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Jeremiah 5:1-2

Context
Judah is Justly Deserving of Coming Judgment

5:1 The Lord said, 1 

“Go up and down 2  through the streets of Jerusalem. 3 

Look around and see for yourselves.

Search through its public squares.

See if any of you can find a single person

who deals honestly and tries to be truthful. 4 

If you can, 5  then I will not punish this city. 6 

5:2 These people make promises in the name of the Lord. 7 

But the fact is, 8  what they swear to is really a lie.” 9 

1 tn These words are not in the text, but since the words at the end are obviously those of the Lord, they are supplied in the translation here to mark the shift in speaker from 4:29-31 where Jeremiah is the obvious speaker.

2 tn It is not clear who is being addressed here. The verbs are plural so they are not addressed to Jeremiah per se. Since the passage is talking about the people of Jerusalem, it is unlikely they are addressed here except perhaps rhetorically. Some have suggested that the heavenly court is being addressed here as in Job 1:6-8; 2:1-3. It is clear from Jer 23:18, 22; Amos 3:7 that the prophets had access to this heavenly counsel through visions (cf. 1 Kgs 22:19-23), so Jeremiah could have been privy to this speech through that means. Though these are the most likely addressee, it is too presumptuous to supply such an explicit addressee without clearer indication in the text. The translation will just have to run the risk of the probable erroneous assumption by most English readers that the addressee is Jeremiah.

3 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

4 tn Heb “who does justice and seeks faithfulness.”

5 tn Heb “squares. If you can find…if there is one person…then I will…”

6 tn Heb “forgive [or pardon] it.”

7 tn Heb “Though they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives.” The idea of “swear on oath” comes from the second line.

8 tc The translation follows many Hebrew mss and the Syriac version in reading “surely” (אָכֵן, ’akhen) instead of “therefore” (לָכֵן, lakhen) in the MT.

tn Heb “Surely.”

9 tn Heb “they swear falsely.”



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