1:1 The following is a record of what Jeremiah son of Hilkiah prophesied. 1 He was one of the priests who lived at Anathoth in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. 1:2 The Lord 2 began to speak to him 3 in the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amon ruled over Judah. 1:3 The Lord also spoke to him when Jehoiakim son of Josiah ruled over Judah, and he continued to speak to him until the fifth month of the eleventh year 4 that Zedekiah son of Josiah ruled over Judah. That was when the people of Jerusalem 5 were taken into exile. 6
1:4 The Lord said to me,
Before you were born I set you apart.
I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”
1:6 I answered, “Oh, Lord God, 9 I really 10 do not know how to speak well enough for that, 11 for I am too young.” 12 1:7 The Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ But go 13 to whomever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 1:8 Do not be afraid of those to whom I send you, 14 for I will be with you to protect 15 you,” says the Lord. 1:9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I will most assuredly give you the words you are to speak for me. 16 1:10 Know for certain that 17 I hereby give you the authority to announce to nations and kingdoms that they will be 18 uprooted and torn down, destroyed and demolished, rebuilt and firmly planted.” 19
1:11 Later the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I answered, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 1:12 Then the Lord said, “You have observed correctly. This means 20 I am watching to make sure my threats are carried out.” 21
1:13 The Lord again asked me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a pot of boiling water; it is tipped toward us from the north.” 22 1:14 Then the Lord said, “This means 23 destruction will break out from the north on all who live in the land. 1:15 For I will soon summon all the peoples of the kingdoms of the north,” says the Lord. “They will come and their kings will set up their thrones 24 near the entrances of the gates of Jerusalem. 25 They will attack all the walls surrounding it, and all the towns in Judah. 26 1:16 In this way 27 I will pass sentence 28 on the people of Jerusalem and Judah 29 because of all their wickedness. For they rejected me and offered sacrifices to other gods, worshiping what they made with their own hands.” 30
1:17 “But you, Jeremiah, 31 get yourself ready! 32 Go and tell these people everything I instruct you to say. Do not be terrified of them, or I will give you good reason to be terrified of them. 33 1:18 I, the Lord, 34 hereby promise to make you 35 as strong as a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall. You will be able to stand up against all who live in 36 the land, including the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and all the people of the land. 1:19 They will attack you but they will not be able to overcome you, for I will be with you to rescue you,” says the Lord.
2:1 The Lord spoke to me. He said: 2:2 “Go and declare in the hearing of the people of Jerusalem: 37 ‘This is what the Lord says: “I have fond memories of you, 38 how devoted you were to me in your early years. 39 I remember how you loved me like a new bride; you followed me through the wilderness, through a land that had never been planted. 2:3 Israel was set apart to the Lord; they were like the first fruits of a harvest to him. 40 All who tried to devour them were punished; disaster came upon them,” says the Lord.’”
all you family groups from the nation 42 of Israel.
2:5 This is what the Lord says:
“What fault could your ancestors 43 have possibly found in me
that they strayed so far from me? 44
2:6 They did not ask:
‘Where is the Lord who delivered us out of Egypt,
who brought us through the wilderness,
through a land of desert sands and rift valleys,
through a land of drought and deep darkness, 47
through a land in which no one travels,
and where no one lives?’ 48
so you could enjoy 50 its fruits and its rich bounty.
But when you entered my land, you defiled it; 51
you made the land I call my own 52 loathsome to me.
Your rulers rebelled against me.
Your prophets prophesied in the name of the god Baal. 57
They all worshiped idols that could not help them. 58
“I will also state it against your children and grandchildren. 60
Send someone east to Kedar 63 and have them look carefully.
See if such a thing as this has ever happened:
2:11 Has a nation ever changed its gods
(even though they are not really gods at all)?
But my people have exchanged me, their glorious God, 64
for a god that cannot help them at all! 65
Be shocked and utterly dumbfounded,”
says the Lord.
2:13 “Do so because my people have committed a double wrong:
they have rejected me,
the fountain of life-giving water, 67
and they have dug cisterns for themselves,
cracked cisterns which cannot even hold water.”
2:14 “Israel is not a slave, is he?
He was not born into slavery, was he? 68
If not, why then is he being carried off?
2:15 Like lions his enemies roar victoriously over him;
they raise their voices in triumph. 69
They have laid his land waste;
his cities have been burned down and deserted. 70
have cracked your skulls, people of Israel. 72
by deserting the Lord your God when he was leading you along the right path. 74
to seek help from the Egyptians? 77
What good will it do you 78 to go over to Assyria
to seek help from the Assyrians? 79
2:19 Your own wickedness will bring about your punishment.
Your unfaithful acts will bring down discipline on you. 80
Know, then, and realize how utterly harmful 81
it was for you to reject me, the Lord your God, 82
to show no respect for me,” 83
says the Lord God who rules over all. 84
and refused to be subject to me. 86
You said, ‘I will not serve you.’ 87
Instead, you gave yourself to other gods on every high hill
and under every green tree,
like a prostitute sprawls out before her lovers. 88
2:21 I planted you in the land
like a special vine of the very best stock.
Why in the world have you turned into something like a wild vine
that produces rotten, foul-smelling grapes? 89
2:22 You can try to wash away your guilt with a strong detergent.
You can use as much soap as you want.
But the stain of your guilt is still there for me to see,” 90
says the Lord God. 91
2:23 “How can you say, ‘I have not made myself unclean.
I have not paid allegiance to 92 the gods called Baal.’
Just look at the way you have behaved in the Valley of Hinnom! 93
Think about the things you have done there!
You are like a flighty, young female camel
that rushes here and there, crisscrossing its path. 94
2:24 You are like a wild female donkey brought up in the wilderness.
In her lust she sniffs the wind to get the scent of a male. 95
No one can hold her back when she is in heat.
None of the males need wear themselves out chasing after her.
At mating time she is easy to find. 96
2:25 Do not chase after other gods until your shoes wear out
and your throats become dry. 97
But you say, ‘It is useless for you to try and stop me
because I love those foreign gods 98 and want to pursue them!’
2:26 Just as a thief has to suffer dishonor when he is caught,
So will their kings and officials,
their priests and their prophets.
They say to a stone image, ‘You gave birth to me.’ 102
Yes, they have turned away from me instead of turning to me. 103
Yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’
2:28 But where are the gods you made for yourselves?
