to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Like a farmer breaking up hard unplowed ground,
you must break your rebellious will and make a new beginning;
just as a farmer must clear away thorns lest the seed is wasted,
you must get rid of the sin that is ruining your lives. 2
4:4 Just as ritual circumcision cuts away the foreskin
as an external symbol of dedicated covenant commitment,
you must genuinely dedicate yourselves to the Lord
and get rid of everything that hinders your commitment to me, 3
people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem.
If you do not, 4 my anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you
that no one will be able to extinguish.
That will happen because of the evil you have done.”
‘Sound the trumpet 8 throughout the land!’
Shout out loudly,
‘Gather together! Let us flee into the fortified cities!’
1 tn The Hebrew particle is obviously asseverative here since a causal connection appears to make little sense.
2 tn Heb “Plow up your unplowed ground and do not sow among the thorns.” The translation is an attempt to bring out the force of a metaphor. The idea seems to be that they are to plow over the thorns and make the ground ready for the seeds which will produce a new crop where none had been produced before.
3 tn Heb “Circumcise yourselves to the
4 tn Heb “lest.”
6 tn It is unclear who the addressees of the masculine plural imperatives are here. They may be the citizens of Jerusalem and Judah who are sounding the alarm to others. However, the first person reference to the
8 tn Heb “ram’s horn,” but the modern equivalent is “trumpet” and is more readily understandable.