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Jeremiah 2:8

Context

2:8 Your priests 1  did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ 2 

Those responsible for teaching my law 3  did not really know me. 4 

Your rulers rebelled against me.

Your prophets prophesied in the name of the god Baal. 5 

They all worshiped idols that could not help them. 6 

Jeremiah 2:26

Context

2:26 Just as a thief has to suffer dishonor when he is caught,

so the people of Israel 7  will suffer dishonor for what they have done. 8 

So will their kings and officials,

their priests and their prophets.

Jeremiah 5:13

Context

5:13 The prophets will prove to be full of wind. 9 

The Lord has not spoken through them. 10 

So, let what they say happen to them.’”

Jeremiah 5:31

Context

5:31 The prophets prophesy lies.

The priests exercise power by their own authority. 11 

And my people love to have it this way.

But they will not be able to help you when the time of judgment comes! 12 

Jeremiah 14:13-15

Context

14:13 Then I said, “Oh, Lord God, 13  look! 14  The prophets are telling them that you said, 15  ‘You will not experience war or suffer famine. 16  I will give you lasting peace and prosperity in this land.’” 17 

14:14 Then the Lord said to me, “Those prophets are prophesying lies while claiming my authority! 18  I did not send them. I did not commission them. 19  I did not speak to them. They are prophesying to these people false visions, worthless predictions, 20  and the delusions of their own mind. 14:15 I did not send those prophets, though they claim to be prophesying in my name. They may be saying, ‘No war or famine will happen in this land.’ But I, the Lord, say this about 21  them: ‘War and starvation will kill those prophets.’ 22 

1 tn Heb “The priests…the ones who grasp my law…the shepherds…the prophets…they…”

2 sn See the study note on 2:6.

3 tn Heb “those who handle my law.”

sn The reference is likely to the priests and Levites who were responsible for teaching the law (so Jer 18:18; cf. Deut 33:10). According to Jer 8:8 it could possibly refer to the scribes who copied the law.

4 tn Or “were not committed to me.” The Hebrew verb rendered “know” refers to more than mere intellectual knowledge. It carries also the ideas of emotional and volitional commitment as well intimacy. See for example its use in contexts like Hos 4:1; 6:6.

5 tn Heb “by Baal.”

6 tn Heb “and they followed after those things [the word is plural] which do not profit.” The poetic structure of the verse, four lines in which a distinct subject appears at the beginning followed by a fifth line beginning with a prepositional phrase and no distinct subject, argues that this line is climactic and refers to all four classes enumerated in the preceding lines. See W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:88-89. There may be a play or pun in the Hebrew text on the name for the god Baal (בַּעַל, baal) and the verb “cannot help you” (Heb “do not profit”) which is spelled יַעַל (yaal).

7 tn Heb “house of Israel.”

8 tn The words “for what they have done” are implicit in the comparison and are supplied in the translation for clarification.

9 tn Heb “will be wind.”

sn There is a wordplay on the Hebrew word translated “wind” (רוּחַ, ruakh) which also means “spirit.” The prophets spoke by inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord (cf., e.g., 2 Chr 20:14); hence the prophet was sometimes called “the man of the spirit” (cf. Hos 9:7). The people were claiming that the prophets were speaking lies and hence were full of wind, not the Spirit.

10 tc Heb “the word is not in them.” The MT has a highly unusual form here, the Piel perfect with the definite article (הַדִּבֵּר, haddibber). It is undoubtedly best to read with the LXX (Greek version) and one Hebrew ms the article on the noun (הַדָּבָר, haddavar).

11 tn Heb “they shall rule at their hands.” Since the word “hand” can be used figuratively for authority or mean “side” and the pronoun “them” can refer to the priests themselves or the prophets, the following translations have also been suggested: “the priests rule under their [the prophets’] directions,” or “the priests rule in league with them [the prophets].” From the rest of the book it would appear that the prophets did not exercise authority over the priests nor did they exercise the same authority over the people that the priests did. Hence it probably mean “by their own hand/power/authority.”

12 tn Heb “But what will you do at its end?” The rhetorical question implies a negative answer: “Nothing!”

13 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” The translation follows the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the Hebrew word for God for the proper name Yahweh.

14 tn Heb “Behold.” See the translator’s note on usage of this particle in 1:6.

15 tn The words “that you said” are not in the text but are implicit from the first person in the affirmation that follows. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

16 tn Heb “You will not see sword and you will not have starvation [or hunger].”

17 tn Heb “I will give you unfailing peace in this place.” The translation opts for “peace and prosperity” here for the word שָׁלוֹם (shalom) because in the context it refers both to peace from war and security from famine and plague. The word translated “lasting” (אֱמֶת, ’emet) is a difficult to render here because it has broad uses: “truth, reliability, stability, steadfastness,” etc. “Guaranteed” or “lasting” seem to fit the context the best.

18 tn Heb “Falsehood those prophets are prophesying in my name.” In the OT, the “name” reflected the person’s character (cf. Gen 27:36; 1 Sam 25:25) or his reputation (Gen 11:4; 2 Sam 8:13). To speak in someone’s name was to act as his representative or carry his authority (1 Sam 25:9; 1 Kgs 21:8).

19 tn Heb “I did not command them.” Compare 1 Chr 22:12 for usage.

20 tn Heb “divination and worthlessness.” The noun “worthlessness” stands as a qualifying “of” phrase (= to an adjective; an attributive genitive in Hebrew) after a noun in Zech 11:17; Job 13:4. This is an example of hendiadys where two nouns are joined by “and” with one serving as the qualifier of the other.

sn The word translated “predictions” here is really the word “divination.” Divination was prohibited in Israel (cf. Deut 18:10, 14). The practice of divination involved various mechanical means to try to predict the future. The word was used here for its negative connotations in a statement that is rhetorically structured to emphasize the falseness of the promises of the false prophets. It would be unnatural to contemporary English style to try to capture this emphasis in English. In the Hebrew text the last sentence reads: “False vision, divination, and worthlessness and the deceitfulness of their heart they are prophesying to them.” For the emphasis in the preceding sentence see the note there.

21 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord about.” The first person construction has been used in the translation for better English style.

22 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who are prophesying in my name and I did not send them [= whom I did not send] and they are saying [= who are saying], ‘Sword and famine…’, by sword and famine those prophets will be killed.” This sentence has been restructured to conform to contemporary English style.

sn The rhetoric of the passage is again sustained by an emphatic word order which contrasts what they say will not happen to the land, “war and famine,” with the punishment that the Lord will inflict on them, i.e., “war and starvation [or famine].”



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