near the southwest corner of the Hinnom Valley which is referred to in the next verse.

346 sn It is generally agreed that this refers to the Hinnom Valley which was on the southwestern and southern side of the city. It was here where the people of Jerusalem had burned their children as sacrifices and where the Lord had said that there would be so many dead bodies when he punished them that they would be unable to bury all of them (cf. Jer 7:31-32). Reference here may be to those dead bodies and to the ashes of the cremated victims. This defiled place would be included within the holy city.

347 tc The translation here follows the Qere and a number of Hebrew mss in reading שְׁדֵמוֹת (shÿdemot) for the otherwise unknown word שְׁרֵמוֹת (shÿremot) exhibiting the common confusion of ר (resh) and ד (dalet). The fields of Kidron are mentioned also in 2 Kgs 23:4 as the place where Josiah burned the cult objects of Baal.

348 sn The Kidron Valley is the valley that joins the Hinnom Valley in the southeastern corner of the city and runs northward on the east side of the city.

349 tn The words “on the east” and “north” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to give orientation.

350 sn The Horse Gate is mentioned in Neh 3:28 and is generally considered to have been located midway along the eastern wall just south of the temple area.

351 tn The words “will be included within this city that is” are not in the text. The text merely says that “The whole valley…will be sacred to the Lord.” These words have been supplied in the translation because they are really implicit in the description of the whole area as being included within the new city plan, not just the Hinnom and terraced fields as far as the Kidron Valley.

sn The area that is here delimited is larger than any of the known boundaries of Jerusalem during the OT period. Again, this refers to the increase in population of the restored community (cf. 31:27).

352 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the eleventh year of…” See 7:1; 11:1; 18:1; 21:1; 30:1 for this same formula.

sn The dating formulas indicate that the date was 588/87 b.c. Zedekiah had begun to reign in 598/97 and Nebuchadnezzar had begun to reign in 605/604 b.c. The dating of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule here includes the partial year before he was officially crowned on New Year’s day. See the translator’s note on 25:1 for the method of dating a king’s reign.

353 sn Jer 32:2-5 are parenthetical, giving the background for the actual report of what the Lord said in v. 7. The background is significant because it shows that Jeremiah was predicting the fall of the city and the kingdom and was being held prisoner for doing so. Despite this pessimistic outlook, the Lord wanted Jeremiah to demonstrate his assurance of the future restoration (which has been the topic of the two preceding chapters) by buying a field as a symbolic act that the Israelites would again one day regain possession of their houses, fields, and vineyards (vv. 15, 44). (For other symbolic acts with prophetic import see Jer 13, 19.)

354 sn According to Jer 39:1 the siege began in Zedekiah’s ninth year (i.e., in 589/88 b.c.). It had been interrupted while the Babylonian army was occupied with fighting against an Egyptian force that had invaded Judah. During this period of relaxed siege Jeremiah had attempted to go to his home town in Anathoth to settle some property matters, had been accused of treason, and been thrown into a dungeon (37:11-15). After appealing to Zedekiah he had been moved from the dungeon to the courtyard of the guardhouse connected to the palace (37:21) where he remained confined until Jerusalem was captured in 587/86 b.c. (38:28).

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

355 tn Heb “the courtyard of the guarding” or “place of guarding.” This expression occurs only in the book of Jeremiah (32:2, 8, 12; 33:1; 37:21; 38:6, 12, 28; 39:14, 15) and in Neh 3:25. It is not the same as an enclosed prison which is where Jeremiah was initially confined (37:15-16; literally a “house of imprisoning” [בֵּית הָאֵסוּר, bet haesur] or “house of confining” [בֵּית הַכֶּלֶא, bet hakkele’]). It is said to have been in the palace compound (32:2) near the citadel or upper palace (Neh 3:25). Though it was a place of confinement (32:2; 33:1; 39:15) Jeremiah was able to receive visitors, e.g., his cousin Hanamel (32:8) and the scribe Baruch (32:12), and conduct business there (32:12). According to 32:12 other Judeans were also housed there. A cistern of one of the royal princes, Malkijah, was located in this courtyard, so this is probably not a “prison compound” as NJPS interpret but a courtyard adjacent to a guardhouse or guard post (so G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 151, and compare Neh 12:39 where reference is made to a Gate of the Guard/Guardhouse) used here for housing political prisoners who did not deserve death or solitary confinement as some of the officials though Jeremiah did.

356 tn Heb “Zedekiah king of Judah.”

357 tn The translation represents an attempt to break up a very long Hebrew sentence with several levels of subordination and embedded quotations and also an attempt to capture the rhetorical force of the question “Why…” which is probably an example of what E. W. Bullinger (Figures of Speech, 953-54) calls a rhetorical question of expostulation or remonstrance (cf. the note on 26:9 and compare also the question in 36:29. In all three of these cases NJPS translates “How dare you…” which captures the force nicely). The Hebrew text reads, “For Zedekiah king of Judah had confined him, saying, ‘Why are you prophesying, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold I am giving this city into the hands of the king of Babylon and he will capture it.’”’”

358 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

359 tn Heb “his [Zedekiah’s] mouth will speak with his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] mouth and his eyes will see his eyes.” The verbs here are an obligatory imperfect and its vav consecutive perfect equivalent. (See IBHS 508-9 §31.4g for discussion and examples of the former and IBHS 528 §32.2.1d, n. 16, for the latter.)

360 tn This is the verb (פָּקַד, paqad) that has been met with several times in the book of Jeremiah, most often in the ominous sense of “punish” (e.g., 6:15; 11:22; 23:24) but also in the good sense of “resume concern for” (e.g., 27:22; 29:10). Here it is obviously in the ominous sense referring to his imprisonment and ultimate death (52:11).

sn Compare Jer 34:2-3 for this same prophecy. The incident in Jer 34:1-7 appears to be earlier than this one. Here Jeremiah is confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse; there he appears to have freedom of movement.

361 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

362 sn The pronouns are plural here, referring to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Jeremiah had counseled that they surrender (cf. 27:12; 21:8-10) because they couldn’t succeed against the Babylonian army even under the most favorable circumstances (37:3-10).

363 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

364 tn Heb “The word of the Lord came to me, saying.” This verse resumes the narrative introduction in v. 1 which was interrupted by the long parenthetical note about historical background. There is again some disjunction in the narrative (compare the translator’s notes on 27:2 and 28:1). What was begun as a biographical (third person) narrative turns into an autobiographical (first person) narrative until v. 26 where the third person is again resumed. Again this betrays the hand of the narrator, Baruch.

365 tn Heb “your right.” The term מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat) here and in v. 8 refers to legal entitlement for the option to purchase a property (BDB 1049 s.v. מִשְׁפָּט 5; cf. Deut 21:17).

366 sn Underlying this request are the laws of redemption of property spelled out in Lev 25:25-34 and illustrated in Ruth 4:3-4. Under these laws, if a property owner became impoverished and had to sell his land, the nearest male relative had the right and duty to buy it so that it would not pass out of the use of the extended family. The land, however, would not actually belong to Jeremiah because in the year of Jubilee it reverted to its original owner. All Jeremiah was actually buying was the right to use it (Lev 25:13-17). Buying the field, thus, did not make any sense (thus Jeremiah’s complaint in v. 25) other than the fact that the Lord intended to use Jeremiah’s act as a symbol of a restored future in the land.

367 tn Heb “And according to the word of the Lord my cousin Hanamel came to me to the courtyard of the guardhouse and said, ‘…’” The sentence has been broken down to conform better with contemporary English style.

368 tn Heb “I weighed out the money [more literally, “silver”] for him, seventeen shekels of silver.”

sn Coins were not in common use until the postexilic period. Payment in gold and silver was made by cutting off pieces of silver or gold and weighing them in a beam balance using standard weights as the measure. A shekel weighed approximately 0.4 ounce or 11.4 grams. The English equivalents are only approximations.

369 tn The words “of purchase” are not in the text but are implicit. The qualification is spelled out explicitly in vv. 11, 12, 13. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity. An alternative translation would be “I put the deed in writing.” However, since the same idiom כָּתַב בְּסֵפֶר (catav bÿsefer) is used later in v. 12 with respect to the witnesses, it is likely that it merely refers to signing the document.

370 tn The words “to the purchase” are not in the text but are implicit in the idiom “I had some witnesses serve as witness.” The words are supplied in the translation for clarity.

371 tn There is some uncertainty about the precise meaning of the phrases translated “the order of transfer and the regulations.” The translation follows the interpretation suggested by J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB), 237; J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 586, n. 5; and presumably BDB 349 s.v. חֹק 7, which defines the use of חֹק (khoq) here as “conditions of the deed of purchase.”

372 tn Heb “the deed, the purchase.” This is a case of apposition of species in place of the genitive construction (cf. GKC 423 §131.b and compare the usage in Exod 24:5).

373 tn Heb “I took the deed of purchase, both that which was sealed [and contained] the order and the regulations and that which was open [i.e., unsealed], and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch…in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and in the presence of…and in the presence of….” It is awkward to begin a sentence with “I took…” without finishing the thought, and the long qualifiers in v. 12 make that sentence too long. The sentence is broken up in accordance with contemporary English style. The reference to the “deed of purchase” in v. 12 should be viewed as a plural consisting of both written and sealed copies as is clear from v. 11 and also v. 14. Part of the confusion is due to the nature of this document which consisted of a single papyrus scroll, half of which was rolled up and sealed and the other half which was left “opened” or unsealed. J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 237-38) is probably incorrect in assuming that the copies were duplicate since the qualification “containing the order of transfer and the regulations” is only applied to the appositional participle, “the sealed one [or copy].”

sn Aramaic documents from a slightly later period help us understand the nature of such deeds. The document consisted of a single papyrus sheet divided in half. One half contained all the particulars and was tightly rolled up, bound with strips of cloth or thread, sealed with wax upon which the parties affixed their seal, and signed by witnesses. The other copy consisted of an abstract and was left loosely rolled and unsealed (i.e., open to be consulted at will). If questions were raised about legality of the contract then the sealed copy could be unsealed and consulted.

374 tc The translation follows a number of Hebrew mss and the Greek and Syriac version in reading “the son of my uncles (= my cousin; בֶּן דֹּדִי, ben dodi).” The majority of Hebrew mss do not have the word “son of (בֶּן).”

375 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” For this title see 7:3 and the study notes on 2:19.

376 tn Heb “many days.” See BDB s.v. יוֹם 5.b for this usage.

377 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” For this title see 7:3 and the study notes on 2:19.

378 sn The significance of the symbolic act performed by Jeremiah as explained here was a further promise (see the “again” statements in 31:4, 5, 23 and the “no longer” statements in 31:12, 29, 34, 40) of future restoration beyond the destruction implied in vv. 3-5. After the interruption of exile, normal life of buying and selling of fields, etc. would again be resumed and former property rights would be recognized.

379 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” For an explanation of the rendering here see the study note on 1:6.

sn The parallel usage of this introduction in Jer 1:6; 4:10; 14:13 shows that though this prayer has a lengthy introductory section of praise vv. 17-22, this prayer is really one of complaint or lament.

380 tn This is an attempt to render the Hebrew particle normally translated “behold.” See the translator’s note on 1:6 for the usage of this particle.

381 tn Heb “by your great power and your outstretched arm.” See 21:5; 27:5 and the marginal note on 27:5 for this idiom.

382 tn Or “to thousands of generations.” The contrast of showing steadfast love to “thousands” to the limitation of punishing the third and fourth generation of children for their parents’ sins in Exod 20:5-6; Deut 5:9-10; Exod 34:7 has suggested to many commentators and translators (cf., e.g., NRSV, TEV, NJPS) that reference here is to “thousands of generations.” The statement is, of course, rhetorical emphasizing God’s great desire to bless as opposed to the reluctant necessity to punish. It is part of the attributes of God spelled out in Exod 34:6-7.

383 tn Heb “pays back into the bosom of their children the sin of their parents.”

384 tn Heb “Nothing is too hard for you who show…and who punishes…the great [and] powerful God whose name is Yahweh of armies, [you who are] great in counsel…whose eyes are open…who did signs…” Jer 32:18-22 is a long series of relative clauses introduced by participles or relative pronouns in vv. 18-20a followed by second person vav consecutive imperfects carrying on the last of these relative clauses in vv. 20b-22. This is typical of hymnic introductions to hymns of praise (cf., e.g., Ps 136) but it is hard to sustain the relative subordination which all goes back to the suffix on “hard for you.” The sentences have been broken up but the connection with the end of v. 17 has been sacrificed for conformity to contemporary English style.

385 tn Heb “[you are] great in counsel and mighty in deed.”

386 tn Heb “your eyes are open to the ways of the sons of men.”

387 tn Heb “giving to each according to his way [= behavior/conduct] and according to the fruit of his deeds.”

388 tn Or “You did miracles and amazing deeds in the land of Egypt. And you continue to do them until this day both in Israel and among mankind. By this mean you have gained a renown…” The translation here follows the syntactical understanding reflected also in NJPS. The Hebrew text reads: “you did miracles and marvelous acts in the land of Egypt until this day and in Israel and in mankind and you made for yourself a name as this day.” The majority of English versions and commentaries understand the phrases “until this day and in Israel and in mankind” to be an elliptical sentence with the preceding verb and objects supplied as reflected in the alternate translation. However, the emphasis on the miraculous deeds in Egypt in this section both before and after this elliptical phrase and the dominant usage of the terms “signs and wonders” to refer to the plagues and other miraculous signs in Egypt calls this interpretation into question. The key here is understanding “both in Israel and in mankind” as an example of a casus pendens construction (a dangling subject, object, or other modifier) before a conjunction introducing the main clause (cf. GKC 327 §111.h and 458 §143.d and compare the usage in Jer 6:19; 33:24; 1 Kgs 15:13). This verse is the topic sentence which is developed further in v. 21 and initiates a narrative history of the distant past that continues until v. 22b where reference is made to the long history of disobedience which has led to the present crisis.

389 tn Heb “You brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders and with a mighty hand and with outstretched arm and with great terror.” For the figurative expressions involved here see the marginal notes on 27:5. The sentence has been broken down to better conform to contemporary English style.

390 tn Heb “fathers.”

391 tn For an alternative translation of the expression “a land flowing with milk and honey” see the translator’s note on 11:5.

392 tn Or “They did not do everything that you commanded them to do.” This is probably a case where the negative (לֹא, lo’) negates the whole category indicated by “all” (כָּל, kol; see BDB 482 s.v. כָּל 1.e(c) and compare usage in Deut 12:16; 28:14). Jeremiah has repeatedly emphasized that the history of Israel since their entry into the land has been one of persistent disobedience and rebellion (cf., e.g. 7:22-26; 11:7-8). The statement, of course, is somewhat hyperbolical as all categorical statements of this kind are.

393 tn Heb “Siege ramps have come up to the city to capture it.”

394 tn Heb “sword.”

395 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

396 tn Heb “And the city has been given into the hands of the Chaldeans who are fighting against it because of the sword, starvation, and disease.” The verb “has been given” is one of those perfects that view the action as good as done (the perfect of certainty or prophetic perfect).

397 tn The word “Lord” is not in the text but is supplied in the translation as a reminder that it is he who is being addressed.

398 tn Heb “And what you said has happened and behold you see it.”

399 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

400 tn Heb “And you, Lord Yahweh, have said to me, ‘Buy the field for…’ even though the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians.” The sentence has been broken up and the order reversed for English stylistic purposes. For the rendering “is sure to fall into the hands of” see the translator’s note on the preceding verse.

401 tn Heb “Lord God.” For the rendering of this title see the study note on 1:6.

402 tn Heb “call in witnesses to witness.”

403 tn Heb “The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying.”

404 tn Heb “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” The question is rhetorical expecting an emphatic negative answer (cf. E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 949, citing the parallel in Gen 18:14). The Hebrew particle “Behold” (הִנֵּה, hinneh) introduces the grounds for this rhetorical negative (cf. T. O. Lambdin, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, 170, §135 [3]), i.e., “Since I am the Lord, the God of all mankind, there is indeed nothing too hard for me [or is there anything too hard for me?].”

sn This statement furnishes the grounds both for the assurance that the city will indeed be delivered over to Nebuchadnezzar (vv. 28-29a) and that it will be restored and repopulated (vv. 37-41). This can be seen from the parallel introductions in vv. 28, “Therefore the Lord says” and “Now therefore the Lord says.” As the creator of all and God of all mankind he has the power and authority to do with his creation what he wishes (cf. Jer 27:5-6).

405 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” However, the speech has already been introduced as first person. So the first person style has been retained for smoother narrative style.

406 tn Heb “Behold, I will give this city into the hand of…”

407 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

408 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

409 sn Compare Jer 19:13.

410 tn Heb “that which is evil in my eyes.” For this idiom see BDB 744 s.v. עַיִן 3.c and compare usage in 18:10.

411 tn Heb “from their youth.”

sn Compare Jer 3:24-25; 11:21. The nation is being personified and reference is made to her history from the time she left Egypt onward (cf. 2:2).

412 tn Heb “the people of Israel.” However, since “people of Israel” has been used in the preceding line for the northern kingdom as opposed to the kingdom of Judah, it might lead to confusion to translate literally. Moreover, the pronoun “they” accomplishes the same purpose.

413 tn Heb “by the work of their hands.” See the translator’s note on 25:6 and the parallelism in 25:14 for this rendering rather than referring it to the making of idols as in 1:16; 10:3.

414 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

415 tn The statements in vv. 28-29 regarding the certain destruction of the city are motivated by three parallel causal clauses in vv. 30a, b, 31, the last of which extends through subordinate and coordinate clauses until the end of v. 35. An attempt has been made to bring out this structure by repeating the idea “This/it will happen” in front of each of these causal clauses in the English translation.

416 tn Heb “from the day they built it until this day.”

sn The Israelites did not in fact “build” Jerusalem. They captured it from the Jebusites in the time of David. This refers perhaps to the enlarging and fortifying of the city after it came into the hands of the Israelites (2 Sam 5:6-10).

417 tn Heb “For this city has been to me for a source of my anger and my wrath from the day they built it until this day so as remove it.” The preposition ְל (lamed) with the infinitive (Heb “so as to remove it”; לַהֲסִירָהּ, lahasirah) expresses degree (cf. R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 37, §199, and compare usage in 2 Sam 13:2).

418 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

419 tn Heb “remove it from my sight 32:33 because of all the wickedness of the children of Israel and the children of Judah which they have done to make me angry, they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” The sentence has been broken up in conformity with contemporary English style and an attempt has been made to preserve the causal connections.

