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Jeremiah 4:11-12

Context

4:11 “At that time the people of Judah and Jerusalem 1  will be told,

‘A scorching wind will sweep down

from the hilltops in the desert on 2  my dear people. 3 

It will not be a gentle breeze

for winnowing the grain and blowing away the chaff. 4 

4:12 No, 5  a wind too strong for that will come at my bidding.

Yes, even now I, myself, am calling down judgment on them.’ 6 

Jeremiah 13:24

Context

13:24 “The Lord says, 7 

‘That is why I will scatter your people 8  like chaff

that is blown away by a desert wind. 9 

Jeremiah 18:17

Context

18:17 I will scatter them before their enemies

like dust blowing in front of a burning east wind.

I will turn my back on them and not look favorably on them 10 

when disaster strikes them.”

1 tn Heb “this people and Jerusalem.”

2 tn Heb “A scorching wind from the hilltops in the desert toward…”

sn The allusion is, of course, to the destructive forces of the enemy armies of Babylon compared above in 4:7 to a destructive lion and here to the destructive desert winds of the Near Eastern sirocco.

3 tn Heb “daughter of my people.” The term “daughter of” is appositional to “my people” and is supplied in the translation as a term of sympathy and endearment. Compare the common expression “daughter of Zion.”

4 tn Heb “not for winnowing and not for cleansing.” The words “It will not be a gentle breeze” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection. They are supplied in the translation here for clarification.

5 tn The word “No” is not in the text but is carried over from the connection with the preceding line “not for…”

6 tn Heb “will speak judgments against them.”

7 tn The words, “The Lord says” are not in the text at this point. The words “an oracle of the Lord” does, however, occur in the middle of the next verse and it is obvious the Lord is the speaker. The words have been moved up from the next verse to enhance clarity.

8 tn Heb “them.” This is another example of the rapid shift in pronouns seen several times in the book of Jeremiah. The pronouns in the preceding and the following are second feminine singular. It might be argued that “them” goes back to the “flock”/“sheep” in v. 20, but the next verse refers the fate described here to “you” (feminine singular). This may be another example of the kind of metaphoric shifts in referents discussed in the notes on 13:20 above. Besides, it would sound a little odd in the translation to speak of scattering one person like chaff.

9 sn Compare the threat using the same metaphor in Jer 4:11-12.

10 tc Heb “I will show them [my] back and not [my] face.” This reading follows the suggestion of some of the versions and some of the Masoretes. The MT reads “I will look on their back and not on their faces.”

sn To “turn the back” is universally recognized as a symbol of rejection. The turning of the face toward one is the subject of the beautiful Aaronic blessing in Num 6:24-26.



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