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Jeremiah 30:1--33:26

Context
Introduction to the Book of Consolation

30:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 1  30:2 “The Lord God of Israel says, 2  ‘Write everything that I am about to tell you in a scroll. 3  30:3 For I, the Lord, affirm 4  that the time will come when I will reverse the plight 5  of my people, Israel and Judah,’ says the Lord. ‘I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors 6  and they will take possession of it once again.’” 7 

Israel and Judah Will Be Delivered after a Time of Deep Distress

30:4 So here is what the Lord has to say about Israel and Judah. 8 

30:5 Yes, 9  here is what he says:

“You hear cries of panic and of terror;

there is no peace in sight. 10 

30:6 Ask yourselves this and consider it carefully: 11 

Have you ever seen a man give birth to a baby?

Why then do I see all these strong men

grabbing their stomachs in pain like 12  a woman giving birth?

And why do their faces

turn so deathly pale?

30:7 Alas, what a terrible time of trouble it is! 13 

There has never been any like it.

It is a time of trouble for the descendants of Jacob,

but some of them will be rescued out of it. 14 

30:8 When the time for them to be rescued comes,” 15 

says the Lord who rules over all, 16 

“I will rescue you from foreign subjugation. 17 

I will deliver you from captivity. 18 

Foreigners will then no longer subjugate them.

30:9 But they will be subject 19  to the Lord their God

and to the Davidic ruler whom I will raise up as king over them. 20 

30:10 So I, the Lord, tell you not to be afraid,

you descendants of Jacob, my servants. 21 

Do not be terrified, people of Israel.

For I will rescue you and your descendants

from a faraway land where you are captives. 22 

The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace.

They will be secure and no one will terrify them. 23 

30:11 For I, the Lord, affirm 24  that

I will be with you and will rescue you.

I will completely destroy all the nations where I scattered you.

But I will not completely destroy you.

I will indeed discipline you, but only in due measure.

I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished.” 25 

The Lord Will Heal the Wounds of Judah

30:12 Moreover, 26  the Lord says to the people of Zion, 27 

“Your injuries are incurable;

your wounds are severe. 28 

30:13 There is no one to plead your cause.

There are no remedies for your wounds. 29 

There is no healing for you.

30:14 All your allies have abandoned you. 30 

They no longer have any concern for you.

For I have attacked you like an enemy would.

I have chastened you cruelly.

For your wickedness is so great

and your sin is so much. 31 

30:15 Why do you complain about your injuries,

that your pain is incurable?

I have done all this to you

because your wickedness is so great

and your sin is so much.

30:16 But 32  all who destroyed you will be destroyed.

All your enemies will go into exile.

Those who plundered you will be plundered.

I will cause those who pillaged you to be pillaged. 33 

30:17 Yes, 34  I will restore you to health.

I will heal your wounds.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 35 

For you have been called an outcast,

Zion, whom no one cares for.”

The Lord Will Restore Israel and Judah

30:18 The Lord says,

“I will restore the ruined houses of the descendants of Jacob.

I will show compassion on their ruined homes. 36 

Every city will be rebuilt on its former ruins. 37 

Every fortified dwelling will occupy its traditional site. 38 

30:19 Out of those places you will hear songs of thanksgiving 39 

and the sounds of laughter and merriment.

I will increase their number and they will not dwindle away. 40 

I will bring them honor and they will no longer be despised.

30:20 The descendants of Jacob will enjoy their former privileges.

Their community will be reestablished in my favor 41 

and I will punish all who try to oppress them.

30:21 One of their own people will be their leader.

Their ruler will come from their own number. 42 

I will invite him to approach me, and he will do so. 43 

For no one would dare approach me on his own. 44 

I, the Lord, affirm it! 45 

30:22 Then you will again be my people

and I will be your God. 46 

30:23 Just watch! The wrath of the Lord

will come like a storm.

Like a raging storm it will rage down

on the heads of those who are wicked.

30:24 The anger of the Lord will not turn back

until he has fully carried out his intended purposes.

In days to come you will come to understand this. 47 

31:1 At that time I will be the God of all the clans of Israel 48 

and they will be my people.

I, the Lord, affirm it!” 49 

Israel Will Be Restored and Join Judah in Worship

31:2 The Lord says,

“The people of Israel who survived

death at the hands of the enemy 50 

will find favor in the wilderness

as they journey to find rest for themselves.

31:3 In a far-off land the Lord will manifest himself to them.

He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.

That is why I have continued to be faithful to you. 51 

31:4 I will rebuild you, my dear children Israel, 52 

so that you will once again be built up.

Once again you will take up the tambourine

and join in the happy throng of dancers. 53 

31:5 Once again you will plant vineyards

on the hills of Samaria. 54 

Those who plant them

will once again enjoy their fruit. 55 

31:6 Yes, a time is coming

when watchmen 56  will call out on the mountains of Ephraim,

“Come! Let us go to Zion

to worship the Lord our God!”’” 57 

31:7 Moreover, 58  the Lord says,

“Sing for joy for the descendants of Jacob.

Utter glad shouts for that foremost of the nations. 59 

Make your praises heard. 60 

Then say, ‘Lord, rescue your people.

Deliver those of Israel who remain alive.’ 61 

31:8 Then I will reply, 62  ‘I will bring them back from the land of the north.

I will gather them in from the distant parts of the earth.

Blind and lame people will come with them,

so will pregnant women and women about to give birth.

A vast throng of people will come back here.

31:9 They will come back shedding tears of contrition.

I will bring them back praying prayers of repentance. 63 

I will lead them besides streams of water,

along smooth paths where they will never stumble. 64 

I will do this because I am Israel’s father;

Ephraim 65  is my firstborn son.’”

31:10 Hear what the Lord has to say, O nations.

Proclaim it in the faraway lands along the sea.

Say, “The one who scattered Israel will regather them.

He will watch over his people like a shepherd watches over his flock.”

31:11 For the Lord will rescue the descendants of Jacob.

He will secure their release 66  from those who had overpowered them. 67 

31:12 They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion.

They will be radiant with joy 68  over the good things the Lord provides,

the grain, the fresh wine, the olive oil,

the young sheep and calves he has given to them.

They will be like a well-watered garden

and will not grow faint or weary any more.

31:13 The Lord says, 69  “At that time young women will dance and be glad.

Young men and old men will rejoice. 70 

I will turn their grief into gladness.

I will give them comfort and joy in place of their sorrow.

31:14 I will provide the priests with abundant provisions. 71 

My people will be filled to the full with the good things I provide.”

31:15 The Lord says,

“A sound is heard in Ramah, 72 

a sound of crying in bitter grief.

It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children

and refusing to be comforted, because her children are gone.” 73 

31:16 The Lord says to her, 74 

“Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears! 75 

For your heartfelt repentance 76  will be rewarded.

Your children will return from the land of the enemy.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 77 

31:17 Indeed, there is hope for your posterity. 78 

Your children will return to their own territory.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 79 

31:18 I have indeed 80  heard the people of Israel 81  say mournfully,

‘We were like a calf untrained to the yoke. 82 

You disciplined us and we learned from it. 83 

Let us come back to you and we will do so, 84 

for you are the Lord our God.

31:19 For after we turned away from you we repented.

After we came to our senses 85  we beat our breasts in sorrow. 86 

We are ashamed and humiliated

because of the disgraceful things we did previously.’ 87 

31:20 Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children.

They are the children I take delight in. 88 

For even though I must often rebuke them,

I still remember them with fondness.

So I am deeply moved with pity for them 89 

and will surely have compassion on them.

I, the Lord, affirm it! 90 

31:21 I will say, 91  ‘My dear children of Israel, 92  keep in mind

the road you took when you were carried off. 93 

Mark off in your minds the landmarks.

Make a mental note of telltale signs marking the way back.

Return, my dear children of Israel.

Return to these cities of yours.

31:22 How long will you vacillate, 94 

you who were once like an unfaithful daughter? 95 

For I, the Lord, promise 96  to bring about something new 97  on the earth,

something as unique as a woman protecting a man!’” 98 

Judah Will Be Restored

31:23 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 99  says,

“I will restore the people of Judah to their land and to their towns.

When I do, they will again say 100  of Jerusalem, 101 

‘May the Lord bless you, you holy mountain,

the place where righteousness dwells.’ 102 

31:24 The land of Judah will be inhabited by people who live in its towns

as well as by farmers and shepherds with their flocks. 103 

31:25 I will fully satisfy the needs of those who are weary

and fully refresh the souls of those who are faint. 104 

31:26 Then they will say, ‘Under these conditions I can enjoy sweet sleep

when I wake up and look around.’” 105 

Israel and Judah Will Be Repopulated

31:27 “Indeed, a time is coming,” 106  says the Lord, 107  “when I will cause people and animals to sprout up in the lands of Israel and Judah. 108  31:28 In the past I saw to it that they were uprooted and torn down, that they were destroyed and demolished. But now I will see to it that they are built up and firmly planted. 109  I, the Lord, affirm it!” 110 

The Lord Will Make a New Covenant with Israel and Judah

31:29 “When that time comes, people will no longer say, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but the children’s teeth have grown numb.’ 111  31:30 Rather, each person will die for his own sins. The teeth of the person who eats the sour grapes will themselves grow numb. 112 

31:31 “Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord, 113  “when I will make a new covenant 114  with the people of Israel and Judah. 115  31:32 It will not be like the old 116  covenant that I made with their ancestors 117  when I delivered them 118  from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to them,” 119  says the Lord. 120  31:33 “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel 121  after I plant them back in the land,” 122  says the Lord. 123  “I will 124  put my law within them 125  and write it on their hearts and minds. 126  I will be their God and they will be my people. 127 

31:34 “People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me. 128  For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,” 129  says the Lord. “For 130  I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.”

The Lord Guarantees Israel’s Continuance

31:35 The Lord has made a promise to Israel.

He promises it as the one who fixed the sun to give light by day

and the moon and stars to give light by night.

He promises it as the one who stirs up the sea so that its waves roll.

He promises it as the one who is known as the Lord who rules over all. 131 

31:36 The Lord affirms, 132  “The descendants of Israel will not

cease forever to be a nation in my sight.

That could only happen if the fixed ordering of the heavenly lights

were to cease to operate before me.” 133 

31:37 The Lord says, “I will not reject all the descendants of Israel

because of all that they have done. 134 

That could only happen if the heavens above could be measured

or the foundations of the earth below could all be explored,” 135 

says the Lord. 136 

Jerusalem Will Be Enlarged

31:38 “Indeed a time is coming,” 137  says the Lord, 138  “when the city of Jerusalem 139  will be rebuilt as my special city. 140  It will be built from the Tower of Hananel westward to the Corner Gate. 141  31:39 The boundary line will extend beyond that, straight west from there to the Hill of Gareb and then turn southward to Goah. 142  31:40 The whole valley where dead bodies and sacrificial ashes are thrown 143  and all the terraced fields 144  out to the Kidron Valley 145  on the east as far north 146  as the Horse Gate 147  will be included within this city that is sacred to the Lord. 148  The city will never again be torn down or destroyed.”

Jeremiah Buys a Field

32:1 In the tenth year that Zedekiah was ruling over Judah the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 149  That was the same as the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.

32:2 Now at that time, 150  the armies of the king of Babylon were besieging Jerusalem. 151  The prophet Jeremiah was confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse 152  attached to the royal palace of Judah. 32:3 For King Zedekiah 153  had confined Jeremiah there after he had reproved him for prophesying as he did. He had asked Jeremiah, “Why do you keep prophesying these things? Why do you keep saying that the Lord says, ‘I will hand this city over to the king of Babylon? I will let him capture it. 154  32:4 King Zedekiah of Judah will not escape from the Babylonians. 155  He will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon. He must answer personally to the king of Babylon and confront him face to face. 156  32:5 Zedekiah will be carried off to Babylon and will remain there until I have fully dealt with him. 157  I, the Lord, affirm it! 158  Even if you 159  continue to fight against the Babylonians, 160  you cannot win.’”

32:6 So now, Jeremiah said, “The Lord told me, 161  32:7 ‘Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will come to you soon. He will say to you, “Buy my field at Anathoth because you are entitled 162  as my closest relative to buy it.”’ 163  32:8 Now it happened just as the Lord had said! My cousin Hanamel 164  came to me in the courtyard of the guardhouse. He said to me, ‘Buy my field which is at Anathoth in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. Buy it for yourself since you are entitled as my closest relative to take possession of it for yourself.’ When this happened, I recognized that the Lord had indeed spoken to me. 32:9 So I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel. I weighed out seven ounces of silver and gave it to him to pay for it. 165  32:10 I signed the deed of purchase, 166  sealed it, and had some men serve as witnesses to the purchase. 167  I weighed out the silver for him on a scale. 32:11 There were two copies of the deed of purchase. One was sealed and contained the order of transfer and the conditions of purchase. 168  The other was left unsealed. 32:12 I took both copies of the deed of purchase 169  and gave them to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah. I gave them to him in the presence 170  of my cousin 171  Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the deed of purchase, and all the Judeans who were housed in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 32:13 In the presence of all these people I instructed Baruch, 32:14 ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 172  says, “Take these documents, both the sealed copy of the deed of purchase and the unsealed copy. Put them in a clay jar so that they may be preserved for a long time to come.”’ 173  32:15 For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 174  says, “Houses, fields, and vineyards will again be bought in this land.”’ 175 