420 tn Heb “they have turned [their] backs to me, not [their] faces.” Compare the same idiom in 2:27.

421 tn For the idiom involved here see the translator’s note on 7:13. The verb that introduces this clause is a Piel infinitive absolute which is functioning in place of the finite verb (see, e.g., GKC 346 §113.ff and compare usage in Jer 8:15; 14:19. This grammatical point means that the versions cited in BHS fn a may not be reading a different text after all, but may merely be interpreting the form as syntactically equivalent to a finite verb as the present translation has done.).

sn This refers to God teaching them through the prophets whom he has sent as indicated by the repeated use of this idiom elsewhere in 7:13, 25; 11:7; 25:3, 4; 26:5, 19.

422 tn Heb “But they were not listening so as to accept correction.”

423 tn Heb “the house which is called by my name.” Cf. 7:10, 11, 14 and see the translator’s note on 7:10 for the explanation for this rendering.

424 sn Compare Jer 7:30-31; 19:5 and the study notes on 7:30. The god Molech is especially associated with the practice of child sacrifice (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; 2 Kgs 23:10). In 1 Kgs 11:7 this god is identified as the god of the Ammonites who is also called Milcom in 1 Kgs 11:5; 2 Kgs 23:13. Child sacrifice, however, was not confined to this god; it was also made to the god Baal (Jer 19:5) and to other idols that the Israelites had set up (Ezek 16:20-21). This practice was, however, strictly prohibited in Israel (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; Deut 12:31; 18:10). It was this practice as well as other pagan rites that Manasseh had instituted in Judah that ultimately led to Judah’s demise (2 Kgs 24:3-4). Though Josiah tried to root these pagan practices (2 Kgs 23:4-14) out of Judah he could not do so. The people had only made a pretense of following his reforms; their hearts were still far from God (Jer 3:10; 12:2).

425 tn Heb “They built high places to Baal which are in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to cause their sons and daughters to pass through [the fire] to Molech [a thing] which I did not command them and [which] did not go up into my heart [= “mind” in modern psychology] to do this abomination so as to make Judah liable for punishment.” For the use of the Hiphil of חָטָא (khata’) to refer to the liability for punishment see BDB s.v. חָטָא Hiph.3 and compare the usage in Deut 24:8. Coming at the end as this does, this nuance is much more likely than “cause Judah to sin” which is the normal translation assigned to the verb here. The particle לְמַעַן (lÿmaan) that precedes it is here once again introducing a result and not a purpose (compare other clear examples in 27:10, 15). The sentence has been broken down in conformity to contemporary English style and an attempt has been made to make clear that what is detestable and not commanded is not merely child sacrifice to Molech but child sacrifice in general.

426 tn Heb “you.” However, the pronoun is plural and is addressed to more than just Jeremiah (v. 26). It includes Jeremiah and those who have accepted his prophecy of doom.

427 tn Heb “sword.”

428 sn Compare Jer 32:24, 28. In 32:24 this is Jeremiah’s statement just before he expresses his perplexity about the Lord’s command to buy the field of his cousin in spite of the certainty of the city’s demise. In 32:28 it is the Lord’s affirmation that the city will indeed fall. Here, the Lord picks up Jeremiah’s assessment only to add a further prophesy (vv. 37-41) of what is just as sure to happen (v. 42). This is the real answer to Jeremiah’s perplexity. Verses 28-35 are an assurance that the city will indeed be captured and a reiteration again of the reason for its demise. The structure of the two introductions in v. 28 and v. 36 are parallel and flow out of the statement that the Lord is God of all mankind and nothing is too hard for him (neither destruction nor restoration [cf. 1:10]).

429 tn Heb “And now therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city which you [masc. pl.] are saying has been given [prophetic perfect = will be given] into the hand of the king of Babylon through sword, starvation, and disease.” The translation attempts to render the broader structure mentioned in the study note and to break the sentence down in a way that conforms more to contemporary English style and that will lead into the speech which does not begin until the next verse. As in v. 28 the third person introduction has been changed to first person for smoother narrative style in a first person speech (i.e., vv. 27-44 are all the Lord’s answer to Jeremiah’s prayer). The words “right in” added to “are saying” are intended to reflect the connection between v. 28 and the statement here (which is a repetition of v. 24). I.e., God does not deny that Jeremiah’s assessment is correct; he affirms it but has something further to say in answer to Jeremiah’s prayer.

430 tn The verb here should be interpreted as a future perfect; though some of the people have already been exiled (in 605 and 597 b.c.), some have not yet been exiled at the time this prophesy is given (see study note on v. 1 for the date). However, contemporary English style does not regularly use the future perfect, choosing instead to use the simple future or the simple perfect as the present translation has done here.

431 sn The covenant formula setting forth the basic relationship is reinstituted along with a new covenant (v. 40). See also 24:7; 30:22; 31:1 and the study note on 30:22.

432 tn Heb “I will give to them one heart and one way to [= in order that they may] fear me all the days for good to them.” The phrase “one heart” refers both to unanimity of will and accord (cf. 1 Chr 12:38 [12:39 HT]; 2 Chr 30:12) and to singleness of purpose or intent (cf. Ezek 11:19 and see BDB 525 s.v. ֵלב 4 where reference is made to “inclinations, resolutions, and determinations of the will”). The phrase “one way” refers to one way of life or conduct (cf. BDB 203 s.v. דֶּרֶךְ 6.a where reference is made to moral action and character), a way of life that is further qualified by the goal of showing “fear, reverence, respect” for the Lord. The Hebrew sentence has been broken up to avoid a long complex sentence in English which is contrary to contemporary English style. However, an attempt has been made to preserve all the connections of the original.

sn Other passages also speak about the “single-minded purpose” (Heb “one heart”) and “living in a way that shows respect for me.” Deut 30:6-8 speaks of a circumcised heart that will love him, obey him, and keep his commands. Ezek 11:20-21 speaks of the removal of a stony heart and the giving of a single-minded, “fleshy” heart and a new spirit that will follow his decrees and keep his laws. Ezek 36:26-27 speaks of the removal of a stony heart and the giving of a new, “fleshy” heart and a new spirit and an infusion of God’s own spirit so that they will be able to follow his decrees and keep his laws. Jer 24:7 speaks of the giving of a (new) heart so that they might “know” him. And Jer 31:33 speaks of God writing his law on their hearts. All this shows that there is a new motivation and a new enablement for fulfilling the old stipulations, especially that of whole-hearted devotion to him (cf. Deut 6:4-6).

433 tn Heb “an everlasting covenant.” For the rationale for the rendering “agreement” and the nature of the biblical covenants see the study note on 11:2.

sn For other references to the lasting (or everlasting) nature of the new covenant see Isa 55:3; 61:8; Jer 50:5; Ezek 16:60; 37:26. The new covenant appears to be similar to the ancient Near Eastern covenants of grants whereby a great king gave a loyal vassal a grant of land or dynastic dominion over a realm in perpetuity in recognition of past loyalty. The right to such was perpetual as long as the great king exercised dominion, but the actual enjoyment could be forfeited by individual members of the vassal’s dynasty. The best example of such an covenant in the OT is the Davidic covenant where the dynasty was given perpetual right to rule over Israel. Individual kings might be disciplined and their right to enjoy dominion taken away, but the dynasty still maintained the right to rule (see 2 Sam 23:5; Ps 89:26-37 and note especially 1 Kgs 11:23-39). The new covenant appears to be the renewal of God’s promise to Abraham to always be the God of his descendants and for his descendants to be his special people (Gen 17:7) something they appear to have forfeited by their disobedience (see Hos 1:9). However, under the new covenant he promises to never stop doing them good and grants them a new heart, a new spirit, the infusion of his own spirit, and the love and reverence necessary to keep from turning away from him. The new covenant is not based on their past loyalty but on his gracious forgiveness and his gifts.

434 tn Or “stop being gracious to them” or “stop blessing them with good”; Heb “turn back from them to do good to them.”

435 tn Or “I will make them want to fear and respect me so much that”; Heb “I will put the fear of me in their hearts.” However, as has been noted several times, “heart” in Hebrew is more the center of the volition (and intellect) than the center of emotions as it is in English. Both translations are intended to reflect the difference in psychology.

436 tn The words “never again” are not in the text but are implicit from the context and are supplied not only by this translation but by a number of others.

437 tn Heb “will plant them in the land with faithfulness with all my heart and with all my soul.” The latter expressions are, of course, anthropomorphisms (see Deut 6:5).

438 tn Heb “For thus says the Lord.” See the translator’s notes on 32:27, 36.

439 tn Heb “As I have brought all this great disaster on these people so I will bring upon them all the good fortune which I am promising them.” The translation has broken down the longer Hebrew sentence to better conform to English style.

sn See the same guarantee in Jer 31:27.

440 tn Heb “you.” However, the pronoun is plural and is addressed to more than just Jeremiah (v. 26). It includes Jeremiah and those who have accepted his prophecy of doom.

441 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

442 tn The noun is singular with the article, but it is a case of the generic singular (cf. GKC 406 §126.m).

443 tn Heb “Fields will be bought in this land of which you [masc. pl.] are saying, ‘It will be desolate [a perfect of certainty or prophetic perfect] without man or beast; it will be given into the hand of the Chaldeans.’” The original sentence has been broken down to better conform to contemporary English style.

444 tn Heb “They will buy fields with silver and write in the deed and seal [it] and have witnesses witness [it] in the land of Benjamin, in the environs of Jerusalem, in the towns in Judah, in the towns in the hill country, in the towns in the Shephelah, and in the towns in the Negev.” The long Hebrew sentence has again been restructured to better conform to contemporary English style. The indefinite “they will buy” is treated as a passive. It is followed by three infinitive absolutes which substitute for the finite verb (cf. GKC 345 §113.y) which is a common feature of the style of the book of Jeremiah.

sn For the geographical districts mentioned here compare Jer 17:26.

445 tn Or “I will reverse their fortunes.” For this idiom see the translator’s note on 29:14 and compare the usage in 29:14; 30:3, 18; 31:23.

446 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

447 sn The introductory statement here ties this incident in with the preceding chapter which was the first time that the Lord spoke to him about the matters discussed here. There is no indication of how much time passed between the two incidents though it appears that the situation has worsened somewhat (cf. v. 4).

448 tn Heb “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time…, saying.”

449 tn Or “I, the Lord, made the earth. I formed it in such a way as to firmly establish it”; Heb “Thus says the Lord who makes/does it, the Lord who forms it to establish it, whose name is the Lord.” It is unclear what the antecedent of “it” is. The Greek version supplies the object “the earth.” However, as D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 4:269, notes, this is probably a smoothing of a text which had no object other than the pronoun. No other text or version has an object other than the pronoun. It could be argued that “the earth” is to be understood as the intended referent from other contexts within the book of Jeremiah (Jer 10:12, 16; 51:15) where these verbs refer to the Lord as creator and from the prior context in 32:17 where the Lord’s power as creator is the basis for the assertion that nothing is too hard for him. This is the object that is supplied in a number of modern English versions and commentaries. However, the use of the feminine singular pronoun in other contexts to refer to an indefinite reality which is spelled out in the preceding or following context (cf. 2 Kgs 19:25; Isa 22:11; 37:26; 44:7) lends credence to the suggestion by the committee for The Hebrew Old Testament Project that the pronoun refers to the work or plan of the Lord, a view which is reflected in the NJPS and has been adopted here. For the use of the verb “form” here in the sense of “plan” see BDB 427 s.v. יָצַר 2.b and compare the usage in Isa 22:11; 37:26. The best discussion of options is given in G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 169-70, who see the pronoun referring ahead to the great and hidden things of v. 3. As in several other cases our translation has opted for a first person introduction rather than the third person of the original because the Lord himself is speaking.

450 tn This passive participle or adjective is normally used to describe cities or walls as “fortified” or “inaccessible.” All the lexicons, however, agree in seeing it used here metaphorically of “secret” or “mysterious” things, things that Jeremiah could not know apart from the Lord’s revelation. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 170) make the interesting observation that the word is used here in a context in which the fortifications of Jerusalem are about to fall to the Babylonians; the fortified things in God’s secret counsel fall through answer to prayer.

451 tn Heb “the sword.” The figure has been interpreted for the sake of clarity.

452 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

453 sn This refers to the tearing down of buildings within the city to strengthen the wall or to fill gaps in it which had been broken down by the Babylonian battering rams. For a parallel to this during the siege of Sennacherib in the time of Hezekiah see Isa 22:10; 2 Chr 32:5. These torn-down buildings were also used as burial mounds for those who died in the fighting or through starvation and disease during the siege. The siege prohibited them from taking the bodies outside the city for burial and leaving them in their houses or in the streets would have defiled them.

454 tn Heb “Because I have hidden my face from.” The modern equivalent for this gesture of rejection is “to turn the back on.” See Ps 13:1 for comparable usage. The perfect is to be interpreted as a perfect of resolve (cf. IBHS 488-89 §30.5.1d and compare the usage in Ruth 4:3).

455 tn The translation and meaning of vv. 4-5 are somewhat uncertain. The translation and precise meaning of vv. 4-5 are uncertain at a number of points due to some difficult syntactical constructions and some debate about the text and meaning of several words. The text reads more literally, “33:4 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah which have been torn down on account the siege ramps and the sword 33:5 going to fight the Chaldeans and to fill them with the dead bodies of the men whom I have killed in my anger and in my wrath and on account of all whose wickedness I have hidden my face from this city.” There are two difficult syntactical forms (1) the participle at the beginning of v. 5 “going [or those going] to fight” (בָּאִים, baim) and (2) the infinitive plus suffix that introduces the next clause “and to fill them” (וּלְמַלְאָם, ulÿmalam). The translation has interpreted the former as a verbal use of the participle with an indefinite subject “they” (= the defenders of Jerusalem who have torn down the buildings; cf. GKC 460-61 §144.i for this point of grammar). The conjunction plus preposition plus infinitive construct has been interpreted as equivalent to a finite verb (cf. IBHS 611 §36.3.2a, i.e., “and they will fill them [the houses and buildings of v. 4]”). Adopting the Greek text of these two verses would produce a smoother reading. It reads “For thus says the Lord concerning the houses of this city and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah which have been pulled down for mounds and fortifications to fight against the Chaldeans and to fill it [should be “them”] with the corpses of men whom I smote in my anger and my wrath and I turned away my face from them [rather than from “this city” of the Hebrew text] for all their wickedness: Behold I will…” The Greek does not have the problem with the participle because it has seen it as part of a word meaning fortification. This also eliminates the problem with the infinitive because it is interpreted as parallel with “to fight.” I.e., the defenders used these torn-down buildings for defensive fortifications and for burial places. It would be tempting to follow this reading. However, there is no graphically close form for “fortification” that would explain how the more difficult בָּאִים הֶחָרֶב (hekharev baim) of the Hebrew text arose and there is doubt whether סֹלְלוֹת (solÿlot) can refer to a defense mound. W. L. Holladay (Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:221, 225) has suggested reading הַחֲרַכִּים (hakharakim) in place of הֶחָרֶב (hekharev) in the technical sense of “crenels,” the gaps between the raised portion on top of the wall (which raised portion he calls “merlons” and equates with סֹלְלוֹת, solÿlot). He does not, however, further suggest seeing בָּאִים (baim) as part of this corrupted form, choosing to see it rather as a gloss. His emendation and interpretation, however, have been justly criticized as violating the usage of both סֹלְלוֹת which is elsewhere “siege mound” and חֲרַכִּים (kharakim) which elsewhere refers only to the latticed opening of a window (Song 2:9). Until a more acceptable explanation of how the difficult Hebrew text could have arisen from the Greek, the Hebrew should be retained, though it is admittedly awkward. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 166, 172) have perhaps the best discussion of the issues and the options involved here.

456 tn Heb “Behold I am healing.” For the usage of the particle “behold” indicating certainty see the translator’s note on 1:6. These are the great and hidden things that the Lord promised to reveal. The statements in v. 5 have been somewhat introductory. See the usage of הִנְנִי (hinni) after the introductory “Thus says the Lord” in Jer 32:28, 37.

457 sn Compare Jer 30:17. Jerusalem is again being personified and her political and spiritual well-being are again in view.

458 tn The meaning and text of this word is questioned by KBL 749 s.v. עֲתֶרֶת. However, KBL also emends both occurrences of the verb from which BDB 801 s.v. עֲתֶרֶת derives this noun. BDB is more likely correct in seeing this and the usage of the verb in Prov 27:6; Ezek 35:13 as Aramaic loan words from a root meaning to be rich (equivalent to the Hebrew עָשַׁר, ’ashar).

459 tn Heb “I will reverse [or restore] the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel.” For this idiom see the translator’s note on Jer 29:14 and see the usage in 30:3, 18; 31:23; 32:44.

460 tn This phrase simply means “as formerly” (BDB 911 s.v. רִאשׁוֹן 3.a). The reference to the “as formerly” must be established from the context. See the usage in Judg 20:32; 1 Kgs 13:6; Isa 1:26.

sn Reference is to the reunification of Israel and Judah to the state that they were before the division after Solomon. Compare Jer 3:18; 30:3; 31:27 and see the study note on 30:3.

461 sn Compare Jer 31:34; Ezek 36:25, 33.

462 tn Heb “And it [the city] will be to me for a name for joy and for praise and for honor before all the nations of the earth which will hear of all the good things which I will do for them and which will be in awe and tremble for all the good things and all the peace [or prosperity] which I will do for them.” The long complex Hebrew sentence has been broken down to better conform with contemporary English style.

463 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” For the first person rendering see the translator’s note at the end of v. 2.

sn The phrase here is parallel to that in v. 4 and introduces a further amplification of the “great and mysterious things” of v. 3.

464 tn Heb “You.” However, the pronoun is plural as in 32:36, 43. See the translator’s note on 32:36.

465 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

466 tn Heb33:10 Thus says the Lord, ‘There will again be heard in this place of which you are saying [masc. pl.], “It is a ruin without people and without animals,” [that is] in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem which are desolate without people and without inhabitants and without animals 33:11 the sound of….” The long run-on sentence in Hebrew has been broken down to better conform with contemporary English style.

467 sn What is predicted here is a reversal of the decimation caused by the Babylonian conquest that had been threatened in 7:34; 16:9; 25:10.

