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Jeremiah 31:27-28

Context
Israel and Judah Will Be Repopulated

31:27 “Indeed, a time is coming,” 1  says the Lord, 2  “when I will cause people and animals to sprout up in the lands of Israel and Judah. 3  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. 4  I, the Lord, affirm it!” 5 

1 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).

2 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

3 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.

4 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.

5 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”



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