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Jeremiah 7:4-11

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

7:8 “‘But just look at you! 13  You are putting your confidence in a false belief 14  that will not deliver you. 15  7:9 You steal. 16  You murder. You commit adultery. You lie when you swear on oath. You sacrifice to the god Baal. You pay allegiance to 17  other gods whom you have not previously known. 7:10 Then you come and stand in my presence in this temple I have claimed as my own 18  and say, “We are safe!” You think you are so safe that you go on doing all those hateful sins! 19  7:11 Do you think this temple I have claimed as my own 20  is to be a hideout for robbers? 21  You had better take note! 22  I have seen for myself what you have done! says the Lord.

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

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

3 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).

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

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

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

7 tn Heb “Stop shedding innocent blood.”

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

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

10 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.

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

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

13 tn Heb “Behold!”

14 tn Heb “You are trusting in lying words.” See the similar phrase in v. 4 and the note there.

15 tn Heb “not profit [you].”

16 tn Heb “Will you steal…then say, ‘We are safe’?” Verses 9-10 are one long sentence in the Hebrew text.

17 tn Heb “You go/follow after.” See the translator’s note at 2:5 for an explanation of the idiom involved here.

18 tn Heb “over which my name is called.” For this nuance of this idiom cf. BDB 896 s.v. קָרָא Niph.2.d(4) and see the usage in 2 Sam 12:28.

19 tn Or “‘We are safe!’ – safe, you think, to go on doing all those hateful things.” Verses 9-10 are all one long sentence in the Hebrew text. It has been broken up for English stylistic reasons. Somewhat literally it reads “Will you steal…then come and stand…and say, ‘We are safe’ so as to/in order to do…” The Hebrew of v. 9 has a series of infinitives which emphasize the bare action of the verb without the idea of time or agent. The effect is to place a kind of staccato like emphasis on the multitude of their sins all of which are violations of one of the Ten Commandments. The final clause in v. 8 expresses purpose or result (probably result) through another infinitive. This long sentence is introduced by a marker (ה interrogative in Hebrew) introducing a rhetorical question in which God expresses his incredulity that they could do these sins, come into the temple and claim the safety of his protection, and then go right back out and commit the same sins. J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 52) catches the force nicely: “What? You think you can steal, murder…and then come and stand…and say, ‘We are safe…’ just so that you can go right on…”

20 tn Heb “over which my name is called.” For this nuance of this idiom cf. BDB 896 s.v. קָרָא Niph.2.d(4) and see the usage in 2 Sam 12:28.

21 tn Heb “Is this house…a den/cave of robbers in your eyes?”

22 tn Heb “Behold!”



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