468 sn This is a common hymnic introduction to both individual songs of thanksgiving (e.g., Ps 118:1) and communal songs of thanksgiving (e.g., Ps 136 where it is a liturgical refrain accompanying a recital of Israel’s early history and of the Lord’s continuing providence).

469 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

470 tn Or “I will restore the fortunes of the land.”

sn See the study note on Jer 29:18 and compare 29:14; 30:3, 18; 31:23; 32:44; 33:7 for the meaning and usage of this idiom. The promise here repeats that in 33:7.

471 tn This phrase simply means “as formerly” (BDB 911 s.v. רִאשׁוֹן 3.a). The reference to the “as formerly” must be established from the context. See the usage in Judg 20:32; 1 Kgs 13:6; Isa 1:26.

sn This refers to the reunification of Israel and Judah to the state that they were before the division after Solomon. Compare Jer 3:18; 30:3; 31:27 and see the study note on 30:3.

472 tn Heb “Thus says Yahweh of armies.” For the explanation for the first person introduction see the translator’s notes on 33:2, 10. Verses 4, 10, 12 introduce three oracles, all under the answer to the Lord’s promise to Jeremiah to show him “great and mysterious things which you still do not know about.”

473 sn Heb “Sheep will again pass under the hands of the counter.” This appears to be a reference to counting the sheep to make sure that none was missing as they returned to the fold. See the same idiom in Lev 27:52 and in the metaphor in Ezek 20:37.

474 sn Compare Jer 32:44.

475 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” For the first person form of address see the translator’s notes on vv. 2, 10, 12.

476 sn This refers at the very least to the promises of Jer 23:5-6, 7-8; 30:3; 31:27, 31 where the same formula “The time will certainly come (Heb “Behold the days are coming”)” occurs. Reference may also be to the promises through the earlier prophets of what is alluded to here, i.e., the restoration of Israel and Judah under a Davidic ruler and the revival of the offerings (cf. Hos 1:10-11; 3:4-5; Amos 9:11-12; Isa 11:1-5, 10-16; Jer 30:9, 21 for the former and Jer 31:14; 33:11 for the latter).

477 tn Heb “sprig” or “shoot.”

sn For the meaning of this term and its significance in biblical prophecy see the study note on 23:5.

478 tn For the translation of this term in this context see the parallel context in 23:6 and consult the translator’s note there.

479 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

480 tn Heb “And this is what will be called to it: ‘The Lord our righteousness.’”

sn For the significance of this title see the study note on the parallel text in 23:6. Other titles by which Jerusalem is to be known are found in Isa 62:2-4; Jer 3:17; Ezek 48:35; Zech 8:3 emphasizing that the Lord takes up his relation with it once again, dwells in it, delights in it, and finds it faithful once more (cf. Isa 1:26). In 23:6 the title is applied to the Davidic ruler that the Lord will raise up over them who will do what is just and right. God’s vindication of the city by its restoration after exile and his provision of this just ruler over it is the probable source for the title.

481 tn Heb “a man shall not be cut off to David [i.e., belonging to the Davidic line] sitting on the throne of the house of Israel.”

482 sn It should be noted once again that the reference is to all Israel, not just to Judah (cf. Jer 23:5-6; 30:9).

483 tn Heb “And to the Levites, the priests [= the Levitical priests, the apposition in place of the adjective] there shall not be cut off a man from before me who offers up burnt offering, sacrifices a cereal offering, or makes a sacrifice all the days.”

484 tn Heb “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying.” See v. 1. This is a continuation of “the second time.”

485 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” However, the Lord is speaking so the first person introduction has again been adopted. The content of the verse shows that it is a promise to David (vv. 21-22) and the Levites based on a contrary to fact condition (v. 20). See further the translator’s note at the end of the next verse for explanation of the English structure adopted here.

486 tn The word יוֹמָם (yomam) is normally an adverb meaning “daytime, by day, daily.” However, here and in v. 25 and in Jer 15:9 it means “day, daytime” (cf. BDB 401 s.v. יוֹמָם 1).

487 tn Heb “you.” The pronoun is plural as in 32:36, 43; 33:10.

488 tn The very complex and elliptical syntax of the original Hebrew of vv. 20-21 has been broken down to better conform with contemporary English style. The text reads somewhat literally (after the addition of a couple of phrases which have been left out by ellipsis): “Thus says the Lord, ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night so that there is not to be daytime and night in their proper time then also my covenant can be broken with my servant David so that there is not to him a son reigning upon his throne [and also my covenant can be broken] with the Levites [so there are not] priests who minister to me.” The two phrases in brackets are elliptical, the first serving double duty for the prepositional phrase “with the Levites” as well as “with David” and the second serving double duty with the noun “priests” which parallels “a son.” The noun “priests” is not serving here as appositional because that phrase is always “the priests, the Levites,” never “the Levites, the priests.”

sn This refers to a reaffirmation of the Davidic covenant (cf., e.g., 2 Sam 7:11-16, 25-29; Ps 89:3-4, 19-29) and God’s covenant with the Levites (cf. Num 25:10-13; Mal 2:4-6; Deut 32:8-11).

489 tn Heb “Just as the stars in the sky cannot be numbered or the sand on the seashore cannot be measured, so I will greatly increase [or multiply] the seed of my servant David and the Levites who minister before me.” The word “seed of” does not carry over to the “the Levites” as a noun governing two genitives because “the Levites” has the accusative marker in front of it. The sentence has been broken down in conformity with contemporary English style.

sn Context makes it clear that what is in view is an innumerable line of descendants from the righteous ruler that the Lord raises up over Israel and Judah after their regathering and restoration to the land. What is in view, then, is a reinstitution or reinstatement of the Davidic covenant of grant, the perpetual right of the Davidic dynasty to rule over the nation of Israel for all time (see also v. 26). This is guaranteed by the creation order which is the object of both God’s creative decree (Gen 1:14-19) and his covenant with Noah after the flood (Gen 8:22). (For further discussion on the nature of a covenant of grant see the study note on 32:40.) The rejection of the lines of Jehoiakim (36:30) and Jeconiah (22:30) and the certain captivity and death of Zedekiah (32:4) may have called into question the continuance of the Davidic promise which always had a certain conditional nature to it (cf. 1 Kgs 2:4; 8:25; 9:5). This promise and this guarantee show that the covenant of grant still stands and will ultimately find its fulfillment. Because this promise never found its fulfillment after the return from exile, it is left to the NT to show how it is fulfilled (cf., e.g., Matt 1:1-17 where it is emphasized that Jesus is the son (and heir) of both Abraham and David).

490 tn Heb “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying.” See v. 1. This is a continuation of “the second time.”

491 tn Heb “Have you not seen what this people have said, saying.” The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer. The sentence has been broken in two to better conform with contemporary English style.

492 tn Heb “The two families which the Lord chose, he has rejected them.” This is an example of an object prepositioned before the verb and resumed by a redundant pronoun to throw emphasis of focus on it (called casus pendens in the grammars; cf. GKC 458 §143.d). Some commentators identify the “two families” as those of David and Levi mentioned in the previous verses, and some identify them as the families of the Israelites and of David mentioned in the next verse. However, the next clause in this verse and the emphasis on the restoration and regathering of Israel and Judah in this section (cf. 33:7, 14) show that the reference is to Israel and Judah (see also 30:3, 4; 31:27, 31 and 3:18).

493 tn Heb “and my people [i.e., Israel and Judah] they disdain [or look down on] from being again a nation before them.” The phrase “before them” refers to their estimation, their mental view (cf. BDB s.v. פָּנֶה II.4.a[g]). Hence it means they look with disdain on the people being a nation again (cf. BDB s.v. עוֹד 1.a[b] for the usage of עוֹד [’od] here).

494 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” See the translator’s note at the beginning of v. 20 for the style adopted here. Here the promise is in v. 26 following the contrary to fact condition in v. 25. The Hebrew text of vv. 25-26 reads: “Thus says the Lord, “If I have not established my covenant with day and night [and] the laws/statutes of heaven and earth, also I could reject the seed of Jacob and David my servant from taking from his seed as rulers over the seed of Abraham…” The syntax of the original is a little awkward because it involves the verbs “establish” and “reject” governing two objects, the first governing two similar objects “my covenant” and “the regulations” and the second governing two dissimilar objects “the seed of Jacob” and “my servant David from taking [so as not to take].” The translation has sought to remove these awkward syntactical constructions and also break down the long complex original sentence in such a way as to retain its original intent, i.e., the guarantee of the continuance of the seed of Jacob and of the rule of a line of David’s descendants over them based on the fixed order of God’s creation decrees.

495 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) is probably intensive here as it has been on a number of occasions in the book of Jeremiah (see BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e for the category).

496 tn Or “I will make them prosperous once again,” or “I will bring them back from captivity.”

sn For the meaning of this idiom see the translator’s note on Jer 29:14 and compare the usage in 29:14; 30:3, 18; 31:23; 32:44; 33:7, 11. This has been the emphasis on this section which is called by some commentators “The Book of Consolation.” Jeremiah’s emphasis up until chapters 30-33 had been on judgment but he was also called to be the prophet of restoration (cf. Jer 1:10). Promises of restoration though rare up to this point have, however, occurred on occasion (see, e.g., Jer 3:18; 23:5-7; 24:6-7; 29:10-14).

497 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

498 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord while Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army and all the kingdoms of the earth under the dominion of his hand and all the peoples were fighting against Jerusalem and against all its towns, saying.” The sentence is obviously too long and the qualifiers obviously too ill-defined to translate literally. This same introductory formula has occurred in 7:1; 11:1; 18:1; 21:1; 30:1; 32:1 but without such a long introductory phrase. It is generally agreed that the phrase “all the peoples” should be seen as a parallel term to “all the kingdoms” under the qualifying “under the dominion of his hand/ control” and what is referred to are contingent forces supplied by these vassal kingdoms and peoples under the terms of their vassal treaties with Nebuchadnezzar. Some of the nature of the make-up of these forces may be seen from a reference to Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite raiders in the earlier attacks on Jerusalem during the reign of Jehoiakim (2 Kgs 24:2).

sn It is difficult to assign dates to passages which have no dating formulas but there is sufficient detail in this passage to show that this incident occurred sometime early in the siege of Jerusalem while Jeremiah was still free to come and go (see v. 2 and compare 37:4 and see the second study note on 32:2). The Babylonian forces blockaded Jerusalem and attacked the outlying cities, reducing them one by one until Jerusalem had no further help. According to v. 7 Azekah and Lachish in the western foothills still held out and there is evidence from some of the correspondence from Lachish at this period that help was being sought from Egypt.

499 tn Heb “told him”; the referent (Jeremiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

500 tn Heb “told him”; the referent (Jeremiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

501 tn Heb 34:1 “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord…saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I am going to….”’”’” The translation has tried to avoid some of the confusion that is created by embedding quotations within quotations by using indirect quotation in some instances; the conceptualization is the same but the style is simpler.

502 tn Heb “Your eyes will see the eyes of the king of Babylon and his mouth will speak with your mouth.” For this same idiom in reverse order see 32:4 and consult the translator’s note there for the obligatory nuance given to the verbs.

sn For the fulfillment of this see Jer 52:7-11.

503 tn Heb “However, hear the word of the Lord, Zedekiah king of Judah, ‘Thus says the Lord to you, “You will not die by the sword.”’” The translation has tried to avoid the complexity created by embedding quotes within quotes and has used the first person address within the Lord’s speech as has also been done elsewhere.

504 tn Heb “by the sword.”

sn The contrast is between death in battle or by execution and death in the normal course of life. Zedekiah was captured, had to witness the execution of his sons, had his eyes put out, and was taken to Babylon where he died after a lengthy imprisonment (Jer 52:10-11).

505 tn Heb “And like the burning [of incense] for your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so will they burn [incense] for you.” The sentence has been reversed for easier style and the technical use of the terms interpreted.

sn For the custom referred to compare 2 Chr 16:14; 21:19.

506 sn The intent of this oracle may have been to contrast the fate of Zedekiah with that of Jehoiakim who was apparently executed, went unmourned, and was left unburied (contrast Jer 22:18-19).

507 tn Heb “For [or Indeed] I myself have spoken [this] word.”

508 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

509 tn Heb “And the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and against all the cities of Judah which were left, [namely] against Lachish and Azekah for they alone were left of the cities of Judah as fortified cities.” The intent of this sentence is to serve as a circumstantial sentence to v. 6 (= “while the army…”). That thought is picked up by “he did this while….” The long complex sentence in v. 7 has been broken down and qualifying material placed in the proper places to convey the same information in shorter English sentences in conformity with contemporary English style.

510 tn Usually translated “covenant.” See the study note on 11:2 for the rationale for the translation here.

sn There are no details regarding the nature of this covenant, but it was probably a parity covenant in which the people agreed to free their slaves in exchange for some concessions from the king (see the study note on 11:2 for more details on the nature of ancient Near Eastern covenants). More details about this covenant are given in vv. 15, 18-19 where it is said to have been made before the Lord in the temple and involved passing between the pieces of a cut-up calf. Hence it involved their swearing an oath invoking the Lord’s name (cf. Gen 21:23; 31:51-53; 1 Sam 20:42) and pronouncing self-maledictory curses on themselves calling down on themselves a fate similar to that of the dead calf if they failed to keep it. (This latter practice is illustrated in treaty documents from the ancient Near East and is reflected in the covenant ceremony in Gen 15:8-16.)

511 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

512 tn Heb “after King Zedekiah made a covenant…to proclaim liberty to them [the slaves mentioned in the next verse] so that each would send away free his male slave and his female slave, the Hebrew man and the Hebrew woman, so that a man would not hold them in bondage, namely a Judean, his brother [this latter phrase is explicative of “them” because it repeats the preposition in front of “them”].” The complex Hebrew syntax has been broken down into shorter English sentences but an attempt has been made to retain the proper subordinations.

sn Through economic necessity some of the poorer people of the land had on occasion to sell themselves or their children to wealthier Hebrew landowners. The terms of their servitude were strictly regulated under Hebrew law (cf. Exod 21:2-11; Lev 25:39-55; Deut 15:12-18). In brief, no Hebrew was to serve a fellow Hebrew for any longer than six years. In the seventh year he or she was to go free. The period could even be shortened if the year of jubilee intervened since all debts were to be canceled, freedom restored, and indentured property returned in that year. Some see the covenant here coming in conjunction with such a jubilee year since it involved the freedom of all slaves regardless of how long they had served. Others see this covenant as paralleling an old Babylonian practice of a king declaring liberty for slaves and canceling all debts generally at the beginning of his reign (but also at other significant times within it) in order to ingratiate himself with his subjects.

513 tn Heb “And they complied, [that is] all the leaders and all the people who entered into the covenant that they would each let his male slave and his female slave go free so as not to hold them in bondage any longer; they complied and they let [them] go.” The verb “they complied” (Heb “they hearkened”) is repeated at the end after the lengthy description of the subject. This is characteristic of Hebrew style. The translation has resolved the complex sentence by making the relative clauses modifying the subject independent sentences describing the situational background before mentioning the main focus, “they had complied and let them go.”

514 sn Most commentators are agreed that the incident referred to here occurred during the period of relief from the siege provided by the Babylonians going off to fight against the Egyptians who were apparently coming to Zedekiah’s aid (compare vv. 21-22 with 37:5, 7). The freeing of the slaves had occurred earlier, under the crisis of the siege while the people were more responsive to the Lord due to the threat of destruction (cf. v. 15).

515 tn Heb “they had brought them into subjection for male and female slaves.” However, the qualification of “male and female” is already clear from the preceding and is unnecessary to the English sentence.

516 tn Heb “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying.” This is the resumption of the introduction in v. 8 after the lengthy description of the situation that had precipitated the Lord’s message to Jeremiah. “That was when” is intended to take the reader back to v. 8.

517 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘…’” The style adopted here has been used to avoid a longer, more complex English sentence.

518 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 14, 15).

519 tn Heb “out of the house of bondage.”

sn This refers to the Mosaic covenant, initiated at Mount Sinai and renewed on the plains of Moab. The statement “I brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” functions as the “historical prologue” in the Ten Commandments which is the Lord’s vassal treaty with Israel in miniature. (See the study note on 11:2 and see Exod 20:2; Deut 5:6 and Exod 34:8. As such it was a motivating factor in their pledge of loyalty to him. This statement was also invoked within the law itself as a motivation for kindly treatment of slaves including their emancipation (see Deut 15:15).)

520 tn Heb “made a covenant, saying.” This was only one of several stipulations of the covenant. The form used here has been chosen as an indirect way of relating the specific stipulation that is being focused upon to the general covenant that is referred to in v. 13.

521 sn Compare Deut 15:12-18 for the complete statement of this law. Here only the first part of it is cited.

522 tn The presence of the independent pronoun in the Hebrew text is intended to contrast their actions with those of their ancestors.

523 sn This refers to the temple. See Jer 7:10, 11, 14, 30 and see the translator’s note on 7:10 and the study note on 10:25 for the explanation of the idiom involved here.

524 sn The verb at the beginning of v. 15 and v. 16 are the same in the Hebrew. They had two changes of heart (Heb “you turned”), one that was pleasing to him (Heb “right in his eyes”) and one that showed they did not honor him (Heb “profaned [or belittled] his name”).

525 sn Heb “you profaned my name.” His name had been invoked in the oath confirming the covenant. Breaking the covenant involved taking his name in vain (cf. Exod 20:7; Deut 5:11; Jer 5:2). Hence the one who bore the name was not treated with the special honor and reverence due him (see the study note on 23:27 for the significance of “name” in the OT).

526 tn Heb “and you brought them into subjection to be to you for male and female slaves.” See the translator’s note on v. 11 for the same redundant repetition which is not carried over into the contemporary English sentence.

527 tn The Hebrew text has a compound object, the two terms of which have been synonyms in vv. 14, 15. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 189) make the interesting observation that these two terms (Heb “brother” and “neighbor”) emphasize the relationships that should have taken precedence over their being viewed as mere slaves.

528 sn This is, of course, a metaphorical and ironical use of the term “to grant freedom to.” It is, however, a typical statement of the concept of talionic justice which is quite often operative in God’s judgments in the OT (cf., e.g., Obad 15).

529 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

530 sn Compare Jer 15:4; 24:9; 29:18.

531 sn See the study note on v. 8 for explanation and parallels.

