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Jeremiah 50:29-32

Context

50:29 “Call for archers 1  to come against Babylon!

Summon against her all who draw the bow!

Set up camp all around the city!

Do not allow anyone to escape!

Pay her back for what she has done.

Do to her what she has done to others.

For she has proudly defied me, 2 

the Holy One of Israel. 3 

50:30 So her young men will fall in her city squares.

All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”

says the Lord. 4 

50:31 “Listen! I am opposed to you, you proud city,” 5 

says the Lord God who rules over all. 6 

“Indeed, 7  your day of reckoning 8  has come,

the time when I will punish you. 9 

50:32 You will stumble and fall, you proud city;

no one will help you get up.

I will set fire to your towns;

it will burn up everything that surrounds you.” 10 

1 tn For this word see BDB 914 s.v. III רַב and compare usage in Prov 26:10 and Job 16:12 and compare the usage of the verb in Gen 49:23. Based on this evidence, it is not necessary to emend the form to רֹבִים (rovim) as many commentators contend.

2 tn Heb “for she has acted insolently against the Lord.” Once again there is the problem of the Lord speaking about himself in the third person (or the prophet dropping his identification with the Lord). As in several other places the present translation, along with several other modern English versions (TEV, CEV, NIrV), has substituted the first person to maintain consistency with the context.

3 sn The Holy One of Israel is a common title for the Lord in the book of Isaiah. It is applied to the Lord only here and in 51:5 in the book of Jeremiah. It is a figure where an attribute of a person is put as a title of a person (compare “your majesty” for a king). It pictures the Lord as the sovereign king who rules over his covenant people and exercises moral authority over them.

4 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

5 tn Heb “Behold, I am against you, proud one.” The word “city” is not in the text but it is generally agreed that the word is being used as a personification of the city which had “proudly defied” the Lord (v. 29). The word “city” is supplied in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “oracle of the Lord Yahweh of armies.” For the rendering of this title and an explanation of its significance see the study note on 2:19.

7 tn The particle כִּי (ki) is probably asseverative here (so J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 739, n. 13, and cf. BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e for other examples). This has been a common use of this particle in the book of Jeremiah.

8 tn The words “of reckoning” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

9 sn Compare v. 27.

10 tn Heb “And the proud one will fall and there will be no one to help him up. I will start a fire in his towns and it will consume all that surround him.” The personification continues but now the stance is indirect (third person) rather than direct (second person). It is easier for the modern reader who is not accustomed to such sudden shifts if the second person is maintained. The personification of the city (or nation) as masculine is a little unusual; normally cities and nations are personified as feminine, as daughters or mothers.



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