Let them save you when you are in trouble.
The sad fact is that 104 you have as many gods
as you have towns, Judah.
All of you have rebelled against me,”
says the Lord.
2:30 “It did no good for me to punish your people.
They did not respond to such correction.
You slaughtered your prophets
like a voracious lion.” 106
2:31 You people of this generation,
listen to what the Lord says.
“Have I been like a wilderness to you, Israel?
Have I been like a dark and dangerous land to you? 107
We will not come to you any more?’
2:32 Does a young woman forget to put on her jewels?
Does a bride forget to put on her bridal attire?
But my people have forgotten me
for more days than can even be counted.
2:33 “My, how good you have become
at chasing after your lovers! 110
Why, you could even teach prostitutes a thing or two! 111
2:34 Even your clothes are stained with
the lifeblood of the poor who had not done anything wrong;
you did not catch them breaking into your homes. 112
Yet, in spite of all these things you have done, 113
2:35 you say, ‘I have not done anything wrong,
so the Lord cannot really be angry with me any more.’
But, watch out! 114 I will bring down judgment on you
because you say, ‘I have not committed any sin.’
2:36 Why do you constantly go about
changing your political allegiances? 115
You will get no help from Egypt
just as you got no help from Assyria. 116
2:37 Moreover, you will come away from Egypt
with your hands covering your faces in sorrow and shame 117
because the Lord will not allow your reliance on them to be successful
and you will not gain any help from them. 118
3:1 “If a man divorces his wife
and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife,
he may not take her back again. 119
Doing that would utterly defile the land. 120
But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods. 121
So what makes you think you can return to me?” 122
says the Lord.
You have had sex with other gods on every one of them. 124
You waited for those gods like a thief lying in wait in the desert. 125
You defiled the land by your wicked prostitution to other gods. 126
3:3 That is why the rains have been withheld,
and the spring rains have not come.
Yet in spite of this you are obstinate as a prostitute. 127
You refuse to be ashamed of what you have done.
You have been my faithful companion ever since I was young.
3:5 You will not always be angry with me, will you?
You will not be mad at me forever, will you?’ 129
That is what you say,
but you continually do all the evil that you can.” 130
3:6 When Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord said to me, “Jeremiah, you have no doubt seen what wayward Israel has done. 131 You have seen how she went up to every high hill and under every green tree to give herself like a prostitute to other gods. 132 3:7 Yet even after she had done all that, I thought that she might come back to me. 133 But she did not. Her sister, unfaithful Judah, saw what she did. 134 3:8 She also saw 135 that I gave wayward Israel her divorce papers and sent her away because of her adulterous worship of other gods. 136 Even after her unfaithful sister Judah had seen this, 137 she still was not afraid, and she too went and gave herself like a prostitute to other gods. 138 3:9 Because she took her prostitution so lightly, she defiled the land 139 through her adulterous worship of gods made of wood and stone. 140 3:10 In spite of all this, 141 Israel’s sister, unfaithful Judah, has not turned back to me with any sincerity; she has only pretended to do so,” 142 says the Lord. 3:11 Then the Lord said to me, “Under the circumstances, wayward Israel could even be considered less guilty than unfaithful Judah. 143
‘Come back to me, wayward Israel,’ says the Lord.
‘I will not continue to look on you with displeasure. 145
For I am merciful,’ says the Lord.
‘I will not be angry with you forever.
and that you have rebelled against the Lord your God.
and have not obeyed my commands,’ says the Lord.
3:14 “Come back to me, my wayward sons,” says the Lord, “for I am your true master. 149 If you do, 150 I will take one of you from each town and two of you from each family group, and I will bring you back to Zion. 3:15 I will give you leaders 151 who will be faithful to me. 152 They will lead you with knowledge and insight. 3:16 In those days, your population will greatly increase 153 in the land. At that time,” says the Lord, “people will no longer talk about having the ark 154 that contains the Lord’s covenant with us. 155 They will not call it to mind, remember it, or miss it. No, that will not be done any more! 156 3:17 At that time the city of Jerusalem 157 will be called the Lord’s throne. All nations will gather there in Jerusalem to honor the Lord’s name. 158 They will no longer follow the stubborn inclinations of their own evil hearts. 159 3:18 At that time 160 the nation of Judah and the nation of Israel will be reunited. 161 Together they will come back from a land in the north to the land that I gave to your ancestors as a permanent possession. ” 162
‘Oh what a joy it would be for me to treat you like a son! 164
What a joy it would be for me to give 165 you a pleasant land,
the most beautiful piece of property there is in all the world!’ 166
I thought you would call me, ‘Father’ 167
and would never cease being loyal to me. 168
like an unfaithful wife who has left her husband,” 170
says the Lord.
3:21 “A noise is heard on the hilltops.
It is the sound of the people of Israel crying and pleading to their gods.
Indeed they have followed sinful ways; 171
they have forgotten to be true to the Lord their God. 172
3:22 Come back to me, you wayward people.
I want to cure your waywardness. 173
Say, 174 ‘Here we are. We come to you
because you are the Lord our God.
3:23 We know our noisy worship of false gods
on the hills and mountains did not help us. 175
We know that the Lord our God
is the only one who can deliver Israel. 176
3:24 From earliest times our worship of that shameful god, Baal,
It has taken away our flocks and our herds,
and even our sons and daughters.
Let us bear the disgrace that we deserve. 180
For we have sinned against the Lord our God,
both we and our ancestors.
From earliest times to this very day
we have not obeyed the Lord our God.’
4:1 “If you, Israel, want to come back,” says the Lord,
“if you want to come back to me 181
you must get those disgusting idols 182 out of my sight
and must no longer go astray. 183
4:2 You must be truthful, honest and upright
when you take an oath saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’ 184
If you do, 185 the nations will pray to be as blessed by him as you are
and will make him the object of their boasting.” 186
to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Like a farmer breaking up hard unplowed ground,
you must break your rebellious will and make a new beginning;
just as a farmer must clear away thorns lest the seed is wasted,
you must get rid of the sin that is ruining your lives. 188
4:4 Just as ritual circumcision cuts away the foreskin
as an external symbol of dedicated covenant commitment,
you must genuinely dedicate yourselves to the Lord
and get rid of everything that hinders your commitment to me, 189
people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem.
If you do not, 190 my anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you
that no one will be able to extinguish.