Jeremiah’s Prayer of Praise and Bewilderment

32:16 “After I had given the copies of the deed of purchase to Baruch son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, 32:17 ‘Oh, Lord God, 176  you did indeed 177  make heaven and earth by your mighty power and great strength. 178  Nothing is too hard for you! 32:18 You show unfailing love to thousands. 179  But you also punish children for the sins of their parents. 180  You are the great and powerful God who is known as the Lord who rules over all. 181  32:19 You plan great things and you do mighty deeds. 182  You see everything people do. 183  You reward each of them for the way they live and for the things they do. 184  32:20 You did miracles and amazing deeds in the land of Egypt which have had lasting effect. By this means you gained both in Israel and among humankind a renown that lasts to this day. 185  32:21 You used your mighty power and your great strength to perform miracles and amazing deeds and to bring great terror on the Egyptians. By this means you brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt. 186  32:22 You kept the promise that you swore on oath to their ancestors. 187  You gave them a land flowing with milk and honey. 188  32:23 But when they came in and took possession of it, they did not obey you or live as you had instructed them. They did not do anything that you commanded them to do. 189  So you brought all this disaster on them. 32:24 Even now siege ramps have been built up around the city 190  in order to capture it. War, 191  starvation, and disease are sure to make the city fall into the hands of the Babylonians 192  who are attacking it. 193  Lord, 194  you threatened that this would happen. Now you can see that it is already taking place. 195  32:25 The city is sure to fall into the hands of the Babylonians. 196  Yet, in spite of this, 197  you, Lord God, 198  have said to me, “Buy that field with silver and have the transaction legally witnessed.”’” 199 

The Lord Answers Jeremiah’s Prayer

32:26 The Lord answered Jeremiah. 200  32:27 “I am the Lord, the God of all humankind. There is, indeed, nothing too difficult for me. 201  32:28 Therefore I, the Lord, say: 202  ‘I will indeed hand 203  this city over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonian army. 204  They will capture it. 32:29 The Babylonian soldiers 205  that are attacking this city will break into it and set it on fire. They will burn it down along with the houses where people have made me angry by offering sacrifices to the god Baal and by pouring out drink offerings to other gods on their rooftops. 206  32:30 This will happen because the people of Israel and Judah have repeatedly done what displeases me 207  from their earliest history until now 208  and because they 209  have repeatedly made me angry by the things they have done. 210  I, the Lord, affirm it! 211  32:31 This will happen because 212  the people of this city have aroused my anger and my wrath since the time they built it until now. 213  They have made me so angry that I am determined to remove 214  it from my sight. 32:32 I am determined to do so because the people of Israel and Judah have made me angry with all their wickedness – they, their kings, their officials, their priests, their prophets, and especially the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem 215  have done this wickedness. 216  32:33 They have turned away from me instead of turning to me. 217  I tried over and over again 218  to instruct them, but they did not listen and respond to correction. 219  32:34 They set up their disgusting idols in the temple which I have claimed for my own 220  and defiled it. 32:35 They built places of worship for the god Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they could sacrifice their sons and daughters to the god Molech. 221  Such a disgusting practice was not something I commanded them to do! It never even entered my mind to command them to do such a thing! So Judah is certainly liable for punishment.’ 222 

32:36 “You and your people 223  are right in saying, ‘War, 224  starvation, and disease are sure to make this city fall into the hands of the king of Babylon.’ 225  But now I, the Lord God of Israel, have something further to say about this city: 226  32:37 ‘I will certainly regather my people from all the countries where I will have exiled 227  them in my anger, fury, and great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and allow them to live here in safety. 32:38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 228  32:39 I will give them a single-minded purpose to live in a way that always shows respect for me. They will want to do that for 229  their own good and the good of the children who descend from them. 32:40 I will make a lasting covenant 230  with them that I will never stop doing good to them. 231  I will fill their hearts and minds with respect for me so that 232  they will never again turn 233  away from me. 32:41 I will take delight in doing good to them. I will faithfully and wholeheartedly plant them 234  firmly in the land.’

32:42 “For I, the Lord, say: 235  ‘I will surely bring on these people all the good fortune that I am hereby promising them. I will be just as sure to do that as I have been in bringing all this great disaster on them. 236  32:43 You and your people 237  are saying that this land will become desolate, uninhabited by either people or animals. You are saying that it will be handed over to the Babylonians. 238  But fields 239  will again be bought in this land. 240  32:44 Fields will again be bought with silver, and deeds of purchase signed, sealed, and witnessed. This will happen in the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, the towns in Judah, the southern hill country, the western foothills, and southern Judah. 241  For I will restore them to their land. 242  I, the Lord, affirm it!’” 243 

The Lord Promises a Second Time to Restore Israel and Judah

33:1 The Lord spoke 244  to Jeremiah a second time while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse. 245  33:2 “I, the Lord, do these things. I, the Lord, form the plan to bring them about. 246  I am known as the Lord. I say to you, 33:3 ‘Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious 247  things which you still do not know about.’ 33:4 For I, the Lord God of Israel, have something more to say about the houses in this city and the royal buildings which have been torn down for defenses against the siege ramps and military incursions of the Babylonians: 248  33:5 ‘The defenders of the city will go out and fight with the Babylonians. 249  But they will only fill those houses and buildings with the dead bodies of the people that I will kill in my anger and my wrath. 250  That will happen because I have decided to turn my back on 251  this city on account of the wicked things they have done. 252  33:6 But I will most surely 253  heal the wounds of this city and restore it and its people to health. 254  I will show them abundant 255  peace and security. 33:7 I will restore Judah and Israel 256  and will rebuild them as they were in days of old. 257  33:8 I will purify them from all the sin that they committed against me. I will forgive all their sins which they committed in rebelling against me. 258  33:9 All the nations will hear about all the good things which I will do to them. This city will bring me fame, honor, and praise before them for the joy that I bring it. The nations will tremble in awe at all the peace and prosperity that I will provide for it.’ 259 

33:10 “I, the Lord, say: 260  ‘You and your people are saying 261  about this place, “It lies in ruins. There are no people or animals in it.” That is true. The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem 262  will soon be desolate, uninhabited either by people or by animals. But happy sounds will again be heard in these places. 33:11 Once again there will be sounds 263  of joy and gladness and the glad celebrations of brides and grooms. 264  Once again people will bring their thank offerings to the temple of the Lord and will say, “Give thanks to the Lord who rules over all. For the Lord is good and his unfailing love lasts forever.” 265  For I, the Lord, affirm 266  that I will restore the land to what it was 267  in days of old.’ 268 

33:12 “I, the Lord who rules over all, say: 269  ‘This place will indeed lie in ruins. There will be no people or animals in it. But there will again be in it and in its towns sheepfolds where shepherds can rest their sheep. 33:13 I, the Lord, say that shepherds will once again count their sheep as they pass into the fold. 270  They will do this in all the towns in the southern hill country, the western foothills, the southern hill country, the territory of Benjamin, the villages surrounding Jerusalem, and the towns of Judah.’ 271 

The Lord Reaffirms His Covenant with David, Israel, and Levi

33:14 “I, the Lord, affirm: 272  ‘The time will certainly come when I will fulfill my gracious promise concerning the nations of Israel and Judah. 273  33:15 In those days and at that time I will raise up for them a righteous descendant 274  of David.

“‘He will do what is just and right in the land. 33:16 Under his rule Judah will enjoy safety 275  and Jerusalem 276  will live in security. At that time Jerusalem will be called “The Lord has provided us with justice.” 277  33:17 For I, the Lord, promise: “David will never lack a successor to occupy 278  the throne over the nation of Israel. 279  33:18 Nor will the Levitical priests ever lack someone to stand before me and continually offer up burnt offerings, sacrifice cereal offerings, and offer the other sacrifices.”’” 280 

33:19 The Lord spoke further to Jeremiah. 281  33:20 “I, Lord, make the following promise: 282  ‘I have made a covenant with the day 283  and with the night that they will always come at their proper times. Only if you people 284  could break that covenant 33:21 could my covenant with my servant David and my covenant with the Levites ever be broken. So David will by all means always have a descendant to occupy his throne as king and the Levites will by all means always have priests who will minister before me. 285  33:22 I will make the children who follow one another in the line of my servant David very numerous. I will also make the Levites who minister before me very numerous. I will make them all as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sands which are on the seashore.’” 286 

33:23 The Lord spoke still further to Jeremiah. 287  33:24 “You have surely noticed what these people are saying, haven’t you? They are saying, 288  ‘The Lord has rejected the two families of Israel and Judah 289  that he chose.’ So they have little regard that my people will ever again be a nation. 290  33:25 But I, the Lord, make the following promise: 291  I have made a covenant governing the coming of day and night. I have established the fixed laws governing heaven and earth. 33:26 Just as surely as I have done this, so surely will I never reject the descendants of Jacob. Nor will I ever refuse to choose one of my servant David’s descendants to rule over the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Indeed, 292  I will restore them 293  and show mercy to them.”

1 tn Compare the headings at 7:1; 11:1; 18:1; 21:1 and the translator’s note at those places.

2 tn Heb “Thus says Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel, saying….” For significance of the title “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel” see the note at 2:19.

3 tn Heb “Write all the words which I speak to you in a scroll.” The verb “which I speak” is the instantaneous use of the perfect tense (cf. GKC 311-12 §106.i or IBHS 488-89 §30.5.1d). The words that the Lord is about to speak follow in chs. 30–31.

sn Reference is made here to the so-called “Book of Consolation” which is the most extended treatment of the theme of hope or deliverance in the book. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet both of judgment (of tearing down and destroying) and of deliverance (of replanting and rebuilding; see Jer 1:10). Jeremiah lamented that he had to predominantly pronounce judgment but he has periodically woven in prophecies of hope after judgment in 3:14-18; 16:14-15; 23:3-8; 24:4-7; 29:10-14, 32. The oracles of hope contained in these chapters are undated but reference is made in them to the restoration of both Israel which had gone into exile in Assyria in 722 b.c. and Judah which began to be exiled in 605 and 597 b.c. Jeremiah had already written as early as the reign of Zedekiah about the exiles who were the good figs who were to experience the “good” of restoration (24:4-7; 29:10-14) and had spoken of the further exile of those who remained in Judah. So it is possible that these oracles fit in roughly the same time frame as chapters 27–29.

4 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

5 tn Heb “restore the fortune.” For the translation and meaning of this idiom see the note at 29:14.

6 tn Heb “fathers.”

7 sn As the nations of Israel and Judah were united in their sin and suffered the same fate – that of exile and dispersion – (cf. Jer 3:8; 5:11; 11:10, 17) so they will ultimately be regathered from the nations and rejoined under one king, a descendant of David, and regain possession of their ancestral lands. The prophets of both the eighth and seventh century looked forward to this ideal (see, e.g., Hos 1:11 (2:2 HT); Isa 11:11-13; Jer 23:5-6; 30:3; 33:7; Ezek 37:15-22). This has already been anticipated in Jer 3:18.

8 tn Heb “And these are the words/things that the Lord speaks concerning Israel and Judah.”

9 tn The particle כִּי (ki) is functioning here as loosely causal or epexegetical of the preceding introduction. For this usage cf. BDB 473-74 s.v. כִּי 3.c. This nuance borders on that of the intensive use of כִּי. See the discussion in BDB 472 s.v. כִּי note and כִּי 1.e.

10 tn Heb “We have heard the sound of panic and of fear, and there is no peace.” It is generally agreed that the person of the verb presupposes that this is an unintroduced quote of the people.

11 tn Heb “Ask and see/consider.”

12 tn Heb “with their hands on their loins.” The word rendered “loins” refers to the area between the ribs and the thighs.

13 tn Heb “Alas [or Woe] for that day will be great.” For the use of the particle “Alas” to signal a time of terrible trouble, even to sound the death knell for someone, see the translator’s note on 22:13.

sn The reference to a terrible time of trouble (Heb “that day”) is a common shorthand reference in the prophets to “the Day of the Lord.” The “Day of the Lord” refers to a time when God intervenes in judgment against the wicked. The time referent can be either near or far, referring to something as near as the Assyrian threat in the time of Ahaz (Isa 7:18, 20, 21, 23) or as distant as the eschatological battle of God against Gog when he attacks Israel (Ezek 38:14, 18). The judgment can be against Israel’s enemies and result in Israel’s deliverance (Jer 50:30-34). At other times as here the Day of the Lord involves judgment on Israel itself. Here reference is to the judgment that the northern kingdom, Israel, has already experienced (cf., e.g., Jer 3:8) and which the southern kingdom, Judah, is in the process of experiencing and which Jeremiah has lamented over several times and even described in hyperbolic and apocalyptic terms in Jer 4:19-31.

14 tn Heb “It is a time of trouble for Jacob but he will be saved out of it.”

sn Jacob here is figurative for the people descended from him. Moreover the figure moves from Jacob = descendants of Jacob to only a part of those descendants. Not all of his descendants who have experienced and are now experiencing trouble will be saved. Only a remnant (i.e., the good figs, cf., e.g., Jer 23:3; 31:7) will see the good things that the Lord has in store for them (Jer 24:5-6). The bad figs will suffer destruction through war, starvation, and disease (cf., e.g., Jer 24:8-10 among many other references).

15 tn Heb “And it shall happen in that day.”

sn The time for them to be rescued (Heb “that day”) is the day of deliverance from the trouble alluded to at the end of the preceding verse, not the day of trouble mentioned at the beginning. Israel (even the good figs) will still need to go through the period of trouble (cf. vv. 10-11).

16 tn Heb “Oracle of Yahweh of armies.” See the study note on 2:19 for explanation of the title for God.

17 tn Heb “I will break his yoke from upon your neck.” For the explanation of the figure see the study note on 27:2. The shift from third person at the end of v. 7 to second person in v. 8c, d and back to third person in v. 8e is typical of Hebrew poetry in the book of Psalms and in the prophetic books (cf., GKC 351 §114.p and compare usage in Deut 32:15; Isa 5:8 listed there). The present translation, like several other modern ones, has typically leveled them to the same person to avoid confusion for modern readers who are not accustomed to this poetic tradition.

sn In the immediate context the reference to the yoke of their servitude to foreign domination (Heb “his yoke”) should be understood as a reference to the yoke of servitude to Nebuchadnezzar which has been referred to often in Jer 27-28 (see, e.g., 27:8, 12; 28:2, 4, 11). The end of that servitude has already been referred to in 25:11-14; 29:11-14. Like many other passages in the OT it has been given a later eschatological reinterpretation in the light of subsequent bondages and lack of complete fulfillment, i.e., of restoration to the land and restoration of the Davidic monarchy.

18 tn Heb “I will tear off their bands.” The “bands” are the leather straps which held the yoke bars in place (cf. 27:2). The metaphor of the “yoke on the neck” is continued. The translation reflects the sense of the metaphor but not the specific referent.

