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Jeremiah 42:14-22

Context
42:14 You must not say, ‘No, we will not stay. Instead we will go and live in the land of Egypt where we will not face war, 1  or hear the enemy’s trumpet calls, 2  or starve for lack of food.’ 3  42:15 If you people who remain in Judah do that, then listen to what the Lord says. The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 4  says, ‘If you are so determined 5  to go to Egypt that you go and settle there, 42:16 the wars you fear will catch up with you there in the land of Egypt. The starvation you are worried about will follow you there to 6  Egypt. You will die there. 7  42:17 All the people who are determined to go and settle in Egypt will die from war, starvation, or disease. No one will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.’ 42:18 For 8  the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 9  says, ‘If you go to Egypt, I will pour out my wrath on you just as I poured out my anger and wrath on the citizens of Jerusalem. 10  You will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example of those who have been cursed and that people use in pronouncing a curse. 11  You will never see this place again.’ 12 

42:19 “The Lord has told you people who remain in Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be very sure of this: I warn you 13  here and now. 14  42:20 You are making a fatal mistake. 15  For you sent me to the Lord your God and asked me, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us. Tell us what the Lord our God says and we will do it.’ 16  42:21 This day 17  I have told you what he said. 18  But you do not want to obey the Lord by doing what he sent me to tell you. 19  42:22 So now be very sure of this: You will die from war, starvation, or disease in the place where you want to go and live.”

1 tn Heb “see [or experience] war.”

2 tn Heb “hear the sound of the trumpet.” The trumpet was used to gather the troops and to sound the alarm for battle.

3 tn Jer 42:13-14 are a long complex condition (protasis) whose consequence (apodosis) does not begin until v. 15. The Hebrew text of vv. 13-14 reads: 42:13 “But if you say [or continue to say (the form is a participle)], ‘We will not stay in this land’ with the result that you do not obey [or “more literally, do not hearken to the voice of] the Lord your God, 42:14 saying, ‘No, but to the land of Egypt we will go where we…and there we will live,’ 42:15 now therefore hear the word of the Lord…” The sentence has been broken up and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style but an attempt has been made to maintain the contingencies and the qualifiers that are in the longer Hebrew original.

4 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See the study note on 2:19 for the translation and significance of this title.

5 tn Heb “set your face to.” See Jer 42:17; 44:11; Dan 11:17; 2 Kgs 12:17 (12:18 HT) for parallel usage.

6 tn Or “will follow you right into Egypt,” or “will dog your steps all the way to Egypt”; Heb “cling after.” This is the only case of this verb with this preposition in the Qal stem. However, it is used with this preposition several times in the Hiphil, all with the meaning of “to pursue closely.” See BDB 180 s.v. דָּבַק Hiph.2 and compare Judg 20:45; 1 Sam 14:22; 1 Chr 10:2.

7 tn The repetition of the adverb “there” in the translation of vv. 14, 16 is to draw attention to the rhetorical emphasis on the locale of Egypt in the original text of both v. 14 and v. 16. In v. 14 they say, “to the land of Egypt we will go…and there we will live.” In v. 16 God says, “wars…there will catch up with you…the hunger…there will follow after you…and there you will die.” God rhetorically denies their focus on Egypt as a place of safety and of relative prosperity. That can only be found in Judah under the protective presence of the Lord (vv. 10-12).

8 tn Or “Indeed.”

9 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See the study note on 2:19 for the translation and significance of this title.

10 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

11 tn See the study note on 24:9 and the usage in 29:22 for the meaning and significance of this last phrase.

12 tn Or “land.” The reference is, of course, to the land of Judah.

13 tn Heb “Know for certain that I warn you…” The idea of “for certain” is intended to reflect the emphatic use of the infinitive absolute before the volitive use of the imperfect (see IBHS 587-88 §35.3.1h and 509 §31.5b). The substitution “of this:” for “that” has been made to shorten the sentence in conformity with contemporary English style.

14 tn Heb “today.”

15 tn Heb “you are erring at the cost of your own lives” (BDB 1073 s.v. תָּעָה Hiph.3 and HALOT 1626 s.v. תָּעָה Hif 4, and cf. BDB 90 s.v. בְּ 3 and see parallels in 1 Kgs 2:23; 2 Sam 23:17 for the nuance of “at the cost of your lives”). This fits the context better than “you are deceiving yourselves” (KBL 1035 s.v. תָּעָה Hif 4). The reading here follows the Qere הִתְעֵיתֶם (hitetem) rather than the Kethib which has a metathesis of י (yod) and ת (tav), i.e., הִתְעֵתֶים. The Greek text presupposes הֲרֵעֹתֶם (hareotem, “you have done evil”), but that reading is generally rejected as secondary.

16 tn Heb “According to all which the Lord our God says so tell us and we will do.” The restructuring of the sentence is intended to better reflect contemporary English style.

17 tn Or “Today.”

18 tn The words “what he said” are not in the text but are implicit and seem necessary for clarity.

19 tn Heb “But you have not hearkened to the voice of [idiomatic for “obeyed” see BDB 1034 s.v. שָׁמַע Qal.1.m] the Lord your God, namely [cf. BDB 252 s.v. וְ 1.b] with respect [cf. BDB 514 s.v. לְ 5.f(c)] all which he has sent to us.” The verb is translated “don’t seem to want to obey” because they have not yet expressed their refusal or their actual disobedience. Several commentaries sensing this apparent discrepancy suggest that 42:19-22 are to be transposed after 43:1-3 (see, e.g., BHS note 18a, W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 2:275; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 252, 256, 258). However, there is absolutely no textual evidence for the transposition and little reason to suspect an early scribal error (in spite of Holladay’s suggestion). It is possible that Jeremiah here anticipates this answer in 43:1-3 through the response on their faces (so Bright, 256; F. B. Huey, Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 361). G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 249) also call attention to the stated intention in 41:17 and the fact that the strong warning in 42:15-17 seems to imply that a negative response is expected). The use of the perfect here is perhaps to be related to the perfect expressing resolve or determination (see IBHS 489 §30.5.1d). It is also conceivable that these two verses are part of a conditional sentence which has no formal introduction. I.e., “And if you will not obey…then you should know for certain that…” For examples of this kind of conditional clause introduced by two vavs (ו) see Joüon 2:628-29 §167.b, and compare Jer 18:4; Judg 6:13. However, though this interpretation is within the possibilities of Hebrew grammar, I know of no translation or commentary that follows it. So it has not been followed in the translation or given as an alternate translation.



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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