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Jeremiah 8:14-16

Jeremiah Laments over the Coming Destruction

8:14 The people say, 1 

“Why are we just sitting here?

Let us gather together inside the fortified cities. 2 

Let us at least die there fighting, 3 

since the Lord our God has condemned us to die.

He has condemned us to drink the poison waters of judgment 4 

because we have sinned against him. 5 

8:15 We hoped for good fortune, but nothing good has come of it.

We hoped for a time of relief, but instead we experience terror. 6 

8:16 The snorting of the enemy’s horses

is already being heard in the city of Dan.

The sound of the neighing of their stallions 7 

causes the whole land to tremble with fear.

They are coming to destroy the land and everything in it!

They are coming to destroy 8  the cities and everyone who lives in them!”

1 tn The words “The people say” are not in the text but are implicit in the shift of speakers between vv. 4-13 and vv. 14-16. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “Gather together and let us enter into the fortified cities.”

3 tn Heb “Let us die there.” The words “at least” and “fighting” are intended to bring out the contrast of passive surrender to death in the open country and active resistance to the death implicit in the context.

4 tn The words “of judgment” are not in the text but are intended to show that “poison water” is not literal but figurative of judgment at the hands of God through the agency of the enemy mentioned in v. 16.

5 tn Heb “against the Lord.” The switch is for the sake of smoothness in English.

6 tn Heb “[We hoped] for a time of healing but behold terror.”

7 tn Heb “his stallions.”

8 tn The words “They are coming to destroy” are not in the text. They are inserted to break up a long sentence in conformity with contemporary English style.

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