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Jeremiah 2:23-25

Context

2:23 “How can you say, ‘I have not made myself unclean.

I have not paid allegiance to 1  the gods called Baal.’

Just look at the way you have behaved in the Valley of Hinnom! 2 

Think about the things you have done there!

You are like a flighty, young female camel

that rushes here and there, crisscrossing its path. 3 

2:24 You are like a wild female donkey brought up in the wilderness.

In her lust she sniffs the wind to get the scent of a male. 4 

No one can hold her back when she is in heat.

None of the males need wear themselves out chasing after her.

At mating time she is easy to find. 5 

2:25 Do not chase after other gods until your shoes wear out

and your throats become dry. 6 

But you say, ‘It is useless for you to try and stop me

because I love those foreign gods 7  and want to pursue them!’

1 tn Heb “I have not gone/followed after.” See the translator’s note on 2:5 for the meaning and usage of this idiom.

2 tn Heb “Look at your way in the valley.” The valley is an obvious reference to the Valley of Hinnom where Baal and Molech were worshiped and child sacrifice was practiced.

3 sn The metaphor is intended to depict Israel’s lack of clear direction and purpose without the Lord’s control.

4 tn The words “to get the scent of a male” are implicit and are supplied in the translation for clarification.

5 sn The metaphor is intended to depict Israel’s irrepressible desire to worship other gods.

6 tn Heb “Refrain your feet from being bare and your throat from being dry/thirsty.”

7 tn Heb “It is useless! No!” For this idiom, see Jer 18:12; NEB “No; I am desperate.”



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