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Jeremiah 34:14

Context
34:14 “Every seven years each of you must free any fellow Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. After they have served you for six years, you shall set them free.” 1  But your ancestors did not obey me or pay any attention to me.

Jeremiah 34:17

Context
34:17 So I, the Lord, say: “You have not really obeyed me and granted freedom to your neighbor and fellow countryman. 2  Therefore, I will grant you freedom, the freedom 3  to die in war, or by starvation or disease. I, the Lord, affirm it! 4  I will make all the kingdoms of the earth horrified at what happens to you. 5 

1 sn Compare Deut 15:12-18 for the complete statement of this law. Here only the first part of it is cited.

2 tn The Hebrew text has a compound object, the two terms of which have been synonyms in vv. 14, 15. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 189) make the interesting observation that these two terms (Heb “brother” and “neighbor”) emphasize the relationships that should have taken precedence over their being viewed as mere slaves.

3 sn This is, of course, a metaphorical and ironical use of the term “to grant freedom to.” It is, however, a typical statement of the concept of talionic justice which is quite often operative in God’s judgments in the OT (cf., e.g., Obad 15).

4 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

5 sn Compare Jer 15:4; 24:9; 29:18.



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