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Jeremiah 30:7-11

Context

30:7 Alas, what a terrible time of trouble it is! 1 

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. 2 

30:8 When the time for them to be rescued comes,” 3 

says the Lord who rules over all, 4 

“I will rescue you from foreign subjugation. 5 

I will deliver you from captivity. 6 

Foreigners will then no longer subjugate them.

30:9 But they will be subject 7  to the Lord their God

and to the Davidic ruler whom I will raise up as king over them. 8 

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

you descendants of Jacob, my servants. 9 

Do not be terrified, people of Israel.

For I will rescue you and your descendants

from a faraway land where you are captives. 10 

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

They will be secure and no one will terrify them. 11 

30:11 For I, the Lord, affirm 12  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.” 13 

Jeremiah 32:36-44

Context

32:36 “You and your people 14  are right in saying, ‘War, 15  starvation, and disease are sure to make this city fall into the hands of the king of Babylon.’ 16  But now I, the Lord God of Israel, have something further to say about this city: 17  32:37 ‘I will certainly regather my people from all the countries where I will have exiled 18  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. 19  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 20  their own good and the good of the children who descend from them. 32:40 I will make a lasting covenant 21  with them that I will never stop doing good to them. 22  I will fill their hearts and minds with respect for me so that 23  they will never again turn 24  away from me. 32:41 I will take delight in doing good to them. I will faithfully and wholeheartedly plant them 25  firmly in the land.’

32:42 “For I, the Lord, say: 26  ‘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. 27  32:43 You and your people 28  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. 29  But fields 30  will again be bought in this land. 31  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. 32  For I will restore them to their land. 33  I, the Lord, affirm it!’” 34 

1 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.

2 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).

3 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).

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

5 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.

6 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.

7 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.

8 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.

9 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.

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

11 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.

12 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

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

14 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.

15 tn Heb “sword.”

16 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]).

17 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.

18 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.

19 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.

20 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).

21 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.

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

23 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.

24 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.

25 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).

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

27 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.

28 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.

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

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

31 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.

32 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.

33 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.

34 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”



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