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Jeremiah 9:1-3

Context

9:1 (8:23) 1  I wish that my head were a well full of water 2 

and my eyes were a fountain full of tears!

If they were, I could cry day and night

for those of my dear people 3  who have been killed.

9:2 (9:1) I wish I had a lodging place in the desert

where I could spend some time like a weary traveler. 4 

Then I would desert my people

and walk away from them

because they are all unfaithful to God,

a congregation 5  of people that has been disloyal to him. 6 

The Lord Laments That He Has No Choice But to Judge Them

9:3 The Lord says, 7 

“These people are like soldiers who have readied their bows.

Their tongues are always ready to shoot out lies. 8 

They have become powerful in the land,

but they have not done so by honest means. 9 

Indeed, they do one evil thing after another 10 

and do not pay attention to me. 11 

1 sn Beginning with 9:1, the verse numbers through 9:26 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 9:1 ET = 8:23 HT, 9:2 ET = 9:1 HT, 9:3 ET = 9:2 HT, etc., through 9:26 ET = 9:25 HT. Beginning with 10:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.

2 tn Heb “I wish that my head were water.”

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

4 tn Heb “I wish I had in the desert a lodging place [inn, or place to spend the night] for travelers.”

5 tn Or “bunch,” but this loses the irony; the word is used for the solemn assemblies at the religious feasts.

6 tn Heb “they are all adulterers, a congregation of unfaithful people.” However, spiritual adultery is, of course, meant, not literal adultery. So the literal translation would be misleading.

7 tn The words “The Lord says” have been moved up from the end of the verse to make clear that a change in speaker has occurred.

8 tn Heb “They have readied [or strung] their tongue as their bow for lies.”

9 tn Heb “but not through honesty.”

10 tn Heb “they go from evil to evil.”

11 tn Or “do not acknowledge me”; Heb “do not know me.” But “knowing” in Hebrew thought often involves more than intellectual knowledge; it involves emotional and volitional commitment as well. For יָדַע meaning “acknowledge” see 1 Chr 28:9; Isa 29:21; Hos 2:20; Prov 3:6. This word is also found in ancient Near Eastern treaty contexts where it has the idea of a vassal king acknowledging the sovereignty of a greater king (cf. H. Huffmon, “The Treaty Background of Hebrew yada,” BASOR 181 [1966]: 31-37).



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