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Jeremiah 2:2-3

Context
2:2 “Go and declare in the hearing of the people of Jerusalem: 1  ‘This is what the Lord says: “I have fond memories of you, 2  how devoted you were to me in your early years. 3  I remember how you loved me like a new bride; you followed me through the wilderness, through a land that had never been planted. 2:3 Israel was set apart to the Lord; they were like the first fruits of a harvest to him. 4  All who tried to devour them were punished; disaster came upon them,” says the Lord.’”

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

2 tn Heb “I remember to/for you.”

3 tn Heb “the loyal love of your youth.”

sn The Hebrew word translated “how devoted you were” (חֶסֶד, khesed) refers metaphorically to the devotion of a new bride to her husband. In typical Hebraic fashion, contemporary Israel is identified with early Israel after she first entered into covenant with (= married) the Lord. The reference to her earlier devotion is not absolute but relative. Compared to her unfaithfulness in worshiping other gods after she got into the land, the murmuring and complaining in the wilderness are ignored.

4 sn Heb “the first fruits of his harvest.” Many commentators see the figure here as having theological significance for the calling of the Gentiles. It is likely, however, that in this context the metaphor – here rendered as a simile – is intended to bring out the special relationship and inviolability that Israel had with God. As the first fruits were the special possession of the Lord, to be eaten only by the priests and off limits to the common people, so Israel was God’s special possession and was not to be “eaten” by the nations.



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