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Jeremiah 4:30-31


4:30 And you, Zion, city doomed to destruction, 1 

you accomplish nothing 2  by wearing a beautiful dress, 3 

decking yourself out in jewels of gold,

and putting on eye shadow! 4 

You are making yourself beautiful for nothing.

Your lovers spurn you.

They want to kill you. 5 

4:31 In fact, 6  I hear a cry like that of a woman in labor,

a cry of anguish like that of a woman giving birth to her first baby.

It is the cry of Daughter Zion 7  gasping for breath,

reaching out for help, 8  saying, “I am done in! 9 

My life is ebbing away before these murderers!”

1 tn Heb “And you that are doomed to destruction.” The referent is supplied from the following context and the fact that Zion/Jerusalem represents the leadership which was continually making overtures to foreign nations for help.

2 tn Heb “What are you accomplishing…?” The rhetorical question assumes a negative answer, made clear by the translation in the indicative.

3 tn Heb “clothing yourself in scarlet.”

4 tn Heb “enlarging your eyes with antimony.” Antimony was a black powder used by women as eyeliner to make their eyes look larger.

5 tn Heb “they seek your life.”

6 tn The particle כִּי (ki) is more likely asseverative here than causal.

7 sn Jerusalem is personified as a helpless maiden.

8 tn Heb “spreading out her hands.” The idea of asking or pleading for help is implicit in the figure.

9 tn Heb “Woe, now to me!” See the translator’s note on 4:13 for the usage of “Woe to…”

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