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Jeremiah 27:16-22

Context

27:16 I also told the priests and all the people, “The Lord says, ‘Do not listen to what your prophets are saying. They are prophesying to you that 1  the valuable articles taken from the Lord’s temple will be brought back from Babylon very soon. 2  But they are prophesying a lie to you. 27:17 Do not listen to them. Be subject to the king of Babylon. Then you 3  will continue to live. Why should this city be made a pile of rubble?’” 4  27:18 I also told them, 5  “If they are really prophets and the Lord is speaking to them, 6  let them pray earnestly to the Lord who rules over all. 7  Let them plead with him not to let the valuable articles that are still left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace, and in Jerusalem be taken away 8  to Babylon. 27:19 For the Lord who rules over all 9  has already spoken about the two bronze pillars, 10  the large bronze basin called ‘The Sea,’ 11  and the movable bronze stands. 12  He has already spoken about the rest of the valuable articles that are left in this city. 27:20 He has already spoken about these things that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not take away when he carried Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem away as captives. 13  27:21 Indeed, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 14  has already spoken 15  about the valuable articles that are left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 27:22 He has said, ‘They will be carried off to Babylon. They will remain there until it is time for me to show consideration for them again. 16  Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ I, the Lord, affirm this!” 17 

1 tn Heb “don’t listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you….” The sentence has been broken up for the sake of English style and one level of embedded quotes has been eliminated to ease complexity.

2 sn This refers to the valuable articles of the temple treasury which were carried off by Nebuchadnezzar four years earlier when he carried off Jeconiah, his family, some of his nobles, and some of the cream of Judean society (2 Kgs 24:10-16, especially v. 13 and see also vv. 19-20 in the verses following).

3 tn The imperative with vav (ו) here and in v. 12 after another imperative are a good example of the use of the imperative to introduce a consequence. (See GKC 324-25 §110.f and see Gen 42:18. This is a common verb in this idiom.)

4 tn According to E. W. Bullinger (Figures of Speech, 954) both this question and the one in v. 13 are examples of rhetorical questions of prohibition / “don’t let this city be made a pile of rubble.”

5 tn The words “I also told them” are not in the text, but it is obvious from the fact that the Lord is spoken about in the third person in vv. 18, 19, 21 that he is not the speaker. This is part of Jeremiah’s own speech to the priests and the people (v. 16). These words are supplied in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “the word of the Lord is with them.”

7 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”

sn For the significance of this title see the study note on 2:19.

8 tn Heb “…speaking to them, let them entreat the Lord…so that the valuable articles…will not go to Babylon.” The long original sentence has been broken up for the sake of English style.

9 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.” For the significance of this title see the note at 2:19.

10 tn The words “two bronze” are not in the text. They have been supplied in the translation to help identify the referent.

sn The two bronze pillars are the two free-standing pillars at the entrance of the temple (Jakin and Boaz) described in 1 Kgs 7:15-22.

11 tn The words “the large bronze basin called” are not in the text. They have been supplied in the translation to help identify the referent.

sn “The Sea” refers to the large basin that was mounted on twelve bronze bulls. It stood in front of the temple and contained water for the priests to bathe themselves (2 Chr 4:6; cf. Exod 30:17-21). It is described in 1 Kgs 7:23-26.

12 tn The words “movable bronze” are not in the text. They have been supplied in the translation to help identify the referent. See the study note for further reference.

sn The bronze stands are the movable bronze stands described in 1 Kgs 7:27-37. They were the stands for the bronze basins described in 1 Kgs 7:38-39. According to 2 Chr 4:6 the latter were used to wash the burnt offerings. The priests would have been very concerned especially about the big bronze basin and the movable stands and their basins because they involved their ritual purification apart from which they would have had no sanctity. These articles (or furnishings in this case) were broken up and the bronze carried away to Babylon along with all the other bronze, silver, and gold furnishings when the temple and the city were destroyed in 587 b.c. (see 2 Kgs 25:13-15; Jer 52:17-19).

13 tn 27:19-20 are all one long sentence in Hebrew. It has been broken up for the sake of English style. Some of the sentences still violate contemporary English style (e.g., v. 20) but breaking them down any further would lose the focus. For further discussion see the study note on v. 21.

14 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” For the significance of this title see the note at 2:19.

15 sn Some of the flavor of the repetitive nature of Hebrew narrative is apparent in vv. 19-21. In the Hebrew original vv. 19-20 are all one long sentence with complex coordination and subordinations. I.e., all the objects in v. 19 are all objects of the one verb “has spoken about” and the description in v. 20 is one long relative or descriptive clause. The introductory “For the Lord…has already spoken” is repeated in v. 21 from v. 19 and reference is made to the same articles once again, only in the terms that were used in v. 18b. By this means, attention is focused for these people (here the priests and the people) on articles which were of personal concern for them and the climax or the punch line is delayed to the end. The point being made is that the false prophets are mistaken; not only will the articles taken to Babylon not be returned “very soon” but the Lord had said that the ones that remained would be taken there as well. They ought rather pray that the Lord will change his mind and not carry them off as well.

16 tn This verb is a little difficult to render here. The word is used in the sense of taking note of something and acting according to what is noticed. It is the word that has been translated several times throughout Jeremiah as “punish [someone].” It is also used in the opposite of sense of taking note and “show consideration for” (or “care for;” see, e.g., Ruth 1:6). Here the nuance is positive and is further clarified by the actions that follow, bringing them back and restoring them.

17 tn Heb “oracle of the Lord.”



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