19 tn The word “subject” in this verse and “subjugate” are from the same root word in Hebrew. A deliberate contrast is drawn between the two powers that they will serve.

20 tn Heb “and to David their king whom I will raise up for them.”

sn The Davidic ruler which I will raise up as king over them refers to a descendant of David who would be raised up over a regathered and reunited Israel and Judah. He is called “David” in Hos 3:5, Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25 and referred to as a shoot or sprig of Jesse in Isa 11:1, 10 and a “righteous branch” springing from David (the Davidic line). He is called “David” because he is from the Davidic line and because David is the type of the ideal king whom the prophets looked forward to. See further the study notes on 23:5 for this ideal king and for his relation to the NT fulfillment in the person of Jesus the Christ.

21 tn Heb “So do not be afraid, my servant Jacob, oracle of the Lord.” Here and elsewhere in the verse the terms Jacob and Israel are poetic for the people of Israel descended from the patriarch Jacob. The terms have been supplied throughout with plural referents for greater clarity.

22 tn Heb “For I will rescue you from far away, your descendants from the land of their captivity.”

23 sn Compare the ideals of the Mosaic covenant in Lev 26:6, the Davidic covenant in 2 Sam 7:10-11, and the new covenant in Ezek 34:25-31.

24 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

25 tn The translation “entirely unpunished” is intended to reflect the emphatic construction of the infinitive absolute before the finite verb.

26 tn The particle כִּי (ki) here is parallel to the one in v. 5 that introduces the first oracle. See the discussion in the translator’s note there.

27 tn The pronouns in vv. 10-17 are second feminine singular referring to a personified entity. That entity is identified in v. 17 as Zion, which here stands for the people of Zion.

28 sn The wounds to the body politic are those of the incursions from the enemy from the north referred to in Jer 4:6; 6:1 over which Jeremiah and even God himself have lamented (Jer 8:21; 10:19; 14:17). The enemy from the north has been identified as Babylon and has been identified as the agent of God’s punishment of his disobedient people (Jer 1:15; 4:6; 25:9).

29 tc The translation of these first two lines follows the redivision of the lines suggested in NIV and NRSV rather than that of the Masoretes who read, “There is no one who pleads your cause with reference to [your] wound.”

sn This verse exhibits a mixed metaphor of an advocate pleading someone’s case (cf., Jer 5:28; 22:18) and of a physician applying medicine to wounds and sores resulting from them (see, e.g., Jer 8:18 for the latter metaphor). Zion’s sins are beyond defense and the wounds inflicted upon her beyond healing. However, God, himself, in his own time will forgive her sins (Jer 31:34; 33:8) and heal her wounds (Jer 30:17).

30 tn Heb “forgotten you.”

31 tn Heb “attacked you like…with the chastening of a cruel one because of the greatness of your iniquity [and because] your sins are many.” The sentence has been broken down to conform to contemporary English style and better poetic scansion.

32 tn For the translation of this particle, which is normally translated “therefore” and often introduces an announcement of judgment, compare the usage at Jer 16:14 and the translator’s note there. Here as there it introduces a contrast, a rather unexpected announcement of salvation. For a similar use see also Hos 2:14 (2:16 HT). Recognition of this usage makes the proposed emendation of BHS of לָכֵן כָּל (lakhen kol) to וְכָל (vÿkhol) unnecessary.

33 sn With the exception of the second line there is a definite attempt at wordplay in each line to underline the principle of lex talionis on a national and political level. This principle has already been appealed to in the case of the end of Babylonian sovereignty in 25:14; 27:7.

34 tn Again the particle כִּי (ki) appears to be intensive rather than causal. Compare the translator’s note on v. 12. It is possible that it has an adversative sense as an implicit contrast with v. 13 which expresses these concepts in the negative (cf. BDB 474 s.v. כִּי 3.e for this use in statements which are contextually closer to one another).

35 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

36 tn Heb “I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and will have compassion on his habitations.” For the meaning of the idiom “restore the fortunes of” see the translator’s note on 29:14. The “tents of Jacob” refers to their homes or houses (see BDB 14 s.v. אֹהֶל 2 and compare usage in Judg 19:9; Mal 2:12). The word “ruined” has been supplied in the translation to show more clearly the idea of restoration of their houses on their former sites in conformity to the concepts in the latter half of the verse.

37 sn Heb “on its tel.” A tel is a site where successive layers of occupation are built upon one another after the destruction or decay of the former city. The original site was not abandoned because it had been chosen for strategic purposes, such as proximity to water or ease of defense. Many modern archaeological sites have the designation “Tel” as a component of their name because of this practice.

38 tn Heb “according to its custom [or plan].” Cf. BDB 1049 s.v. מִשְׁפָּט 6.d and compare usage in 1 Sam 27:11.

39 tn Heb “Out of them will come thanksgiving and a sound of those who are playful.”

40 sn Compare Jer 29:6.

41 tn Heb “his children will be as in former times and his congregation/community will be established before me.” “His children” refers to “Jacob” who has been referred to in v. 18 in the phrase “I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob.” “His children” are thus the restored exiles. Some commentaries see the reference here to the restoration of numbers in accordance with the previous verse. However, the last line of this verse and the reference to the ruler in the following verse suggests rather restoration of the religious and political institutions to their former state. For the use of the word translated “community” (עֵדָה, ’edah) to refer to a political congregation as well as its normal use to refer to a religious one see 1 Kgs 12:20. For the idea of “in my favor” (i.e., under the eye and regard of) for the Hebrew phrase used here (לְפָנַי, lÿfanay) see BDB 817 s.v. פָּנֶה II.4.a(b).

42 sn The statement their ruler will come from their own number accords with the regulation in Deut 17:15. They would not be ruled by a foreign leader but by one of their own people. In v. 9 he is specifically said to come from the Davidic line. See the study note there.

43 sn Ordinarily this prerogative was confined to the priests and the Levites and even then under strict regulations (cf., e.g., Num 8:19; 16:10; Lev 16:10; 21:17; 22:3). Uzziah king of Judah violated this and suffered leprosy for having done so (2 Chr 26:16-20). It is clear, however, that both David and Solomon on occasion exercised priestly functions in the presence of the ark or the altar which it was normally lawful for only the priests to approach (cf., e.g., 2 Sam 6:13-14; 1 Kgs 8:22, 54-55). Here reference is probably not to the normal prerogatives of offering sacrifice or burning incense but access to God’s special presence at special times for the purpose of consultation.

44 tn Heb “For who is he who would pledge his heart to draw near to me.” The question is a rhetorical one expecting the answer “no one” and is a way of expressing an emphatic negative (see BDB 566 s.v. מִי f[c]). The concept of “pledging” something refers to putting up security in guarantee of payment. Here the word is used figuratively of “putting up one’s heart [i.e., his very being (cf. BDB 524 s.v. לֵב 7 and Ps 22:26)]” for the privilege of access to God. The rhetorical question denies that any one would do that if he were not bidden by God to do so.

45 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

46 sn This was their highest privilege (cf. Exod 6:7, Lev 26:12; Jer 24:7) but also their greatest responsibility (cf. Jer 7:3; 11:4). It is a formula referring to a covenant relationship in which God pledges to protect, provide, and be present with his people and they in turn promise to be loyal and obedient to him (see Deut 26:17-18; 29:10-13).

47 sn Jer 30:23-24 are almost a verbatim repetition of 23:19-20. There the verses were addressed to the people of Jerusalem as a warning that the false prophets had no intimate awareness of the Lord’s plans which were plans of destruction for wicked Israel not plans of peace and prosperity. Here they function as further assurance that the Lord will judge the wicked nations oppressing them when he reverses their fortunes and restores them once again to the land as his special people (cf. vv. 18-22).

48 sn This verse repeats v. 22 but with specific reference to all the clans of Israel, i.e., to all Israel and Judah. It functions here as a transition to the next section which will deal with the restoration of Israel (31:3-20) and Judah (31:21-25) and their reunification in the land (31:27-29) under a new covenant relation with God (31:31-37). See also the study note on 30:3 for further reference to this reunification in Jeremiah and the other prophets.

49 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

50 tn Heb “who survived the sword.”

sn This refers to the remnant of northern Israel who had not been killed when Assyria conquered Israel in 722 b.c. or who had not died in exile. References to Samaria in v. 5 and to Ephraim in vv. 6, 9 make clear that northern Israel is in view here.

51 tn Or “The people of Israel who survived the onslaughts of Egypt and Amalek found favor in the wilderness as they journeyed to find rest. At that time long ago the Lord manifested himself to them. He said, ‘I have…That is why I have drawn you to myself through my unfailing kindness.’” For the basis for each of these translations see the translator’s note. There is debate whether the reference here is to God’s preservation of Israel during their wandering in the Sinai desert or his promise to protect and preserve them on their return through the Arabian desert on the way back from Assyria and Babylon (see e.g., Isa 42:14-16; 43:16-21; Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8). The only finite verbs in vv. 2-3a before the introduction of the quote are perfects which can denote either a past act or a future act viewed as certain of fulfillment (the prophetic perfect; see GKC 312-13 §106.n and see examples in Jer 11:16; 13:17; 25:14; 28:4). The phrase at the beginning of v. 3 can either refer to temporal (cf. BDB 935 s.v. רָחוֹק 2.b and Isa 22:11) or spatial distance (cf. BDB 935 s.v. רָחוֹק 2.a[2] and Isa 5:29; 59:14). The verb in the final clause in v. 3 can refer to either the continuance of God’s love as in Ps 36:10 (cf. BDB 604 s.v. מָשַׁךְ Qal.5) or drawing someone to him in electing, caring love as in Hos 11:4 (cf. BDB 604 s.v. מָשַׁךְ Qal.1). The translation has opted for the prophetic reference to future deliverance because of the preceding context, the use of מֵרָחוֹק (merakhoq) to refer to the far off land of exile in Jer 30:10; 46:27; 51:50, and the reference to survivors from the sword being called on to remember the Lord in that far off land in 51:50.

52 tn Heb “Virgin Israel.”

sn For the significance of this metaphor see the note on Jer 14:17. Here the emphasis appears on his special love and care for his people and the hint (further developed in vv. 21-22) that, though guilty of sin, he considers them like an innocent young virgin.

53 sn Contrast Jer 7:34 and 25:10.

54 map For location see Map2 B1; Map4 D3; Map5 E2; Map6 A4; Map7 C1.

55 sn The terms used here refer to the enjoyment of a period of peace and stability and the reversal of the curse (contrast, e.g., Deut 28:30). The Hebrew word translated “enjoy its fruit” is a technical one that refers to the owner of a vineyard getting to enjoy its fruit in the fifth year after it was planted, the crops of the first three years lying fallow, and that of the fourth being given to the Lord (cf. Lev 19:23-25).

56 sn Watchmen were stationed at vantage points to pass on warning of coming attack (Jer 6:17; Ezek 33:2, 6) or to spread the news of victory (Isa 52:8). Here reference is made to the watchmen who signaled the special times of the year such as the new moon and festival times when Israel was to go to Jerusalem to worship. Reference is not made to these in the Hebrew Bible but there is a good deal of instruction regarding them in the later Babylonian Talmud.

57 sn Not only will Israel and Judah be reunited under one ruler (cf. 23:5-6), but they will share a unified place and practice of worship once again in contrast to Israel using the illicit places of worship, illicit priesthood, and illicit feasts instituted by Jeroboam (1 Kgs 12:26-31) and continued until the downfall of Samaria in 722 b.c.

58 tn See the translator’s notes on 30:5, 12.

59 tn Heb “for the head/chief of the nations.” See BDB 911 s.v. רֹאשׁ 3.c and compare usage in Ps 18:44 referring to David as the “chief” or “foremost ruler” of the nations.

60 tn It is unclear who the addressees of the masculine plural imperatives are in this verse. Possibly they are the implied exiles who are viewed as in the process of returning and praying for their fellow countrymen.

61 tc Or “The Lord will rescue his people. He will deliver those of Israel who remain alive.” The translation used in the text follows the Hebrew: “Rescue your people, O Lord, the remnant of Israel.” The alternate translation which is preferred by several modern English versions (e.g., REB, TEV) and a majority of modern commentaries (see, e.g., J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 569; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 273, n. s-s) follows the reading of the Greek version and the Aramaic Targum and appears more appropriate to the context of praise presupposed by the preceding imperatives. The difference in the two readings are the omission of one vowel letter and the confusion of a final ךְ (kaf) and a וֹ (holem-vav) which are very similar in form. (The Greek presupposes הוֹשִׁיעַ יְהוָה אֶת־עַמּוֹ [hoshia yÿhvahet-ammo] for the Hebrew הוֹשַׁע יְהוָה אֶת־עַמְּךְ [hoshayÿhvahet-ammÿkh].) The key to a decision here is the shift from the verbs of praise to the imperative “say” which introduces the quotation; there is a shift from praise to petition. The shift in mood is not uncommon, occurring, for example, in Ps 118:25 and 126:4; it is the shift in mood between praise for what has begun to petition for what is further hoped for. It is easier to explain the origin contextually of the Greek and Targum than it is the Hebrew text, thus the Greek and Targum are probably a secondary smoothing of the text (this is the decision of the D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 4:263). The mood of prayer also shows up in v. 9 and again in vv. 17-18.

62 tn The words “And I will reply” are not in the text but the words vv. 8-9 appear to be the answer to the petition at the end of v. 7. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity.

63 tn Heb “They will come with weeping; I will bring them with supplication.” The ideas of contrition and repentance are implicit from the context (cf. vv. 18-19) and are supplied for clarity.

64 sn Jer 31:8-9 are reminiscent of the “New Exodus” motif of Isa 40-66 which has already been referred to in Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8. See especially Isa 35:3-10; 40:3-5, 11; 41:17-20; 42:14-17; 43:16-21; 49:9-13. As there, the New Exodus will so outstrip the old that the old will pale in comparison and be almost forgotten (see Jer 23:7-8).