532 tn There is a little confusion in the syntax of this section because the noun “the calf” does not have any formal conjunction or preposition with it showing how it relates to the rest of the sentence. KJV treats it and the following words as though they were a temporal clause modifying “covenant which they made.” The majority of modern English versions and commentaries, however, understand it as a second accusative after the verb + object “I will make the men.” This fits under the category of what GKC 375 §118.r calls an accusative of comparison (compare usage in Isa 21:8; Zech 2:8). Stated baldly, “I will make the people…the calf,” it is, however, more forceful than the formal use of the noun + preposition כְּ just as metaphors are generally more forceful than similes. The whole verse is one long, complex sentence in Hebrew: “I will make the men who broke my covenant [referring to the Mosaic covenant containing the stipulation to free slaves after six years] [and] who did not keep the terms of the covenant which they made before me [referring to their agreement to free their slaves] [like] the calf which they cut in two and passed between its pieces.” The sentence has been broken down into shorter sentences in conformity with contemporary English style.

533 tn For the rendering of this term see the translator’s note on 29:2.

534 tn This verse is not actually a sentence in the Hebrew original but is a prepositioned object to the verb in v. 20, “I will hand them over.” This construction is called casus pendens in the older grammars and is used to call attention to a subject or object (cf. GKC 458 §143.d and compare the usage in 33:24). The same nondescript “I will punish” which was used to resolve the complex sentence in the previous verse has been chosen to introduce the objects here before the more specific “I will hand them over” in the next verse.

535 sn See this same phrase in Jer 7:33; 16:4; 19:7.

536 tn Heb “And Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives and into the hands of the army of the king of Babylon which has gone up from against them.” The last two “and into the hand” phrases are each giving further explication of “their enemies” (the conjunction is explicative [cf. BDB 252 s.v. וְ 1.b]). The sentence has been broken down into shorter English sentences in conformity with contemporary English style.

sn This refers to the relief offered by the withdrawal of the Babylonian troops to fight against the Egyptians which were coming to Zedekiah’s aid (cf. 37:5, 7, 11).

537 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

538 sn The introductory statement here shows that this incident is earlier than those in Jer 32–34 which all take place in the reign of Zedekiah. Jehoiakim ruled from 609/8 b.c. until 598/97 b.c. and his brother Zedekiah followed him after a brief reign of three months by Jehoiakim’s son who was captured by Nebuchadnezzar and taken to Babylon. Zedekiah ruled from 598/7 b.c. until the kingdom fell in 587/86. The position of this chapter is out of chronological order emphasizing the theme of covenant infidelity (Jer 34; 35:12-17) versus the faithfulness to his commands that God expected from Israel as illustrated by the Rechabites’ faithfulness to the commands of their progenitor. This is thus another one of those symbolic acts in Jeremiah which have significance to the message of the book (compare Jer 13, 19). This incident likely took place during the time that people living in the countryside like the Rechabites were forced to take shelter in the fortified cities because of the raiding parties that Nebuchadnezzar had sent against Jehoiakim after he had rebelled against him in 603 b.c. (compare v. 11 and Jer 4:5 with 2 Kgs 24:1-2).

539 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, saying.”

540 tn Heb “the house of the Rechabites.” “House” is used here in terms of “household” or “family” (cf. BDB 109 s.v. בַּיִת 5.a, b).

sn Nothing is known about the Rechabite community other than what is said about them in this chapter. From vv. 7-8 it appears that they were a nomadic tribe that had resisted settling down and taking up farming. They had also agreed to abstain from drinking wine. Most scholars agree in equating the Jonadab son of Rechab mentioned as the leader who had instituted these strictures as the same Jonadab who assisted Jehu in his religious purge of Baalism following the reign of Ahab (2 Kgs 10:15, 23-24). If this is the case, the Rechabites followed these same rules for almost 250 years because Jehu’s purge of Baalism and the beginning of his reign was in 841 b.c. and the incident here took place some time after Jehoiakim’s rebellion in 603 b.c. (see the study note on v. 1).

541 sn This refers to one of the rooms built on the outside of the temple that were used as living quarters for the priests and for storage rooms (cf. Neh 13:4-5; 1 Kgs 6:5; 1 Chr 28:12; 2 Chr 31:11 and compare Ezek 41:1-14).

542 tn Heb “the sons of Hanan son of Igdaliah, the man of God.” The reference to “sons” and to “man of God” fits the usage of these terms elsewhere to refer to prophets and their disciples (see BDB 43-44 s.v. אֱלֹהִים 3(b) and compare usage in 2 Kgs 4:40 for the former and BDB 121 s.v. בֵּן 7.a and compare the usage in 2 Kgs 4:38 for the latter).

543 sn According to Jer 52:24; 2 Kgs 25:18 there were three officers who carried out this duty. It was their duty to guard the entrance of the temple to keep people out that did not belong there, such as those who were foreigners or ritually unclean (see 2 Kgs 12:9 and compare Ps 118:19-20).

544 tn Heb “Drink wine.”

545 tn Heb “Don’t plant a vineyard and it shall not be to you [= and you shall/must not have one].”

546 tn Heb “Don’t…and don’t…but live…in order that you might….”

547 sn Heb “where you are sojourning.” The terms “sojourn” and “sojourner” referred to a person who resided in a country not his own, without the rights and privileges of citizenship as a member of a nation, state, or principality. In the ancient Near East such people were dependent on the laws of hospitality rather than the laws of state for protection and provision of legal rights. Perhaps the best illustration of this is Abraham who “sojourned” among the Philistines and the Hittites in Canaan and was dependent upon them for grazing and water rights and for a place to bury his wife (cf. Gen 20-24). What is described here is the typical lifestyle of a nomadic tribe.

548 tn Heb “We have not drunk wine all our days.” Actually vv. 8b-9a are a series of infinitive constructs plus the negative לְבִלְתִּי (lÿvilti) explaining the particulars of how they have obeyed, i.e., by not drinking wine…and by not building….” The more direct declarative statement is used here to shorten the sentence and is more in keeping with contemporary style.

549 tn Heb “We have obeyed and done according to all which our ancestor Jonadab commanded us.”

550 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

551 tn Heb “Chaldean.” For explanation see the study note on 21:4.

552 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” For this title see 7:3 and the study note on 2:19.

553 tn Heb35:12 And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh of armies the God of Israel, “Go and say…‘Will you not learn…’”’” The use of the indirect introduction has been chosen here as in 34:1-2 to try to cut down on the confusion created by embedding quotations within quotations.

554 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

555 tn The words “from this” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They have been supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.

556 tn Heb “Will you not learn a lesson…?” The rhetorical question here has the force of an imperative, made explicit in the translation.

557 tn Heb “The words of Jonadab son of Rechab which he commanded his descendants not to drink wine have been carried out.” (For the construction of the accusative of subject after a passive verb illustrated here see GKC 388 §121.b.) The sentence has been broken down and made more direct to better conform to contemporary English style.

558 tn The vav (ו) plus the independent pronoun before the verb is intended to mark a sharp contrast. It is difficult, if not impossible to mark this in English other than “But I.”

559 tn On this idiom (which occurs again in the following verse) see the translator’s note on 7:13 for this idiom and compare its use in 7:13, 25; 11:7; 25:3, 4; 26:5; 29:19; 32:33; 35:14, 15; 44:9.

560 tn Heb “Turn, each of you, from his [= your] wicked way and make good your deeds.” Compare 18:11 where the same idiom occurs with the added term of “make good your ways.”

561 tn Heb “Don’t go after/follow other gods.” See the translator’s note on 2:5 for an explanation of the idiom and see 11:10; 13:10; 25:6 for the same idiom.

562 tn This is an attempt to represent the particle כִּי (ki) which is probably not really intensive here (cf. BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e) but is one of those causal uses of כִּי that BDB discusses on 473-74 s.v. כִּי 3.c where the cause is really the failure of the people of Judah and Jerusalem to listen/obey. I.e., the causal particle is at the beginning of the sentence so as not to interrupt the contrast drawn.

563 tn Heb “this people.” However, the speech is addressed to the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem, so the second person is retained in English. In addition to the stylistic difference that Hebrew exhibits in the rapid shift between persons (second to third and third to second, which have repeatedly been noted and documented from GKC 462 §144.p) there may be a subtle rhetorical reason for the shift here. The shift from direct address to indirect address which characterizes this verse and the next may reflect the Lord’s rejection of the people he is addressing. A similar shift takes place in Wisdom’s address to the simple minded, fools, and mockers in Prov 1:28-32 after the direct address of 1:22-27.

564 tn Heb “Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of armies, the God of Israel.” For the title see 7:13 and the study note on 2:19. The first person address is again used in the translation because this whole section is a speech from the Lord (see vv. 12-13).

565 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” For this title, which occurs again in the following verse, see the notes on 7:3 and the study note on 2:19.

566 tn Heb “There shall not be cut to Jonadab son of Rechab a man standing before me all the days.” For the first part of this idiom see 33:17-18 where it is applied to David always having a descendant to occupy the throne and the Levites will always have priests to offer up sacrifices. For the latter part of the idiom “to stand before” referring to service see BDB 764 s.v. עָמַד 1.e and compare the usage in 1 Kgs 1:2; 2 Kgs 3:14; Jer 15:19; Deut 10:8. As comparison with those passages will show, it refers to attending on, or serving a superior, a king, or the Lord. It is used of both prophets (e.g., 1 Kgs 17:1) and priests (e.g., Deut 10:8) serving the Lord. Its most common use is to refer to priestly service. The nature of the service is not further defined in this case, though several of the commentaries point out a Mishnaic tradition that the Rechabites later were given the function of bringing wood for the altar.

567 sn The fourth year that Jehoiakim…was ruling over Judah would have been 605/4 b.c. Jehoiakim began his rule in 609/8 b.c. after his father Josiah was killed by Pharaoh Necho at Megiddo. Necho had installed him as puppet king in place of his brother Jehoahaz who was deposed by Necho after a reign of only three months (2 Kgs 23:31-35). According to Jer 46:2 that was the year in which Nebuchadnezzar defeated Jehoiakim’s suzerain Necho at Carchemish. That was also the same year that Jerusalem came under attack and submitted to Babylonian control after a brief siege (Dan 1:1; see the study note on 25:1 for the reason for the difference in the dating between Jer 25:1; 36:2 and Dan 1:1). These events confirmed what Jeremiah had been saying about the foe from the north (4:6; 6:1; 15:12) and would have provided the impetus for the hopes that the people would repent if they were reminded about what Jeremiah had been saying.

568 tn Heb “This word came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah the king of Judah, saying.”

569 sn Heb “a roll [or scroll] of a document.” Scrolls consisted of pieces of leather or parchment sewn together and rolled up on wooden rollers. The writing was written from right to left and from top to bottom in columns and the scroll unrolled from the left roller and rolled onto the right one as the scroll was read. The scroll varied in length depending on the contents. This scroll was probably not all that long since it was read three times in a single day (vv. 10-11, 15-16, 21-23).

570 sn The intent is hardly that of giving a verbatim report of everything that the Lord had told him to say or of everything that he had actually said. What the scroll undoubtedly contained was a synopsis of Jeremiah’s messages as constructed from his memory.

571 sn This refers to the messages that Jeremiah delivered during the last eighteen years of Josiah, the three month reign of Jehoahaz and the first four years of Jehoiakim’s reign (the period between Josiah’s thirteenth year [cf. 1:2] and the fourth year of Jehoiakim [v. 1]). The exact content of this scroll is unknown since many of the messages in the present book are undated. It is also not known what relation this scroll had to the present form of the book of Jeremiah, since this scroll was destroyed and another one written that contained more than this one did (cf. v. 32). Since Jeremiah continued his ministry down to the fall of Jerusalem in 587/6 b.c. (1:2) and beyond (cf. Jer 40-44) much more was added to those two scrolls even later.

572 tn Heb “will turn each one from his wicked way.”

573 tn Heb “their iniquity and their sin.”

sn The offer of withdrawal of punishment for sin is consistent with the principles of Jer 18:7-8 and the temple sermon delivered early in the reign of this king (cf. 26:1-3; 7:5-7).

574 tn Heb “Then Baruch wrote down on a scroll from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord which he [the Lord] had spoken to him [Jeremiah].” The syntax of the Hebrew sentence is awkward and hard to reproduce “literally” in any meaningful way. The English sentence has been restructured to reproduce all the pertinent facts in more simplified language.

575 tn Heb “I am restrained; I cannot go into.” The word “restrained” is used elsewhere in Jeremiah of his being confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse (33:1; 39:15). However, that occurred only later during the tenth year of Zedekiah (Jer 32:1-2) and Jeremiah appears here to be free to come and go as he pleased (vv. 19, 26). The word is used in the active voice of the Lord preventing Sarah from having a baby (Gen 16:2). The probable nuance is here “I am prevented/ debarred” from being able to go. No reason is given why he was prevented/debarred. It has been plausibly suggested that he was prohibited from going into the temple any longer because of the scathing sermon he delivered there earlier (Jer 26:1-3; 7:1-15).

576 sn Regular fast days were not a part of Israel’s religious calendar. Rather fast days were called on special occasions, i.e., in times of drought or a locust plague (Joel 1:14; 2:15), or during a military crisis (2 Chr 20:3), or after defeat in battle (1 Sam 31:13; 2 Sam 1:12). A fast day was likely chosen for the reading of the scroll because the people would be more mindful of the crisis they were in and be in more of a repentant mood. The events referred to in the study note on v. 1 would have provided the basis for Jeremiah’s anticipation of a fast day when the scroll could be read.

577 tn Heb “So you go and read from the scroll which you have written from my mouth the words of the Lord in the ears of the people in the house of the Lord on a fast day, and in that way [for the explanation of this rendering see below] you will be reading them in the ears of all Judah [= the people of Judah] who come from their towns [i.e., to the temple to fast].” Again the syntax of the original is awkward, separating several of the qualifying phrases from the word or phrase they are intended to modify. In most of the “literal” English versions the emphasis on “what the Lord said” tends to get lost and it looks like two separate groups are to be addressed rather than one. The intent of the phrase is to define who the people are who will hear; the וַ that introduces the clause is explicative (BDB 252 s.v. וַ 1.b) and the גַּם (gam) is used to emphasize the explicative “all Judah who come in from their towns” (cf. BDB 169 s.v. גַּם 2). If some force were to be given to the “literal” rendering of that particle here it would be “actually.” This is the group that is to be addressed according to v. 3. The complex Hebrew sentence has been restructured to include all the relevant information in more comprehensible and shorter English sentences.

578 tn Heb “will turn each one from his wicked way.”

579 tn Heb “For great is the anger and the wrath which the Lord has spoken against this people.” The translation uses the more active form which is more in keeping with contemporary English style.

580 tn Heb “And Baruch son of Neriah did according to all that the prophet Jeremiah commanded him with regard to reading from the scroll the words of the Lord in the temple of the Lord.” The sentence has been broken down and the modifiers placed where they belong to better conform to contemporary English style.

581 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

582 tn There is some debate about the syntax of the words translated “All the people living in Jerusalem and all the people who came into Jerusalem from the towns in Judah.” As the sentence is structured in Hebrew it looks like these words are the subject of “proclaim a fast.” However, most commentaries point out that the people themselves would hardly proclaim a fast; they would be summoned to fast (cf. 1 Kgs 21:9, 12; Jonah 3:7). Hence many see these words as the object of the verb which has an impersonal subject “they.” This is most likely unless with J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 180) the word “proclaim” is used in a looser sense as “observed.” The translation has chosen to follow this latter tack rather than use the impersonal (or an equivalent passive) construction in English. For a similar problem see Jonah 3:5 which precedes the official proclamation in 3:7. The Hebrew text reads: “In the fifth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, in the ninth month they proclaimed a fast before the Lord, all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the cities of Judah into Jerusalem.” The sentence has been broken down and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style.

sn Judging from v. 22 this was one of the winter months meaning that the reckoning is based on the calendar which starts with April rather than the one which starts with September (Nisan to Nisan rather than Tishri to Tishri). The ninth month would have been Kislev which corresponds roughly to December. According to Babylonian historical records this is the same year and the same month when Ashkelon was captured and sacked. The surrender of Jerusalem and the subsequent looting of the temple in the previous year (Dan 1:1) and the return of the menacing presence of Nebuchadnezzar in the near vicinity were probably the impetus for the fast.

583 sn Shaphan had been the royal secretary under Jehoiakim’s father’s rule. During the course of his official duties the book of the law had been discovered and he had read it and reported its contents to Josiah who instituted sweeping reforms on the basis of his obedience to it. (See 2 Kgs 22 and note especially vv. 3, 8, 10.) If the Shaphan mentioned in 26:14 is the same person as this, Gemariah would have been the brother of the man who spoke up on Jeremiah’s behalf when the priests and prophets sought to have him killed.

584 sn It is generally agreed that this is the same as the inner court mentioned in 1 Kgs 6:36; 7:12. It is called “upper” here because it stood above (cf. 1 Kgs 7:12) the outer court where all the people were standing.

585 sn The New Gate is the same gate where Jeremiah had been accused of falsely claiming the Lord’s authority for his “treasonous” prophecies according to 26:10-11. See the study note on 26:10 for more details about the location of this gate.

586 tn The syntax of the original is complicated due to all the qualifying terms: Heb “And Baruch read from the scroll the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord in (i.e., in the entrance of) the room of Gemariah son of Shaphan the scribe in the upper court at the entrance of the New Gate in the house of the Lord in the ears of all the people.” The sentence has been broken down and restructured to contain all the same information in shorter English sentences that better conform with contemporary English style.

587 tn Heb “Micaiah son of Gemariah son of Shaphan heard all the words of the Lord from upon the scroll.” The words “heard Baruch read” are implicit from the context and are supplied in the translation for smoothness.

588 sn If, as many believe, this man was the same as the Elishama mentioned in Jer 41:1; 2 Kgs 25:25, he was also a member of the royal family.

589 sn This man has already been mentioned in Jer 26:22 as the official who was sent to Egypt to extradite the prophet Uriah that Jehoiakim had executed. Though he was instrumental in the death of that prophet, he appears to have been favorably disposed to Jeremiah or at least impressed by the seriousness of his messages, because he is one of the officials that urged Baruch and Jeremiah to hide (v. 19), and he counseled Jehoiakim not to burn the scroll (v. 25).

590 tn Heb “Micaiah reported to them all the words which he heard when Baruch read from the scroll in the ears of the people.”

591 tn Heb “in your hand.”

