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Jeremiah 7:9-10

Context
7:9 You steal. 1  You murder. You commit adultery. You lie when you swear on oath. You sacrifice to the god Baal. You pay allegiance to 2  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 3  and say, “We are safe!” You think you are so safe that you go on doing all those hateful sins! 4 

Jeremiah 7:26-28

Context
7:26 But your ancestors 5  did not listen to me nor pay attention to me. They became obstinate 6  and were more wicked than even their own forefathers.’”

7:27 Then the Lord said to me, 7  “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you. When you call out to them, they will not respond to you. 7:28 So tell them: ‘This is a nation that has not obeyed the Lord their God and has not accepted correction. Faithfulness is nowhere to be found in it. These people do not even profess it anymore. 8 

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

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

3 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.

4 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…”

5 tn Or “But your predecessors…”; Heb “But they….” There is a confusing interchange in the pronouns in vv. 25-26 which has led to some leveling in the ancient versions and the modern English versions. What is involved here are four levels of referents, the “you” of the present generation (vv. 21-22a), the ancestors who were delivered from Egypt (i.e., the “they” of vv. 22b-24), the “you” of v. 25 which involves all the Israelites from the Exodus to the time of speaking, and the “they” of v. 26 which cannot be the ancestors of vv. 22-24 (since they cannot be more wicked than themselves) but must be an indefinite entity which is a part of the “you” of v. 25, i.e., the more immediate ancestors of the present generation. If this is kept in mind, there is no need to level the pronouns to “they” and “them” or to “you” and “your” as some of the ancient versions and modern English versions have done.

6 tn Heb “hardened [or made stiff] their neck.”

7 tn The words, “Then the Lord said to me” are not in the text but are implicit in the shift from the second and third person plural pronouns in vv. 21-26 and the second singular in this verse. The words are supplied in the translation for clarity.

8 tn Heb “Faithfulness has vanished. It is cut off from their lips.”

sn For the need for faithfulness see 5:1, 3.



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