Jeremiah 12:9

NET ©

The people I call my own attack me like birds of prey or like hyenas. But other birds of prey are all around them. Let all the nations gather together like wild beasts. Let them come and destroy these people I call my own.

NIV ©

Has not my inheritance become to me like a speckled bird of prey that other birds of prey surround and attack? Go and gather all the wild beasts; bring them to devour.

NASB ©

"Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me? Are the birds of prey against her on every side? Go, gather all the beasts of the field, Bring them to devour!

NLT ©

My chosen people have become as disgusting to me as a vulture. And indeed, they are surrounded by vultures. Bring on the wild beasts to pick their corpses clean!

MSG ©

Has this one I hold dear become a preening peacock? But isn't she under attack by vultures? Then invite all the hungry animals at large, invite them in for a free meal!

BBE ©

My heritage is like a brightly coloured bird to me; the cruel birds are attacking her on every side: go, get together all the beasts of the field, make them come for destruction.

NRSV ©

Is the hyena greedy for my heritage at my command? Are the birds of prey all around her? Go, assemble all the wild animals; bring them to devour her.

NKJV ©

My heritage is to Me like a speckled vulture; The vultures all around are against her. Come, assemble all the beasts of the field, Bring them to devour!

KJV
Mine heritage
<05159>
[is] unto me [as] a speckled
<06641>
bird
<05861>_,
the birds
<05861>
round about
<05439>
[are] against her; come
<03212> (8798)
ye, assemble
<0622> (8798)
all the beasts
<02416>
of the field
<07704>_,
come
<0857> (8685)
to devour
<0402>_.
{speckled: or, taloned} {come to: or, cause them to come to}
HEBREW
hlkal
<0402>
wyth
<0857>
hdvh
<07704>
tyx
<02416>
lk
<03605>
wpoa
<0622>
wkl
<01980>
hyle
<05921>
bybo
<05439>
jyeh
<05861>
yl
<0>
ytlxn
<05159>
ewbu
<06641>
jyeh (12:9)
<05861>
LXXM
mh
<3165>  
ADV
sphlaion
<4693>  
N-NSN
uainhv
 
N-NSM
h
<3588>  
T-NSF
klhronomia
<2817>  
N-NSF
mou
<1473>  
P-GS
emoi
<1473>  
P-DS
h
<2228>  
CONJ
sphlaion
<4693>  
N-NSN
kuklw
 
N-DSM
authv
<846>  
D-GSF
badisate
 
V-AAD-2P
sunagagete
<4863>  
V-AAD-2P
panta
<3956>  
A-APN
ta
<3588>  
T-APN
yhria
<2342>  
N-APN
tou
<3588>  
T-GSM
agrou
<68>  
N-GSM
kai
<2532>  
CONJ
elyetwsan
<2064>  
V-AAD-3P
tou
<3588>  
T-GSN
fagein
<2068>  
V-AAN
authn
<846>  
D-ASF
NET © [draft] ITL
The people
<05159>
I call my own attack me like birds of prey
<05861>
or like hyenas
<06641>
. But other birds of prey
<05861>
are all around
<05439>
them. Let
<01980>
all
<03605>
the nations gather together
<0622>
like wild
<07704>
beasts
<02416>
. Let them come
<0857>
and destroy
<0402>
these people I call my own.
NET © Notes

tn Or “like speckled birds of prey.” The meanings of these words are uncertain. In the Hebrew text sentence is a question: “Is not my inheritance to me a bird of prey [or] a hyena/a speckled bird of prey?” The question expects a positive answer and so is rendered here as an affirmative statement. The meaning of the word “speckled” is debated. It occurs only here. BDB 840 s.v. צָבוּעַ relates it to another word that occurs only once in Judg 5:30 which is translated “dyed stuff.” HALOT 936 s.v. צָבוּעַ relates a word found in the cognates meaning “hyena.” This is more likely and is the interpretation followed by the Greek which reads the first two words as “cave of hyena.” This translation has led some scholars to posit a homonym for the word “bird of prey” meaning “cave” which is based on Arabic parallels. The metaphor would then be of Israel carried off by hyenas and surrounded by birds of prey. The evidence for the meaning “cave” is weak and would involve a wordplay of a rare homonym with another word that is better known. For a discussion of the issues see J. Barr, Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament, 128-29, 153.

tn Heb “Are birds of prey around her?” The question is again rhetorical and expects a positive answer. The birds of prey are of course the hostile nations surrounding her. The metaphor involved in these two lines may be interpreted differently. I.e., God considers Israel a proud bird of prey (hence the word for speckled) but one who is surrounded and under attack by other birds of prey. The fact that the sentences are divided into two rhetorical questions speaks somewhat against this.

tn Heb “Go, gather all the beasts of the field [= wild beasts]. Bring them to devour.” The verbs are masculine plural imperatives addressed rhetorically to some unidentified group (the heavenly counsel?) Cf. the notes on 5:1 for further discussion. Since translating literally would raise question about who the commands are addressed to, they have been turned into passive third person commands to avoid confusion. The metaphor has likewise been turned into a simile to help the modern reader. By the way, the imperatives here implying future action argue that the passage is future and that it is correct to take the verb forms as prophetic perfects.