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Jeremiah 32:26-35

Context
The Lord Answers Jeremiah’s Prayer

32:26 The Lord answered Jeremiah. 1  32:27 “I am the Lord, the God of all humankind. There is, indeed, nothing too difficult for me. 2  32:28 Therefore I, the Lord, say: 3  ‘I will indeed hand 4  this city over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonian army. 5  They will capture it. 32:29 The Babylonian soldiers 6  that are attacking this city will break into it and set it on fire. They will burn it down along with the houses where people have made me angry by offering sacrifices to the god Baal and by pouring out drink offerings to other gods on their rooftops. 7  32:30 This will happen because the people of Israel and Judah have repeatedly done what displeases me 8  from their earliest history until now 9  and because they 10  have repeatedly made me angry by the things they have done. 11  I, the Lord, affirm it! 12  32:31 This will happen because 13  the people of this city have aroused my anger and my wrath since the time they built it until now. 14  They have made me so angry that I am determined to remove 15  it from my sight. 32:32 I am determined to do so because the people of Israel and Judah have made me angry with all their wickedness – they, their kings, their officials, their priests, their prophets, and especially the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem 16  have done this wickedness. 17  32:33 They have turned away from me instead of turning to me. 18  I tried over and over again 19  to instruct them, but they did not listen and respond to correction. 20  32:34 They set up their disgusting idols in the temple which I have claimed for my own 21  and defiled it. 32:35 They built places of worship for the god Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they could sacrifice their sons and daughters to the god Molech. 22  Such a disgusting practice was not something I commanded them to do! It never even entered my mind to command them to do such a thing! So Judah is certainly liable for punishment.’ 23 

1 tn Heb “The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying.”

2 tn Heb “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” The question is rhetorical expecting an emphatic negative answer (cf. E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 949, citing the parallel in Gen 18:14). The Hebrew particle “Behold” (הִנֵּה, hinneh) introduces the grounds for this rhetorical negative (cf. T. O. Lambdin, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, 170, §135 [3]), i.e., “Since I am the Lord, the God of all mankind, there is indeed nothing too hard for me [or is there anything too hard for me?].”

sn This statement furnishes the grounds both for the assurance that the city will indeed be delivered over to Nebuchadnezzar (vv. 28-29a) and that it will be restored and repopulated (vv. 37-41). This can be seen from the parallel introductions in vv. 28, “Therefore the Lord says” and “Now therefore the Lord says.” As the creator of all and God of all mankind he has the power and authority to do with his creation what he wishes (cf. Jer 27:5-6).

3 tn Heb “Thus says the Lord.” However, the speech has already been introduced as first person. So the first person style has been retained for smoother narrative style.

4 tn Heb “Behold, I will give this city into the hand of…”

5 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

6 tn Heb “The Chaldeans.” See the study note on 21:4 for further explanation.

7 sn Compare Jer 19:13.

8 tn Heb “that which is evil in my eyes.” For this idiom see BDB 744 s.v. עַיִן 3.c and compare usage in 18:10.

9 tn Heb “from their youth.”

sn Compare Jer 3:24-25; 11:21. The nation is being personified and reference is made to her history from the time she left Egypt onward (cf. 2:2).

10 tn Heb “the people of Israel.” However, since “people of Israel” has been used in the preceding line for the northern kingdom as opposed to the kingdom of Judah, it might lead to confusion to translate literally. Moreover, the pronoun “they” accomplishes the same purpose.

11 tn Heb “by the work of their hands.” See the translator’s note on 25:6 and the parallelism in 25:14 for this rendering rather than referring it to the making of idols as in 1:16; 10:3.

12 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”

13 tn The statements in vv. 28-29 regarding the certain destruction of the city are motivated by three parallel causal clauses in vv. 30a, b, 31, the last of which extends through subordinate and coordinate clauses until the end of v. 35. An attempt has been made to bring out this structure by repeating the idea “This/it will happen” in front of each of these causal clauses in the English translation.

14 tn Heb “from the day they built it until this day.”

sn The Israelites did not in fact “build” Jerusalem. They captured it from the Jebusites in the time of David. This refers perhaps to the enlarging and fortifying of the city after it came into the hands of the Israelites (2 Sam 5:6-10).

15 tn Heb “For this city has been to me for a source of my anger and my wrath from the day they built it until this day so as remove it.” The preposition ְל (lamed) with the infinitive (Heb “so as to remove it”; לַהֲסִירָהּ, lahasirah) expresses degree (cf. R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 37, §199, and compare usage in 2 Sam 13:2).

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

17 tn Heb “remove it from my sight 32:33 because of all the wickedness of the children of Israel and the children of Judah which they have done to make me angry, they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” The sentence has been broken up in conformity with contemporary English style and an attempt has been made to preserve the causal connections.

18 tn Heb “they have turned [their] backs to me, not [their] faces.” Compare the same idiom in 2:27.

19 tn For the idiom involved here see the translator’s note on 7:13. The verb that introduces this clause is a Piel infinitive absolute which is functioning in place of the finite verb (see, e.g., GKC 346 §113.ff and compare usage in Jer 8:15; 14:19. This grammatical point means that the versions cited in BHS fn a may not be reading a different text after all, but may merely be interpreting the form as syntactically equivalent to a finite verb as the present translation has done.).

sn This refers to God teaching them through the prophets whom he has sent as indicated by the repeated use of this idiom elsewhere in 7:13, 25; 11:7; 25:3, 4; 26:5, 19.

20 tn Heb “But they were not listening so as to accept correction.”

21 tn Heb “the house which is called by my name.” Cf. 7:10, 11, 14 and see the translator’s note on 7:10 for the explanation for this rendering.

22 sn Compare Jer 7:30-31; 19:5 and the study notes on 7:30. The god Molech is especially associated with the practice of child sacrifice (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; 2 Kgs 23:10). In 1 Kgs 11:7 this god is identified as the god of the Ammonites who is also called Milcom in 1 Kgs 11:5; 2 Kgs 23:13. Child sacrifice, however, was not confined to this god; it was also made to the god Baal (Jer 19:5) and to other idols that the Israelites had set up (Ezek 16:20-21). This practice was, however, strictly prohibited in Israel (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; Deut 12:31; 18:10). It was this practice as well as other pagan rites that Manasseh had instituted in Judah that ultimately led to Judah’s demise (2 Kgs 24:3-4). Though Josiah tried to root these pagan practices (2 Kgs 23:4-14) out of Judah he could not do so. The people had only made a pretense of following his reforms; their hearts were still far from God (Jer 3:10; 12:2).

23 tn Heb “They built high places to Baal which are in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to cause their sons and daughters to pass through [the fire] to Molech [a thing] which I did not command them and [which] did not go up into my heart [= “mind” in modern psychology] to do this abomination so as to make Judah liable for punishment.” For the use of the Hiphil of חָטָא (khata’) to refer to the liability for punishment see BDB s.v. חָטָא Hiph.3 and compare the usage in Deut 24:8. Coming at the end as this does, this nuance is much more likely than “cause Judah to sin” which is the normal translation assigned to the verb here. The particle לְמַעַן (lÿmaan) that precedes it is here once again introducing a result and not a purpose (compare other clear examples in 27:10, 15). The sentence has been broken down in conformity to contemporary English style and an attempt has been made to make clear that what is detestable and not commanded is not merely child sacrifice to Molech but child sacrifice in general.



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