4:28 Because of this the land will mourn
and the sky above will grow black. 1
For I have made my purpose known 2
and I will not relent or turn back from carrying it out.” 3
You keep turning your back on me.’ 5
I have grown tired of feeling sorry for you!” 8
18:8 But if that nation I threatened stops doing wrong, 9 I will cancel the destruction 10 I intended to do to it.
18:10 But if that nation does what displeases me and does not obey me, then I will cancel the good I promised to do to it.
26:3 Maybe they will pay attention and each of them will stop living the evil way they do. 11 If they do that, then I will forgo destroying them 12 as I had intended to do because of the wicked things they have been doing. 13
26:13 But correct the way you have been living and do what is right. 14 Obey the Lord your God. If you do, the Lord will forgo destroying you as he threatened he would. 15
26:19 King Hezekiah and all the people of Judah did not put him to death, did they? Did not Hezekiah show reverence for the Lord and seek the Lord’s favor? 16 Did not 17 the Lord forgo destroying them 18 as he threatened he would? But we are on the verge of bringing great disaster on ourselves.” 19
1 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.
2 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.
3 tn Heb “will not turn back from it.”
4 tn Heb “oracle of the
5 tn Heb “you are going backward.” This is the only occurrence of this adverb with this verb. It is often used with another verb meaning “turn backward” (= abandon; Heb סוּג [sug] in the Niphal). For examples see Jer 38:22; 46:5. The only other occurrence in Jeremiah has been in the unusual idiom in 7:24 where it was translated “they got worse and worse instead of better.” That is how J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 109) translates it here. However it is translated, it has connotations of apostasy.
7 tn There is a difference of opinion on how the verbs here and in the following verses are to be rendered, whether past or future. KJV, NASB, NIV for example render them as future. ASV, RSV, TEV render them as past. NJPS has past here and future in vv. 7-9. This is perhaps the best solution. The imperfect + vav consecutive here responds to the perfect in the first line. The imperfects + vav consecutives followed by perfects in vv. 7-9 and concluded by an imperfect in v. 9 pick up the perfects + vav (ו) consecutives in vv. 3-4. Verses 7-9 are further development of the theme in vv. 1-4. Verses 5-6 have been an apostrophe or a turning aside to address Jerusalem directly. For a somewhat similar alternation of the tenses see Isa 5:14-17 and consult GKC 329-30 §111.w. One could of course argue that the imperfects + vav consecutive in vv. 7-9 continue the imperfect + vav consecutive here. In this case, vv. 7-9 are not a continuation of the oracle of doom but another lament by God (cf. 14:1-6, 17-18).
8 sn It is difficult to be sure what intertextual connections are intended by the author in his use of vocabulary. The Hebrew word translated “grown tired” is not very common. It has been used twice before. In 9:5-6b where it refers to the people being unable to repent and in 6:11 where it refers to Jeremiah being tired or unable to hold back his anger because of that inability. Now God too has worn out his patience with them (cf. Isa 7:13).
9 tn Heb “turns from its wickedness.”
10 tn There is a good deal of debate about how the word translated here “revoke” should be translated. There is a good deal of reluctance to translate it “change my mind” because some see that as contradicting Num 23:19 and thus prefer “relent.” However, the English word “relent” suggests the softening of an attitude but not necessarily the change of course. It is clear that in many cases (including here) an actual change of course is in view (see, e.g., Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9; Jer 26:19; Exod 13:17; 32:14). Several of these passages deal with “conditional” prophecies where a change in behavior of the people or the mediation of a prophet involves the change in course of the threatened punishment (or the promised benefit). “Revoke” or “forgo” may be the best way to render this in contemporary English idiom.
sn There is a wordplay here involving the word “evil” (רָעָה, ra’ah) which refers to both the crime and the punishment. This same play is carried further in Jonah 3:10-4:1 where Jonah becomes very displeased (Heb “it was very evil to Jonah with great evil”) when God forgoes bringing disaster (evil) on Nineveh because they have repented of their wickedness (evil).
11 tn Heb “will turn from his wicked way.”
13 tn Heb “because of the wickedness of their deeds.”
16 tn This Hebrew idiom (חָלָה פָּנִים, khalah panim) is often explained in terms of “stroking” or “patting the face” of someone, seeking to gain his favor. It is never used in a literal sense and is found in contexts of prayer (Exod 32:11; Ps 119:158), worship (Zech 8:21-22), humble submission (2 Chr 3:12), or amendment of behavior (Dan 9:13). All were true to one extent or another of Hezekiah.
17 tn The he interrogative (הַ)with the negative governs all three of the verbs, the perfect and the two vav (ו) consecutive imperfects that follow it. The next clause has disjunctive word order and introduces a contrast. The question expects a positive answer.