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Jeremiah 29:23

Context
29:23 This will happen to them because they have done what is shameful 1  in Israel. They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken lies while claiming my authority. 2  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.” 3 

1 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.”

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

3 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”



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