65 sn Ephraim was the second son of Joseph who was elevated to a place of prominence in the family of Jacob by the patriarch’s special blessing. It was the strongest tribe in northern Israel and Samaria lay in its territory. It is often used as a poetic parallel for Israel as here. The poetry is not speaking of two separate entities here; it is a way of repeating an idea for emphasis. Moreover, there is no intent to show special preference for northern Israel over Judah. All Israel is metaphorically God’s son and the object of his special care and concern (Exod 4:22; Deut 32:6).

66 sn Two rather theologically significant metaphors are used in this verse. The Hebrew word translated “will set…free” is a word used in the legal sphere for paying a redemption price to secure the freedom of a person or thing (see, e.g., Exod 13:13, 15). It is used metaphorically and theologically to refer to Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage (Deut 15:15; Mic 6:4) and its deliverance from Babylonian exile (Isa 35:10). The word translated “secure their release” is a word used in the sphere of family responsibility where a person paid the price to free an indentured relative (Lev 25:48, 49) or paid the price to restore a relative’s property seized to pay a debt (Lev 25:25, 33). This word, too, was used to refer metaphorically and theologically to Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage (Exod 6:6) or release from Babylonian exile (Isa 43:1-4; 44:22). These words are traditionally translated “ransom” and “redeem” and are a part of traditional Jewish and Christian vocabulary for physical and spiritual deliverance.

67 tn Heb “from the hand/power of the one too strong for him.”

68 tn Reading a Qal perfect from the root II נָהַר (nahar; so KBL 509 s.v. and HALOT 639 s.v.) rather than I נָהַר (so BDB 625 s.v.).

69 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” This phrase has been brought up to the beginning of v. 13 from the end of v. 14 to introduce the transition from third person description by Jeremiah to first person address by the Lord.

70 tc The translation follows the reading of the LXX (Greek version). The Hebrew reads “will dance and be glad, young men and old men together.” The Greek version presupposes a Qal imperfect of a rare verb (יַחְדּוּ [yakhdu] from the verb חָדָה [khadah]; see BDB 292 s.v. II חָדָה Qal) as opposed to the Hebrew text which reads a common adverb יַחְדָּו (yakhdav). The consonantal text is the same but the vocalization is different. There are no other examples of the syntax of the adverb used this way (i.e., of a compound subject added to a third subject) and the vocalization of the Hebrew text can be explained on the basis of a scribe misvocalizing the text based on his greater familiarity with the adverb.

71 tn Heb “I will satiate the priests with fat.” However, the word translated “fat” refers literally to the fat ashes of the sacrifices (see Lev 1:16; 4:2 and cf. BDB 206 s.v. דֶּשֶׁן 2. The word is used more abstractly for “abundance” or “rich food” (see Job 36:16 and BDB 206 s.v. דֶּשֶׁן 1). The people and the priests were prohibited from eating the fat (Lev 7:23-24).

72 sn Ramah is a town in Benjamin approximately five miles (8 km) north of Jerusalem. It was on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem. Traditionally, Rachel’s tomb was located near there at a place called Zelzah (1 Sam 10:2). Rachel was the mother of Joseph and Benjamin and was very concerned about having children because she was barren (Gen 30:1-2) and went to great lengths to have them (Gen 30:3, 14-15, 22-24). She was the grandmother of Ephraim and Manasseh which were two of the major tribes in northern Israel. Here Rachel is viewed metaphorically as weeping for her “children,” the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh, who had been carried away into captivity in 722 b.c.

73 tn Or “gone into exile” (cf. v. 16), though some English versions take this as meaning “dead” (e.g., NCV, CEV, NLT), presumably in light of Matt 2:18.

74 tn The words “to her” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

75 tn Heb “Refrain your voice from crying and your eyes from tears.”

76 tn Heb “your work.” Contextually her “work” refers to her weeping and refusing to be comforted, that is, signs of genuine repentance (v. 15).

77 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

78 tn For this nuance for the Hebrew word אַחֲרִית (’akharit) see BDB 31 s.v. אַחֲרִית d and compare usage in Pss 37:38; 109:13. Others translate “your future” but the “future” lies with the return of her descendants, her posterity.

79 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

80 tn The use of “indeed” is intended to reflect the infinitive absolute which precedes the verb for emphasis (see IBHS 585-86 §35.3.1f).

81 tn Heb “Ephraim.” See the study note on 31:9. The more familiar term is used, the term “people” added to it, and plural pronouns used throughout the verse to aid in understanding.

82 tn Heb “like an untrained calf.” The metaphor is that of a calf who has never been broken to bear the yoke (cf. Hos 4:16; 10:11).

sn Jer 2:20; 5:5 already referred to Israel’s refusal to bear the yoke of loyalty and obedience to the Lord’s demands. Here Israel expresses that she has learned from the discipline of exile and is ready to bear his yoke.

83 tn The verb here is from the same root as the preceding and is probably an example of the “tolerative Niphal,” i.e., “I let myself be disciplined/I responded to it.” See IBHS 389-90 §23.4g and note the translation of some of the examples there, especially Isa 19:22; 65:1.

84 tn Heb “Bring me back in order that I may come back.” For the use of the plural pronouns see the marginal note at the beginning of the verse. The verb “bring back” and “come back” are from the same root in two different verbal stems and in the context express the idea of spiritual repentance and restoration of relationship not physical return to the land. (See BDB 999 s.v. שׁוּב Hiph.2.a for the first verb and 997 s.v. Qal.6.c for the second.) For the use of the cohortative to express purpose after the imperative see GKC 320 §108.d or IBHS 575 §34.5.2b.

sn There is a wordplay on several different nuances of the same Hebrew verb in vv. 16-19. The Hebrew verb shub refers both to their turning away from God (v. 19) and to their turning back to him (v. 18). It is also the word that is used for their return to their homeland (vv. 16-17).

85 tn For this meaning of the verb see HAL 374 s.v. יָדַע Nif 5 or W. L. Holladay, Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon, 129. REB translates “Now that I am submissive” relating the verb to a second root meaning “be submissive.” (See HALOT 375 s.v. II יָדַע and J. Barr, Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament, 19-21, for evidence for this verb. Other passages cited with this nuance are Judg 8:16; Prov 10:9; Job 20:20.)

86 tn Heb “I struck my thigh.” This was a gesture of grief and anguish (cf. Ezek 21:12 [21:17 HT]). The modern equivalent is “to beat the breast.”

87 tn Heb “because I bear the reproach of my youth.” For the plural referents see the note at the beginning of v. 18.

sn The expression the disgraceful things we did in our earlier history refers to the disgrace that accompanied the sins that Israel did in her earlier years before she learned the painful lesson of submission to the Lord through the discipline of exile. For earlier references to the sins of her youth (i.e., in her earlier years as a nation) see 3:24-25; 22:21 and see also 32:29. At the time that these verses were written, neither northern Israel or Judah had expressed the kind of contrition voiced in vv. 18-19. As one commentator notes, the words here are both prophetic and instructive.

88 tn Heb “Is Ephraim a dear son to me or a child of delight?” For the substitution of Israel for Ephraim and the plural pronouns for the singular see the note on v. 18. According to BDB 210 s.v. הֲ 1.c the question is rhetorical having the force of an impassioned affirmation. See 1 Sam 2:27; Job 41:9 (41:1 HT) for parallel usage.

89 tn Heb “my stomach churns for him.” The parallelism shows that this refers to pity or compassion.

90 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

91 tn The words “I will say” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation to mark the transition from the address about Israel in a response to Rachel’s weeping (vv. 15-20) to a direct address to Israel which is essentially the answer to Israel’s prayer of penitence (cf. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 121.)

sn The Lord here invites Israel to stop dilly-dallying and prepare themselves to return because he is prepared to do something new and miraculous.

92 tn Heb “Virgin Israel.” For the significance see the study note on 31:3.

93 tn Heb “Set your mind to the highway, the way which you went.” The phrase “the way you went” has been translated “the road you took when you were carried off” to help the reader see the reference to the exile implicit in the context. The verb “which you went” is another example of the old second feminine singular which the Masoretes typically revocalize (Kethib הָלָכְתִּי [halakhti]; Qere הָלָכְתְּ [halakht]). The vocative has been supplied in the translation at the beginning to help make the transition from third person reference to Ephraim/Israel in the preceding to second person in the following and to identify the referent of the imperatives. Likewise, this line has been moved to the front to show that the reference to setting up sign posts and landmarks is not literal but figurative, referring to making a mental note of the way they took when carried off so that they can easily find their way back. Lines three and four in the Hebrew text read, “Set up sign posts for yourself; set up guideposts/landmarks for yourself.” The word translated “telltale signs marking the way” occurs only here. Though its etymology and precise meaning are unknown, all the lexicons agree in translating it as “sign post” or something similar based on the parallelism.

94 tn The translation “dilly-dally” is suggested by J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB), 276. The verb occurs only here in this stem (the Hitpael) and only one other time in any other stem (the Qal in Song 5:6). The dictionaries define it as “to turn this way and that” (cf., e.g., BDB 330 s.v. חָמַק Hithp.). In the context it refers to turning this way and that looking for the way back.

95 sn Israel’s backsliding is forgotten and forgiven. They had once been characterized as an apostate people (3:14, 22; the word “apostate” and “unfaithful” are the same in Hebrew) and figuratively depicted as an adulterous wife (3:20). Now they are viewed as having responded to his invitation (compare 31:18-19 with 3:22-25). Hence they are no longer depicted as an unfaithful daughter but as an unsullied virgin (see the literal translation of “my dear children” in vv. 4, 21 and the study note on v. 4.)

96 tn Heb “For the Lord will create.” The person has been shifted to avoid the possible confusion for some readers of a third person reference to the Lord in what has otherwise been a first person address. The verb “will create” is another one of the many examples of the prophetic perfect that have been seen in the book of Jeremiah. For the significance of the verb “create” here see the study note on “bring about something new.”

97 sn Heb “create.” This word is always used with God as the subject and refers to the production of something new or unique, like the creation of the world and the first man and woman (Gen 1:1; 2:3; 1:27; 5:1) or the creation of a new heavens and a new earth in a new age (Isa 65:17), or the bringing about of new and unique circumstances (Num 16:30). Here reference is made contextually to the new exodus, that marvelous deliverance which will be so great that the old will pale in comparison (see the first note on v. 9).

98 tn The meaning of this last line is uncertain. The translation has taken it as proverbial for something new and unique. For a fairly complete discussion of most of the options see C. Feinberg, “Jeremiah,” EBC 6:571. For the nuance of “protecting” for the verb here see BDB 686 s.v. סָבַב Po‘ 1 and compare the usage in Deut 32:10.

99 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See 7:3 and the study note of 2:19 for the rendering of this title and an explanation of its significance.

100 tn Heb “They [i.e., people (the indefinite plural, GKC 460 §144.g)] will again say in the land of Judah and in its cities when I restore their fortunes.” For the meaning of the idiom “to restore the fortunes” see the translator’s note on 29:14.

101 tn The words “of Jerusalem” are not in the text but it is implicit in the titles that follow. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity to aid in identifying the referent.

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

102 sn The blessing pronounced on the city of Zion/Jerusalem by the restored exiles looks at the restoration of its once exalted state as the city known for its sanctity and its just dealing (see Isa 1:21 and Ps 122). This was a reversal of the state of Jerusalem in the time of Isaiah and Jeremiah where wickedness not righteousness characterized the inhabitants of the city (cf. Isa 1:21; Jer 4:14; 5:1; 13:27). The blessing here presupposes the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and the temple which gave the city its sanctity.

103 tn The translation “those who move about with their flocks” is based on an emendation of the Hebrew text which reads a third plural Qal perfect (נָסְעוּ, nosu) to a masculine plural Qal participle in the construct (נֹסְעֵי, nosÿe) as suggested in the BHS fn. For the use of the construct participle before a noun with a preposition see GKC 421 §130.a. It is generally agreed that three classes of people are referred to here, townspeople, farmers, and shepherds. But the syntax of the Hebrew sentence is a little awkward: “And they [i.e., “people” (the indefinite plural, GKC 460 §144.g)] will live in it, Judah and all its cities [an apposition of nearer definition (GKC 425-26 §131.n)], [along with] farmers and those who move about with their flocks.” The first line refers awkwardly to the townspeople and the other two classes are added asyndetically (i.e., without the conjunction “and”).

104 tn The verbs here again emphasize that the actions are as good as done (i.e., they are prophetic perfects; cf. GKC 312-13 §106.n).

sn For the concept here compare Jer 31:12 where the promise was applied to northern Israel. This represents the reversal of the conditions that would characterize the exiles according to the covenant curse of Deut 28:65-67.

105 tn Or “When I, Jeremiah, heard this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very pleasant.” The text is somewhat enigmatic. It has often been explained as an indication that Jeremiah had received this communication (30:3–31:26) while in a prophetic trance (compare Dan 10:9). However, there is no other indication that this is a vision or a vision report. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 124, 128-29) suggest that this is a speech of the restored (and refreshed) exiles like that which is formally introduced in v. 23. This speech, however, is not formally introduced. This interpretation is also reflected in TEV, CEV and is accepted here as fitting the context better and demanding less presuppositions. The Hebrew text reads literally, “Upon this I awoke and looked and my sleep was sweet to me.” Keown, Scalise, and Smothers have the best discussion of these two options as well as several other options.

106 tn Heb “Behold days are coming!” The particle “Behold” is probably used here to emphasize the reality of a fact. See the translator’s note on 1:6.

sn This same expression is found in the introduction to the Book of Consolation (Jer 30:1-3) and in the introduction to the promise of a new covenant (or covenant; 31:31). In all three passages it is emphasized that the conditions apply to both Israel and Judah. The Lord will reverse their fortunes and restore them to their lands (30:3), increase their numbers and build them up (31:27-28), and make a new covenant with them involving forgiveness of sins (31:31-34).

107 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

108 tn Heb “Behold, the days are coming and [= when] I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of people and of animals.” For the significance of the metaphor see the study note.

sn The metaphor used here presupposes that drawn in Hos 2:23 (2:25 HT) which is in turn based on the wordplay with Jezreel (meaning “God sows”) in Hos 2:22. The figure is that of plant seed in the ground which produces a crop; here what are sown are the “seeds of people and animals.” For a similar picture of the repopulating of Israel and Judah see Ezek 36:10-11. The promise here reverses the scene of devastation that Jeremiah had depicted apocalyptically and hyperbolically in Jer 4:23-29 as judgment for Judah’s sins.

