Children are gathering firewood, fathers are building fires with it, and women are mixing dough to bake cakes to offer to the goddess they call the Queen of Heaven. 1 They are also pouring out drink offerings to other gods. They seem to do all this just 2 to trouble me.
|NET © Notes||
1 tn The form for “queen” is unusual. It is pointed (מְלֶכֶת [mÿlekhet] instead of מַלְכַּת [malkat]) as though the Masoretes wanted to read the word for “work” (מְלֶאכֶת [mÿle’khet]), i.e., the “hosts of,” a word that several Hebrew
sn The Queen of Heaven is probably a reference to the goddess known as Ishtar in Mesopotamia, Anat in Canaan, Ashtoreth in Israel. She was the goddess of love and fertility. For further discussion, see G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 266-68.
2 tn Heb “to provoke me.” There is debate among grammarians and lexicographers about the nuance of the Hebrew particle לְמַעַן (lÿma’an). Some say it always denotes purpose, while others say it may denote either purpose or result, depending on the context. For example, BDB 775 s.v. לְמַעַן note 1 says that it always denotes purpose, never result, but that sometimes what is really a result is represented ironically as though it were a purpose. That explanation fits nicely here in the light of the context of the next verse. The translation is intended to reflect some of that ironic sarcasm.