That will happen because of the evil you have done.”
‘Sound the trumpet 194 throughout the land!’
Shout out loudly,
‘Gather together! Let us flee into the fortified cities!’
Run for safety! Do not delay!
For I am about to bring disaster out of the north.
It will bring great destruction. 196
the one who destroys nations has set out from his home base. 198
He is coming out to lay your land waste.
Your cities will become ruins and lie uninhabited.
4:8 So put on sackcloth!
Mourn and wail, saying,
‘The fierce anger of the Lord
has not turned away from us!’” 199
“the king and his officials will lose their courage.
The priests will be struck with horror,
and the prophets will be speechless in astonishment.”
4:10 In response to all this 201 I said, “Ah, Lord God, 202 you have surely allowed 203 the people of Judah and Jerusalem 204 to be deceived by those who say, ‘You will be safe!’ 205 But in fact a sword is already at our throats.” 206
‘A scorching wind will sweep down
It will not be a gentle breeze
for winnowing the grain and blowing away the chaff. 210
Yes, even now I, myself, am calling down judgment on them.’ 212
The roar of his chariots is like that of a whirlwind. 214
His horses move more swiftly than eagles.”
so that you may yet be delivered.
How long will you continue to harbor up
wicked schemes within you?
4:15 For messengers are coming, heralding disaster,
from the city of Dan and from the hills of Ephraim. 218
‘Announce to the surrounding nations, 220
“The enemy is coming!” 221
Proclaim this message 222 to Jerusalem:
“Those who besiege cities 223 are coming from a distant land.
They are ready to raise the battle cry against 224 the towns in Judah.”’
like men guarding a field 226
because they have rebelled against me,”
says the Lord.
will bring this on you.
This is the punishment you deserve, and it will be painful indeed. 228
The pain will be so bad it will pierce your heart.” 229
“Oh, the feeling in the pit of my stomach! 231
I writhe in anguish.
Oh, the pain in my heart! 232
My heart pounds within me.
I cannot keep silent.
For I hear the sound of the trumpet; 233
the sound of the battle cry pierces my soul! 234
so that the whole land lies in ruins.
I see our 236 tents suddenly destroyed,
4:21 “How long must I see the enemy’s battle flags
and hear the military signals of their bugles?” 239
“This will happen 241 because my people are foolish.
They do not know me.
They are like children who have no sense. 242
They have no understanding.
They are skilled at doing evil.
They do not know how to do good.”
I looked up at the sky, and its light had vanished.
4:24 I looked at the mountains and saw that they were shaking.
All the hills were swaying back and forth!
and that all the birds in the sky had flown away.
4:26 I looked and saw that the fruitful land had become a desert
and that all of the cities had been laid in ruins.
The Lord had brought this all about
because of his blazing anger. 246
“The whole land will be desolate;
however, I will not completely destroy it.
4:28 Because of this the land will mourn
and the sky above will grow black. 248
For I have made my purpose known 249
and I will not relent or turn back from carrying it out.” 250
4:29 At the sound of the approaching horsemen and archers
the people of every town will flee.
Some of them will hide in the thickets.
Others will climb up among the rocks.
All the cities will be deserted.
No one will remain in them.
decking yourself out in jewels of gold,
and putting on eye shadow! 254
You are making yourself beautiful for nothing.
Your lovers spurn you.
They want to kill you. 255
a cry of anguish like that of a woman giving birth to her first baby.
It is the cry of Daughter Zion 257 gasping for breath,
My life is ebbing away before these murderers!”
Look around and see for yourselves.
Search through its public squares.
See if any of you can find a single person
who deals honestly and tries to be truthful. 263
But even when you punish these people, they feel no remorse. 270
Even when you nearly destroy them, they refuse to be corrected.
They have become as hardheaded as a rock. 271
They refuse to change their ways. 272
They act like fools because they do not know what the Lord demands. 274
They do not know what their God requires of them. 275
and speak with them.
Surely they know what the Lord demands. 277
Surely they know what their God requires of them.” 278
Yet all of them, too, have rejected his authority
and refuse to submit to him. 279
5:6 So like a lion from the thicket their enemies will kill them.
Like a wolf from the desert they will destroy them.
Like a leopard they will lie in wait outside their cities
and totally destroy anyone who ventures out. 280
For they have rebelled so much
and done so many unfaithful things. 281
“How can I leave you unpunished, Jerusalem? 283
Your people 284 have rejected me
and have worshiped gods that are not gods at all. 285
Each of them lusts after 291 his neighbor’s wife.
5:9 I will surely punish them for doing such things!” says the Lord.
“I will surely bring retribution on such a nation as this!” 292
“March through the vineyards of Israel and Judah and ruin them. 294
But do not destroy them completely.
Strip off their branches
for these people do not belong to the Lord. 295
have been very unfaithful to me,”
says the Lord.
They have said, ‘That is not so! 298
No harm will come to us.
We will not experience war and famine. 299
The Lord has not spoken through them. 301
So, let what they say happen to them.’”
I will make the words that I put in your mouth like fire.
And I will make this people like wood
which the fiery judgments you speak will burn up.” 307
I am about to bring a nation from far away to attack you.
It will be a nation that was founded long ago
and has lasted for a long time.
It will be a nation whose language you will not know.
Its people will speak words that you will not be able to understand.
Their arrows will send you to your grave. 312
5:17 They will eat up your crops and your food.
They will kill off 313 your sons and your daughters.
They will eat up your sheep and your cattle.
They will destroy your vines and your fig trees. 314
Their weapons will batter down 315
the fortified cities you trust in.
5:18 Yet even then 316 I will not completely destroy you,” says the Lord. 5:19 “So then, Jeremiah, 317 when your people 318 ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ tell them, ‘It is because you rejected me and served foreign gods in your own land. So 319 you must serve foreigners 320 in a land that does not belong to you.’
Make it known throughout Judah.
5:21 Tell them: ‘Hear this,
you foolish people who have no understanding,
who have eyes but do not discern,
who have ears but do not perceive: 323
5:22 “You should fear me!” says the Lord.
“You should tremble in awe before me! 324
I made the sand to be a boundary for the sea,
a permanent barrier that it can never cross.
Its waves may roll, but they can never prevail.
They may roar, but they can never cross beyond that boundary.” 325
5:23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts.
They have turned aside and gone their own way. 326
“Let us revere the Lord our God.
