27:2 The Lord told me, 1 “Make a yoke 2 out of leather straps and wooden crossbars and put it on your neck.
28:14 For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 3 says, “I have put an irresistible yoke of servitude on all these nations 4 so they will serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. And they will indeed serve him. I have even given him control over the wild animals.”’” 5
1 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
2 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.
4 tn Heb “An iron yoke I have put on the necks of all these nations.”