592 tn The original has another example of a prepositioned object (called casus pendens in the grammars; cf. GKC 458 §143.b) which is intended to focus attention on “the scroll.” The Hebrew sentence reads: “The scroll which you read from it in the ears of the people take it and come.” Any attempt to carry over this emphasis into the English translation would be awkward. Likewise, the order of the two imperatives has been reversed as more natural in English.

593 tn Heb “So Baruch son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand and went to them.” The clause order has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

594 tn Or “‘to us personally’…to them personally”; Heb “‘in our ears’…in their ears.” Elsewhere this has been rendered “in the hearing of” or “where they could hear.” All three of those idioms sound unnatural in this context. The mere personal pronoun seems adequate.

595 tn Heb “all the words.”

596 tn According to BDB 808 s.v. פָּחַד Qal.1 and 40 s.v. אֶל 3.a, this is an example of the “pregnant” use of a preposition where an implied verb has to be supplied in the translation to conform the normal range of the preposition with the verb that is governing it. The Hebrew text reads: “they feared unto one another.” BDB translates “they turned in dread to each other.” The translation adopted seems more appropriate in this context.

597 tn Heb “We must certainly report to the king all these things.” Here the word דְּבָרִים (dÿvarim) must mean “things” (cf. BDB 183 s.v. דָּבָר IV.3) rather than “words” because a verbatim report of all the words in the scroll is scarcely meant. The present translation has chosen to use a form that suggests a summary report of all the matters spoken about in the scroll rather than the indefinite “things.”

598 tn Or “Did Jeremiah dictate them to you?” The words “Do they actually come from Jeremiah’s mouth?” assume that the last phrase (מִפִּיו, mippiv) is a question, either without the formal he (הֲ) interrogative (see GKC 473 §150.a and compare usage in 1 Sam 16:4; Prov 5:16) or with a letter supplied from the end of the preceding word (single writing of a letter following the same letter [haplography]; so the majority of modern commentaries). The word is missing in the Greek version. The presence of this same word at the beginning of the answer in the next verse suggests that this was a question (probably without the he [הֲ] interrogative to make it more emphatic) since the common way to answer affirmatively is to repeat the emphatic word in the question (cf. GKC 476 §150.n and compare usage in Gen 24:58). The intent of the question is to make sure that these were actually Jeremiah’s words not Baruch’s own creation (cf. Jer 42:2-3 for a similar suspicion).

599 tn The verbal forms emphasize that each word came from his mouth. The first verb is an imperfect which emphasizes repeated action in past time and the second verb is a participle which emphasizes ongoing action. However, it is a little awkward to try to express this nuance in contemporary English. Even though it is not reflected in the translation, it is noted here for future reference.

600 tn The verbs here are both direct imperatives but it sounds awkward to say “You and Jeremiah, go and hide” in contemporary English. The same force is accomplished by phrasing the statement as strong advice.

601 tn Heb “they deposited.” For the usage of the verb here see BDB 824 s.v. פָּקַד Hiph.2.b and compare the usage in Jer 37:21 where it is used for “confining” Jeremiah in the courtyard of the guardhouse.

602 tn Heb “all the matters.” Compare the translator’s note on v. 16.

603 tn Both here and in the next verse the Hebrew has “in the ears of” before “the king” (and also before “all the officials”). As in v. 15 these words are not represented in the translation due to the awkwardness of the idiom in contemporary English (see the translator’s note on v. 15).

604 tn Heb “and Jehudi read it.” However, Jehudi has been the subject of the preceding; so it would be awkward in English to use the personal subject. The translation has chosen to bring out the idea that Jehudi himself read it by using the reflexive.

605 tn Heb “in the autumn house.” Commentators are agreed that this was not a separate building or palace but the winter quarters in the palace.

sn Larger houses, including the palace, were two-storied buildings with a lower quarters better suited for the cold of winter and an upper quarters which was better ventilated to provide cool in the summer. Since this was the ninth month (December) the king had taken up residence in the lower, warmer quarters which were equipped with a portable fire pot or brazier to keep him warm.

606 tc Heb “the fire in the firepot was burning before him.” The translation assumes that the word “fire” (אֵשׁ, ’esh) has dropped out after the particle אֶת (’et) because of the similar beginnings of the two words. The word “fire” is found in the Greek, Syriac, and Targumic translations according to BHS. The particle אֵת should be retained rather than dropped as an erroneous writing of אֵשׁ. Its presence is to be explained as the usage of the sign of the accusative introducing a new subject (cf. BDB 85 s.v. אֶת 3.α and compare the usage in 27:8; 38:16 [in the Kethib]; 45:4).

607 tn Heb “doors.” This is the only time the word “door” is used in this way but all the commentaries and lexicons agree that it means “columns.” The meaning is figurative based on the similarity of shape.

608 tn Heb “he.” The majority of commentaries and English versions are agreed that “he” is the king. However, since a penknife (Heb “a scribe’s razor”) is used to cut the columns off, it is possible that Jehudi himself did it. However, even if Jehudi himself did it, he was acting on the king’s orders.

609 sn Heb “a scribe’s razor.” There is some irony involved here since a scribe’s razor was used to trim the sheets to be sewn together, scrape them in preparation for writing, and to erase errors. What was normally used to prepare the scroll was used to destroy it.

610 tn Heb “until the whole scroll was consumed upon the fire which was in the fire pot.”

611 tn Heb “Neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words were afraid or tore their clothes.” The sentence has been broken up into two shorter sentences to better conform to English style and some of the terms explained (e.g., tore their clothes) for the sake of clarity.

sn There are some interesting wordplays and contrasts involved here. The action of the king and his attendants should be contrasted with that of the officials who heard the same things read (v. 16). The king and his officials did not tear their garments in grief and sorrow; instead the king cut up the scroll (the words “tear” and “cut off” are the same in Hebrew [קָרַע, qara’]). Likewise, the actions of Jehoiakim and his attendants is to be contrasted with that of his father Josiah who some twenty or more years earlier tore his clothes in grief and sorrow (2 Kgs 22:11-20) and led the people in renewing their commitment to the covenant (2 Kgs 23:1-3). That was what the Lord had hoped would happen when the king and the people heard the warnings of Jeremiah (Jer 36:2-3). Instead, Jehoiakim expressed his contempt for the word of God by destroying the scroll.

612 tn Heb “And also Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah urged [or had urged] the king not to burn the scroll, but he did not listen to them.” The translation attempts to lessen the clash in chronological sequencing with the preceding. This sentence is essentially a flash back to a time before the scroll was totally burned (v. 23).

613 tn Heb “the son of the king.” Many of the commentaries express doubt that this actually refers to Jehoiakim’s own son since Jehoiakim was only about thirty at this time and one of his sons would not have been old enough to have been in such a position of authority. The same doubt is expressed about the use of this term in 38:6 and in 1 Kgs 22:26. The term need not refer to the ruling king’s own son but one of the royal princes.

614 tn Heb “Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah after the king had burned the scroll and the words [= containing the words] which Baruch wrote down from the mouth of Jeremiah, saying.”

615 tn Heb “Return, take another.” The verb “return” is used in the sense of repetition “take again” (cf. BDB 998 s.v. שׁוּב Qal.8). The idea is already contained in “Get another” so most modern English versions do not represent it.

616 tn Heb “all the former words/things.”

617 tn Heb “first [or former] scroll.”

618 tn Or “In essence you asked.” For explanation see the translator’s note on the end of the verse.

619 tn Heb “You burned this scroll, saying, ‘Why did you write on it, saying, “The king of Babylon will certainly come [the infinitive absolute before the finite verb expresses certainty here as several places elsewhere in Jeremiah] and destroy this land and exterminate from it both man and beast.”’” The sentence raises several difficulties for translating literally. I.e., the “you” in “why did you write” is undefined, though it obviously refers to Jeremiah. The gerund “saying” that introduces ‘Why did you write’ does not fit very well with “you burned the scroll.” Gerunds of this sort are normally explanatory. Lastly, there is no indication in the narrative that Jehoiakim ever directly asked Jeremiah this question. In fact, he had been hidden out of sight so Jehoiakim couldn’t confront him. The question is presented rhetorically, expressing Jehoiakim’s thoughts or intents and giving the rational for burning the scroll, i.e., he questioned Jeremiah’s right to say such things. The translation has attempted to be as literal as possible without resolving some of these difficulties. One level of embedded quotes has been eliminated for greater simplicity. For the rendering of “How dare you” for the interrogative “why do you” see the translator’s note on 26:9.

620 sn This prophesy was not “totally” fulfilled because his son Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) did occupy the throne for three months (2 Kgs 23:8). However, his rule was negligible and after his capitulation and exile to Babylon, he himself was promised that neither he nor his successors would occupy the throne of David (cf. Jer 22:30; and see the study notes on 22:24, 30).

621 sn Compare the more poetic prophecy in Jer 22:18-19 and see the study note on 22:19.

622 tn Heb “for their iniquity.”

623 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

624 tn Heb “all the disaster which I spoke against them and they did not listen [or obey].”

625 tn Heb “And he wrote upon it from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the scroll which Jehoiakim king of Judah burned in the fire. And many words like these were added to them besides [or further].” The translation uses the more active form in the last line because of the tendency in contemporary English style to avoid the passive. It also uses the words “everything” for “all the words” and “messages” for “words” because those are legitimate usages of these phrases, and they avoid the mistaken impression that Jeremiah repeated verbatim the words on the former scroll or repeated verbatim the messages that he had delivered during the course of the preceding twenty-three years.

626 tn Heb “Coniah.” For explanation of the rendering here see the translator’s note on 22:4.

627 tn Heb “And Zedekiah son of Josiah whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah ruled as king instead of Coniah son of Jehoiakim.” The sentence has been restructured and simplified to better conform to contemporary English style.

628 sn These two verses (37:1-2) are introductory to chs. 37–38 and are intended to characterize Zedekiah and his regime as disobedient just like Jehoiakim and his regime had been (Jer 36:27; cf. 2 Kgs 24:19-20). This characterization is important because Zedekiah is portrayed in the incidents that follow in 37–38 as seeking the Lord’s help or seeking a word from the Lord. However though he did send to inquire of Jeremiah three times, he did not pay attention to the warnings that he received in reply and was ultimately responsible for the fall of Jerusalem (Jer 39). As elsewhere in the book of Jeremiah, Jeconiah’s reign is passed over in silence because it was negligible and because Jeremiah did not wish to legitimize the hopes that many in Israel and Babylon had in his returning from exile and resuming rule over Judah (see further the study notes on 22:24, 30 and 33:30).

629 sn This is the second of two delegations that Zedekiah sent to Jeremiah to ask him to pray for a miraculous deliverance. Both of them are against the background of the siege of Jerusalem which was instigated by Zedekiah’s rebelling against Nebuchadnezzar and sending to Egypt for help (cf. Ezek 17:15). The earlier delegation (21:1-2) was sent before Nebuchadnezzar had clamped down on Jerusalem because the Judean forces at that time were still fighting against the Babylonian forces in the open field (see 21:4 and the translator’s note there). Here the siege has been lifted because the Babylonian troops had heard a report that the Egyptian army was on the way into Palestine to give the Judeans the promised aid (vv. 5, 7). The request is briefer here than in 21:2 but the intent is no doubt the same (see also the study note on 21:2).

630 sn Jehucal was one of the officials who later sought to have Jeremiah put to death for what they considered treason (38:1-4).

631 sn The priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah was a member of the earlier delegation (21:2) and the chief of security in the temple to whom the Babylonian false prophet wrote a letter complaining that Jeremiah should be locked up for his treasonous prophecies (29:25-26). See the study notes on 21:2 and 29:25 for further details.

632 sn This statement anticipates v. 15. Verses 3-4 are parenthetical to the narrative thread which is picked up in v. 5. They provide background information necessary for understanding the situation at the time the delegation comes to Jeremiah.

633 tn The words “as he pleased” are not in the text but are implicit in the idiom both in Hebrew and in English. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity and the sake of English idiom.

634 tn Heb “the Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for the rendering “Babylonian.” The word “forces” is supplied in the translation here for the sake of clarity.

635 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

636 tn Heb “And the army of Pharaoh had set out from Egypt and the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard a report about them and they went up from besieging them.” The sentence has been restructured and reworded to give greater emphasis to the most pertinent fact, i.e., that the siege had been temporarily lifted. The word “temporarily” is not in the text but is implicit from the rest of the context. It is supplied in the translation here to better show that the information in vv. 4-5 is all parenthetical, providing a background for the oracle that will follow. For the meaning “given up their siege against” (Heb “had taken themselves away from against”) see BDB 749 s.v. עָלָה Niph.1.c(2); 759 s.v. עַל IV.2.b.

sn The Pharaoh referred to here is Pharaoh Hophra who is named in Jer 44:30. He ruled from 589-570 b.c. Shortly after he began to rule, Zedekiah had been enticed by some of the officials in his court to appeal to him for aid. This act of rebellion quickly brought Nebuchadnezzar’s wrath and he invaded Judah, blockading Jerusalem and reducing the fortified cities of Judah one by one. According to Jer 39:1 the siege began in Zedekiah’s ninth year (589/88 b.c.) and lasted until his eleventh year when Jerusalem fell (587/86 b.c.). The army of Pharaoh likely came sometime during 588 b.c.

637 tn Heb “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying.”

638 tn Or “to ask me what will happen.” The dominant usage of the verb דָּרַשׁ (darash) is to “inquire” in the sense of gaining information about what will happen (cf., e.g., 1 Kgs 14:5; 2 Kgs 8:8; 22:7-8) but it is also used in the sense of “seeking help” from (cf., e.g., Isa 31:1; 2 Chr 16:12; 20:3). The latter nuance appears appropriate in Jer 20:2 where Zedekiah is hoping for some miraculous intervention. That nuance also appears appropriate here where Zedekiah has sent messengers to ask Jeremiah to intercede on their behalf. However, it is also possible that the intent of both verbs is to find out from God whether the Egyptian mission will succeed and more permanent relief from the siege will be had.

639 tn Heb “will go back to its land, Egypt.”

640 tn Heb “the Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for the rendering “Babylonian.” The word “forces” is supplied in the translation here for the sake of clarity.

641 tn Heb “the Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for the rendering “Babylonian.” The word “forces” is supplied in the translation here for the sake of clarity.

642 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord, ‘Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chaldeans will surely go away from against us” because they will not go away.’” The first person “I, the Lord,” has been used because the whole of vv. 7-8 has been a quote from the Lord and it would be confusing to go back and start a separate quote. The indirect quote has been used instead of the direct quote to avoid the proliferation of quote marks at the end and the possible confusion that creates.

643 tn Heb “all the army of the Chaldeans.” For the rendering “Babylonian” in place of Chaldean see the study note on 21:4.

644 tn The length and complexity of this English sentence violates the more simple style that has been used to conform such sentences to contemporary English style. However, there does not seem to be any alternative that would enable a simpler style and still retain the causal and conditional connections that give this sentence the rhetorical force that it has in the original. The condition is, of course, purely hypothetical and the consequence a poetic exaggeration. The intent is to assure Zedekiah that there is absolutely no hope of the city being spared.

645 tn The words “The following events also occurred” are not in the text. They are a way to introduce the incidents recorded in 37:11-21 without creating a long complex sentence in English like the Hebrew does. The Hebrew of vv. 11-12a reads “And it was/happened while the army of the Chaldeans had taken themselves up from against Jerusalem, Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to take part…” For the rendering “temporarily withdrawn from Jerusalem” see the translator’s note on v. 5. The words “was coming” are not in the text either but are implicit and have been supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness of English expression.

646 tn Heb “the Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for the rendering “Babylonian.” The word “forces” is supplied in the translation here for the sake of clarity.

647 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

648 tn The meaning of this last sentence is somewhat uncertain. The Hebrew expression here occurs nowhere else in the Hebrew Bible and its meaning is debated. The verb is pointed as a shortened form of the Hiphil infinitive construct of חָלַק (khalaq; see GKC 148 §53.q for explanation of the phenomenon and other examples). There are, however, no other examples of the use of this verb in the Hiphil. BDB 324 s.v. חָלַק Hiph defines it as “receive a portion” and explains it as a denominative from חֵלֶק (kheleq, “portion”) but says that the form is dubious. KBL s.v. חָלַק Hif defines it as “take part in dividing” but that does not fit the prepositional phrase that follows (מִשָּׁם, misham, “from there”) as well as “to receive a portion.” The Greek version did not understand this of dividing property but of conducting business. Later revisions of the Greek and the Latin version, however, did understand it of “taking a share.” The translation of BDB has been expanded to better reflect the probable situation. For the meaning of “his family” for the noun עַם (’am) compare the usage in Job 18:19. For a fuller discussion of the probable situation see J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 633-34.

sn Though some commentators disagree, this transaction should not be viewed as subsequent to the transaction recorded in Jer 32 and seen as an attempt to take possession of a field that he had already bought. That transaction took place sometime later after he had been confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse (compare 32:2 with 37:21) and involved his buying a near relative’s field. The word used here refers to “getting one’s own share” (compare 1 Sam 30:24; Josh 15:13, and see also Mic 2:4) not taking possession of someone else’s. “There” refers to the territory of Benjamin just mentioned but more specifically to Jeremiah’s hometown, Anathoth (cf. 1:1).

649 sn The Benjamin Gate would have been a gate in the northern wall leading out toward the territory of Benjamin. It is mentioned only here and in Jer 38:7 and Zech 14:10.

650 sn Nothing further is known about Irijah. It is generally agreed that the Hananiah mentioned here is not the same as the false prophet of the same name whom Jeremiah confronted approximately six years earlier (28:1, 5, 10, 15).

651 tn Heb “And he was in the gate of Benjamin and there was an officer of the guard whose name [more literally, and his name] was Irijah…and he seized the prophet Jeremiah, saying.” The sentence has been broken down and simplified to better conform with contemporary English style.

652 tn Heb “the Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

sn Irijah’s charge was based on the suspicion that Jeremiah was following his own counsel to the people to surrender to the Babylonians if they wanted to save their lives (Jer 21:9).

653 tn Heb “the Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

654 sn The officials mentioned here are not the same as those mentioned in Jer 36:12, most of whom were favorably disposed toward Jeremiah, or at least regarded what he said with enough trepidation to try to protect Jeremiah and preserve the scroll containing his messages (36:16, 19, 24). All those officials had been taken into exile with Jeconiah in 597 b.c. (2 Kgs 24:14).