It is he who gives us the autumn rains and the spring rains at the proper time.
It is he who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.” 328
Your sins have deprived you of my bounty.’ 330
5:26 “Indeed, there are wicked scoundrels among my people.
They lie in wait like bird catchers hiding in ambush. 331
They set deadly traps 332 to catch people.
their houses are filled with the gains of their fraud and deceit. 334
That is how they have gotten so rich and powerful. 335
There is no limit to the evil things they do. 338
They do not plead the cause of the fatherless in such a way as to win it.
They do not defend the rights of the poor.
5:29 I will certainly punish them for doing such things!” says the Lord.
“I will certainly bring retribution on such a nation as this! 339
5:30 “Something horrible and shocking
is going on in the land of Judah:
5:31 The prophets prophesy lies.
The priests exercise power by their own authority. 340
And my people love to have it this way.
But they will not be able to help you when the time of judgment comes! 341
6:1 “Run for safety, people of Benjamin!
Get out of Jerusalem! 342
Sound the trumpet 343 in Tekoa!
Light the signal fires at Beth Hakkerem!
For disaster lurks 344 out of the north;
it will bring great destruction. 345
who is as delicate and defenseless as a young maiden. 348
They will encamp in siege all around it. 350
Each of them will devastate the portion assigned to him. 351
Come on! Let’s attack it at noon!’
The day is almost over
and the shadows of evening are getting long.
6:5 So come on, let’s go ahead and attack it by night
and destroy all its fortified buildings.’
‘Cut down the trees around Jerusalem
and build up a siege ramp against its walls. 358
This is the city which is to be punished. 359
Nothing but oppression happens in it. 360
6:7 As a well continually pours out fresh water
so it continually pours out wicked deeds. 361
Sounds of violence and destruction echo throughout it. 362
All I see are sick and wounded people.’ 363
or I will abandon you in disgust 365
and make you desolate,
a place where no one can live.”
“Those who remain in Israel will be
like the grapes thoroughly gleaned 368 from a vine.
So go over them again, as though you were a grape harvester
passing your hand over the branches one last time.” 369
“Who would listen
if I spoke to them and warned them? 371
Their ears are so closed 372
that they cannot hear!
Indeed, 373 what the Lord says is offensive to them.
They do not like it at all. 374
I am tired of trying to hold it in.”
The Lord answered, 376
“Vent it, then, 377 on the children who play in the street
and on the young men who are gathered together.
Husbands and wives are to be included, 378
as well as the old and those who are advanced in years.
6:12 Their houses will be turned over to others
as will their fields and their wives.
For I will unleash my power 379
against those who live in this land,”
says the Lord.
6:13 “That is because, from the least important to the most important of them,
all of them are greedy for dishonest gain.
Prophets and priests alike,
all of them practice deceit.
6:14 They offer only superficial help
for the harm my people have suffered. 380
They say, ‘Everything will be all right!’
But everything is not all right! 381
6:15 Are they ashamed because they have done such shameful things?
No, they are not at all ashamed.
They do not even know how to blush!
So they will die, just like others have died. 382
They will be brought to ruin when I punish them,”
says the Lord.
“You are standing at the crossroads. So consider your path. 384
Ask where the old, reliable paths 385 are.
Ask where the path is that leads to blessing 386 and follow it.
If you do, you will find rest for your souls.”
But they said, “We will not follow it!”
“I appointed prophets as watchmen to warn you, 388 saying:
‘Pay attention to the warning sound of the trumpet!’” 389
But they said, “We will not pay attention!”
“Hear, you nations!
Be witnesses and take note of what will happen to these people. 391
‘Take note! 393 I am about to bring disaster on these people.
It will come as punishment for their scheming. 394
For they have paid no attention to what I have said, 395
and they have rejected my law.
frankincense that comes from Sheba
or sweet-smelling cane imported from a faraway land.
I cannot accept the burnt offerings they bring me.
I get no pleasure from the sacrifices they offer to me.’ 398
6:21 So, this is what the Lord says:
Parents and children will stumble and fall to their destruction. 401
Friends and neighbors will die.’
6:22 “This is what the Lord says:
‘Beware! An army 402 is coming from a land in the north.
A mighty nation is stirring into action in faraway parts of the earth.
6:23 Its soldiers are armed with bows and spears.
They are cruel and show no mercy.
They sound like the roaring sea
as they ride forth on their horses.
Lined up in formation like men going into battle
to attack you, Daughter Zion.’” 403
We have become helpless with fear! 405
Anguish grips us,
agony like that of a woman giving birth to a baby!
6:25 Do not go out into the countryside.
Do not travel on the roads.
For the enemy is there with sword in hand. 406
They are spreading terror everywhere.” 407
and roll in ashes.
Mourn with painful sobs
as though you had lost your only child.
will come against us.”
“I have made you like a metal assayer
to test my people like ore. 413
You are to observe them
and evaluate how they behave.” 414
“All of them are the most stubborn of rebels! 416
They are as hard as bronze or iron.
They go about telling lies.
They all deal corruptly.
6:29 The fiery bellows of judgment burn fiercely.
But there is too much dross to be removed. 417
The process of refining them has proved useless. 418
The wicked have not been purged.
because the Lord rejects them.”