109 tn Heb “Just as I watched over them to uproot and to tear down, to destroy and demolish, so I will watch over them to build and to plant.” The words here repeat those of 1:10 and 1:12.

110 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

111 tn This word only occurs here and in the parallel passage in Ezek 18:2 in the Qal stem and in Eccl 10:10 in the Piel stem. In the latter passage it refers to the bluntness of an ax that has not been sharpened. Here the idea is of the “bluntness” of the teeth, not from having ground them down due to the bitter taste of sour grapes but to the fact that they have lost their “edge,” “bite,” or “sharpness” because they are numb from the sour taste. For this meaning for the word see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:197.

sn This is a proverbial statement that is also found in Ezek 18:2. It served to articulate the complaint that the present generation was suffering for the accrued sins of their ancestors (cf. Lam 5:7) and that the Lord was hence unjust (Ezek 18:25, 29). However, Jeremiah had repeatedly warned his own generation that they were as guilty or even more so than their ancestors. The ancestors were indeed guilty of sin but the present generation had compounded the problem by their stubborn refusal to turn back to God despite repeated warnings from the prophets and hence God would withhold judgment no longer (cf. especially Jer 16:10-13 and compare Jer 7:24-34; 9:12-16 (9:11-15 HT); 11:1-13).

112 sn The Lord answers their charge by stating that each person is responsible for his own sin and will himself bear the consequences. Ezek 18 has a more extended treatment of this and shows that this extends not just to the link between parents and children but between former behavior and future behavior of the same individual. To a certain extent the principle articulated here is anticipatory of the statement in v. 34 which refers to the forgiveness of former sins.

113 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

114 tn Or “a renewed covenant” (also in vv. 22-23).

115 tn Heb “the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”

116 tn The word “old” is not in the text but is implicit in the use of the word “new.” It is supplied in the translation for greater clarity.

117 tn Heb “fathers.”

sn This refers to the Mosaic covenant which the nation entered into with God at Sinai and renewed on the plains of Moab. The primary biblical passages explicating this covenant are Exod 19–24 and the book of Deuteronomy; see as well the study note on Jer 11:2 for the form this covenant took and its relation to the warnings of the prophets. The renewed document of Deuteronomy was written down and provisions made for periodic public reading and renewal of commitment to it (Deut 31:9-13). Josiah had done this after the discovery of the book of the law (which was either Deuteronomy or a synopsis of it) early in the ministry of Jeremiah (2 Kgs 23:1-4; the date would be near 622 b.c. shortly after Jeremiah began prophesying in 627 [see the note on Jer 1:2]). But it is apparent from Jeremiah’s confrontation with Judah after that time that the commitment of the people was only superficial (cf. Jer 3:10). The prior history of the nations of Israel and Judah and Judah’s current practice had been one of persistent violation of this covenant despite repeated warnings of the prophets that God would punish them for that (see especially Jer 7, 11). Because of that, Israel had been exiled (cf., e.g., Jer 3:8), and now Judah was threatened with the same (cf., e.g., Jer 7:15). Jer 30–31 look forward to a time when both Israel and Judah will be regathered, reunited, and under a new covenant which includes the same stipulations but with a different relationship (v. 32).

118 tn Heb “when I took them by the hand and led them out.”

119 tn Or “I was their master.” See the study note on 3:14.

sn The metaphor of Yahweh as husband and Israel as wife has been used already in Jer 3 and is implicit in the repeated allusions to idolatry as spiritual adultery or prostitution. The best commentary on the faithfulness of God to his “husband-like” relation is seen in the book of Hosea, especially in Hos 1-3.

120 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

121 tn Heb “with the house of Israel.” All commentators agree that the term here refers to both the whole nation which was divided into the house of Israel and the house of Judah in v. 30.

122 tn Heb “after those days.” Commentators are generally agreed that this refers to the return from exile and the repopulation of the land referred to in vv. 27-28 and not to something subsequent to the time mentioned in v. 30. This is the sequencing that is also presupposed in other new covenant passages such as Deut 30:1-6; Ezek 11:17-20; 36:24-28.

123 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

124 tn Heb “‘But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after these days:’ says the Lord, ‘I will….’” The sentence has been reworded and restructured to avoid the awkwardness of the original style.

125 tn Heb “in their inward parts.” The Hebrew word here refers to the seat of the thoughts, emotions, and decisions (Jer 9:8 [9:7 HT]). It is essentially synonymous with “heart” in Hebrew psychological terms.

126 tn The words “and minds” is not in the text but is supplied in the translation to bring the English psychology more into line with the Hebrew where the “heart” is the center both of knowing/thinking/reflecting and deciding/willing.

sn Two contexts are relevant for understanding this statement. First is the context of the first or old covenant which was characterized by a law written on stone tablets (e.g., Exod 32:15-16; 34:1, 28; Deut 4:13; 5:22; 9:10) or in a “book” or “scroll” (Deut 31:9-13) which could be lost (cf. 2 Kgs 22:8), forgotten (Hos 4:6), ignored (Jer 6:19; Amos 4:2), or altered (Jer 8:8). Second is the context of the repeated fault that Jeremiah has found with their stubborn (3:17; 7:24; 9:14; 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12; 23:17), uncircumcised (4:4; 9:26), and desperately wicked hearts (4:4; 17:9). Radical changes were necessary to get the people to obey the law from the heart and not just pay superficial or lip service to it (3:10; 12:2). Deut 30:1-6; Ezek 11:17-20; 36:24-28 speak of these radical changes. The Lord will remove the “foreskin” of their heart and give them a circumcised heart, or take away their “stony” heart and give them a new heart. With this heart they will be able to obey his laws, statutes, ordinances, and commands (Deut 30:8; Ezek 11:20; 36:27). The new covenant does not entail a new law; it is the same law that Jeremiah has repeatedly accused them of rejecting or ignoring (6:19; 9:13; 16:11; 26:4; 44:10). What does change is their inner commitment to keep it. Jeremiah has already referred to this in Jer 24:7 and will refer to it again in Jer 32:39.

127 sn Compare Jer 24:7; 30:22; 31:1 and see the study note on 30:2.

128 tn Heb “teach…, saying, ‘Know the Lord.’” The indirect quote has been chosen for stylistic reasons, i.e., to better parallel the following line.

sn As mentioned in the translator’s note on 9:3 (9:2 HT) “knowing” God in covenant contexts like this involves more than just an awareness of who he is (9:23 [9:22 HT]). It involves an acknowledgment of his sovereignty and whole hearted commitment to obedience to him. This is perhaps best seen in the parallelisms in Hos 4:1; 6:6 where “the knowledge of God” is parallel with faithfulness and steadfast love and in the context of Hos 4 refers to obedience to the Lord’s commands.

129 sn This statement should be understood against the background of Jer 8:8-9 where class distinctions were drawn and certain people were considered to have more awareness and responsibility for knowing the law and also Jer 5:1-5 and 9:3-9 where the sinfulness of Israel was seen to be universal across these class distinctions and no trust was to be placed in friends, neighbors, or relatives because all without distinction had cast off God’s yoke (i.e., refused to submit themselves to his authority).

130 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) that introduces this clause refers to more than just the preceding clause (i.e., that all will know the Lord) but to all of vv. 31-34a (See BDB 474 s.v. כִּי 3.c).

131 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.” See the study note on 2:19 for this title. In the Hebrew text the verse reads: “Thus says the Lord who provides the sun for light by day, the fixed ordering of the moon and stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar, whose name is Yahweh of armies, ‘…’” The hymnic introduction to the quote which does not begin until v. 36 has been broken down to avoid a long awkward sentence in English. The word “said” has been translated “made a promise” to reflect the nature of the content in vv. 36-37. The first two lines of the Hebrew poetry are a case of complex or supplementary ellipsis where the complete idea of “providing/establishing the fixed laws” is divided between the two lines (cf. E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 110-13). The necessity for recombining the ellipsis is obvious from reference to the fixed ordering in the next verse. (Some commentators prefer to delete the word as an erroneous glossing of the word in the following line (see, e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 277, n. y).

132 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

133 tn Heb “‘If these fixed orderings were to fail to be present before me,’ oracle of the Lord, ‘then the seed of Israel could cease from being a nation before me forever (or more literally, “all the days”).’” The sentence has been broken up to conform more to modern style. The connection has been maintained by reversing the order of condition and consequence and still retaining the condition in the second clause. For the meaning of “cease to operate” for the verb מוּשׁ (mush) compare the usage in Isa 54:10; Ps 55:11 (55:12 HT); Prov 17:13 where what is usually applied to persons or things is applied to abstract things like this (see HALOT 506 s.v. II מוּשׁ Qal for general usage).

134 sn This answers Jeremiah’s question in 14:19.

135 tn Heb “If the heavens above could be measured or the foundations of the earth below be explored, then also I could reject all the seed of Israel for all they have done.”

136 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

137 tc The words “is coming” (בָּאִים, baim) are not in the written text (Kethib) but are supplied in the margin (Qere), in several Hebrew mss and in the versions. It is part of the idiom that also occurs in vv. 27, 31.

sn On this idiom compare vv. 27, 31.

138 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

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

140 tn Heb “the city will be built to [or for] the Lord.” The words “of Jerusalem” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity. However, the word occurs in a first person speech so the translation has accommodated the switch in person as it has in a number of other places (compare also NIV, TEV, ICV).

141 tn The word “westward” is not in the text but is supplied in the translation to give some orientation.

sn The Tower of Hananel is referred to in Neh 3:1; 12:39; Zech 14:10. According to the directions given in Neh 3 it was in the northern wall, perhaps in the northeast corner, north of the temple mount. The Corner Gate is mentioned again in 2 Kgs 14:13; 2 Chr 25:23; 26:9; Zech 14:10. It is generally agreed that it was located in the northwest corner of the city.

142 tn The words “west” and “southward” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to give some orientation.

sn The location of the Hill of Gareb and the place called Goah are not precisely known. However, it has been plausibly suggested from the other localities mentioned that the reference is to the hill west of the Hinnom valley mentioned in Josh 15:8. The location of Goah is generally placed south of that near the southwest corner of the Hinnom Valley which is referred to in the next verse.

143 sn It is generally agreed that this refers to the Hinnom Valley which was on the southwestern and southern side of the city. It was here where the people of Jerusalem had burned their children as sacrifices and where the Lord had said that there would be so many dead bodies when he punished them that they would be unable to bury all of them (cf. Jer 7:31-32). Reference here may be to those dead bodies and to the ashes of the cremated victims. This defiled place would be included within the holy city.

144 tc The translation here follows the Qere and a number of Hebrew mss in reading שְׁדֵמוֹת (shÿdemot) for the otherwise unknown word שְׁרֵמוֹת (shÿremot) exhibiting the common confusion of ר (resh) and ד (dalet). The fields of Kidron are mentioned also in 2 Kgs 23:4 as the place where Josiah burned the cult objects of Baal.

145 sn The Kidron Valley is the valley that joins the Hinnom Valley in the southeastern corner of the city and runs northward on the east side of the city.

146 tn The words “on the east” and “north” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to give orientation.

147 sn The Horse Gate is mentioned in Neh 3:28 and is generally considered to have been located midway along the eastern wall just south of the temple area.

148 tn The words “will be included within this city that is” are not in the text. The text merely says that “The whole valley…will be sacred to the Lord.” These words have been supplied in the translation because they are really implicit in the description of the whole area as being included within the new city plan, not just the Hinnom and terraced fields as far as the Kidron Valley.

sn The area that is here delimited is larger than any of the known boundaries of Jerusalem during the OT period. Again, this refers to the increase in population of the restored community (cf. 31:27).

149 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the eleventh year of…” See 7:1; 11:1; 18:1; 21:1; 30:1 for this same formula.

sn The dating formulas indicate that the date was 588/87 b.c. Zedekiah had begun to reign in 598/97 and Nebuchadnezzar had begun to reign in 605/604 b.c. The dating of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule here includes the partial year before he was officially crowned on New Year’s day. See the translator’s note on 25:1 for the method of dating a king’s reign.

150 sn Jer 32:2-5 are parenthetical, giving the background for the actual report of what the Lord said in v. 7. The background is significant because it shows that Jeremiah was predicting the fall of the city and the kingdom and was being held prisoner for doing so. Despite this pessimistic outlook, the Lord wanted Jeremiah to demonstrate his assurance of the future restoration (which has been the topic of the two preceding chapters) by buying a field as a symbolic act that the Israelites would again one day regain possession of their houses, fields, and vineyards (vv. 15, 44). (For other symbolic acts with prophetic import see Jer 13, 19.)

151 sn According to Jer 39:1 the siege began in Zedekiah’s ninth year (i.e., in 589/88 b.c.). It had been interrupted while the Babylonian army was occupied with fighting against an Egyptian force that had invaded Judah. During this period of relaxed siege Jeremiah had attempted to go to his home town in Anathoth to settle some property matters, had been accused of treason, and been thrown into a dungeon (37:11-15). After appealing to Zedekiah he had been moved from the dungeon to the courtyard of the guardhouse connected to the palace (37:21) where he remained confined until Jerusalem was captured in 587/86 b.c. (38:28).

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

152 tn Heb “the courtyard of the guarding” or “place of guarding.” This expression occurs only in the book of Jeremiah (32:2, 8, 12; 33:1; 37:21; 38:6, 12, 28; 39:14, 15) and in Neh 3:25. It is not the same as an enclosed prison which is where Jeremiah was initially confined (37:15-16; literally a “house of imprisoning” [בֵּית הָאֵסוּר, bet haesur] or “house of confining” [בֵּית הַכֶּלֶא, bet hakkele’]). It is said to have been in the palace compound (32:2) near the citadel or upper palace (Neh 3:25). Though it was a place of confinement (32:2; 33:1; 39:15) Jeremiah was able to receive visitors, e.g., his cousin Hanamel (32:8) and the scribe Baruch (32:12), and conduct business there (32:12). According to 32:12 other Judeans were also housed there. A cistern of one of the royal princes, Malkijah, was located in this courtyard, so this is probably not a “prison compound” as NJPS interpret but a courtyard adjacent to a guardhouse or guard post (so G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 151, and compare Neh 12:39 where reference is made to a Gate of the Guard/Guardhouse) used here for housing political prisoners who did not deserve death or solitary confinement as some of the officials though Jeremiah did.

