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Jeremiah 44:16-18

Context
44:16 “We will not listen to what you claim the Lord has spoken to us! 1  44:17 Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. 2  We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven 3  just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles. 4  44:18 But ever since we stopped sacrificing and pouring out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven, we have been in great need. Our people have died in wars or of starvation.” 5 

1 tn Heb “the word [or message] you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord.” For an explanation of the rendering of “in the name of the Lord” see the study notes on 10:25 and 23:27.

2 tn Heb “that went out of our mouth.” I.e., everything we said, promised, or vowed.

3 tn Heb “sacrifice to the Queen of Heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.” The expressions have been combined to simplify and shorten the sentence. The same combination also occurs in vv. 18, 19.

sn See the translator’s note and the study note on 7:18 for the problem of translation and identification of the term translated here “the goddess called the Queen of Heaven.”

4 tn Heb “saw [or experienced] no disaster/trouble/harm.”

5 tn Heb “we have been consumed/destroyed by sword or by starvation.” The “we” cannot be taken literally here since they are still alive.

sn What is being contrasted here is the relative peace and prosperity under the reign of Manasseh, who promoted all kinds of pagan cults including the worship of astral deities (2 Kgs 21:2-9), and the disasters that befell Judah after the reforms of Josiah, which included the removal of all the cult images and altars from Jerusalem and Judah (2 Kgs 23:4-15). The disasters included the death of Josiah himself at the battle of Megiddo, the deportation of his son Jehoahaz to Egypt, the death of Jehoiakim, the deportation of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) and many other Judeans in 597 b.c., the death by war, starvation, and disease of many Judeans during the siege of Jerusalem in 588-86 b.c., and the captivity of many of those who survived. Instead of seeing these as punishments for their disobedience to the Lord as Jeremiah had preached to them, they saw these as consequences of their failure to continue the worship of the foreign gods.



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