7:1 The Lord said to Jeremiah: 420 7:2 “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s temple and proclaim 421 this message: ‘Listen, all you people of Judah who have passed through these gates to worship the Lord. 422 Hear what the Lord has to say. 7:3 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 423 says: Change the way you have been living and do what is right. 424 If you do, I will allow you to continue to live in this land. 425 7:4 Stop putting your confidence in the false belief that says, 426 “We are safe! 427 The temple of the Lord is here! The temple of the Lord is here! The temple of the Lord is here!” 428 7:5 You must change 429 the way you have been living and do what is right. You must treat one another fairly. 430 7:6 Stop oppressing foreigners who live in your land, children who have lost their fathers, and women who have lost their husbands. 431 Stop killing innocent people 432 in this land. Stop paying allegiance to 433 other gods. That will only bring about your ruin. 434 7:7 If you stop doing these things, 435 I will allow you to continue to live in this land 436 which I gave to your ancestors as a lasting possession. 437
7:8 “‘But just look at you! 438 You are putting your confidence in a false belief 439 that will not deliver you. 440 7:9 You steal. 441 You murder. You commit adultery. You lie when you swear on oath. You sacrifice to the god Baal. You pay allegiance to 442 other gods whom you have not previously known. 7:10 Then you come and stand in my presence in this temple I have claimed as my own 443 and say, “We are safe!” You think you are so safe that you go on doing all those hateful sins! 444 7:11 Do you think this temple I have claimed as my own 445 is to be a hideout for robbers? 446 You had better take note! 447 I have seen for myself what you have done! says the Lord. 7:12 So, go to the place in Shiloh where I allowed myself to be worshiped 448 in the early days. See what I did to it 449 because of the wicked things my people Israel did. 7:13 You also have done all these things, says the Lord, and I have spoken to you over and over again. 450 But you have not listened! You have refused to respond when I called you to repent! 451 7:14 So I will destroy this temple which I have claimed as my own, 452 this temple that you are trusting to protect you. I will destroy this place that I gave to you and your ancestors, 453 just like I destroyed Shiloh. 454 7:15 And I will drive you out of my sight just like I drove out your relatives, the people of Israel.’” 455
7:16 Then the Lord said, 456 “As for you, Jeremiah, 457 do not pray for these people! Do not cry out to me or petition me on their behalf! Do not plead with me to save them, 458 because I will not listen to you. 7:17 Do you see 459 what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 460 7:18 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. 461 They are also pouring out drink offerings to other gods. They seem to do all this just 462 to trouble me. 7:19 But I am not really the one being troubled!” 463 says the Lord. “Rather they are bringing trouble on themselves to their own shame! 464 7:20 So,” the Lord God 465 says, “my raging fury will be poured out on this land. 466 It will be poured out on human beings and animals, on trees and crops. 467 And it will burn like a fire which cannot be extinguished.”
7:21 The Lord said to the people of Judah, 468 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 469 says: ‘You might as well go ahead and add the meat of your burnt offerings to that of the other sacrifices and eat it, too! 470 7:22 Consider this: 471 When I spoke to your ancestors after I brought them out of Egypt, I did not merely give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices. 7:23 I also explicitly commanded them: 472 “Obey me. If you do, I 473 will be your God and you will be my people. Live exactly the way I tell you 474 and things will go well with you.” 7:24 But they did not listen to me or pay any attention to me. They followed the stubborn inclinations of their own wicked hearts. They acted worse and worse instead of better. 475 7:25 From the time your ancestors departed the land of Egypt until now, 476 I sent my servants the prophets to you again and again, 477 day after day. 478 7:26 But your ancestors 479 did not listen to me nor pay attention to me. They became obstinate 480 and were more wicked than even their own forefathers.’”
7:27 Then the Lord said to me, 481 “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you. When you call out to them, they will not respond to you. 7:28 So tell them: ‘This is a nation that has not obeyed the Lord their God and has not accepted correction. Faithfulness is nowhere to be found in it. These people do not even profess it anymore. 482 7:29 So, mourn, 483 you people of this nation. 484 Cut off your hair and throw it away. Sing a song of mourning on the hilltops. For the Lord has decided to reject 485 and forsake this generation that has provoked his wrath!’” 486
7:30 The Lord says, “I have rejected them because 487 the people of Judah have done what I consider evil. 488 They have set up their disgusting idols in the temple 489 which I have claimed for my own 490 and have defiled it. 7:31 They have also built places of worship 491 in a place called Topheth 492 in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that they can sacrifice their sons and daughters by fire. That is something I never commanded them to do! Indeed, it never even entered my mind to command such a thing! 493 7:32 So, watch out!” 494 says the Lord. “The time will soon come when people will no longer call those places Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom. But they will call that valley 495 the Valley of Slaughter and they will bury so many people in Topheth they will run out of room. 496 7:33 Then the dead bodies of these people will be left on the ground for the birds and wild animals to eat. 497 There will not be any survivors to scare them away. 7:34 I will put an end to the sounds of joy and gladness, or the glad celebration of brides and grooms throughout the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. For the whole land will become a desolate wasteland.”
8:1 The Lord says, “When that time comes, 498 the bones of the kings of Judah and its leaders, the bones of the priests and prophets and of all the other people who lived in Jerusalem will be dug up from their graves. 8:2 They will be spread out and exposed to the sun, the moon and the stars. 499 These are things they 500 adored and served, things to which they paid allegiance, 501 from which they sought guidance, and worshiped. The bones of these people 502 will never be regathered and reburied. They will be like manure used to fertilize the ground. 503 8:3 However, I will leave some of these wicked people alive and banish them to other places. But wherever these people who survive may go, they will wish they had died rather than lived,” 504 says the Lord who rules over all. 505
“Tell them, ‘The Lord says,
Do people not get back up when they fall down?
Do they not turn around when they go the wrong way? 507
continually turn away from me in apostasy?
They hold fast to their deception. 509
They refuse to turn back to me. 510
but they do not speak honestly.
None of them regrets the evil he has done.
None of them says, “I have done wrong!” 512
All of them persist in their own wayward course 513
like a horse charging recklessly into battle.
8:7 Even the stork knows
when it is time to move on. 514
The turtledove, swallow, and crane 515
recognize 516 the normal times for their migration.
But my people pay no attention
8:8 How can you say, “We are wise!
We have the law of the Lord”?
to make it say what it does not really mean. 521
8:9 Your wise men will be put to shame.
They will be dumbfounded and be brought to judgment. 522
Since they have rejected the word of the Lord,
what wisdom do they really have?
and their fields to new owners.
For from the least important to the most important of them,
all of them are greedy for dishonest gain.
Prophets and priests alike,
all practice deceit.
8:11 They offer only superficial help
They say, “Everything will be all right!”
But everything is not all right! 526
8:12 Are they ashamed because they have done such disgusting things?
No, they are not at all ashamed!
They do not even know how to blush!
So they will die just like others have died. 527
They will be brought to ruin when I punish them,
says the Lord.
There will be no grapes on their vines.
There will be no figs on their fig trees.
Even the leaves on their trees will wither.
The crops that I gave them will be taken away.’” 529
“Why are we just sitting here?
Let us gather together inside the fortified cities. 531
Let us at least die there fighting, 532
since the Lord our God has condemned us to die.
He has condemned us to drink the poison waters of judgment 533
because we have sinned against him. 534
8:15 We hoped for good fortune, but nothing good has come of it.
