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Jeremiah 26:8-9

Context
26:8 Jeremiah had just barely finished saying all the Lord had commanded him to say to all the people. All at once some 1  of the priests, the prophets, and the people grabbed him and shouted, “You deserve to die! 2  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!” 3  Then all the people crowded around Jeremiah.

1 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.)

2 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).

3 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).



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