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Jeremiah 44:7-8

Context

44:7 “So now the Lord, the God who rules over all, the God of Israel, 1  asks, ‘Why will you do such great harm to yourselves? Why should every man, woman, child, and baby of yours be destroyed from the midst of Judah? Why should you leave yourselves without a remnant? 44:8 That is what will result from your making me angry by what you are doing. 2  You are making me angry by sacrificing to other gods here in the land of Egypt where you live. You will be destroyed for doing that! You will become an example used in curses 3  and an object of ridicule among all the nations of the earth. 4 

1 tn Heb “Yahweh, the God of armies, the God of Israel.” Compare 35:17; 38:17 and for the title “God of armies” see the study note on 2:19.

2 tn Heb “the works of your hands.” Here the phrase is qualified by the epexegetical לְ (lamed) + infinitive, לְקַטֵּר (lÿqatter, “by sacrificing [to other gods]”). For further discussion on the use of this phrase see the translator’s note on 25:6.

3 tn Heb “a curse.” For the meaning of this phrase see the translator’s note on 24:9 and see the usage in 24:9; 25:18; 26:6; 29:22.

4 tn Verses 7b-8 are all one long, complex sentence governed by the interrogative “Why.” The Hebrew text reads: “Why are you doing great harm to your souls [= “yourselves” (cf. BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.b[6])] so as to cut off [= destroy] from yourselves man and woman, child and baby [the terms are collective singulars and are to be interpreted as plurals] from the midst of Judah so as not to leave to yourselves a remnant by making me angry with the works of your hands by sacrificing to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have come to live so as to cut off [an example of result rather than purpose after the particle לְמַעַן (lÿmaan; see the translator’s note on 25:7)] yourselves and so that you may become a curse and an object of ridicule among all the nations of the earth.” The sentence has been broken down and restructured to better conform with contemporary English style. An attempt has been made to retain an equivalent for all the subordinations and qualifying phrases.

sn What is being threatened is not the total destruction of a remnant of Judah. Jeremiah recognizes those who have been carried off to Babylon as well as other places as seeds for a new beginning (e.g., 24:5-6; 29:14; 30:3). But he denies here that any of those who have gone to Egypt and are continuing to practice idolatry will be among them. All of them will be cut off (i.e., destroyed) from the midst of Judah so that not a remnant of them will be left.



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