We hoped for a time of relief, but instead we experience terror. 535
8:16 The snorting of the enemy’s horses
is already being heard in the city of Dan.
The sound of the neighing of their stallions 536
causes the whole land to tremble with fear.
They are coming to destroy the land and everything in it!
They are coming to destroy 537 the cities and everyone who lives in them!”
“Yes indeed, 539 I am sending an enemy against you
that will be like poisonous snakes which cannot be charmed away. 540
And they will inflict fatal wounds on you.” 541
“There is no cure 543 for my grief!
I am sick at heart!
throughout the length and breadth of the land. 546
They are crying, ‘Is the Lord no longer in Zion?
Is her divine King 547 no longer there?’”
The Lord answers, 548
“Why then do they provoke me to anger with their images,
with their worthless foreign idols?” 549
and still we have not been delivered.’
I go about crying and grieving. I am overwhelmed with dismay. 554
There is still a physician there! 556
Why then have my dear people 557
not been restored to health? 558
and my eyes were a fountain full of tears!
If they were, I could cry day and night
for those of my dear people 561 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. 562
Then I would desert my people
and walk away from them
because they are all unfaithful to God,
“These people are like soldiers who have readied their bows.
Their tongues are always ready to shoot out lies. 566
They have become powerful in the land,
but they have not done so by honest means. 567
Indeed, they do one evil thing after another 568
and do not pay attention to me. 569
9:4 Everyone must be on his guard around his friends.
He must not even trust any of his relatives. 570
For every one of them will find some way to cheat him. 571
And all of his friends will tell lies about him.
9:5 One friend deceives another
and no one tells the truth.
These people have trained themselves 572 to tell lies.
They do wrong and are unable to repent.
9:6 They do one act of violence after another,
and one deceitful thing after another. 573
They refuse to pay attention to me,” 574
says the Lord.
“I will now purify them in the fires of affliction 576 and test them.
The wickedness of my dear people 577 has left me no choice.
What else can I do? 578
They are always telling lies. 580
Friendly words for their neighbors come from their mouths.
But their minds are thinking up ways to trap them. 581
9:9 I will certainly punish them for doing such things!” says the Lord.
“I will certainly bring retribution on such a nation as this!” 582
I will sing a mournful song for the pastures in the wilderness
because they are so scorched no one travels through them.
The sound of livestock is no longer heard there.
Even the birds in the sky and the wild animals in the fields
have fled and are gone.”
“I will make Jerusalem 587 a heap of ruins.
Jackals will make their home there. 588
I will destroy the towns of Judah
so that no one will be able to live in them.”
“Who is wise enough to understand why this has happened? 590
Who has a word from the Lord that can explain it? 591
Why does the land lie in ruins?
Why is it as scorched as a desert through which no one travels?”
9:13 The Lord answered, “This has happened because these people have rejected my laws which I gave them. They have not obeyed me or followed those laws. 592 9:14 Instead they have followed the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts. They have paid allegiance to 593 the gods called Baal, 594 as their fathers 595 taught them to do. 9:15 So then, listen to what I, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all, 596 say. 597 ‘I will make these people eat the bitter food of suffering and drink the poison water of judgment. 598 9:16 I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors 599 have known anything about. I will send people chasing after them with swords 600 until I have destroyed them.’” 601
“Take note of what I say. 604
Call for the women who mourn for the dead!
Summon those who are the most skilled at it!” 605
Let them wail loudly until tears stream from our own eyes
and our eyelids overflow with water.
9:19 For the sound of wailing is soon to be heard in Zion.
For our houses have been torn down
and we must leave our land.’” 609
Open your ears to the words from his mouth.
Teach your daughters this mournful song,
and each of you teach your neighbor 613 this lament.
It has entered into our fortified houses.
It has taken away our children who play in the streets.
It has taken away our young men who gather in the city squares.’
9:22 Tell your daughters and neighbors, ‘The Lord says,
“The dead bodies of people will lie scattered everywhere
like manure scattered on a field.
They will lie scattered on the ground
like grain that has been cut down but has not been gathered.”’” 615
“Wise people should not boast that they are wise.
Powerful people should not boast that they are powerful. 617
Rich people should not boast that they are rich. 618
9:24 If people want to boast, they should boast about this:
They should boast that they understand and know me.
They should boast that they know and understand
that I, the Lord, act out of faithfulness, fairness, and justice in the earth
and that I desire people to do these things,” 619
says the Lord.
9:25 The Lord says, “Watch out! 620 The time is soon coming when I will punish all those who are circumcised only in the flesh. 621 9:26 That is, I will punish the Egyptians, the Judeans, the Edomites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, and all the desert people who cut their hair short at the temples. 622 I will do so because none of the people of those nations are really circumcised in the Lord’s sight. 623 Moreover, none of the people of Israel 624 are circumcised when it comes to their hearts.” 625
10:2 The Lord says,
“Do not start following pagan religious practices. 627
Do not be in awe of signs that occur 628 in the sky
even though the nations hold them in awe.
They cut down a tree in the forest,
and a craftsman makes it into an idol with his tools. 630
10:4 He decorates it with overlays of silver and gold.
He uses hammer and nails to fasten it 631 together
so that it will not fall over.
10:5 Such idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field.
They cannot talk.
They must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them
because they cannot hurt you.
And they do not have any power to help you.” 632
“There is no one like you, Lord. 634
You are great.
And you are renowned for your power. 635
because you deserve to be revered. 637
For there is no one like you
among any of the wise people of the nations nor among any of their kings. 638
Instruction from a wooden idol is worthless! 640
They are the handiwork of carpenters and goldsmiths. 644
They are clothed in blue and purple clothes. 645
They are all made by skillful workers. 646
10:10 The Lord is the only true God.
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
When he shows his anger the earth shakes.
None of the nations can stand up to his fury.
10:11 You people of Israel should tell those nations this:
‘These gods did not make heaven and earth.
He is the one who by his wisdom established the world.
And by his understanding he spread out the skies.
He makes the clouds rise from the far-off horizons. 651
He makes the lightning flash out in the midst of the rain.
He unleashes the wind from the places where he stores it. 652
Every goldsmith will be disgraced by the idol he made.
For the image he forges is merely a sham. 654
There is no breath in any of those idols. 655
When the time comes to punish them, they will be destroyed.
He is the one who created everything.