655 tn Heb “for they had made it into the house of confinement.” The causal particle does not fit the English sentence very well and “house of confinement” needs some explanation. Some translate this word “prison” but that creates redundancy with the earlier word translated “prison” (בֵּית הָאֵסוּר, bet haesur, “house of the band/binding”] which is more closely related to the concept of prison [cf. אָסִיר, ’asir, “prisoner”]). It is clear from the next verse that Jeremiah was confined in a cell in the dungeon of this place.

656 tn The particle כִּי (ki) here is probably temporal, introducing the protasis to the main clause in v. 17 (cf. BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 2.a). However, that would make the translation too long, so the present translation does what several modern English versions do here, though there are no parallels listed for this nuance in the lexicons.

657 tn Heb “Jeremiah came into the house of the pit [= “dungeon,” BDB 92 s.v. בּוֹר 4 and compare usage in Gen 40:15; 41:14] and into the cells [this word occurs only here; it is defined on the basis of the cognate languages (cf. BDB 333 s.v. חָנוּת)].” The sentence has been restructured and some words supplied in the translation to better relate it to the preceding context.

658 tn Heb “Jeremiah.” But the proper name is somewhat redundant and unnecessary in a modern translation.

659 tn Heb “Then King Zedekiah sent and brought him and the king asked him privately [or more literally, in secret] and said.”

660 tn Heb “Then he said.”

661 sn Jeremiah’s answer even under duress was the same that he had given Zedekiah earlier. (See Jer 34:3 and see the study note on 34:1 for the relative timing of these two incidents.)

662 tn Heb “What crime have I committed against you, or your servants, or this people that you [masc. pl.] have put me in prison?” Some of the terms have been expanded for clarification and the sentence has been broken in two to better conform with contemporary English style.
The masculine plural is used here because Zedekiah is being addressed as representative of the whole group previously named.

663 tn Heb “And where are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you or against this land?’” The indirect quote has been used in the translation because of its simpler, more direct style.

664 tn Heb “My lord, the king.”

665 tn Heb “let my plea for mercy fall before you.” I.e., let it come before you and be favorably received (= granted; by metonymical extension).

666 tn Or “So that I will not die there,” or “or I will die there”; Heb “and I will not die there.” The particle that introduces this clause (וְלֹא) regularly introduces negative purpose clauses after the volitive sequence (אַל [’al] + jussive here) according to GKC 323 §109.g. However, purpose and result clauses in Hebrew (and Greek) are often indistinguishable. Here the clause is more in the nature of a negative result.

667 tn Heb “And/Then King Zedekiah ordered and they committed Jeremiah to [or deposited…in] the courtyard of the guardhouse and they gave to him a loaf of bread.” The translation has been structured the way it has to avoid the ambiguous “they” which is the impersonal subject which is sometimes rendered passive in English (cf. GKC 460 §144.d). This text also has another example of the vav (ו) + infinitive absolute continuing a finite verbal form (וְנָתֹן [vÿnaton] = “and they gave”; cf. GKC 345 §113.y and see Jer 32:44; 36:23).

668 tn Heb “Stayed/Remained/ Lived.”

669 tn The name is spelled “Jucal” in the Hebrew text here rather than “Jehucal” as in Jer 37:3. The translation uses the same spelling throughout so that the English reader can identify these as the same individual.

sn Jehucal was a member of the delegation sent to Jeremiah by Zedekiah in Jer 37:3.

670 sn Pashhur was a member of the delegation sent to Jeremiah in 21:2. For the relative sequence of these two delegations see the study note on 21:1.

671 tn J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 226, 30) is probably correct in translating the verbs here as pluperfects and in explaining that these words are prophecies that Jeremiah uttered before his arrest not prophecies that were being delivered to the people through intermediaries sent by Jeremiah who was confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse. For the use of the vav consecutive + imperfect to denote the pluperfect see the discussion and examples in IBHS 552-53 §33.2.3a and see the usage in Exod 4:19. The words that are cited in v. 2 are those recorded in 21:9 on the occasion of the first delegation and those in v. 3 are those recorded in 21:10; 34:2; 37:8; 32:28 all except the last delivered before Jeremiah was confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse.

672 tn Heb “by sword, by starvation, or by disease.”

673 tn Heb “those who go out to the Chaldeans.” For the rendering “Babylonians” for “Chaldeans” see the study note on 21:4.

674 tn Heb “his life will be to him for spoil and he will live.” For the meaning of this idiom see the study note on 21:9. The words and “he will live” have been left out of the translation because they are redundant after “will live” and “they will escape with their lives.”

sn See Jer 21:9 for this prophecy.

675 tn The words “They had also heard him say,” are not in the Hebrew text. They are supplied in the translation for clarity so as to avoid any possible confusion that might be created by saying merely “And the Lord says,” without any introduction.

676 sn See Jer 21:10; 32:28; 34:2; 37:8 for this same prophecy. Jeremiah had repeatedly said this or words to the same effect.

677 tn Heb “weakening the hands of.” For this idiom see BDB 951 s.v. רָפָה Pi. and compare the usage in Isa 13:7; Ezek 21:7 (21:12 HT).

678 tn Heb “by saying these things.”

679 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) has not been rendered here because it is introducing a parallel causal clause to the preceding one. To render “For” might be misunderstood as a grounds for the preceding statement. To render “And” or “Moreover” sounds a little odd here. If it must be represented, “Moreover” is perhaps the best rendering.

680 tn Or “is not looking out for these people’s best interests but is really trying to do them harm”; Heb “is not seeking the welfare [or “well-being”; Hebrew shalom] of this people but [their] harm [more literally, evil].”

681 tn Heb “Behold, he is in your hands [= power/control].”

682 tn Heb “For the king cannot do a thing with/against you.” The personal pronoun “I” is substituted in the English translation due to differences in style; Hebrew style often uses the third person or the title in speaking of oneself but English rarely if ever does. Compare the common paraphrasis of “your servant” for “I” in Hebrew (cf. BDB 714 s.v. עֶבֶד 6 and usage in 1 Sam 20:7, 8) and compare the usage in Pss 63:11 (63:12 HT); 61:6 (61:7 HT) where the king is praying for himself. For the meaning of יָכֹל (yakhol) as “to be able to do anything,” see BDB 407 s.v. יָכֹל 1.g.

683 tn Heb “they.”

684 sn A cistern was a pear-shaped pit with a narrow opening. Cisterns were cut or dug in the limestone rock and lined with plaster to prevent seepage. They were used to collect and store rain water or water carried up from a spring.

685 tn Heb “the son of the king.” See the translator’s note on Jer 36:26 for the rendering here.

686 tn Heb “And they let Jeremiah down with ropes and in the cistern there was no water, only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.” The clauses have been reordered and restructured to create a more natural and smoother order in English.

687 sn This individual, Ebed Melech, is mentioned only here. Later he will be promised deliverance from destruction when the city falls because he had shown trust in God (see Jer 39:16-18).

688 tn Heb “Ebed Melech, the Cushite, a man, an eunuch/official, and he was [= who was; a circumstantial clause] in the house of the king, heard that they had put Jeremiah…” The passive construction “Jeremiah had been put” has been used to avoid the indefinite subject “they” or the addition of “the officials.” For the translation of סָרִיס (saris) as “official” here rather than “eunuch” see the translator’s note on 29:2 and see also the usage in 34:19. For the translation of “Cushite” as Ethiopian see the study note on 13:23.

689 tn Heb “And the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate.” This clause is circumstantial to the following clause; thus “while the king was…” Most commentators agree that the reference to sitting in the gate here likely refers to the same kind of judicial context that has been posited for 26:10 (see the translator’s note there for further references). Hence the translation uses “sitting” with the more technical “holding court” to better reflect the probable situation.

690 tn Heb “Those men have made evil all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah in that they have thrown him into the cistern and he will die of starvation in the place where he is because there is no more food in the city.” The particle אֵת (’et) before “they have thrown” (אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁלִיכוּ, ’etasher hishlikhu) is explanatory or further definition of “all they have done to” (i.e., the particle is repeated for apposition). The verb form “and he is sure to die” is an unusual use of the vav (ו) consecutive + imperfect that the grammars see as giving a logical consequence without a past nuance (cf. GKC 328 §111.l and IBHS 557-58 §33.3.1f).

sn “Because there isn’t any food left in the city” is rhetorical exaggeration; the food did not run out until just before the city fell. Perhaps the intent is to refer to the fact that there was no food in the city for people so confined (i.e., in solitary confinement).

691 tc Some modern English versions (e.g., NRSV, REB, TEV) and commentaries read “three” on the basis that thirty men would not be necessary for the task (cf. J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 231). Though the difference in “three” and “thirty” involves minimal emendation (שְׁלֹשָׁה [shÿlosha] for שְׁלֹשִׁים [shÿloshim]) there is no textual or versional evidence for it except for one Hebrew ms. Perhaps the number was large to prevent the officials from hindering Ebed Melech from accomplishing the task.

692 tn Heb “went into the palace in under the treasury.” Several of the commentaries (e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 227; J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 639, n. 6) emend the prepositional phrase “in under” (אֶל־תַּחַת, ’el-takhat) to the noun “wardrobe” plus the preposition “to” (אֶל־מֶלְתַחַת, ’el-meltakhat). This is a plausible emendation which would involve dropping out מֶל (mel) due to its similarity with the אֶל (’el) which precedes it. However, there is no textual or versional evidence for such a reading and the compound preposition is not in itself objectionable (cf. BDB 1066 s.v. תַּחַת III.1.a). The Greek version reads “the part underground” (representing a Hebrew Vorlage of אֶל תַּחַת הָאָרֶץ, ’el takhat haarets) in place of אֶל תַּחַת הָאוֹצָר (’el takhat haotsar). The translation follows the Hebrew text but adds the word “room” for the sake of English style.

693 tn Heb “worn-out clothes and worn-out rags.”

694 tn Heb “Ebed Melech the Ethiopian.” The words “the Ethiopian” are unnecessary and are not repeated in the translation because he has already been identified as such in vv. 7, 10.

695 tn Heb “under the joints of your arms under the ropes.” The two uses of “under” have different orientations and are best reflected by “between your armpits and the ropes” or “under your armpits to pad the ropes.”

696 tn Or “Jeremiah did so.” The alternate translation is what the text reads literally.

697 tn Heb “Jeremiah remained/stayed in the courtyard of the guardhouse.” The translation is meant to better reflect the situation; i.e., Jeremiah was released from the cistern but still had to stay in the courtyard of the guardhouse.

698 tn The words “Some time later” are not in the text but are a way of translating the conjunction “And” or “Then” that introduces this narrative.

699 sn The precise location of this entrance is unknown since it is mentioned nowhere else in the OT. Many commentators equate this with the “king’s outer entry” (mentioned in 2 Kgs 16:18) which appears to have been a private entryway between the temple and the palace.

700 tn The words “when you answer” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection. They are supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity and smoothness of style.

701 tn Or “you will most certainly kill me, won’t you?” Heb “Will you not certainly kill me?” The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer. In situations like this BDB s.v. לֹא 4.b(β) says that הֲלֹא (halo’) “has a tendency to become little more than an affirmative particle, declaring with some rhetorical emphasis what is, or might be, well known.” The idea of certainty is emphasized here by the addition of the infinitive absolute before the finite verb (Joüon 2:422 §123.e).

702 tn Heb “So King Zedekiah secretly swore an oath to Jeremiah, saying.”

703 tn Heb “who has made this life/soul/ breath [נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh] for us.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ refers to the living, breathing substance of a person which constitutes his very life (cf. BDB 659 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 1; 3).

704 tn Heb “who are seeking your life.”

705 tn Heb “Yahweh, the God of armies, the God of Israel.” Compare 7:3 and 35:17 and see the study note on 2:19.

706 tn Heb “Your life/soul will live.” The quote is a long condition-consequence sentence with compound consequential clauses. It reads, “If you will only go out to the officers of the king of Babylon, your soul [= you yourself; BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a] will live and this city will not be burned with fire and you and your household will live.” The sentence has been broken down and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style. The infinitive absolute in the condition emphasizes the one condition, i.e., going out or surrendering (cf. Joüon 2:423 §123.g, and compare usage in Exod 15:26). For the idiom “go out to” = “surrender to” see the full idiom in 21:9 “go out and fall over to” which is condensed in 38:2 to “go out to.” The expression here is the same as in 38:2.

707 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

708 tn Heb “will not escape from their hand.”

sn Zedekiah held out this hope of escape until the end and attempted to do so but was unsuccessful (cf. 39:4-5).

709 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

710 tn Or “and they will badly abuse me.” For the usage of this verb in the situation presupposed see Judg 19:25 and 1 Sam 31:4.

711 tn Heb “Please listen to the voice of the Lord with regard to what I have been telling you.” For the idiom “listen to the voice” = “obey” see BDB 1034 s.v. שָׁמַע 1.m. Obedience here is expressed by following the advice in the qualifying clause, i.e., what I have been telling you.

712 tn Heb “your life [or you yourself] will live.” Compare v. 17 and the translator’s note there for the idiom.

713 tn Heb “And they will say.” The words “taunt you” are supplied in the translation to give the flavor of the words that follow.

714 tn Heb “The men of your friendship incited you and prevailed over you. Your feet are sunk in the mud. They turned backward.” The term “men of your friendship” (cf. BDB 1023 s.v. שָׁלוֹם 5.a) is used to refer to Jeremiah’s “so-called friends” in 20:10, to the trusted friend who deserted the psalmist in Ps 41:10, and to the allies of Edom in Obad 7. According to most commentators it refers here to the false prophets and counselors who urged the king to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar. The verb translated “misled” is a verb that often refers to inciting or instigating someone to do something, often with negative connotations (so BDB 694 s.v. סוּת Hiph.2). It is generally translated “deceive” or “mislead” in 2 Kgs 18:32; 2 Chr 32:11, 15. Here it refers to the fact that his pro-Egyptian counselors induced him to rebel. They have proven too powerful for him and prevailed on him (יָכֹל לְ, yakhol lÿ; see BDB 408 s.v. יָכֹל 2.b) to follow a policy which will prove detrimental to him, his family, and the city. The phrase “your feet are sunk in the mud” is figurative for being entangled in great difficulties (so BDB 371 s.v. טָבַע Hoph and compare the usage in the highly figurative description of trouble in Ps 69:2 [69:3 HT]).

sn The taunt song here refers to the fact that Zedekiah had been incited into rebellion by pro-Egyptian nobles in his court who prevailed on him to seek aid from the new Egyptian Pharaoh in 589 b.c. and withhold tribute from Nebuchadnezzar. This led to the downfall of the city which is depicted in Jeremiah’s vision from the standpoint of its effects on the king himself and his family.

715 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

716 tn Heb “you yourself will not escape from their hand but will be seized by [caught in] the hand of the king of Babylon.” Neither use of “hand” is natural to the English idiom.

717 tc This translation follows the reading of the Greek version and a few Hebrew mss. The majority of the Hebrew mss read “and you will burn down this city.” This reading is accepted by the majority of modern commentaries and English versions. Few of the commentaries, however, bother to explain the fact that the particle אֶת (’et), which normally marks the accusative object, is functioning here as the subject. For this point of grammar see BDB 85 s.v. I אֵת 1.b. Or this may be another case where אֵת introduces a new subject (see BDB 85 s.v. אֵת 3.α and see usage in 27:8; 36:22).

718 tn Heb “about these words.”

719 tn Or “so that you will not die.” Or “or you will die.” See the similar construction in 37:20 and the translator’s note there.

sn This is probably not a threat that the king himself will kill Jeremiah, but a premonition that if the pro-Egyptian party that was seeking to kill Jeremiah found out about the conversation they would go ahead and kill Jeremiah (cf. 38:2-4).

720 tn The phrase “and what the king said to you” is actually at the end of the verse, but most commentators see it as also under the governance of “tell us” and many commentaries and English versions move the clause forward for the sake of English style as has been done here.

721 tn Or “lest we kill you”; Heb “and we will not kill you,” which as stated in the translator’s note on 37:20 introduces a negative purpose (or result) clause. See 37:20, 38:24 for parallel usage.

722 tn Verses 25-26 form a long compound, complex conditional sentence. The condition is found in v. 25 and contains a long quote. The consequence is found in v. 26 and contains another long quote. The Hebrew sentence literally reads: “And if the officials hear that I have talked with you and come to you and say to you, ‘Please tell us what you said to the king. Do not hide from us and we will not kill you [so that we will not kill you] and [tell us] what the king said to you,’ then tell them.” The sentence has been broken up to better conform with contemporary English style.

723 tn Heb “I was causing to fall [= presenting] my petition before the king not to send me back to Jonathan’s house to die there.” The word “dungeon of” is supplied in the translation to help the reader connect this petition with Jeremiah’s earlier place of imprisonment where the officials had put him with every intention of letting him die there (37:15-16, 20).

sn See Jer 37:15-16, 20.

724 tn Heb “All the officials came to Jeremiah and questioned him.”

725 tn Heb “And he reported to them according to all these words which the king had commanded.”

726 tn Heb “And they were silent from him because the word/matter [i.e., the conversation between Jeremiah and the king] had not been heard.” According to BDB 578 s.v. מִן 1.a the preposition “from” is significant in this construction, implying a verb of motion. I.e., “they were [fell] silent [and turned away] from him.”

727 tn Heb “And Jeremiah stayed/remained in the courtyard of the guardhouse…” The translation once again intends to reflect the situation. Jeremiah had a secret meeting with the king at the third entrance to the temple (v. 14). He was returned to the courtyard of the guardhouse (cf. v. 13) after the conversation with the king where the officials came to question him (v. 27). He was not sent back to the dungeon in Jonathan’s house as he feared, but was left confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse.

728 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

729 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

730 tc The precise meaning of this line and its relation to the context are somewhat uncertain. This line is missing from the Greek and Syriac versions and from a few Hebrew mss. Some English versions and commentaries omit it as a double writing of the final words of the preceding line (see, e.g., REB; W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:268). Others see it as misplaced from the beginning of 39:3 (see, e.g., NRSV, TEV, J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 245). The clause probably does belong syntactically with 39:3 (i.e., כַּאֲשֶׁר [kaasher] introduces a temporal clause which is resumed by the vav consecutive on וַיָּבֹאוּ (vayyavou; see BDB 455 s.v. כַּאֲשֶׁר 3), but it should not be moved there because there is no textual evidence for doing so. The intervening verses are to be interpreted as parenthetical, giving the background for the events that follow (see, e.g., the translation in D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 4:280). The chapter is not so much concerned with describing how Jerusalem fell as it is with contrasting the fate of Zedekiah who disregarded the word of the Lord with the fate of Jeremiah and that of Jeremiah’s benefactor Ebed Melech. The best way to treat the line without actually moving it before 39:3a is to treat it as a heading as has been done here.

