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Jeremiah 8:19

Context

8:19 I hear my dear people 1  crying out 2 

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 

Jeremiah 10:8

Context

10:8 The people of those nations 7  are both stupid and foolish.

Instruction from a wooden idol is worthless! 8 

Jeremiah 10:15

Context

10:15 They are worthless, mere objects to be mocked. 9 

When the time comes to punish them, they will be destroyed.

Jeremiah 14:22

Context

14:22 Do any of the worthless idols 10  of the nations cause rain to fall?

Do the skies themselves send showers?

Is it not you, O Lord our God, who does this? 11 

So we put our hopes in you 12 

because you alone do all this.”

Jeremiah 16:19

Context

16:19 Then I said, 13 

Lord, you give me strength and protect me.

You are the one I can run to for safety when I am in trouble. 14 

Nations from all over the earth

will come to you and say,

‘Our ancestors had nothing but false gods –

worthless idols that could not help them at all. 15 

Jeremiah 51:18

Context

51:18 They are worthless, objects to be ridiculed.

When the time comes to punish them, they will be destroyed.

1 tn Heb “daughter of my people.” For the translation given here see 4:11 and the note on the phrase “dear people” there.

2 tn Heb “Behold the voice of the crying of the daughter of my people.”

3 tn Heb “Land of distances, i.e., of wide extent.” For parallel usage cf. Isa 33:17.

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 Lord would answer” are not in the text but are implicit from the words that follow. They are supplied in the translation for clarity. Another option would be to add “And I can just hear the Lord reply.”

6 sn The people’s cry and the Lord’s interruption reflect the same argument that was set forth in the preceding chapter. They have misguided confidence that the Lord is with them regardless of their actions and he responds that their actions have provoked him to the point of judging them. See especially 7:4 and 7:30.

7 tn Or “Those wise people and kings are…” It is unclear whether the subject is the “they” of the nations in the preceding verse, or the wise people and kings referred to. The text merely has “they.”

8 tn Heb “The instruction of vanities [worthless idols] is wood.” The meaning of this line is a little uncertain. Various proposals have been made to make sense, most of which involve radical emendation of the text. For some examples see J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 323-24, fn 6. However, this is probably a case of the bold predication that discussed in GKC 452 §141.d, some examples of which may be seen in Ps 109:4 “I am prayer,” and Ps 120:7 “I am peace.”

9 tn Or “objects of mockery.”

10 tn The word הֶבֶל (hevel), often translated “vanities”, is a common pejorative epithet for idols or false gods. See already in 8:19 and 10:8.

11 tn Heb “Is it not you, O Lord our God?” The words “who does” are supplied in the translation for English style.

12 tn The rhetorical negatives are balanced by a rhetorical positive.

13 tn The words “Then I said” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation to show the shift from God, who has been speaking to Jeremiah, to Jeremiah, who here addresses God.

sn The shift here is consistent with the interruptions that have taken place in chapters 14 and 15 and in Jeremiah’s response to God’s condemnation of the people of Judah’s idolatry in chapter 10 (note especially vv. 6-16).

14 tn Heb “O Lord, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in the day of trouble. The literal which piles up attributes is of course more forceful than the predications. However, piling up poetic metaphors like this adds to the length of the English sentence and risks lack of understanding on the part of some readers. Some rhetorical force has been sacrificed for the sake of clarity.

15 tn Once again the translation has sacrificed some of the rhetorical force for the sake of clarity and English style: Heb “Only falsehood did our ancestors possess, vanity and [things in which?] there was no one profiting in them.”

sn This passage offers some rather forceful contrasts. The Lord is Jeremiah’s source of strength, security, and protection. The idols are false gods, worthless idols, that can offer no help at all.



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