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Jeremiah 49:14-16

Context

49:14 I said, 1  “I have heard a message from the Lord.

A messenger has been sent among the nations to say,

‘Gather your armies and march out against her!

Prepare to do battle with her!’” 2 

49:15 The Lord says to Edom, 3 

“I will certainly make you small among nations.

I will make you despised by all humankind.

49:16 The terror you inspire in others 4 

and the arrogance of your heart have deceived you.

You may make your home in the clefts of the rocks;

you may occupy the highest places in the hills. 5 

But even if you made your home where the eagles nest,

I would bring you down from there,”

says the Lord.

1 tn The words “I said” are not in the text but it is generally agreed that the words that follow are Jeremiah’s. These words are supplied in the translation to make clear that the speaker has shifted from the Lord to Jeremiah.

2 tn Heb “Rise up for battle.” The idea “against her” is implicit from the context and has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

3 tn The words “The Lord says to Edom” are not in the text. They have been supplied in the translation to mark the shift from the address of the messenger summoning the nations to prepare to do battle against Edom. The Lord is clearly the speaker (see the end of v. 16) and Edom is clearly the addressee. Such sudden shifts are common in Hebrew poetry, particularly Hebrew prophecy, but are extremely disruptive to a modern reader trying to follow the argument of a passage. TEV adds “The Lord said” and then retains third person throughout. CEV puts all of vv. 14-16 in the second person and uses indirect discourse in v. 15.

4 tn The meaning of this Hebrew word (תִּפְלֶצֶת, tifletset) is uncertain because it occurs only here. However, it is related to a verb root that refers to the shaking of the pillars (of the earth) in Job 9:6 and a noun (מִפְלֶצֶת, mifletset) that refers to “horror” or “shuddering” used in Job 21:6; Isa 21:4; Ezek 7:18; Ps 55:6. This is the nuance that is accepted by BDB, KBL, HAL and a majority of the modern English versions. The suffix is an objective genitive. The fact that the following verb is masculine singular suggests that the text here (הִשִּׁיא אֹתָךְ, hishi’ ’otakh) is in error for הִשִּׁיאָתָךְ (hishiatakh; so G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 327, n. 16.a).

5 tn The Hebrew text of the first four lines reads: “Your terror [= the terror you inspire] has deceived you, [and] the arrogance of your heart, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, who occupy the heights of the hill.” The sentence is broken up and restructured to better conform with English style.



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