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Jeremiah 44:26-28

Context
44:26 But 1  listen to what the Lord has to say, all you people of Judah who are living in the land of Egypt. The Lord says, ‘I hereby swear by my own great name that none of the people of Judah who are living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name in their oaths! Never again will any of them use it in an oath saying, “As surely as the Lord God lives….” 2  44:27 I will indeed 3  see to it that disaster, not prosperity, happens to them. 4  All the people of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will die in war or from starvation until not one of them is left. 44:28 Some who survive in battle will return to the land of Judah from the land of Egypt. But they will be very few indeed! 5  Then the Judean remnant who have come to live in the land of Egypt will know whose word proves true, 6  mine or theirs.’

1 tn Heb “Therefore.” This particle quite often introduces the announcement of judgment after an indictment or accusation of a crime. That is its function here after the statement of cause in vv. 24-25. However, it would not sound right after the immediately preceding ironical or sarcastic commands to go ahead and fulfill their vows. “But” is a better transition unless one wants to paraphrase “Therefore, since you are so determined to do that….”

2 tn Heb “Behold I swear by…that my name will no more be pronounced in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt saying, ‘As the Lord Yahweh lives.’” The sentence has been broken up and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style and the significance of pronouncing the name has been interpreted for the sake of readers who might not be familiar with this biblical idiom.

sn They will no longer be able to invoke his name in an oath because they will all be put to death (v. 27; cf. vv. 11-14).

3 tn Heb “Behold I.” For the use of this particle see the translator’s note on 1:6. Here it announces the reality of a fact.

4 tn Heb “Behold, I am watching over them for evil/disaster/harm not for good/prosperity/ blessing.” See a parallel usage in 31:28.

5 tn Heb “The survivors of the sword will return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah few in number [more literally, “men of number”; for the idiom see BDB 709 s.v. מִסְפָּר 1.a].” The term “survivors of the sword” may be intended to represent both those who survive death in war or death by starvation or disease, a synecdoche of species for all three genera.

sn This statement shows that the preceding “none,” “never again,” “all” in vv. 26-27 are rhetorical hyperbole. Not all but almost all; very few would survive. The following statement implies that the reason that they are left alive is to bear witness to the fact that the Lord’s threats were indeed carried out. See vv. 11-14 for a parallel use of “all” and “none” qualified by a “few.”

6 tn Heb “will stand,” i.e., in the sense of being fulfilled, proving to be true, or succeeding (see BDB 878 s.v. קוּם 7.g).



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