153 tn Heb “Zedekiah king of Judah.”

154 tn The translation represents an attempt to break up a very long Hebrew sentence with several levels of subordination and embedded quotations and also an attempt to capture the rhetorical force of the question “Why…” which is probably an example of what E. W. Bullinger (Figures of Speech, 953-54) calls a rhetorical question of expostulation or remonstrance (cf. the note on 26:9 and compare also the question in 36:29. In all three of these cases NJPS translates “How dare you…” which captures the force nicely). The Hebrew text reads, “For Zedekiah king of Judah had confined him, saying, ‘Why are you prophesying, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold I am giving this city into the hands of the king of Babylon and he will capture it.’”’”

155 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

156 tn Heb “his [Zedekiah’s] mouth will speak with his [Nebuchadnezzar’s] mouth and his eyes will see his eyes.” The verbs here are an obligatory imperfect and its vav consecutive perfect equivalent. (See IBHS 508-9 §31.4g for discussion and examples of the former and IBHS 528 §32.2.1d, n. 16, for the latter.)

157 tn This is the verb (פָּקַד, paqad) that has been met with several times in the book of Jeremiah, most often in the ominous sense of “punish” (e.g., 6:15; 11:22; 23:24) but also in the good sense of “resume concern for” (e.g., 27:22; 29:10). Here it is obviously in the ominous sense referring to his imprisonment and ultimate death (52:11).

sn Compare Jer 34:2-3 for this same prophecy. The incident in Jer 34:1-7 appears to be earlier than this one. Here Jeremiah is confined to the courtyard of the guardhouse; there he appears to have freedom of movement.

158 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

159 sn The pronouns are plural here, referring to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Jeremiah had counseled that they surrender (cf. 27:12; 21:8-10) because they couldn’t succeed against the Babylonian army even under the most favorable circumstances (37:3-10).

160 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

161 tn Heb “The word of the Lord came to me, saying.” This verse resumes the narrative introduction in v. 1 which was interrupted by the long parenthetical note about historical background. There is again some disjunction in the narrative (compare the translator’s notes on 27:2 and 28:1). What was begun as a biographical (third person) narrative turns into an autobiographical (first person) narrative until v. 26 where the third person is again resumed. Again this betrays the hand of the narrator, Baruch.

162 tn Heb “your right.” The term מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat) here and in v. 8 refers to legal entitlement for the option to purchase a property (BDB 1049 s.v. מִשְׁפָּט 5; cf. Deut 21:17).

163 sn Underlying this request are the laws of redemption of property spelled out in Lev 25:25-34 and illustrated in Ruth 4:3-4. Under these laws, if a property owner became impoverished and had to sell his land, the nearest male relative had the right and duty to buy it so that it would not pass out of the use of the extended family. The land, however, would not actually belong to Jeremiah because in the year of Jubilee it reverted to its original owner. All Jeremiah was actually buying was the right to use it (Lev 25:13-17). Buying the field, thus, did not make any sense (thus Jeremiah’s complaint in v. 25) other than the fact that the Lord intended to use Jeremiah’s act as a symbol of a restored future in the land.

164 tn Heb “And according to the word of the Lord my cousin Hanamel came to me to the courtyard of the guardhouse and said, ‘…’” The sentence has been broken down to conform better with contemporary English style.

165 tn Heb “I weighed out the money [more literally, “silver”] for him, seventeen shekels of silver.”

sn Coins were not in common use until the postexilic period. Payment in gold and silver was made by cutting off pieces of silver or gold and weighing them in a beam balance using standard weights as the measure. A shekel weighed approximately 0.4 ounce or 11.4 grams. The English equivalents are only approximations.

166 tn The words “of purchase” are not in the text but are implicit. The qualification is spelled out explicitly in vv. 11, 12, 13. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity. An alternative translation would be “I put the deed in writing.” However, since the same idiom כָּתַב בְּסֵפֶר (catav bÿsefer) is used later in v. 12 with respect to the witnesses, it is likely that it merely refers to signing the document.

167 tn The words “to the purchase” are not in the text but are implicit in the idiom “I had some witnesses serve as witness.” The words are supplied in the translation for clarity.

168 tn There is some uncertainty about the precise meaning of the phrases translated “the order of transfer and the regulations.” The translation follows the interpretation suggested by J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB), 237; J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 586, n. 5; and presumably BDB 349 s.v. חֹק 7, which defines the use of חֹק (khoq) here as “conditions of the deed of purchase.”

169 tn Heb “the deed, the purchase.” This is a case of apposition of species in place of the genitive construction (cf. GKC 423 §131.b and compare the usage in Exod 24:5).

170 tn Heb “I took the deed of purchase, both that which was sealed [and contained] the order and the regulations and that which was open [i.e., unsealed], and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch…in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and in the presence of…and in the presence of….” It is awkward to begin a sentence with “I took…” without finishing the thought, and the long qualifiers in v. 12 make that sentence too long. The sentence is broken up in accordance with contemporary English style. The reference to the “deed of purchase” in v. 12 should be viewed as a plural consisting of both written and sealed copies as is clear from v. 11 and also v. 14. Part of the confusion is due to the nature of this document which consisted of a single papyrus scroll, half of which was rolled up and sealed and the other half which was left “opened” or unsealed. J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 237-38) is probably incorrect in assuming that the copies were duplicate since the qualification “containing the order of transfer and the regulations” is only applied to the appositional participle, “the sealed one [or copy].”

sn Aramaic documents from a slightly later period help us understand the nature of such deeds. The document consisted of a single papyrus sheet divided in half. One half contained all the particulars and was tightly rolled up, bound with strips of cloth or thread, sealed with wax upon which the parties affixed their seal, and signed by witnesses. The other copy consisted of an abstract and was left loosely rolled and unsealed (i.e., open to be consulted at will). If questions were raised about legality of the contract then the sealed copy could be unsealed and consulted.

171 tc The translation follows a number of Hebrew mss and the Greek and Syriac version in reading “the son of my uncles (= my cousin; בֶּן דֹּדִי, ben dodi).” The majority of Hebrew mss do not have the word “son of (בֶּן).”

172 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” For this title see 7:3 and the study notes on 2:19.

173 tn Heb “many days.” See BDB s.v. יוֹם 5.b for this usage.

174 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” For this title see 7:3 and the study notes on 2:19.

175 sn The significance of the symbolic act performed by Jeremiah as explained here was a further promise (see the “again” statements in 31:4, 5, 23 and the “no longer” statements in 31:12, 29, 34, 40) of future restoration beyond the destruction implied in vv. 3-5. After the interruption of exile, normal life of buying and selling of fields, etc. would again be resumed and former property rights would be recognized.

176 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” For an explanation of the rendering here see the study note on 1:6.

sn The parallel usage of this introduction in Jer 1:6; 4:10; 14:13 shows that though this prayer has a lengthy introductory section of praise vv. 17-22, this prayer is really one of complaint or lament.

177 tn This is an attempt to render the Hebrew particle normally translated “behold.” See the translator’s note on 1:6 for the usage of this particle.

178 tn Heb “by your great power and your outstretched arm.” See 21:5; 27:5 and the marginal note on 27:5 for this idiom.

179 tn Or “to thousands of generations.” The contrast of showing steadfast love to “thousands” to the limitation of punishing the third and fourth generation of children for their parents’ sins in Exod 20:5-6; Deut 5:9-10; Exod 34:7 has suggested to many commentators and translators (cf., e.g., NRSV, TEV, NJPS) that reference here is to “thousands of generations.” The statement is, of course, rhetorical emphasizing God’s great desire to bless as opposed to the reluctant necessity to punish. It is part of the attributes of God spelled out in Exod 34:6-7.

180 tn Heb “pays back into the bosom of their children the sin of their parents.”

181 tn Heb “Nothing is too hard for you who show…and who punishes…the great [and] powerful God whose name is Yahweh of armies, [you who are] great in counsel…whose eyes are open…who did signs…” Jer 32:18-22 is a long series of relative clauses introduced by participles or relative pronouns in vv. 18-20a followed by second person vav consecutive imperfects carrying on the last of these relative clauses in vv. 20b-22. This is typical of hymnic introductions to hymns of praise (cf., e.g., Ps 136) but it is hard to sustain the relative subordination which all goes back to the suffix on “hard for you.” The sentences have been broken up but the connection with the end of v. 17 has been sacrificed for conformity to contemporary English style.

182 tn Heb “[you are] great in counsel and mighty in deed.”

183 tn Heb “your eyes are open to the ways of the sons of men.”

184 tn Heb “giving to each according to his way [= behavior/conduct] and according to the fruit of his deeds.”

185 tn Or “You did miracles and amazing deeds in the land of Egypt. And you continue to do them until this day both in Israel and among mankind. By this mean you have gained a renown…” The translation here follows the syntactical understanding reflected also in NJPS. The Hebrew text reads: “you did miracles and marvelous acts in the land of Egypt until this day and in Israel and in mankind and you made for yourself a name as this day.” The majority of English versions and commentaries understand the phrases “until this day and in Israel and in mankind” to be an elliptical sentence with the preceding verb and objects supplied as reflected in the alternate translation. However, the emphasis on the miraculous deeds in Egypt in this section both before and after this elliptical phrase and the dominant usage of the terms “signs and wonders” to refer to the plagues and other miraculous signs in Egypt calls this interpretation into question. The key here is understanding “both in Israel and in mankind” as an example of a casus pendens construction (a dangling subject, object, or other modifier) before a conjunction introducing the main clause (cf. GKC 327 §111.h and 458 §143.d and compare the usage in Jer 6:19; 33:24; 1 Kgs 15:13). This verse is the topic sentence which is developed further in v. 21 and initiates a narrative history of the distant past that continues until v. 22b where reference is made to the long history of disobedience which has led to the present crisis.

186 tn Heb “You brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders and with a mighty hand and with outstretched arm and with great terror.” For the figurative expressions involved here see the marginal notes on 27:5. The sentence has been broken down to better conform to contemporary English style.

187 tn Heb “fathers.”

188 tn For an alternative translation of the expression “a land flowing with milk and honey” see the translator’s note on 11:5.

189 tn Or “They did not do everything that you commanded them to do.” This is probably a case where the negative (לֹא, lo’) negates the whole category indicated by “all” (כָּל, kol; see BDB 482 s.v. כָּל 1.e(c) and compare usage in Deut 12:16; 28:14). Jeremiah has repeatedly emphasized that the history of Israel since their entry into the land has been one of persistent disobedience and rebellion (cf., e.g. 7:22-26; 11:7-8). The statement, of course, is somewhat hyperbolical as all categorical statements of this kind are.

190 tn Heb “Siege ramps have come up to the city to capture it.”

191 tn Heb “sword.”

192 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

193 tn Heb “And the city has been given into the hands of the Chaldeans who are fighting against it because of the sword, starvation, and disease.” The verb “has been given” is one of those perfects that view the action as good as done (the perfect of certainty or prophetic perfect).

194 tn The word “Lord” is not in the text but is supplied in the translation as a reminder that it is he who is being addressed.

195 tn Heb “And what you said has happened and behold you see it.”

196 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

197 tn Heb “And you, Lord Yahweh, have said to me, ‘Buy the field for…’ even though the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians.” The sentence has been broken up and the order reversed for English stylistic purposes. For the rendering “is sure to fall into the hands of” see the translator’s note on the preceding verse.

198 tn Heb “Lord God.” For the rendering of this title see the study note on 1:6.

199 tn Heb “call in witnesses to witness.”

200 tn Heb “The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying.”

201 tn Heb “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” The question is rhetorical expecting an emphatic negative answer (cf. E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 949, citing the parallel in Gen 18:14). The Hebrew particle “Behold” (הִנֵּה, hinneh) introduces the grounds for this rhetorical negative (cf. T. O. Lambdin, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, 170, §135 [3]), i.e., “Since I am the Lord, the God of all mankind, there is indeed nothing too hard for me [or is there anything too hard for me?].”

sn This statement furnishes the grounds both for the assurance that the city will indeed be delivered over to Nebuchadnezzar (vv. 28-29a) and that it will be restored and repopulated (vv. 37-41). This can be seen from the parallel introductions in vv. 28, “Therefore the Lord says” and “Now therefore the Lord says.” As the creator of all and God of all mankind he has the power and authority to do with his creation what he wishes (cf. Jer 27:5-6).

202 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” However, the speech has already been introduced as first person. So the first person style has been retained for smoother narrative style.

203 tn Heb “Behold, I will give this city into the hand of…”

204 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

205 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

206 sn Compare Jer 19:13.

207 tn Heb “that which is evil in my eyes.” For this idiom see BDB 744 s.v. עַיִן 3.c and compare usage in 18:10.

208 tn Heb “from their youth.”

sn Compare Jer 3:24-25; 11:21. The nation is being personified and reference is made to her history from the time she left Egypt onward (cf. 2:2).

209 tn Heb “the people of Israel.” However, since “people of Israel” has been used in the preceding line for the northern kingdom as opposed to the kingdom of Judah, it might lead to confusion to translate literally. Moreover, the pronoun “they” accomplishes the same purpose.

210 tn Heb “by the work of their hands.” See the translator’s note on 25:6 and the parallelism in 25:14 for this rendering rather than referring it to the making of idols as in 1:16; 10:3.

211 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

212 tn The statements in vv. 28-29 regarding the certain destruction of the city are motivated by three parallel causal clauses in vv. 30a, b, 31, the last of which extends through subordinate and coordinate clauses until the end of v. 35. An attempt has been made to bring out this structure by repeating the idea “This/it will happen” in front of each of these causal clauses in the English translation.

213 tn Heb “from the day they built it until this day.”

sn The Israelites did not in fact “build” Jerusalem. They captured it from the Jebusites in the time of David. This refers perhaps to the enlarging and fortifying of the city after it came into the hands of the Israelites (2 Sam 5:6-10).

