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Jeremiah 50:17-18

Context

50:17 “The people of Israel are like scattered sheep

which lions have chased away.

First the king of Assyria devoured them. 1 

Now last of all King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has gnawed their bones. 2 

50:18 So I, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all, say: 3 

‘I will punish the king of Babylon and his land

just as I punished the king of Assyria.

1 sn The king of Assyria devoured them. This refers to the devastation wrought on northern Israel by the kings of Assyria beginning in 738 b.c. when Tiglath Pileser took Galilee and the Transjordanian territories and ending with the destruction and exile of the people of Samaria by Sargon in 722 b.c.

2 tn The verb used here only occurs this one time in the Hebrew Bible. It is a denominative from the Hebrew word for “bones” (עֶצֶם, ’etsem). BDB 1126 s.v. עֶָצַם, denom Pi, define it as “break his bones.” HALOT 822 s.v. II עָצַם Pi defines it as “gnaw on his bones.”

sn If the prophecies which are referred to in Jer 51:59-64 refer to all that is contained in Jer 50–51 (as some believe), this would have referred to the disasters of 605 b.c. and 598 b.c. and all the harassment that Israel experienced from Babylon up until the fourth year of Zedekiah (594 b.c.). If on the other hand, the prophecy related there refers to something less than this final form, the destruction of 587/6 b.c. could be referred to as well.

3 tn Heb “Therefore thus says Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” The first person is again adopted because the Lord is speaking. For this title, “Yahweh of armies,” compare 7:3 and the study note on 2:19.



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