"Am I only a God nearby," declares the LORD, "and not a God far away?
"Am I a God who is near," declares the LORD, "And not a God far off?
Am I a God who is only in one place?" asks the LORD. "Do they think I cannot see what they are doing?
"Am I not a God near at hand"--GOD's Decree--"and not a God far off?
Am I only a God who is near, says the Lord, and not a God at a distance?
Am I a God near by, says the LORD, and not a God far off?
" Am I a God near at hand," says the LORD, "And not a God afar off?
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The words “Do you people think” at the beginning of this verse and “Do you really think” at the beginning of the next verse are not in the text but are a way of trying to convey the nature of the rhetorical questions which expect a negative answer. They are also a way of trying to show that the verses are still connected with the preceding discussion addressed to the people (cf. 23:16, 20).
2 tn Heb “Am I a god nearby and not a god far off?” The question is sometimes translated as though there is an alternative being given in v. 23, one that covers both the ideas of immanence and transcendence (i.e., “Am I only a god nearby and not also a god far off?”). However, the hey interrogative (הַ) at the beginning of this verse and the particle (אִם, ’im) at the beginning of the next show that the linkage is between the question in v. 23 and that in v. 24a. According to BDB 210 s.v. הֲ 1.d both questions in this case expect a negative answer.
sn The thought that is expressed here must be viewed against the background of ancient Near Eastern thought where gods were connected with different realms, e.g., Baal, the god of wind, rain, and fertility, Mot, the god of drought, infertility, and death, Yam, the god of the sea and of chaos. Moreover, Baal was worshiped in local manifestations as the Baal of Peor, Baal of Gad, etc. Hence, Baal is sometimes spoken of in the singular and sometimes in the plural. The
3 tn Heb “Oracle of the