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Jeremiah 7:3-7

Context
7:3 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 1  says: Change the way you have been living and do what is right. 2  If you do, I will allow you to continue to live in this land. 3  7:4 Stop putting your confidence in the false belief that says, 4  “We are safe! 5  The temple of the Lord is here! The temple of the Lord is here! The temple of the Lord is here!” 6  7:5 You must change 7  the way you have been living and do what is right. You must treat one another fairly. 8  7:6 Stop oppressing foreigners who live in your land, children who have lost their fathers, and women who have lost their husbands. 9  Stop killing innocent people 10  in this land. Stop paying allegiance to 11  other gods. That will only bring about your ruin. 12  7:7 If you stop doing these things, 13  I will allow you to continue to live in this land 14  which I gave to your ancestors as a lasting possession. 15 

1 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God Israel.”

sn Compare the use of similar titles in 2:19; 5:14; 6:6 and see the explanation in the study note at 2:19. In this instance the title appears to emphasize the Lord as the heavenly King who drags his disobedient vassals into court (and threatens them with judgment).

2 tn Or “Make good your ways and your actions.” J. Bright’s translation (“Reform the whole pattern of your conduct”; Jeremiah [AB], 52) is excellent.

3 tn Heb “place” but this might be misunderstood to refer to the temple.

4 tn Heb “Stop trusting in lying words which say.”

5 tn The words “We are safe!” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these (i.e., these buildings).” Elsewhere triple repetition seems to mark a kind of emphasis (cf. Isa 6:3; Jer 22:29; Ezek 21:27 [32 HT]). The triple repetition that follows seems to be Jeremiah’s way of mocking the (false) sense of security that people had in the invincibility of Jerusalem because God dwelt in the temple. They appeared to be treating the temple as some kind of magical charm. A similar feeling had grown up around the ark in the time of the judges (cf. 1 Sam 3:3) and the temple and city of Jerusalem in Micah’s day (cf. Mic 3:11). It is reflected also in some of the Psalms (cf., e.g., Ps 46, especially v. 5).

7 tn The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.

8 tn Heb “you must do justice between a person and his fellow/neighbor.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.

9 tn Heb “Stop oppressing foreigner, orphan, and widow.”

10 tn Heb “Stop shedding innocent blood.”

11 tn Heb “going/following after.” See the translator’s note at 2:5 for an explanation of the idiom involved here.

12 tn Heb “going after other gods to your ruin.”

13 tn The translation uses imperatives in vv. 5-6 followed by the phrase, “If you do all this,” to avoid the long and complex sentence structure of the Hebrew sentence which has a series of conditional clauses in vv. 5-6 followed by a main clause in v. 7.

14 tn Heb “live in this place, in this land.”

15 tn Heb “gave to your fathers [with reference to] from ancient times even unto forever.”



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