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Jeremiah 4:1-2

Context

4:1 “If you, Israel, want to come back,” says the Lord,

“if you want to come back to me 1 

you must get those disgusting idols 2  out of my sight

and must no longer go astray. 3 

4:2 You must be truthful, honest and upright

when you take an oath saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’ 4 

If you do, 5  the nations will pray to be as blessed by him as you are

and will make him the object of their boasting.” 6 

1 tn Or “If you, Israel, want to turn [away from your shameful ways (those described in 3:23-25)]…then you must turn back to me.” Or perhaps, “Israel, you must turn back…Yes, you must turn back to me.”

2 tn Heb “disgusting things.”

3 tn Or possibly, “If you get those disgusting idols out of my sight, you will not need to flee.” This is less probable because the normal meaning of the last verb is “to wander,” “ to stray.”

4 tn Heb “If you [= you must, see the translator’s note on the word “do” later in this verse] swear/take an oath, ‘As the Lord lives,’ in truth, justice, and righteousness…”

5 tn 4:1-2a consists of a number of “if” clauses, two of which are formally introduced by the Hebrew particle אִם (’im) while the others are introduced by the conjunction “and,” followed by a conjunction (“and” = “then”) with a perfect in 4:2b which introduces the consequence. The translation “You must…. If you do,” was chosen to avoid a long and complicated sentence.

6 tn Heb “bless themselves in him and make their boasts in him.”



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