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Jeremiah 3:8-11

Context
3:8 She also saw 1  that I gave wayward Israel her divorce papers and sent her away because of her adulterous worship of other gods. 2  Even after her unfaithful sister Judah had seen this, 3  she still was not afraid, and she too went and gave herself like a prostitute to other gods. 4  3:9 Because she took her prostitution so lightly, she defiled the land 5  through her adulterous worship of gods made of wood and stone. 6  3:10 In spite of all this, 7  Israel’s sister, unfaithful Judah, has not turned back to me with any sincerity; she has only pretended to do so,” 8  says the Lord. 3:11 Then the Lord said to me, “Under the circumstances, wayward Israel could even be considered less guilty than unfaithful Judah. 9 

1 tc Heb “she [‘her sister, unfaithful Judah’ from the preceding verse] saw” with one Hebrew ms, some Greek mss, and the Syriac version. The MT reads “I saw” which may be a case of attraction to the verb at the beginning of the previous verse.

2 tn Heb “because she committed adultery.” The translation is intended to spell out the significance of the metaphor.

3 tn The words “Even after her unfaithful sister, Judah, had seen this” are not in the Hebrew text but are implicit in the connection and are supplied for clarification.

4 tn Heb “she played the prostitute there.” This is a metaphor for Israel’s worship; she gave herself to the worship of other gods like a prostitute gives herself to her lovers. There seems no clear way to completely spell out the metaphor in the translation.

5 tc The translation reads the form as a causative (Hiphil, תַּהֲנֵף, tahanef) with some of the versions in place of the simple stative (Qal, תֶּחֱנַף, tekhenaf) in the MT.

6 tn Heb “because of the lightness of her prostitution, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood.”

7 tn Heb “And even in all this.”

8 tn Heb “ has not turned back to me with all her heart but only in falsehood.”

9 tn Heb “Wayward Israel has proven herself to be more righteous than unfaithful Judah.”

sn A comparison is drawn here between the greater culpability of Judah, who has had the advantage of seeing how God disciplined her sister nation for having sinned and yet ignored the warning and committed the same sin, and the culpability of Israel who had no such advantage.



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