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Jeremiah 31:35

Context
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. 1 

Jeremiah 51:14-16

Context

51:14 The Lord who rules over all 2  has solemnly sworn, 3 

‘I will fill your land with enemy soldiers.

They will swarm over it like locusts. 4 

They will raise up shouts of victory over it.’

51:15 He is the one who 5  by his power made the earth.

He is the one who by his wisdom fixed the world in place,

by his understanding he spread out the heavens.

51:16 When his voice thunders, the waters in the heavens roar.

He makes the clouds rise from the far-off horizons.

He makes the lightning flash out in the midst of the rain.

He unleashes the wind from the places where he stores it.

1 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).

2 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.” For an explanation of this rendering see the study note on 2:19.

3 tn Heb “has sworn by himself.” See the study note on 22:5 for background.

4 tn Heb “I will fill you with men like locusts.” The “you” refers to Babylon (Babylon is both the city and the land it ruled, Babylonia) which has been alluded to in the preceding verses under descriptive titles. The words “your land” have been used because of the way the preceding verse has been rendered, alluding to people rather than to the land or city. The allusion of “men” is, of course, to enemy soldiers and they are here compared to locusts both for their quantity and their destructiveness (see Joel 1:4). For the use of the particles כִּי אִם (kiim) to introduce an oath see BDB 475 s.v. כִּי אִם 2.c and compare usage in 2 Kgs 5:20; one would normally expect אִם לֹא (cf. BDB 50 s.v. אִם 1.b[2]).

5 tn The participle here is intended to be connected with “Lord who rules over all” in the preceding verse. The passage is functioning to underline the Lord’s power to carry out what he has sworn in contrast to the impotence of their idols who will be put to shame and be dismayed (50:2).



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