731 sn 2 Kgs 25:1 and Jer 52:4 give the more precise date of the tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth year which would have been Jan 15, 588 b.c. The reckoning is based on the calendar that begins the year in the spring (Nisan = March/April).

732 sn According to modern reckoning that would have been July 18, 586 b.c. The siege thus lasted almost a full eighteen months.

733 tn English versions and commentaries differ on the number of officials named here and the exact spelling of their names. For a good discussion of the options see F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations (NAC), 341, n. 71. Most commentaries follow the general lead of J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 243) as the present translation has done here. However, the second name is not emended on the basis of v. 13 as Bright does, nor is the second Nergal-Sharezer regarded as the same man as the first and the information on the two combined as he does. The first Nergal-Sharezer is generally identified on the basis of Babylonian records as the man who usurped the throne from Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Awel-Marduk or Evil-Merodach as he is known in the OT (Jer 52:31; 2 Kgs 25:27). The present translation renders the two technical Babylonian terms “Rab-Saris” (only in Jer 39:3, 13; 2 Kgs 18:17) and “Rab-Mag” (only in Jer 39:3, 13) as “chief officer” and “high official” without knowing precisely what offices they held. This has been done to give the modern reader some feeling of their high position without specifying exactly what their precise positions were (i.e., the generic has been used for the [unknown] specific).

734 tn Heb “sat.” The precise meaning of this phrase is not altogether clear, but J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 243) is undoubtedly correct in assuming that it had to do with setting up a provisional military government over the city.

735 tn The Hebrew style here is typically full or redundant, giving a general subject first and then listing the specifics. The Hebrew text reads: “Then all the officers of the king of Babylon came and sat in the Middle Gate, Nergal-Sharezer…and all the rest of the officers of the king of Babylon.” In the translation the general subject has been eliminated and the list of the “real” subjects used instead; this eliminates the dashes or commas typical of some modern English versions.

sn The identification of the location of the Middle Gate is uncertain since it is mentioned nowhere else in the OT.

736 sn The king’s garden is mentioned again in Neh 3:15 in conjunction with the pool of Siloam and the stairs that go down from the city of David. This would have been in the southern part of the city near the Tyropean Valley which agrees with the reference to the “two walls” which were probably the walls on the eastern and western hills.

737 sn Heb “toward the Arabah.” The Arabah was the rift valley north and south of the Dead Sea. Here the intention was undoubtedly to escape across the Jordan to Moab or Ammon. It appears from 40:14; 41:15 that the Ammonites were known to harbor fugitives from the Babylonians.

738 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

739 map For location see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

740 sn 2 Kgs 25:5 and Jer 52:8 mention that the soldiers all scattered from him. That is why the text focuses on Zedekiah here.

741 sn Riblah was a strategic town on the Orontes River in Syria. It was at a crossing of the major roads between Egypt and Mesopotamia. Pharaoh Necho had earlier received Jehoahaz there and put him in chains (2 Kgs 23:33) prior to taking him captive to Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar had set up his base camp for conducting his campaigns against the Palestinian states there and was now sitting in judgment on prisoners brought to him.

742 tn Heb “fetters of bronze.” The more generic “chains” is used in the translation because “fetters” is a word unfamiliar to most modern readers.

743 tn Heb “Chaldean.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

744 tc The reading here is based on an emendation following the parallels in Jer 52:13 and 2 Kgs 25:9. The Hebrew text here does not have “the temple of the Lord” and reads merely “house of the people.” The text here is probably corrupt. It reads וְאֶת־בֵּית הָעָם (vÿet-bet haam, “and the house of the people”), which many explain as a collective use of בַּיִת (bayit). However, no parallels are cited by any of the commentaries, grammars, or lexicons for such a use. It is more likely that the words יְהוָה וְאֶת־בָּתֵּי (yÿhvah vÿet-bate) have fallen out of the text due to similar beginnings. The words וְאֶת־בֵּית יהוה (vÿet-bet yhwh) are found in the parallel texts cited in the marginal note. The Greek version is no help here because vv. 4-13 are omitted, probably due to the similarities in ending of vv. 3, 13 (i.e., homoioteleuton of מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל, melekh bavel).

745 sn According to the parallels in 2 Kgs 25:8-9; Jer 52:12-13 this occurred almost a month after the wall was breached and Zedekiah’s failed escape. It took place under the direction of Nebuzaradan, the captain of the king’s special guard who is mentioned in the next verse.

746 tn For the meaning of this phrase see BDB 371 s.v. טַבָּח 2 and compare the usage in Gen 39:1.

747 tc The translation is based on an emendation of the text which leaves out “the rest of the people who were left” as a double writing of the same phrase at the beginning of the verse. Some commentators emend the phrase “the rest of the people who were left” (הַנִּשְׁאָרִים וְאֶת יֶתֶר הָעָם, hannisharim vÿet yeter haam) to read “the rest of the craftsmen who were left” (וְאֶת יֶתֶר הָאָמוֹן הַנִּשְׁאָרִים, vÿet yeter haamon hannisharim) on the basis of the parallel in Jer 52:15 (which does not have הַנִּשְׁאָרִים, hannisharim). However, it is easier to explain the phrase as a dittography of the phrase at the beginning (which is exactly the same except הָעִיר [hair] follows it). The text is redundant because it refers twice to the same group of people. The Hebrew text reads: “And the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to him and the rest of the people Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, carried into exile to Babylon.” The text has also been divided up to create two shorter sentences to better conform with contemporary English style.

748 tn Heb “Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard.” However, the subject is clear from the preceding and contemporary English style would normally avoid repeating the proper name and title.

749 tn Heb “And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon commanded concerning Jeremiah by the hand of Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, saying.” Since Nebuchadnezzar is at Riblah (v. 6) and Nebuzaradan and the other officers named in the next verse are at Jerusalem, the vav consecutive imperfect should again be translated as a pluperfect (see 38:2 and the translator’s notes there for explanation). For the meaning of “through” or “through the agency of” for the phrase בְּיַד (bÿyad) see BDB 391 s.v. יָד 5.d. The sentence has been broken up to better conform with contemporary English style.

750 tn Heb “Get [or fetch] him.” The referent is supplied for clarity.

751 tn Or “take care of him”; Heb “set your eyes on him.” For the meaning of this idiom see BDB 963 s.v. שִׂים 2.c and compare 24:6 where the phrase “for good” is added.

752 tn Heb “Don’t do anything evil [= harmful] to him.”

753 tn See the translator’s notes on 39:3, 9 for the names and titles here.

754 sn Gedaliah. This is the first reference to this individual whom Nebuchadnezzar appointed governor over the people who were left to live in Judah (cf. 40:5; 2 Kgs 25:22). His father was the man who spoke up for Jeremiah when he was accused of being a false prophet by some of the priests and prophets (26:24). His grandfather was the royal secretary under Josiah who brought the discovery of the book of the law to Josiah’s attention, read it to him, and was involved in helping Josiah institute his reforms (2 Kgs 22:8-10).

755 tn The meaning of the last phrase is uncertain. An alternate translation is “to take him home with him.” The text reads literally “to bring him into the house.” However, it is unclear whether “the house” refers to Jeremiah’s house or to Gedaliah’s. The fact that Nebuzaradan later offers Jeremiah the option of going back to Gedaliah (40:5) suggests that the house is here Gedaliah’s where Jeremiah would be looked out for in accord with Nebuchadnezzar’s command (v. 12).

756 tn Many translate this last clause as a conclusion or summary remark, “So Jeremiah stayed…” However, it is better to translate it as an adversative because it probably refers to the fact that rather than staying with Gedaliah in the governor’s residence Jeremiah stayed among the people. That is how he wound up being led off as a prisoner to Ramah. See further the study note on 40:1. According to IBHS 550 §33.2.1d the vav (ו) consecutive can have either of these values (see examples 11 and 12 for the adversative or contrastive nuance).

757 sn Jer 39:15-18. This incident is out of chronological order (see Jer 38:7-13). It is placed here either due to a desire not to interrupt the sequential ordering of events centering on Jeremiah’s imprisonment and his release (38:1439:14) or to contrast God’s care and concern for the faithful (Ebed-Melech who, though a foreigner, trusted in God) with his harsh treatment of the faithless (Zedekiah who, though informed of God’s will, was too weak-willed in the face of opposition by his courtiers to carry it out).

758 tn Heb “Now the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah while he…saying.” The form of this clause is disjunctive showing that it does not follow the preceding events in either chronological or logical sequence. For a discussion of the form and function of such disjunctive clauses see IBHS 650-52 §39.2.3. This example most closely fits the description and function of example 12, Ruth 4:18, 21-22 on p. 652.

759 sn Even though Jeremiah was confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse, he was still free to entertain visitors (32:2, 8). Moreover, Ebed-Melech was an official attached to the royal court and would have had access to the courtyard of the guardhouse (38:7, 13). Jeremiah would not have had to leave the courtyard of the guardhouse to “go and tell” him something.

760 tn Heb “Behold, I will bring to pass my words against this city for evil/disaster and not for good/good fortune.” For the form of the verb מֵבִי ([mevi] Kethib, מֵבִיא [mevi’] Qere) see GKC 206-7 §74.k, where the same form is noted for the Kethib in 2 Sam 5:2; 1 Kgs 21:21; Jer 19:15 all of which occur before a word beginning with א. For the nuance “carry out” (or “bring to pass”) see BDB 99 s.v. בּוֹא Hiph.2.b.

761 tn Heb “And they [= my words for disaster] will come to pass [= happen] before you on that day [i.e., the day that I bring them to pass/carry them out].”

762 tn Heb “But I will rescue you on that day” (referring to the same day mentioned in the preceding verse).

763 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

764 sn Some commentators see this as a reference to the princes from whose clutches Ebed-Melech delivered Jeremiah (38:7-13). However, it is clear that in this context it refers to those that he would fear when the Lord brings about the threatened disaster, i.e., the Babylonians who are attacking the city.

765 sn Heb “you will not fall by the sword.” In the context this would include death in battle and execution as a prisoner of war.

766 tn Heb “your life will be to you for spoil.” For the meaning of this idiom see the study note on 21:9 and compare the usage in 21:9; 38:2; 45:4.

767 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

768 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord.” This phrase regularly introduces the Lord’s directions to Jeremiah which immediately follow (cf. 7:1; 11:1; 18:1; 30:1; 34:1; 35:1). In 21:1; 44:1 it introduces a word of the Lord that Jeremiah communicates to others. However, no directions to Jeremiah follow here nor does any oracle that Jeremiah passes on to the people. Some commentators explain this as a heading parallel to that in 1:1-3 (which refers to messages and incidents in the life of Jeremiah up to the fall of Jerusalem) introducing the oracles that Jeremiah delivered after the fall of Jerusalem. However, no oracles follow until 42:9. It is possible that the intervening material supply background material for the oracle that is introduced in 42:7. An analogy to this structure but in a much shorter form may be found in 34:8-12. Another possible explanation is that the words of the captain of the guard in vv. 2-3 are to be seen as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah. In this case, it is a rather ironical confirmation of what Jeremiah had been saying all along. If it is thought strange that a pagan soldier would have said these words, it should be remembered that foreign soldiers knew through their intelligence sources what kings and prophets were saying (cf. Isa 36:7), and it is not unusual for God to speak through pagan prophets (cf. Balaam’s oracles, e.g. Num 23:7-10) or even a dumb animal (e.g., Balaam’s donkey [Num 22:28, 30]). Given the penchant for the use of irony in the book of Jeremiah, this is the most likely explanation. For further discussion on this view see G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 235-36.

769 sn Some commentators see the account of Jeremiah’s release here in 40:1-6 as an alternate and contradictory account to that of Jeremiah’s release in 39:11-14. However, most commentators see them as complementary and sequential. Jeremiah had been released from the courtyard of the guardhouse on orders of the military tribunal there shortly after Nebuzaradan got to Jerusalem and passed on Nebuchadnezzar’s orders to them. He had been released to the custody of Gedaliah who was to take him back to the governor’s residence and look after him there. However, Jeremiah remained in Jerusalem among the people there. He was mistakenly rounded up with them and led off as a prisoner to be deported with the rest of the exiles. However, when he got to Ramah which was a staging area for deportees, Nebuzaradan recognized him among the prisoners and released him a second time.

770 tn Heb “when he took him and he was in chains.” The subject is probably Nebuzaradan or the indefinite third singular (GKC 460 §144.d). The Kethib of the word for בָּאזִקִּים (baziqqim) is to be explained as a secondary formation with prosthetic א (aleph) from the normal word for “fetter” (זֵק, zeq) according to HALOT 27 s.v. אֲזִקִּים (see GKC 70 §19.m and 235-36 §85.b for the phenomenon).

771 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

772 tn Heb “Because you [masc. pl.] sinned against the Lord and did not hearken to his voice [a common idiom for “obey him”], this thing has happened to you [masc. pl.].”

773 tn The verb here is an example of the perfect of resolve where the speaker announces his intention to do something according to IBHS 488-89 §30.5.1d. The word “Jeremiah” is supplied in the translation to avoid the possible misunderstanding that the you is still plural.

774 tn Or “look out for you.” See 39:12 and the translator’s note there.

775 tn Or “Stay here”; Heb “Forbear.” The imperative is used in a permissive sense; “you may forbear.” See GKC 324 §110.b and compare usage in Gen 50:6.

776 tn Heb “See all the land [or the whole land] is before you.” For this idiom see BDB 817 s.v. פָּנֶה II.4.a(f) and compare the usage in Gen 20:15; 47:6.

777 tn Heb “Unto the good and the right in your eyes to go, go there.”

778 tc Or “Before Jeremiah could answer, the captain of the guard added.” Or “But if you remain, then go back.” The meaning of the first part of v. 5 is uncertain. The text is either very cryptic here or is corrupt, perhaps beyond restoration. The Hebrew text reads, “and he was not yet turning and return to Gedaliah” (וְעוֹדֶנּוּ לֹא־יָשׁוּב וְשֻׁבָה אֶל־גְּדַלְיָה) which is very cryptic. The Greek version lacks everything in v. 4 after “I will look out for you” and begins v. 5 with “But if not, run, return to Gedaliah” (= וְאִם לֹא רוּץ וְשֻׁבָה אֶל־גְּדַלְיָה). The Latin version reads the same as the Hebrew in v. 4 but reads “and don’t come with me but stay with Gedaliah” (= a possible Hebrew text of וְעִמָּדִי לֹא תָּשׁוּב וְשֵׁבָה אֶת־גְּדַלְיָה). The Syriac version reads “But if you are remaining then return to Gedaliah” (reading a possible Hebrew text of יֹשֵׁב וְשֻׁבָה אֶל־גְּדַלְיָה וְעוֹדְךָ לֻא with an abnormal writing of a conditional particle normally written לוּ [lu] and normally introducing conditions assumed to be untrue or reading וְעוֹדְךָ לְיֹשֵׁב וְשֻׁבָה אֶל־גְּדַלְיָה with an emphatic לְ [lÿ, see IBHS 211-12 §11.2.10i] and an informally introduced condition). NRSV does not explain the Hebrew base for its reading but accepts the Syriac as the original. It does appear to be the most likely alternative if the Hebrew is not accepted. However, the fact that none of the versions agree and all appear to be smoother than the Hebrew text suggests that they were dealing with an awkward original that they were trying to smooth out. Hence it is perhaps best to retain the Hebrew and make the best sense possible out of it. The most common reading of the Hebrew text as it stands is “and while he was not yet turning [= but before he was able to turn (to go)] [Nebuzaradan continued], ‘Go back to Gedaliah.’” (The imperfect in this case is an imperfect of capability [see IBHS 507 §31.4c, examples 2, 4, 5].) That is the reading that is adopted here. REB and TEV appear to accept a minor emendation of the verb “turn to leave” (יָשׁוּב, yashuv, a Qal imperfect) to “answer” (יָשִׁיב, yashiv, a Hiphil imperfect with an elided object [see BDB 999 s.v. שׁוּב Hiph.3 and compare 2 Chr 10:16]). All of this shows that the meaning of the text at this point is very uncertain.

779 tn Heb “set him over/ made him overseer over.” See BDB 823-24 s.v. פָּקִיד Hiph.1 and compare usage in Gen 39:4-5.

780 tn Heb “Go back to Gedaliah…and live with him among the people.” The long Hebrew sentence has been restructured to better conform with contemporary English style.

781 sn Mizpah. It is generally agreed that this is the Mizpah that was on the border between Benjamin and Judah. It was located approximately eight miles north of Jerusalem and had been an important military and religious center from the time of the judges on (cf., e.g., Judg 20:1-3; 1 Sam 7:5-14; 1 Sam 10:17; 1 Kgs 15:22). It was not far from Ramah which was approximately four miles north of Jerusalem.

782 tn Heb “So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah…and lived with him among the people who had been left in the land.” The long Hebrew sentence has been divided in two to better conform with contemporary English style.

783 tn Heb “set him over/ made him overseer over.” See BDB 823-24 s.v. פָּקִיד Hiph.1 and compare usage in Gen 39:4-5.

784 sn Compare Jer 39:10.

785 tn Verse 6 consists of a very long conditional clause whose main clause is found in v. 7. The text reads literally “When all the officers of the forces who were in the countryside heard, they and their men, that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah…over the land and that he had committed to him men, women, and children, even from the poorest of the land from those who had not been carried off into exile to Babylon, they came.” The sentence has been broken up to better conform with contemporary English style. The phrase “the forces who were in the countryside” has been translated to reflect the probable situation, i.e., they had escaped and were hiding in the hills surrounding Jerusalem waiting for the Babylonians to leave (cf. Judg 6:2).

786 sn The name of these officers is given here because some of them become important to the plot of the subsequent narrative, in particular, Ishmael and Johanan. Ishmael was a member of the royal family (41:1). He formed an alliance with the king of Ammon, assassinated Gedaliah, killed the soldiers stationed at Mizpah and many of Gedaliah’s followers, and attempted to carry off the rest of the people left at Mizpah to Ammon (40:13; 41:1-3, 10). Johanan was the leading officer who sought to stop Ishmael from killing Gedaliah (40:13-16) and who rescued the Jews that Ishmael was trying to carry off to Ammon (41:11-15). He along with another man named Jezaniah and these other officers were the leaders of the Jews who asked for Jeremiah’s advice about what they should do after Ishmael had killed Gedaliah (43:1-7).

