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. 1
31:38 “Indeed a time is coming,” 2 says the Lord, 3 “when the city of Jerusalem 4 will be rebuilt as my special city. 5 It will be built from the Tower of Hananel westward to the Corner Gate. 6 31:39 The boundary line will extend beyond that, straight west from there to the Hill of Gareb and then turn southward to Goah. 7 31:40 The whole valley where dead bodies and sacrificial ashes are thrown 8 and all the terraced fields 9 out to the Kidron Valley 10 on the east as far north 11 as the Horse Gate 12 will be included within this city that is sacred to the Lord. 13 The city will never again be torn down or destroyed.”
1 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, nos’u) to a masculine plural Qal participle in the construct (נֹסְעֵי, nosÿ’e) 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”).
2 tc The words “is coming” (בָּאִים, ba’im) are not in the written text (Kethib) but are supplied in the margin (Qere), in several Hebrew
sn On this idiom compare vv. 27, 31.
3 tn Heb “Oracle of the
5 tn Heb “the city will be built to [or for] the
6 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.
7 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.
8 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
9 tc The translation here follows the Qere and a number of Hebrew
10 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.
11 tn The words “on the east” and “north” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to give orientation.
13 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
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).