214 tn Heb “For this city has been to me for a source of my anger and my wrath from the day they built it until this day so as remove it.” The preposition ְל (lamed) with the infinitive (Heb “so as to remove it”; לַהֲסִירָהּ, lahasirah) expresses degree (cf. R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 37, §199, and compare usage in 2 Sam 13:2).

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

216 tn Heb “remove it from my sight 32:33 because of all the wickedness of the children of Israel and the children of Judah which they have done to make me angry, they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” The sentence has been broken up in conformity with contemporary English style and an attempt has been made to preserve the causal connections.

217 tn Heb “they have turned [their] backs to me, not [their] faces.” Compare the same idiom in 2:27.

218 tn For the idiom involved here see the translator’s note on 7:13. The verb that introduces this clause is a Piel infinitive absolute which is functioning in place of the finite verb (see, e.g., GKC 346 §113.ff and compare usage in Jer 8:15; 14:19. This grammatical point means that the versions cited in BHS fn a may not be reading a different text after all, but may merely be interpreting the form as syntactically equivalent to a finite verb as the present translation has done.).

sn This refers to God teaching them through the prophets whom he has sent as indicated by the repeated use of this idiom elsewhere in 7:13, 25; 11:7; 25:3, 4; 26:5, 19.

219 tn Heb “But they were not listening so as to accept correction.”

220 tn Heb “the house which is called by my name.” Cf. 7:10, 11, 14 and see the translator’s note on 7:10 for the explanation for this rendering.

221 sn Compare Jer 7:30-31; 19:5 and the study notes on 7:30. The god Molech is especially associated with the practice of child sacrifice (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; 2 Kgs 23:10). In 1 Kgs 11:7 this god is identified as the god of the Ammonites who is also called Milcom in 1 Kgs 11:5; 2 Kgs 23:13. Child sacrifice, however, was not confined to this god; it was also made to the god Baal (Jer 19:5) and to other idols that the Israelites had set up (Ezek 16:20-21). This practice was, however, strictly prohibited in Israel (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; Deut 12:31; 18:10). It was this practice as well as other pagan rites that Manasseh had instituted in Judah that ultimately led to Judah’s demise (2 Kgs 24:3-4). Though Josiah tried to root these pagan practices (2 Kgs 23:4-14) out of Judah he could not do so. The people had only made a pretense of following his reforms; their hearts were still far from God (Jer 3:10; 12:2).

222 tn Heb “They built high places to Baal which are in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to cause their sons and daughters to pass through [the fire] to Molech [a thing] which I did not command them and [which] did not go up into my heart [= “mind” in modern psychology] to do this abomination so as to make Judah liable for punishment.” For the use of the Hiphil of חָטָא (khata’) to refer to the liability for punishment see BDB s.v. חָטָא Hiph.3 and compare the usage in Deut 24:8. Coming at the end as this does, this nuance is much more likely than “cause Judah to sin” which is the normal translation assigned to the verb here. The particle לְמַעַן (lÿmaan) that precedes it is here once again introducing a result and not a purpose (compare other clear examples in 27:10, 15). The sentence has been broken down in conformity to contemporary English style and an attempt has been made to make clear that what is detestable and not commanded is not merely child sacrifice to Molech but child sacrifice in general.

223 tn Heb “you.” However, the pronoun is plural and is addressed to more than just Jeremiah (v. 26). It includes Jeremiah and those who have accepted his prophecy of doom.

224 tn Heb “sword.”

225 sn Compare Jer 32:24, 28. In 32:24 this is Jeremiah’s statement just before he expresses his perplexity about the Lord’s command to buy the field of his cousin in spite of the certainty of the city’s demise. In 32:28 it is the Lord’s affirmation that the city will indeed fall. Here, the Lord picks up Jeremiah’s assessment only to add a further prophesy (vv. 37-41) of what is just as sure to happen (v. 42). This is the real answer to Jeremiah’s perplexity. Verses 28-35 are an assurance that the city will indeed be captured and a reiteration again of the reason for its demise. The structure of the two introductions in v. 28 and v. 36 are parallel and flow out of the statement that the Lord is God of all mankind and nothing is too hard for him (neither destruction nor restoration [cf. 1:10]).

226 tn Heb “And now therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city which you [masc. pl.] are saying has been given [prophetic perfect = will be given] into the hand of the king of Babylon through sword, starvation, and disease.” The translation attempts to render the broader structure mentioned in the study note and to break the sentence down in a way that conforms more to contemporary English style and that will lead into the speech which does not begin until the next verse. As in v. 28 the third person introduction has been changed to first person for smoother narrative style in a first person speech (i.e., vv. 27-44 are all the Lord’s answer to Jeremiah’s prayer). The words “right in” added to “are saying” are intended to reflect the connection between v. 28 and the statement here (which is a repetition of v. 24). I.e., God does not deny that Jeremiah’s assessment is correct; he affirms it but has something further to say in answer to Jeremiah’s prayer.

227 tn The verb here should be interpreted as a future perfect; though some of the people have already been exiled (in 605 and 597 b.c.), some have not yet been exiled at the time this prophesy is given (see study note on v. 1 for the date). However, contemporary English style does not regularly use the future perfect, choosing instead to use the simple future or the simple perfect as the present translation has done here.

228 sn The covenant formula setting forth the basic relationship is reinstituted along with a new covenant (v. 40). See also 24:7; 30:22; 31:1 and the study note on 30:22.

229 tn Heb “I will give to them one heart and one way to [= in order that they may] fear me all the days for good to them.” The phrase “one heart” refers both to unanimity of will and accord (cf. 1 Chr 12:38 [12:39 HT]; 2 Chr 30:12) and to singleness of purpose or intent (cf. Ezek 11:19 and see BDB 525 s.v. ֵלב 4 where reference is made to “inclinations, resolutions, and determinations of the will”). The phrase “one way” refers to one way of life or conduct (cf. BDB 203 s.v. דֶּרֶךְ 6.a where reference is made to moral action and character), a way of life that is further qualified by the goal of showing “fear, reverence, respect” for the Lord. The Hebrew sentence has been broken up to avoid a long complex sentence in English which is contrary to contemporary English style. However, an attempt has been made to preserve all the connections of the original.

sn Other passages also speak about the “single-minded purpose” (Heb “one heart”) and “living in a way that shows respect for me.” Deut 30:6-8 speaks of a circumcised heart that will love him, obey him, and keep his commands. Ezek 11:20-21 speaks of the removal of a stony heart and the giving of a single-minded, “fleshy” heart and a new spirit that will follow his decrees and keep his laws. Ezek 36:26-27 speaks of the removal of a stony heart and the giving of a new, “fleshy” heart and a new spirit and an infusion of God’s own spirit so that they will be able to follow his decrees and keep his laws. Jer 24:7 speaks of the giving of a (new) heart so that they might “know” him. And Jer 31:33 speaks of God writing his law on their hearts. All this shows that there is a new motivation and a new enablement for fulfilling the old stipulations, especially that of whole-hearted devotion to him (cf. Deut 6:4-6).

230 tn Heb “an everlasting covenant.” For the rationale for the rendering “agreement” and the nature of the biblical covenants see the study note on 11:2.

sn For other references to the lasting (or everlasting) nature of the new covenant see Isa 55:3; 61:8; Jer 50:5; Ezek 16:60; 37:26. The new covenant appears to be similar to the ancient Near Eastern covenants of grants whereby a great king gave a loyal vassal a grant of land or dynastic dominion over a realm in perpetuity in recognition of past loyalty. The right to such was perpetual as long as the great king exercised dominion, but the actual enjoyment could be forfeited by individual members of the vassal’s dynasty. The best example of such an covenant in the OT is the Davidic covenant where the dynasty was given perpetual right to rule over Israel. Individual kings might be disciplined and their right to enjoy dominion taken away, but the dynasty still maintained the right to rule (see 2 Sam 23:5; Ps 89:26-37 and note especially 1 Kgs 11:23-39). The new covenant appears to be the renewal of God’s promise to Abraham to always be the God of his descendants and for his descendants to be his special people (Gen 17:7) something they appear to have forfeited by their disobedience (see Hos 1:9). However, under the new covenant he promises to never stop doing them good and grants them a new heart, a new spirit, the infusion of his own spirit, and the love and reverence necessary to keep from turning away from him. The new covenant is not based on their past loyalty but on his gracious forgiveness and his gifts.

231 tn Or “stop being gracious to them” or “stop blessing them with good”; Heb “turn back from them to do good to them.”

232 tn Or “I will make them want to fear and respect me so much that”; Heb “I will put the fear of me in their hearts.” However, as has been noted several times, “heart” in Hebrew is more the center of the volition (and intellect) than the center of emotions as it is in English. Both translations are intended to reflect the difference in psychology.

233 tn The words “never again” are not in the text but are implicit from the context and are supplied not only by this translation but by a number of others.

234 tn Heb “will plant them in the land with faithfulness with all my heart and with all my soul.” The latter expressions are, of course, anthropomorphisms (see Deut 6:5).

235 tn Heb “For thus says the Lord.” See the translator’s notes on 32:27, 36.

236 tn Heb “As I have brought all this great disaster on these people so I will bring upon them all the good fortune which I am promising them.” The translation has broken down the longer Hebrew sentence to better conform to English style.

sn See the same guarantee in Jer 31:27.

237 tn Heb “you.” However, the pronoun is plural and is addressed to more than just Jeremiah (v. 26). It includes Jeremiah and those who have accepted his prophecy of doom.

238 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

239 tn The noun is singular with the article, but it is a case of the generic singular (cf. GKC 406 §126.m).

240 tn Heb “Fields will be bought in this land of which you [masc. pl.] are saying, ‘It will be desolate [a perfect of certainty or prophetic perfect] without man or beast; it will be given into the hand of the Chaldeans.’” The original sentence has been broken down to better conform to contemporary English style.

241 tn Heb “They will buy fields with silver and write in the deed and seal [it] and have witnesses witness [it] in the land of Benjamin, in the environs of Jerusalem, in the towns in Judah, in the towns in the hill country, in the towns in the Shephelah, and in the towns in the Negev.” The long Hebrew sentence has again been restructured to better conform to contemporary English style. The indefinite “they will buy” is treated as a passive. It is followed by three infinitive absolutes which substitute for the finite verb (cf. GKC 345 §113.y) which is a common feature of the style of the book of Jeremiah.

sn For the geographical districts mentioned here compare Jer 17:26.

242 tn Or “I will reverse their fortunes.” For this idiom see the translator’s note on 29:14 and compare the usage in 29:14; 30:3, 18; 31:23.

243 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

244 sn The introductory statement here ties this incident in with the preceding chapter which was the first time that the Lord spoke to him about the matters discussed here. There is no indication of how much time passed between the two incidents though it appears that the situation has worsened somewhat (cf. v. 4).

245 tn Heb “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time…, saying.”

246 tn Or “I, the Lord, made the earth. I formed it in such a way as to firmly establish it”; Heb “Thus says the Lord who makes/does it, the Lord who forms it to establish it, whose name is the Lord.” It is unclear what the antecedent of “it” is. The Greek version supplies the object “the earth.” However, as D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 4:269, notes, this is probably a smoothing of a text which had no object other than the pronoun. No other text or version has an object other than the pronoun. It could be argued that “the earth” is to be understood as the intended referent from other contexts within the book of Jeremiah (Jer 10:12, 16; 51:15) where these verbs refer to the Lord as creator and from the prior context in 32:17 where the Lord’s power as creator is the basis for the assertion that nothing is too hard for him. This is the object that is supplied in a number of modern English versions and commentaries. However, the use of the feminine singular pronoun in other contexts to refer to an indefinite reality which is spelled out in the preceding or following context (cf. 2 Kgs 19:25; Isa 22:11; 37:26; 44:7) lends credence to the suggestion by the committee for The Hebrew Old Testament Project that the pronoun refers to the work or plan of the Lord, a view which is reflected in the NJPS and has been adopted here. For the use of the verb “form” here in the sense of “plan” see BDB 427 s.v. יָצַר 2.b and compare the usage in Isa 22:11; 37:26. The best discussion of options is given in G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 169-70, who see the pronoun referring ahead to the great and hidden things of v. 3. As in several other cases our translation has opted for a first person introduction rather than the third person of the original because the Lord himself is speaking.

247 tn This passive participle or adjective is normally used to describe cities or walls as “fortified” or “inaccessible.” All the lexicons, however, agree in seeing it used here metaphorically of “secret” or “mysterious” things, things that Jeremiah could not know apart from the Lord’s revelation. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 170) make the interesting observation that the word is used here in a context in which the fortifications of Jerusalem are about to fall to the Babylonians; the fortified things in God’s secret counsel fall through answer to prayer.

248 tn Heb “the sword.” The figure has been interpreted for the sake of clarity.

249 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

250 sn This refers to the tearing down of buildings within the city to strengthen the wall or to fill gaps in it which had been broken down by the Babylonian battering rams. For a parallel to this during the siege of Sennacherib in the time of Hezekiah see Isa 22:10; 2 Chr 32:5. These torn-down buildings were also used as burial mounds for those who died in the fighting or through starvation and disease during the siege. The siege prohibited them from taking the bodies outside the city for burial and leaving them in their houses or in the streets would have defiled them.

251 tn Heb “Because I have hidden my face from.” The modern equivalent for this gesture of rejection is “to turn the back on.” See Ps 13:1 for comparable usage. The perfect is to be interpreted as a perfect of resolve (cf. IBHS 488-89 §30.5.1d and compare the usage in Ruth 4:3).

