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Jeremiah 42:19-20

Context

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 1  here and now. 2  42:20 You are making a fatal mistake. 3  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.’ 4 

1 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.

2 tn Heb “today.”

3 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.

4 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.



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