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Jeremiah 7:1

Faulty Religion and Unethical Behavior Will Lead to Judgment

7:1 The Lord said to Jeremiah: 1 

Jeremiah 11:1

The People Have Violated Their Covenant with God

11:1 The Lord said to Jeremiah: 2 

Jeremiah 18:1

An Object Lesson from the Making of Pottery

18:1 The Lord said to Jeremiah: 3 

Jeremiah 30:1

Introduction to the Book of Consolation

30:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 4 

Jeremiah 34:1

The Lord Makes an Ominous Promise to Zedekiah

34:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah while King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem 5  and the towns around it with a large army. This army consisted of troops from his own army and from the kingdoms and peoples of the lands under his dominion. 6 

Jeremiah 35:1

Judah’s Unfaithfulness Contrasted with the Rechabites’ Faithfulness

35:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah when Jehoiakim 7  son of Josiah was ruling over Judah. 8 

1 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord.”

2 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying.” The proposed translation is more in keeping with contemporary English idiom. Cf. 1:2 and 7:1 and footnotes there.

3 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying:” This same formula occurs ten other times in Jeremiah. It has already occurred at 7:1 and 11:1.

4 tn Compare the headings at 7:1; 11:1; 18:1; 21:1 and the translator’s note at those places.

5 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

6 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord while Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army and all the kingdoms of the earth under the dominion of his hand and all the peoples were fighting against Jerusalem and against all its towns, saying.” The sentence is obviously too long and the qualifiers obviously too ill-defined to translate literally. This same introductory formula has occurred in 7:1; 11:1; 18:1; 21:1; 30:1; 32:1 but without such a long introductory phrase. It is generally agreed that the phrase “all the peoples” should be seen as a parallel term to “all the kingdoms” under the qualifying “under the dominion of his hand/ control” and what is referred to are contingent forces supplied by these vassal kingdoms and peoples under the terms of their vassal treaties with Nebuchadnezzar. Some of the nature of the make-up of these forces may be seen from a reference to Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite raiders in the earlier attacks on Jerusalem during the reign of Jehoiakim (2 Kgs 24:2).

sn It is difficult to assign dates to passages which have no dating formulas but there is sufficient detail in this passage to show that this incident occurred sometime early in the siege of Jerusalem while Jeremiah was still free to come and go (see v. 2 and compare 37:4 and see the second study note on 32:2). The Babylonian forces blockaded Jerusalem and attacked the outlying cities, reducing them one by one until Jerusalem had no further help. According to v. 7 Azekah and Lachish in the western foothills still held out and there is evidence from some of the correspondence from Lachish at this period that help was being sought from Egypt.

7 sn The introductory statement here shows that this incident is earlier than those in Jer 32–34 which all take place in the reign of Zedekiah. Jehoiakim ruled from 609/8 b.c. until 598/97 b.c. and his brother Zedekiah followed him after a brief reign of three months by Jehoiakim’s son who was captured by Nebuchadnezzar and taken to Babylon. Zedekiah ruled from 598/7 b.c. until the kingdom fell in 587/86. The position of this chapter is out of chronological order emphasizing the theme of covenant infidelity (Jer 34; 35:12-17) versus the faithfulness to his commands that God expected from Israel as illustrated by the Rechabites’ faithfulness to the commands of their progenitor. This is thus another one of those symbolic acts in Jeremiah which have significance to the message of the book (compare Jer 13, 19). This incident likely took place during the time that people living in the countryside like the Rechabites were forced to take shelter in the fortified cities because of the raiding parties that Nebuchadnezzar had sent against Jehoiakim after he had rebelled against him in 603 b.c. (compare v. 11 and Jer 4:5 with 2 Kgs 24:1-2).

8 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, saying.”

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