throughout the length and breadth of the land. 3
They are crying, ‘Is the Lord no longer in Zion?
Is her divine King 4 no longer there?’”
The Lord answers, 5
“Why then do they provoke me to anger with their images,
with their worthless foreign idols?” 6
and still we have not been delivered.’
I go about crying and grieving. I am overwhelmed with dismay. 11
There is still a physician there! 13
Why then have my dear people 14
not been restored to health? 15
2 tn Heb “Behold the voice of the crying of the daughter of my people.”
4 tn Heb “her King” but this might be misunderstood by some to refer to the Davidic ruler even with the capitalization.
5 tn The words, “The
6 sn The people’s cry and the
7 tn The words “They say” are not in the text; they are supplied in the translation to make clear that the lament of the people begun in v. 19b is continued here after the interruption of the
8 tn Heb “Harvest time has passed, the summer is over.”
sn This appears to be a proverbial statement for “time marches on.” The people appear to be expressing their frustration that the
10 tn Heb “Because of the crushing of the daughter of my people I am crushed.”
11 tn Heb “I go about in black [i.e., mourning clothes]. Dismay has seized me.”
12 tn Heb “balm.” The more familiar “ointment” has been used in the translation, supplemented with the adjective “medicinal.”
sn This medicinal ointment (Heb “balm”) consisted of the gum or resin from a tree that grows in Egypt and Palestine and was thought to have medicinal value (see also Jer 46:11).
13 tn Heb “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?” In this context the questions are rhetorical and expect a positive answer, which is made explicit in the translation.
sn The prophet means by this metaphor that there are still means available for healing the spiritual ills of his people, mainly repentance, obedience to the law, and sole allegiance to God, and still people available who will apply this medicine to them, namely prophets like himself.
15 tn Or more clearly, “restored to spiritual health”; Heb “Why then has healing not come to my dear people?”
sn Jeremiah is lamenting that though there is a remedy available for the recovery of his people they have not availed themselves of it.