I looked up at the sky, and its light had vanished.
4:24 I looked at the mountains and saw that they were shaking.
All the hills were swaying back and forth!
and that all the birds in the sky had flown away.
4:26 I looked and saw that the fruitful land had become a desert
and that all of the cities had been laid in ruins.
The Lord had brought this all about
because of his blazing anger. 4
“The whole land will be desolate;
however, I will not completely destroy it.
4:28 Because of this the land will mourn
and the sky above will grow black. 6
For I have made my purpose known 7
and I will not relent or turn back from carrying it out.” 8
4:29 At the sound of the approaching horsemen and archers
the people of every town will flee.
Some of them will hide in the thickets.
Others will climb up among the rocks.
All the cities will be deserted.
No one will remain in them.
1 tn Heb “I looked at the land and behold...” This indicates the visionary character of Jeremiah’s description of the future condition of the land of Israel.
2 tn Heb “formless and empty.” This is a case of hendiadys (two nouns joined by “and” both describe the same thing): one noun retains its full nominal force, the other functions as an adjective. The words תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ (tohu vavohu) allude to Gen 1:2, hyperbolically picturing a reversal of creation and return to the original precreation chaos.
3 tn Heb “there was no man/human being.”
4 tn Heb “because of the
5 tn Heb “For this is what the
6 sn The earth and the heavens are personified here and depicted in the act of mourning and wearing black clothes because of the destruction of the land of Israel.
7 tn Heb “has spoken and purposed.” This is an example of hendiadys where two verbs are joined by “and” but one is meant to serve as a modifier of the other.
8 tn Heb “will not turn back from it.”