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Jeremiah 5:2

Context

5:2 These people make promises in the name of the Lord. 1 

But the fact is, 2  what they swear to is really a lie.” 3 

Jeremiah 5:7

Context

5:7 The Lord asked, 4 

“How can I leave you unpunished, Jerusalem? 5 

Your people 6  have rejected me

and have worshiped gods that are not gods at all. 7 

Even though I supplied all their needs, 8  they were like an unfaithful wife to me. 9 

They went flocking 10  to the houses of prostitutes. 11 

1 tn Heb “Though they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives.” The idea of “swear on oath” comes from the second line.

2 tc The translation follows many Hebrew mss and the Syriac version in reading “surely” (אָכֵן, ’akhen) instead of “therefore” (לָכֵן, lakhen) in the MT.

tn Heb “Surely.”

3 tn Heb “they swear falsely.”

4 tn These words are not in the text, but are supplied in the translation to make clear who is speaking.

5 tn Heb “How can I forgive [or pardon] you.” The pronoun “you” is second feminine singular, referring to the city. See v. 1.

6 tn Heb “your children.”

7 tn Heb “and they have sworn [oaths] by not-gods.”

8 tn Heb “I satisfied them to the full.”

9 tn Heb “they committed adultery.” It is difficult to decide whether literal adultery with other women or spiritual adultery with other gods is meant. The word for adultery is used for both in the book of Jeremiah. For examples of its use for spiritual adultery see 3:8, 9; 9:2. For examples of its use for literal adultery see 7:9; 23:14. The context here could argue for either. The swearing by other gods and the implicit contradiction in their actions in contrast to the expected gratitude for supplying their needs argues for spiritual adultery. However, the reference to prostitution in the next line and the reference to chasing after their neighbor’s wives argues for literal adultery. The translation opts for spiritual adultery because of the contrast implicit in the concessive clause.

10 tn There is a great deal of debate about the meaning of this word. Most of the modern English versions follow the lead of lexicographers who relate this word to a noun meaning “troop” and understand it to mean “they trooped together” (cf. BDB 151 s.v. גָּדַד Hithpo.2 and compare the usage in Mic 5:1 [4:14 HT]). A few of the modern English versions and commentaries follow the reading of the Greek and read a word meaning “they lodged” (reading ִיתְגּוֹרְרוּ [yitggorÿru] from I גּוּר [gur; cf. HALOT 177 s.v. Hithpo. and compare the usage in 1 Kgs 17:20] instead of יִתְגֹּדָדוּ [yitggodadu]). W. L. Holladay (Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 1:180) sees a reference here to the cultic practice of cutting oneself in supplication to pagan gods (cf. BDB 151 s.v. גָּדַד Hithpo.1 and compare the usage in 1 Kgs 18:28). The houses of prostitutes would then be a reference to ritual prostitutes at the pagan shrines. The translation follows BDB and the majority of modern English versions.

11 tn Heb “to a house of a prostitute.”

sn This could be a reference to cultic temple prostitution connected with the pagan shrines. For allusion to this in the OT, see, e.g., Deut 23:17 and 2 Kgs 23:7.



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