787 tn The words “so as to give them some assurance of safety” are not in the text but are generally understood by all commentators. This would be a case of substitution of cause for effect, the oath, put for the effect, the assurance of safety (NJPS translates directly “reassured them”).

788 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

789 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

790 tn Heb “summer fruit.” “Summer fruit” is meaningless to most modern readers; dates and figs are what is involved.

791 tn This plus “Things will go well with you” is in essence the substance of the oath. The pronouns are emphatic, “And I, behold I will stay…and you, you may gather.” The imperatives in the second half of the verse are more a form of permission than of command or advice (cf. NJPS, REB, TEV and compare the usage in 40:4 and the references in the translator’s note there).

792 tn Heb “summer fruit.” “Summer fruit” is meaningless to most modern readers; dates and figs are what is involved.

793 tn The translation is intended to reflect the emphasizing infinitive absolute before the finite verb.

794 tn Heb “Why should he kill you?” However, this is one of those cases listed in BDB 554 s.v. מָה 4.d(b) where it introduces a question introducing rhetorically the reason why something should not be done. In cases like this BDB notes that it approximates the meaning “lest” and is translated in Greek by μήποτε (mhpote) or μή (mh) as the Greek version does here. Hence it is separated from the preceding and translated “otherwise” for the sake of English style.

795 tn Heb “this thing.”

796 tn Heb “is false” or “is a lie.”

797 sn It is not altogether clear whether this is in the same year that Jerusalem fell or not. The wall was breached in the fourth month (= early July; 39:2) and Nebuzaradan came and burned the palace, the temple, and many of the houses and tore down the wall in the fifth month (= early August; 52:12). That would have left time between the fifth month and the seventh month (October) to gather in the harvest of grapes, dates and figs, and olives (40:12). However, many commentators feel that too much activity takes place in too short a time for this to have been in the same year and posit that it happened the following year or even five years later when a further deportation took place, possibly in retaliation for the murder of Gedaliah and the Babylonian garrison at Mizpah (52:30). The assassination of Gedaliah had momentous consequences and was commemorated in one of the post exilic fast days lamenting the fall of Jerusalem (Zech 8:19).

798 sn All the Judeans. This can scarcely refer to all the Judeans who had rallied around Gedaliah at Mizpah because v. 10 later speaks of Ishmael carrying off “the rest of the people who were at Mizpah.” Probably what is meant is “all the Judeans and Babylonian soldiers” that were also at the meal. It is possible that this meal was intended to seal a covenant between Gedaliah and Ishmael of Ishmael’s allegiance to Gedaliah and his Babylonian overlords (cf. Gen 26:30-31; 31:53-54; Exod 24:11). In any case, this act of treachery and deceit was an extreme violation of the customs of hospitality practiced in the ancient Near East.

799 tn Heb “Chaldean.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation. There are two cases of apposition with the repetition of the preposition or of the sign of the accusative in this verse, e.g., “who were with him, [namely] with Gedaliah” and “all the Chaldeans who happened to be there, [namely] the soldiers.”

800 tn Heb “were found there.” For this nuance of the verb see BDB 594 s.v. מָצָא Niph.2.c.

801 sn Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria were all cities in the northern kingdom of Israel with important religious and political histories. When Israel was destroyed in 722 b.c., some of the Israelites had been left behind and some of the Judeans had taken up residence in these northern cities. People residing there had participated in the reforms of Hezekiah (2 Chr 30:11) and Josiah (2 Chr 34:9) and were evidently still faithfully following the Jewish calendar. They would have been on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish New Year and the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:34).

map For the location of Samaria see Map2 B1; Map4 D3; Map5 E2; Map6 A4; Map7 C1.

802 tn The words “to show they were mourning” are not in the text but are implicit in the acts. They are supplied in the translation for clarification for readers who may not be familiar with ancient mourning customs.

803 tn The words “in Jerusalem” are not in the text but are implicit. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

804 tn Heb “he was weeping/crying.” The translation is intended to better reflect the situation.

805 tn Heb “Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.” The words that are supplied in the translation are implicit to the situation and are added for clarity.

806 tn The words “and threw their bodies” result from the significant use of the preposition אֶל (’el, so GKC 384 §119.gg and BDB 39 s.v. אֶל 1). Hence the suggestion in BHS (fn a) that the Syriac and two Greek mss are reading a different text is not really a textual issue but a translational one; the versions are supplying the words for stylistic purposes as has been done here.

807 tn Heb “But there were ten men found among them and they said.” However, for the use of “were found” = “be, happened to be” see BDB 594 s.v. מָצָא 2.c and compare the usage in 41:3.

808 tn This sentence is a good example of the elliptical nature of some of the causal connections in the Hebrew Bible. All the Hebrew says literally is “For we have hidden stores of wheat, barley, olive oil, and honey in a field.” However, it is obvious that they are using this as their bargaining chip to prevent Ishmael and his men from killing them. For the use of “for” (כִּי, ki) for such elliptical thoughts see BDB 473-74 s.v. כִּי 3.c.

809 tn Or “So he refrained from killing them”; Heb “he refrained and did not kill them.”

810 tn Heb “in the midst of their brothers/fellow countrymen.”

811 tc The translation here follows the reading of the Greek version. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain; some understand it to mean “because of Gedaliah [i.e., to cover up the affair with Gedaliah]” and others understand it to mean “alongside of Gedaliah.” The translation presupposes that the Hebrew text reads בּוֹר גָּדוֹל הוּא (bor gadol hu’) in place of בְּיַד־גְּדַלְיָהוּ הוּא (bÿyad-gÿdalyahu). The meaning of בְּיַד (bÿyad) does not fit any of the normal ones given for this expression and those who retain the Hebrew text normally explain it as an unparalleled use of “because” or “in the affair of” (so NJPS) or a rare use meaning “near, by the side of “ (see BDB 391 s.v. יָד 5.d where only Ps 141:6 and Zech 4:12 are cited. BDB themselves suggest reading with the Greek version as the present translation does [so BDB 391 s.v. יָד 5.c(3)]). For the syntax presupposed by the Greek text which has been followed consult IBHS 298 §16.3.3d and 133 §8.4.2b. The first clause is a classifying clause with normal order of subject-predicate-copulative pronoun and it is followed by a further qualifying relative clause.

812 sn It is generally agreed that the cistern referred to here is one of several that Asa dug for supplying water as part of the defense system constructed at Mizpah (cf. 1 Kgs 15:22; 2 Chr 16:6).

813 tn Or “with corpses”; Heb “with the slain.”

814 tn Heb “the daughters of the king.” Most commentators do not feel that this refers to the actual daughters of Zedekiah since they would have been too politically important to have escaped exile with their father. As noted in the translator’s note on 36:26 this need not refer to the actual daughters of the king but may refer to other royal daughters, i.e., the daughters of other royal princes.

815 tn Or “crimes,” or “evil things”; Heb “the evil.”

816 tn Heb “the many [or great] waters.” This is generally identified with the pool of Gibeon mentioned in 2 Sam 2:13.

817 tn Heb “all the people who were with Ishmael.” However, this does not refer to his own troops but to those he had taken with him from Mizpah, i.e., the captives. The phrase is specifically clarified in the next verse, i.e. “the people whom Ishmael had taken captive from Mizpah.” Hence the phrase is translated here according to sense, not according to the literal wording.

818 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

819 sn Geruth Kimham is nowhere else mentioned in the Bible and its precise location is unknown. Many commentators relate the second part of the name to the name of the son of David’s benefactor when he fled from Absalom (2 Sam 19:38-39) and see this as a reference to an estate that David assigned this son as reward for his father’s largess. Gibeon was about six miles northwest of Jerusalem and Benjamin is approximately the same distance southwest of it. Hence, the people mentioned here had not traveled all that far.

820 map For location see Map5 B1; Map7 E2; Map8 E2; Map10 B4.

821 tn Verses 16-18a are a long complex sentence in the Hebrew text with some rather awkward placement of qualifying terms. In the Hebrew text these verses read: “41:16 And he took, Johanan…and all the army officers with him, all the people who were left alive which he [Johanan] had taken back from Ishmael son of Nethaniah from Mizpah after he [Ishmael] had killed Gedaliah…men, men of war, and women and children and court officials which he [Johanan] had brought back from Gibeon 41:17 and they went and they stayed at Geruth Kimham…to go to enter Egypt 41:18 because of the Chaldean because they were afraid of them because Ishmael…” The sentence has been broken down and restructured to reflect all the relevant data in shorter sentences which better conform with contemporary English style. There are a couple of places where the text and syntax are debated. Many modern English versions and commentaries read “They led off/took control of/took all survivors of the people whom Ishmael…had taken captive [reading שָׁבָה ֹאתָם (shavahotam) in place of הֵשִׁיב מֵאֵת (heshiv meet), “whom he (Johanan) had taken back/rescued from Ishmael] from Mizpah after he had…” This is a decidedly smoother text but there is no manuscript or versional evidence for it and so it has been rejected here. Some commentators and English versions see the words “men of war” (“soldiers”) following the word “men” as appositional to that word and hence see only one category. However, there are no parallels to these words used in this kind of apposition. So the translation reflects two categories.

822 sn Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah may have been the same as the Jezaniah son of the Maacathite mentioned in 40:8. The title “the Maacathite” would identify the locality from which his father came, i.e., a region in northern Transjordan east of Lake Huleh. Many think he is also the same man who is named “Azariah” in Jer 43:2 (the Greek version has Azariah both here and in 43:2). It was not uncommon for one man to have two names, e.g., Uzziah who was also named Azariah (compare 2 Kgs 14:21 with 2 Chr 26:1).

823 tn Or “without distinction,” or “All the people from the least important to the most important”; Heb “from the least to the greatest.” This is a figure of speech that uses polar opposites as an all-inclusive designation of everyone without exception (i.e., it included all the people from the least important or poorest to the most important or richest.)

824 tn Heb “please let our petition fall before you.” For the idiom here see 37:20 and the translator’s note there.

825 tn Heb “on behalf of us, [that is] on behalf of all this remnant.”

sn This refers to the small remnant of people who were left of those from Mizpah who had been taken captive by Ishmael after he had killed Gedaliah and who had been rescued from him at Gibeon. There were other Judeans still left in the land of Judah who had not been killed or deported by the Babylonians.

826 tn Heb “For we are left a few from the many as your eyes are seeing us.” The words “used to be” are not in the text but are implicit. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity and smoothness of English style.

827 tn Heb “I have heard” = “I agree.” For this nuance of the verb see BDB 1034 s.v. שָׁמַע Qal.1.j and compare the usage in Gen 37:27 and Judg 11:17 listed there.

828 tn Heb “all the word which the Lord will answer you.

829 tn Heb “do according to all the word which.”

830 tn Heb “Whether good or whether evil we will hearken to the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you in order that it may go well for us because/when we hearken to the voice of the Lord our God.” The phrase “whether good or whether evil” is an abbreviated form of the idiomatic expressions “to be good in the eyes of” = “to be pleasing to” (BDB 374 s.v. טוֹב 2.f and see 1 Kgs 21:2) and “to be bad in the eyes of” = “to be displeasing to” (BDB 948 s.v. רַע 3 and see Num 22:34). The longer Hebrew sentence has been broken down and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style.

831 tn Or “without distinction,” or “All the people from the least important to the most important”; Heb “from the least to the greatest.” This is a figure of speech that uses polar opposites as an all-inclusive designation of everyone without exception (i.e., it included all the people from the least important or poorest to the most important or richest.)

832 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord God of Israel to whom you sent me to present your petition before him, ‘…’” The sentence has been restructured to cut down on the length of the introduction leading in to the long quote.

sn Their “request” is that Jeremiah would tell them where to go and what to do (v. 3).

833 tn The word “just” is intended to reflect the infinitive absolute before the finite verb emphasizing here the condition rather than the verb root (see Joüon 2:423 §123.g, and compare the usage in Exod 15:26). The form looks like the infinitive absolute of the verb שׁוּב (shuv), but all the versions interpret it as though it is from יָשַׁב (yashav) which is the root of the verb that follows it. Either this is a textual error of the loss of a י (yod) or this is one of the cases that GKC 69 §19.i list as the possible loss of a weak consonant at the beginning of a word.

834 tn Or “I will firmly plant you in the land,” or “I will establish you.” This is part of the metaphor that has been used of God (re)establishing Israel in the land. See 24:6; 31:28; 32:41.

835 sn See Jer 41:18 for their reason for fear.

836 tn Heb “oracle of the Lord.”

837 tn Heb “see [or experience] war.”

838 tn Heb “hear the sound of the trumpet.” The trumpet was used to gather the troops and to sound the alarm for battle.

839 tn Jer 42:13-14 are a long complex condition (protasis) whose consequence (apodosis) does not begin until v. 15. The Hebrew text of vv. 13-14 reads: 42:13 “But if you say [or continue to say (the form is a participle)], ‘We will not stay in this land’ with the result that you do not obey [or “more literally, do not hearken to the voice of] the Lord your God, 42:14 saying, ‘No, but to the land of Egypt we will go where we…and there we will live,’ 42:15 now therefore hear the word of the Lord…” The sentence has been broken up and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style but an attempt has been made to maintain the contingencies and the qualifiers that are in the longer Hebrew original.

840 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See the study note on 2:19 for the translation and significance of this title.

841 tn Heb “set your face to.” See Jer 42:17; 44:11; Dan 11:17; 2 Kgs 12:17 (12:18 HT) for parallel usage.

842 tn Or “will follow you right into Egypt,” or “will dog your steps all the way to Egypt”; Heb “cling after.” This is the only case of this verb with this preposition in the Qal stem. However, it is used with this preposition several times in the Hiphil, all with the meaning of “to pursue closely.” See BDB 180 s.v. דָּבַק Hiph.2 and compare Judg 20:45; 1 Sam 14:22; 1 Chr 10:2.

843 tn The repetition of the adverb “there” in the translation of vv. 14, 16 is to draw attention to the rhetorical emphasis on the locale of Egypt in the original text of both v. 14 and v. 16. In v. 14 they say, “to the land of Egypt we will go…and there we will live.” In v. 16 God says, “wars…there will catch up with you…the hunger…there will follow after you…and there you will die.” God rhetorically denies their focus on Egypt as a place of safety and of relative prosperity. That can only be found in Judah under the protective presence of the Lord (vv. 10-12).

844 tn Or “Indeed.”

845 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See the study note on 2:19 for the translation and significance of this title.

846 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

847 tn See the study note on 24:9 and the usage in 29:22 for the meaning and significance of this last phrase.

848 tn Or “land.” The reference is, of course, to the land of Judah.

849 tn Heb “Know for certain that I warn you…” The idea of “for certain” is intended to reflect the emphatic use of the infinitive absolute before the volitive use of the imperfect (see IBHS 587-88 §35.3.1h and 509 §31.5b). The substitution “of this:” for “that” has been made to shorten the sentence in conformity with contemporary English style.

850 tn Heb “today.”

851 tn Heb “you are erring at the cost of your own lives” (BDB 1073 s.v. תָּעָה Hiph.3 and HALOT 1626 s.v. תָּעָה Hif 4, and cf. BDB 90 s.v. בְּ 3 and see parallels in 1 Kgs 2:23; 2 Sam 23:17 for the nuance of “at the cost of your lives”). This fits the context better than “you are deceiving yourselves” (KBL 1035 s.v. תָּעָה Hif 4). The reading here follows the Qere הִתְעֵיתֶם (hitetem) rather than the Kethib which has a metathesis of י (yod) and ת (tav), i.e., הִתְעֵתֶים. The Greek text presupposes הֲרֵעֹתֶם (hareotem, “you have done evil”), but that reading is generally rejected as secondary.

852 tn Heb “According to all which the Lord our God says so tell us and we will do.” The restructuring of the sentence is intended to better reflect contemporary English style.

853 tn Or “Today.”

854 tn The words “what he said” are not in the text but are implicit and seem necessary for clarity.

855 tn Heb “But you have not hearkened to the voice of [idiomatic for “obeyed” see BDB 1034 s.v. שָׁמַע Qal.1.m] the Lord your God, namely [cf. BDB 252 s.v. וְ 1.b] with respect [cf. BDB 514 s.v. לְ 5.f(c)] all which he has sent to us.” The verb is translated “don’t seem to want to obey” because they have not yet expressed their refusal or their actual disobedience. Several commentaries sensing this apparent discrepancy suggest that 42:19-22 are to be transposed after 43:1-3 (see, e.g., BHS note 18a, W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:275; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 252, 256, 258). However, there is absolutely no textual evidence for the transposition and little reason to suspect an early scribal error (in spite of Holladay’s suggestion). It is possible that Jeremiah here anticipates this answer in 43:1-3 through the response on their faces (so Bright, 256; F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 361). G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 249) also call attention to the stated intention in 41:17 and the fact that the strong warning in 42:15-17 seems to imply that a negative response is expected). The use of the perfect here is perhaps to be related to the perfect expressing resolve or determination (see IBHS 489 §30.5.1d). It is also conceivable that these two verses are part of a conditional sentence which has no formal introduction. I.e., “And if you will not obey…then you should know for certain that…” For examples of this kind of conditional clause introduced by two vavs (ו) see Joüon 2:628-29 §167.b, and compare Jer 18:4; Judg 6:13. However, though this interpretation is within the possibilities of Hebrew grammar, I know of no translation or commentary that follows it. So it has not been followed in the translation or given as an alternate translation.

856 tn This sentence contains an emphasis that is impossible to translate into idiomatic English that would not sound redundant. In Hebrew the sentence reads: “When Jeremiah finished [the temporal subordination is left out here because it would make the sentence too long] telling all the people all the words [or all the things] which the Lord their God had sent him [to say] to them, namely all these words,…” The last phrase has been left out of the translation as already having been included. Though they have been left out of the translation, attention is called to their presence here.

857 sn See the study note on 42:1 for the possible identification of this man with Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah and Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite.

858 tn Or “is inciting you against us.”

859 tn Heb “in order to give us into the hands of the Chaldeans.” The substitution “he wants to” as the equivalent of the purpose clause has been chosen to shorten the sentence to better conform with contemporary English style.

860 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for explanation.

861 sn These are the people who are referred to in Jer 40:11-12.

862 tn Heb “the daughters of the king.” See the translator’s n