252 tn The translation and meaning of vv. 4-5 are somewhat uncertain. The translation and precise meaning of vv. 4-5 are uncertain at a number of points due to some difficult syntactical constructions and some debate about the text and meaning of several words. The text reads more literally, “33:4 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah which have been torn down on account the siege ramps and the sword 33:5 going to fight the Chaldeans and to fill them with the dead bodies of the men whom I have killed in my anger and in my wrath and on account of all whose wickedness I have hidden my face from this city.” There are two difficult syntactical forms (1) the participle at the beginning of v. 5 “going [or those going] to fight” (בָּאִים, baim) and (2) the infinitive plus suffix that introduces the next clause “and to fill them” (וּלְמַלְאָם, ulÿmalam). The translation has interpreted the former as a verbal use of the participle with an indefinite subject “they” (= the defenders of Jerusalem who have torn down the buildings; cf. GKC 460-61 §144.i for this point of grammar). The conjunction plus preposition plus infinitive construct has been interpreted as equivalent to a finite verb (cf. IBHS 611 §36.3.2a, i.e., “and they will fill them [the houses and buildings of v. 4]”). Adopting the Greek text of these two verses would produce a smoother reading. It reads “For thus says the Lord concerning the houses of this city and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah which have been pulled down for mounds and fortifications to fight against the Chaldeans and to fill it [should be “them”] with the corpses of men whom I smote in my anger and my wrath and I turned away my face from them [rather than from “this city” of the Hebrew text] for all their wickedness: Behold I will…” The Greek does not have the problem with the participle because it has seen it as part of a word meaning fortification. This also eliminates the problem with the infinitive because it is interpreted as parallel with “to fight.” I.e., the defenders used these torn-down buildings for defensive fortifications and for burial places. It would be tempting to follow this reading. However, there is no graphically close form for “fortification” that would explain how the more difficult בָּאִים הֶחָרֶב (hekharev baim) of the Hebrew text arose and there is doubt whether סֹלְלוֹת (solÿlot) can refer to a defense mound. W. L. Holladay (Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:221, 225) has suggested reading הַחֲרַכִּים (hakharakim) in place of הֶחָרֶב (hekharev) in the technical sense of “crenels,” the gaps between the raised portion on top of the wall (which raised portion he calls “merlons” and equates with סֹלְלוֹת, solÿlot). He does not, however, further suggest seeing בָּאִים (baim) as part of this corrupted form, choosing to see it rather as a gloss. His emendation and interpretation, however, have been justly criticized as violating the usage of both סֹלְלוֹת which is elsewhere “siege mound” and חֲרַכִּים (kharakim) which elsewhere refers only to the latticed opening of a window (Song 2:9). Until a more acceptable explanation of how the difficult Hebrew text could have arisen from the Greek, the Hebrew should be retained, though it is admittedly awkward. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 166, 172) have perhaps the best discussion of the issues and the options involved here.

253 tn Heb “Behold I am healing.” For the usage of the particle “behold” indicating certainty see the translator’s note on 1:6. These are the great and hidden things that the Lord promised to reveal. The statements in v. 5 have been somewhat introductory. See the usage of הִנְנִי (hinni) after the introductory “Thus says the Lord” in Jer 32:28, 37.

254 sn Compare Jer 30:17. Jerusalem is again being personified and her political and spiritual well-being are again in view.

255 tn The meaning and text of this word is questioned by KBL 749 s.v. עֲתֶרֶת. However, KBL also emends both occurrences of the verb from which BDB 801 s.v. עֲתֶרֶת derives this noun. BDB is more likely correct in seeing this and the usage of the verb in Prov 27:6; Ezek 35:13 as Aramaic loan words from a root meaning to be rich (equivalent to the Hebrew עָשַׁר, ’ashar).

256 tn Heb “I will reverse [or restore] the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel.” For this idiom see the translator’s note on Jer 29:14 and see the usage in 30:3, 18; 31:23; 32:44.

257 tn This phrase simply means “as formerly” (BDB 911 s.v. רִאשׁוֹן 3.a). The reference to the “as formerly” must be established from the context. See the usage in Judg 20:32; 1 Kgs 13:6; Isa 1:26.

sn Reference is to the reunification of Israel and Judah to the state that they were before the division after Solomon. Compare Jer 3:18; 30:3; 31:27 and see the study note on 30:3.

258 sn Compare Jer 31:34; Ezek 36:25, 33.

259 tn Heb “And it [the city] will be to me for a name for joy and for praise and for honor before all the nations of the earth which will hear of all the good things which I will do for them and which will be in awe and tremble for all the good things and all the peace [or prosperity] which I will do for them.” The long complex Hebrew sentence has been broken down to better conform with contemporary English style.

260 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” For the first person rendering see the translator’s note at the end of v. 2.

sn The phrase here is parallel to that in v. 4 and introduces a further amplification of the “great and mysterious things” of v. 3.

261 tn Heb “You.” However, the pronoun is plural as in 32:36, 43. See the translator’s note on 32:36.

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

263 tn Heb33:10 Thus says the Lord, ‘There will again be heard in this place of which you are saying [masc. pl.], “It is a ruin without people and without animals,” [that is] in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem which are desolate without people and without inhabitants and without animals 33:11 the sound of….” The long run-on sentence in Hebrew has been broken down to better conform with contemporary English style.

264 sn What is predicted here is a reversal of the decimation caused by the Babylonian conquest that had been threatened in 7:34; 16:9; 25:10.

265 sn This is a common hymnic introduction to both individual songs of thanksgiving (e.g., Ps 118:1) and communal songs of thanksgiving (e.g., Ps 136 where it is a liturgical refrain accompanying a recital of Israel’s early history and of the Lord’s continuing providence).

266 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

267 tn Or “I will restore the fortunes of the land.”

sn See the study note on Jer 29:18 and compare 29:14; 30:3, 18; 31:23; 32:44; 33:7 for the meaning and usage of this idiom. The promise here repeats that in 33:7.

268 tn This phrase simply means “as formerly” (BDB 911 s.v. רִאשׁוֹן 3.a). The reference to the “as formerly” must be established from the context. See the usage in Judg 20:32; 1 Kgs 13:6; Isa 1:26.

sn This refers to the reunification of Israel and Judah to the state that they were before the division after Solomon. Compare Jer 3:18; 30:3; 31:27 and see the study note on 30:3.

269 tn Heb “Thus says Yahweh of armies.” For the explanation for the first person introduction see the translator’s notes on 33:2, 10. Verses 4, 10, 12 introduce three oracles, all under the answer to the Lord’s promise to Jeremiah to show him “great and mysterious things which you still do not know about.”

270 sn Heb “Sheep will again pass under the hands of the counter.” This appears to be a reference to counting the sheep to make sure that none was missing as they returned to the fold. See the same idiom in Lev 27:52 and in the metaphor in Ezek 20:37.

271 sn Compare Jer 32:44.

272 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.” For the first person form of address see the translator’s notes on vv. 2, 10, 12.

273 sn This refers at the very least to the promises of Jer 23:5-6, 7-8; 30:3; 31:27, 31 where the same formula “The time will certainly come (Heb “Behold the days are coming”)” occurs. Reference may also be to the promises through the earlier prophets of what is alluded to here, i.e., the restoration of Israel and Judah under a Davidic ruler and the revival of the offerings (cf. Hos 1:10-11; 3:4-5; Amos 9:11-12; Isa 11:1-5, 10-16; Jer 30:9, 21 for the former and Jer 31:14; 33:11 for the latter).

274 tn Heb “sprig” or “shoot.”

sn For the meaning of this term and its significance in biblical prophecy see the study note on 23:5.

275 tn For the translation of this term in this context see the parallel context in 23:6 and consult the translator’s note there.

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

277 tn Heb “And this is what will be called to it: ‘The Lord our righteousness.’”

sn For the significance of this title see the study note on the parallel text in 23:6. Other titles by which Jerusalem is to be known are found in Isa 62:2-4; Jer 3:17; Ezek 48:35; Zech 8:3 emphasizing that the Lord takes up his relation with it once again, dwells in it, delights in it, and finds it faithful once more (cf. Isa 1:26). In 23:6 the title is applied to the Davidic ruler that the Lord will raise up over them who will do what is just and right. God’s vindication of the city by its restoration after exile and his provision of this just ruler over it is the probable source for the title.

278 tn Heb “a man shall not be cut off to David [i.e., belonging to the Davidic line] sitting on the throne of the house of Israel.”

279 sn It should be noted once again that the reference is to all Israel, not just to Judah (cf. Jer 23:5-6; 30:9).

280 tn Heb “And to the Levites, the priests [= the Levitical priests, the apposition in place of the adjective] there shall not be cut off a man from before me who offers up burnt offering, sacrifices a cereal offering, or makes a sacrifice all the days.”

281 tn Heb “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying.” See v. 1. This is a continuation of “the second time.”

282 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” However, the Lord is speaking so the first person introduction has again been adopted. The content of the verse shows that it is a promise to David (vv. 21-22) and the Levites based on a contrary to fact condition (v. 20). See further the translator’s note at the end of the next verse for explanation of the English structure adopted here.

283 tn The word יוֹמָם (yomam) is normally an adverb meaning “daytime, by day, daily.” However, here and in v. 25 and in Jer 15:9 it means “day, daytime” (cf. BDB 401 s.v. יוֹמָם 1).

284 tn Heb “you.” The pronoun is plural as in 32:36, 43; 33:10.

285 tn The very complex and elliptical syntax of the original Hebrew of vv. 20-21 has been broken down to better conform with contemporary English style. The text reads somewhat literally (after the addition of a couple of phrases which have been left out by ellipsis): “Thus says the Lord, ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night so that there is not to be daytime and night in their proper time then also my covenant can be broken with my servant David so that there is not to him a son reigning upon his throne [and also my covenant can be broken] with the Levites [so there are not] priests who minister to me.” The two phrases in brackets are elliptical, the first serving double duty for the prepositional phrase “with the Levites” as well as “with David” and the second serving double duty with the noun “priests” which parallels “a son.” The noun “priests” is not serving here as appositional because that phrase is always “the priests, the Levites,” never “the Levites, the priests.”

sn This refers to a reaffirmation of the Davidic covenant (cf., e.g., 2 Sam 7:11-16, 25-29; Ps 89:3-4, 19-29) and God’s covenant with the Levites (cf. Num 25:10-13; Mal 2:4-6; Deut 32:8-11).

286 tn Heb “Just as the stars in the sky cannot be numbered or the sand on the seashore cannot be measured, so I will greatly increase [or multiply] the seed of my servant David and the Levites who minister before me.” The word “seed of” does not carry over to the “the Levites” as a noun governing two genitives because “the Levites” has the accusative marker in front of it. The sentence has been broken down in conformity with contemporary English style.

sn Context makes it clear that what is in view is an innumerable line of descendants from the righteous ruler that the Lord raises up over Israel and Judah after their regathering and restoration to the land. What is in view, then, is a reinstitution or reinstatement of the Davidic covenant of grant, the perpetual right of the Davidic dynasty to rule over the nation of Israel for all time (see also v. 26). This is guaranteed by the creation order which is the object of both God’s creative decree (Gen 1:14-19) and his covenant with Noah after the flood (Gen 8:22). (For further discussion on the nature of a covenant of grant see the study note on 32:40.) The rejection of the lines of Jehoiakim (36:30) and Jeconiah (22:30) and the certain captivity and death of Zedekiah (32:4) may have called into question the continuance of the Davidic promise which always had a certain conditional nature to it (cf. 1 Kgs 2:4; 8:25; 9:5). This promise and this guarantee show that the covenant of grant still stands and will ultimately find its fulfillment. Because this promise never found its fulfillment after the return from exile, it is left to the NT to show how it is fulfilled (cf., e.g., Matt 1:1-17 where it is emphasized that Jesus is the son (and heir) of both Abraham and David).

287 tn Heb “And the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying.” See v. 1. This is a continuation of “the second time.”

288 tn Heb “Have you not seen what this people have said, saying.” The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer. The sentence has been broken in two to better conform with contemporary English style.

289 tn Heb “The two families which the Lord chose, he has rejected them.” This is an example of an object prepositioned before the verb and resumed by a redundant pronoun to throw emphasis of focus on it (called casus pendens in the grammars; cf. GKC 458 §143.d). Some commentators identify the “two families” as those of David and Levi mentioned in the previous verses, and some identify them as the families of the Israelites and of David mentioned in the next verse. However, the next clause in this verse and the emphasis on the restoration and regathering of Israel and Judah in this section (cf. 33:7, 14) show that the reference is to Israel and Judah (see also 30:3, 4; 31:27, 31 and 3:18).

290 tn Heb “and my people [i.e., Israel and Judah] they disdain [or look down on] from being again a nation before them.” The phrase “before them” refers to their estimation, their mental view (cf. BDB s.v. פָּנֶה II.4.a[g]). Hence it means they look with disdain on the people being a nation again (cf. BDB s.v. עוֹד 1.a[b] for the usage of עוֹד [’od] here).

291 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” See the translator’s note at the beginning of v. 20 for the style adopted here. Here the promise is in v. 26 following the contrary to fact condition in v. 25. The Hebrew text of vv. 25-26 reads: “Thus says the Lord, “If I have not established my covenant with day and night [and] the laws/statutes of heaven and earth, also I could reject the seed of Jacob and David my servant from taking from his seed as rulers over the seed of Abraham…” The syntax of the original is a little awkward because it involves the verbs “establish” and “reject” governing two objects, the first governing two similar objects “my covenant” and “the regulations” and the second governing two dissimilar objects “the seed of Jacob” and “my servant David from taking [so as not to take].” The translation has sought to remove these awkward syntactical constructions and also break down the long complex original sentence in such a way as to retain its original intent, i.e., the guarantee of the continuance of the seed of Jacob and of the rule of a line of David’s descendants over them based on the fixed order of God’s creation decrees.

292 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) is probably intensive here as it has been on a number of occasions in the book of Jeremiah (see BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e for the category).

293 tn Or “I will make them prosperous once again,” or “I will bring them back from captivity.”

sn For the meaning of this idiom see the translator’s note on Jer 29:14 and compare the usage in 29:14; 30:3, 18; 31:23; 32:44; 33:7, 11. This has been the emphasis on this section which is called by some commentators “The Book of Consolation.” Jeremiah’s emphasis up until chapters 30-33 had been on judgment but he was also called to be the prophet of restoration (cf. Jer 1:10). Promises of restoration though rare up to this point have, however, occurred on occasion (see, e.g., Jer 3:18; 23:5-7; 24:6-7; 29:10-14).



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