And the people of Israel are those he claims as his own. 659
He is known as the Lord who rules over all.” 660
10:17 Gather your belongings together and prepare to leave the land,
10:18 For the Lord says, “I will now throw out
those who live in this land.
I will bring so much trouble on them
that they will actually feel it.” 663
Our wound is severe!
We once thought, ‘This is only an illness.
And we will be able to bear it!’ 666
10:20 But our tents have been destroyed.
The ropes that held them in place have been ripped apart. 667
Our children are gone and are not coming back. 668
There is no survivor to put our tents back up,
no one left to hang their tent curtains in place.
They have not sought the Lord’s advice. 670
So they do not act wisely,
and the people they are responsible for 671 have all been scattered.
It is coming to turn the towns of Judah into rubble,
places where only jackals live.
It is not in their power to determine what will happen to them. 676
Do not punish us in anger or you will reduce us to nothing. 678
For they have destroyed the people of Jacob. 682
They have completely destroyed them 683
and left their homeland in utter ruin.
11:1 The Lord said to Jeremiah: 684 11:2 “Hear 685 the terms of the covenant 686 I made with Israel 687 and pass them on 688 to the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. 689 11:3 Tell them that the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘Anyone who does not keep the terms of the covenant will be under a curse. 690 11:4 Those are the terms that I charged your ancestors 691 to keep 692 when I brought them out of Egypt, that place which was like an iron-smelting furnace. 693 I said at that time, 694 “Obey me and carry out the terms of the agreement 695 exactly as I commanded you. If you do, 696 you will be my people and I will be your God. 697 11:5 Then I will keep the promise I swore on oath to your ancestors to give them a land flowing with milk and honey.” 698 That is the very land that you still live in today.’” 699 And I responded, “Amen! Let it be so, 700 Lord!”
11:6 The Lord said to me, “Announce all the following words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of my covenant with you 701 and carry them out! 11:7 For I solemnly warned your ancestors to obey me. 702 I warned them again and again, 703 ever since I delivered them out of Egypt until this very day. 11:8 But they did not listen to me or pay any attention to me! Each one of them followed the stubborn inclinations of his own wicked heart. So I brought on them all the punishments threatened in the covenant because they did not carry out its terms as I commanded them to do.’” 704
11:9 The Lord said to me, “The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem have plotted rebellion against me! 705 11:10 They have gone back to the evil ways 706 of their ancestors of old who refused to obey what I told them. They, too, have paid allegiance to 707 other gods and worshiped them. Both the nation of Israel and the nation of Judah 708 have violated the covenant I made with their ancestors. 11:11 So I, the Lord, say this: 709 ‘I will soon bring disaster on them which they will not be able to escape! When they cry out to me for help, I will not listen to them. 11:12 Then those living in the towns of Judah and in Jerusalem will 710 go and cry out for help to the gods to whom they have been sacrificing. However, those gods will by no means 711 be able to save them when disaster strikes them. 11:13 This is in spite of the fact that 712 the people of Judah have as many gods as they have towns 713 and the citizens of Jerusalem have set up as many altars to sacrifice to that disgusting god, Baal, as they have streets in the city!’ 714 11:14 So, Jeremiah, 715 do not pray for these people. Do not cry out to me or petition me on their behalf. Do not plead with me to save them. 716 For I will not listen to them when they call out to me for help when disaster strikes them.” 717
“What right do you have to be in my temple, my beloved people? 719
Many of you have done wicked things. 720
Can your acts of treachery be so easily canceled by sacred offerings 721
that you take joy in doing evil even while you make them? 722
one that produced beautiful fruit.
But I will set you 724 on fire,
fire that will blaze with a mighty roar. 725
Then all your branches will be good for nothing. 726
I now decree that disaster will come on you 729
because the nations of Israel and Judah have done evil
and have made me angry by offering sacrifices to the god Baal.” 730
Then he showed me what the people were doing. 732
11:19 Before this I had been like a docile lamb ready to be led to the slaughter.
I did not know they were making plans to kill me. 733
I did not know they were saying, 734
“Let’s destroy the tree along with its fruit! 735
Let’s remove Jeremiah 736 from the world of the living
so people will not even be reminded of him any more.” 737
“O Lord who rules over all, 739 you are a just judge!
You examine people’s hearts and minds. 740
I want to see you pay them back for what they have done
because I trust you to vindicate my cause.” 741
11:21 Then the Lord told me about 742 some men from Anathoth 743 who were threatening to kill me. 744 They had threatened, 745 “Stop prophesying in the name of the Lord or we will kill you!” 746 11:22 So the Lord who rules over all 747 said, “I will surely 748 punish them! Their young men will be killed in battle. 749 Their sons and daughters will die of starvation. 11:23 Not one of them will survive. 750 I will bring disaster on those men from Anathoth who threatened you. 751 A day of reckoning is coming for them.” 752
12:1 Lord, you have always been fair
whenever I have complained to you. 753
However, I would like to speak with you about the disposition of justice. 754
Why are wicked people successful? 755
Why do all dishonest people have such easy lives?
They grow prosperous and are very fruitful. 757
They always talk about you,
but they really care nothing about you. 758
12:3 But you, Lord, know all about me.
You watch me and test my devotion to you. 759
Drag these wicked men away like sheep to be slaughtered!
Appoint a time when they will be killed! 760
and the grass in every field be withered?
How long 762 must the animals and the birds die
because of the wickedness of the people who live in this land? 763
For these people boast,
“If you have raced on foot against men and they have worn you out,
how will you be able to compete with horses?
how will you manage in the thick undergrowth along the Jordan River? 769
and the members of your own family have betrayed you too.
Even they have plotted to do away with you. 771
So do not trust them even when they say kind things 772 to you.
I will forsake the people I call my own. 774
I will turn my beloved people 775
over to the power 776 of their enemies.
like a lion 778 in the forest.
They have roared defiantly 779 at me.
So I will treat them as though I hate them. 780
But other birds of prey are all around them. 782
Let all the nations gather together like wild beasts.
Let them come and destroy these people I call my own. 783
They will trample all over my chosen land. 786
They will turn my beautiful land
into a desolate wasteland.
12:11 They will lay it waste.
It will lie parched 787 and empty before me.
The whole land will be laid waste.
But no one living in it will pay any heed. 788
over the hilltops in the desert.
For the Lord will use them as his destructive weapon 790
against 791 everyone from one end of the land to the other.
