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Jeremiah 50:14-15

Context

50:14 “Take up your battle positions all around Babylon,

all you soldiers who are armed with bows. 1 

Shoot 2  all your arrows at her! Do not hold any back! 3 

For she has sinned against the Lord.

50:15 Shout the battle cry from all around the city.

She will throw up her hands in surrender. 4 

Her towers 5  will fall.

Her walls will be torn down.

Because I, the Lord, am wreaking revenge, 6 

take out your vengeance on her!

Do to her as she has done!

1 tn Heb “all you who draw the bow.”

2 tc The verb here should probably be read as a Qal imperative יְרוּ (yÿru) from יָרָה (yarah) with a few Hebrew mss rather than a Qal imperative יְדוּ (yidu) from יָדָה (yadah) with the majority of Hebrew mss. The verb יָדָה (yadah) does not otherwise occur in the Qal and only elsewhere in the Piel with a meaning “cast” (cf. KBL 363 s.v. I יָדָה). The verb יָרָה (yarah) is common in both the Qal and the Hiphil with the meaning of shooting arrows (cf. BDB 435 s.v. יָרָה Qal.3 and Hiph.2). The confusion between ד (dalet) and ר (resh) is very common.

3 tn Heb “Shoot at her! Don’t save any arrows!”

4 tn Heb “She has given her hand.” For the idiom here involving submission/surrender see BDB 680 s.v. נָתַן Qal.1.z and compare the usage in 1 Chr 29:24; 2 Chr 30:8. For a different interpretation, however, see the rather complete discussion in G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 366) who see this as a reference to making a covenant. The verb in this line and the next two lines are all Hebrew perfects and most translators and commentaries see them as past. God’s Word, however, treats them as prophetic perfects and translates them as future. This is more likely in the light of the imperatives both before and after.

5 tn The meaning of this word is uncertain. The definition here follows that of HALOT 91 s.v. אָשְׁיָה, which defines it on the basis of an Akkadian word and treats it as a loanword.

6 tn Heb “Because it is the Lord’s vengeance.” The first person has again been used because the Lord is the speaker and the nominal expression has been turned into a verbal one more in keeping with contemporary English style.



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