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Jeremiah 10:9

Context

10:9 Hammered-out silver is brought from Tarshish 1 

and gold is brought from Uphaz 2  to cover those idols. 3 

They are the handiwork of carpenters and goldsmiths. 4 

They are clothed in blue and purple clothes. 5 

They are all made by skillful workers. 6 

Jeremiah 10:14

Context

10:14 All these idolaters 7  will prove to be stupid and ignorant.

Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made.

For the image he forges is merely a sham. 8 

There is no breath in any of those idols. 9 

1 tc Two Qumran scrolls of Jeremiah (4QJera and 4QJerb) reflect a Hebrew text that is very different than the traditional MT from which modern Bibles have been translated. The Hebrew text in these two manuscripts is similar to that from which LXX was translated. This is true both in small details and in major aspects where the LXX differs from MT. Most notably, 4QJera, 4QJerb and LXX present a version of Jeremiah about 13% shorter than the longer version found in MT. One example of this shorter text is Jer 10:3-11 in which MT and 4QJera both have all nine verses, while LXX and 4QJerb both lack vv. 6-8 and 10, which extol the greatness of God. In addition, the latter part of v. 9 is arranged differently in LXX and 4QJerb. The translation here follows MT which is supported by 4QJera.

2 tn This is a place of unknown location. It is mentioned again in Dan 10:5. Many emend the word to “Ophir” following the Syriac version and the Aramaic Targum. Ophir was famous for its gold (cf. 1 Kgs 9:28; Job 28:16).

3 tn The words “to cover those idols” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

4 tn The words “They are” are not in the text. The text reads merely, “the work of the carpenter and of the hands of the goldsmith.” The words are supplied in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Heb “Blue and purple their clothing.”

6 sn There is an ironic pun in this last line. The Hebrew word translated “skillful workers” is the same word that is translated “wise people” in v. 7. The artisans do their work skillfully but they are not “wise.”

7 tn Heb “Every man.” But in the context this is not a reference to all people without exception but to all idolaters. The referent is made explicit for the sake of clarity.

8 tn Or “nothing but a phony god”; Heb “a lie/falsehood.”

9 tn Heb “There is no breath in them.” The referent is made explicit so that no one will mistakenly take it to refer to the idolaters or goldsmiths.



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