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Jeremiah 4:11-13

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 

4:13 Look! The enemy is approaching like gathering clouds. 7 

The roar of his chariots is like that of a whirlwind. 8 

His horses move more swiftly than eagles.”

I cry out, 9  “We are doomed, 10  for we will be destroyed!”

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 Heb “he is coming up like clouds.” The words “The enemy” are supplied in the translation to identify the referent and the word “gathering” is supplied to try to convey the significance of the simile, i.e., that of quantity and of an approaching storm.

8 tn Heb “his chariots [are] like a whirlwind.” The words “roar” and “sound” are supplied in the translation to clarify the significance of the simile.

9 tn The words “I cry out” are not in the text, but the words that follow are obviously not the Lord’s. They are either those of the people or of Jeremiah. Taking them as Jeremiah’s parallels the interjection of Jeremiah’s response in 4:10 which is formally introduced.

10 tn Heb “Woe to us!” The words “woe to” are common in funeral laments and at the beginning of oracles of judgment. In many contexts they carry the connotation of hopelessness or apprehensiveness of inevitable doom.



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