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Jeremiah 38:25-26

Context
38:25 The officials may hear that I have talked with you. They may come to you and say, ‘Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you. 1  Do not hide anything from us. If you do, we will kill you.’ 2  38:26 If they do this, tell 3  them, ‘I was pleading with the king not to send me back to die in the dungeon of Jonathan’s house.’” 4 

1 tn The phrase “and what the king said to you” is actually at the end of the verse, but most commentators see it as also under the governance of “tell us” and many commentaries and English versions move the clause forward for the sake of English style as has been done here.

2 tn Or “lest we kill you”; Heb “and we will not kill you,” which as stated in the translator’s note on 37:20 introduces a negative purpose (or result) clause. See 37:20, 38:24 for parallel usage.

3 tn Verses 25-26 form a long compound, complex conditional sentence. The condition is found in v. 25 and contains a long quote. The consequence is found in v. 26 and contains another long quote. The Hebrew sentence literally reads: “And if the officials hear that I have talked with you and come to you and say to you, ‘Please tell us what you said to the king. Do not hide from us and we will not kill you [so that we will not kill you] and [tell us] what the king said to you,’ then tell them.” The sentence has been broken up to better conform with contemporary English style.

4 tn Heb “I was causing to fall [= presenting] my petition before the king not to send me back to Jonathan’s house to die there.” The word “dungeon of” is supplied in the translation to help the reader connect this petition with Jeremiah’s earlier place of imprisonment where the officials had put him with every intention of letting him die there (37:15-16, 20).

sn See Jer 37:15-16, 20.



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