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Jeremiah 50:39-40

Context

50:39 Therefore desert creatures and jackals will live there.

Ostriches 1  will dwell in it too. 2 

But no people will ever live there again.

No one will dwell there for all time to come. 3 

50:40 I will destroy Babylonia just like I did

Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns.

No one will live there. 4 

No human being will settle in it,”

says the Lord. 5 

1 tn The identification of this bird has been called into question by G. R. Driver, “Birds in the Old Testament,” PEQ 87 (1955): 137-38. He refers to this bird as an owl. That identification, however, is not reflected in any of the lexicons including the most recent, which still gives “ostrich” (HALOT 402 s.v. יַעֲנָה) as does W. S. McCullough, “Ostrich,” IDB 3:611. REB, NIV, NCV, and God’s Word all identify this bird as “owl/desert owl.”

2 tn Heb “Therefore desert creatures will live with jackals and ostriches will live in it.”

3 tn Heb “It will never again be inhabited nor dwelt in unto generation and generation.” For the meaning of this last phrase compare the usage in Ps 100:5 and Isaiah 13:20. Since the first half of the verse has spoken of animals living there, it is necessary to add “people” and turn the passive verbs into active ones.

4 tn Heb “‘Like [when] God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns,’ oracle of the Lord, ‘no man will live there.’” The Lord is speaking so the first person has been substituted for “God.” The sentence has again been broken up to better conform with contemporary English style.

sn Compare Jer 49:18 where the same prophecy is applied to Edom.

5 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”



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