No one will be safe. 792
They will work until they are exhausted, but will get nothing from it.
They will be disappointed in their harvests 794
because the Lord will take them away in his fierce anger. 795
12:14 “I, the Lord, also have something to say concerning 796 the wicked nations who surround my land 797 and have attacked and plundered 798 the land that I gave to my people as a permanent possession. 799 I say: ‘I will uproot the people of those nations from their lands and I will free the people of Judah who have been taken there. 800 12:15 But after I have uprooted the people of those nations, I will relent 801 and have pity on them. I will restore the people of each of those nations to their own lands 802 and to their own country. 12:16 But they must make sure you learn to follow the religious practices of my people. 803 Once they taught my people to swear their oaths using the name of the god Baal. 804 But then, they must swear oaths using my name, saying, “As surely as the Lord lives, I swear.” 805 If they do these things, 806 then they will be included among the people I call my own. 807 12:17 But I will completely uproot and destroy any of those nations that will not pay heed,’” 808 says the Lord.
13:1 The Lord said to me, “Go and buy some linen shorts 809 and put them on. 810 Do not put them in water.” 811 13:2 So I bought the shorts as the Lord had told me to do 812 and put them on. 813 13:3 Then the Lord spoke to me again and said, 814 13:4 “Take the shorts that you bought and are wearing 815 and go at once 816 to Perath. 817 Bury the shorts there 818 in a crack in the rocks.” 13:5 So I went and buried them at Perath 819 as the Lord had ordered me to do. 13:6 Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go at once to Perath and get 820 the shorts I ordered you to bury there.” 13:7 So I went to Perath and dug up 821 the shorts from the place where I had buried them. I found 822 that they were ruined; they were good for nothing.
13:8 Then the Lord said to me, 823 13:9 “I, the Lord, say: 824 ‘This shows how 825 I will ruin the highly exalted position 826 in which Judah and Jerusalem 827 take pride. 13:10 These wicked people refuse to obey what I have said. 828 They follow the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts and pay allegiance 829 to other gods by worshiping and serving them. So 830 they will become just like these linen shorts which are good for nothing. 13:11 For,’ I say, 831 ‘just as shorts cling tightly to a person’s body, so I bound the whole nation of Israel and the whole nation of Judah 832 tightly 833 to me.’ I intended for them to be my special people and to bring me fame, honor, and praise. 834 But they would not obey me.
13:12 “So tell them, 835 ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, says, “Every wine jar is made to be filled with wine.”’ 836 And they will probably say to you, ‘Do you not think we know 837 that every wine jar is supposed to be filled with wine?’ 13:13 Then 838 tell them, ‘The Lord says, “I will soon fill all the people who live in this land with stupor. 839 I will also fill the kings from David’s dynasty, 840 the priests, the prophets, and the citizens of Jerusalem with stupor. 841 13:14 And I will smash them like wine bottles against one another, children and parents alike. 842 I will not show any pity, mercy, or compassion. Nothing will keep me from destroying them,’ 843 says the Lord.”
“Listen and pay attention! Do not be arrogant!
For the Lord has spoken.
Do it before he brings the darkness of disaster. 846
Do it before you stumble 847 into distress
like a traveler on the mountains at twilight. 848
Do it before he turns the light of deliverance you hope for
into the darkness and gloom of exile. 849
I will weep alone because of your arrogant pride.
I will weep bitterly and my eyes will overflow with tears 851
“Tell the king and the queen mother,
‘Surrender your thrones, 855
for your glorious crowns
No one will be able to go in or out of them. 859
All Judah will be carried off into exile.
They will be completely carried off into exile.’” 860
“Look up, Jerusalem, 862 and see
the enemy 863 that is coming from the north.
Where now is the flock of people that were entrusted to your care? 864
Where now are the ‘sheep’ that you take such pride in? 865
that you, yourself, had actually prepared as such? 868
Then anguish and agony will grip you
like that of a woman giving birth to a baby. 869
‘Why have these things happened to me?
Why have I been treated like a disgraced adulteress
whose skirt has been torn off and her limbs exposed?’ 871
It is because you have sinned so much. 872
13:23 But there is little hope for you ever doing good,
you who are so accustomed to doing evil.
Can an Ethiopian 873 change the color of his skin?
Can a leopard remove its spots? 874
‘That is why I will scatter your people 876 like chaff
that is blown away by a desert wind. 877
13:25 This is your fate,
the destiny to which I have appointed you,
because you have forgotten me
and have trusted in false gods.
13:26 So I will pull your skirt up over your face
and expose you to shame like a disgraced adulteress! 878
your shameless prostitution to, and your lustful pursuit of, other gods. 880
I have seen your disgusting acts of worship 881
on the hills throughout the countryside.
You are doomed to destruction! 882
How long will you continue to be unclean?’”
14:2 “The people of Judah are in mourning.
The people in her cities are pining away.
They lie on the ground expressing their sorrow. 886
14:3 The leading men of the cities send their servants for water.
They go to the cisterns, 889 but they do not find any water there.
They return with their containers 890 empty.
Disappointed and dismayed, they bury their faces in their hands. 891
because there has been no rain in the land.
The farmers, too, are dismayed
and bury their faces in their hands.
because there is no grass.
14:6 Wild donkeys stand on the hilltops
and pant for breath like jackals.
Their eyes are strained looking for food,
because there is none to be found.” 894
“O Lord, intervene for the honor of your name 896
even though our sins speak out against us. 897
Indeed, 898 we have turned away from you many times.
We have sinned against you.
14:8 You have been the object of Israel’s hopes.
You have saved them when they were in trouble.
Why have you become like a resident foreigner 899 in the land?
Why have you become like a traveler who only stops in to spend the night?
like a champion 901 who cannot save anyone?
You are indeed with us, 902
and we belong to you. 903
Do not abandon us!”
“They truly 905 love to go astray.
They cannot keep from running away from me. 906
So I am not pleased with them.
and punish them for their sins.”
14:11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for good to come to these people! 909 14:12 Even if they fast, I will not hear their cries for help. Even if they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. 910 Instead, I will kill them through wars, famines, and plagues.” 911
14:13 Then I said, “Oh, Lord God, 912 look! 913 The prophets are telling them that you said, 914 ‘You will not experience war or suffer famine. 915 I will give you lasting peace and prosperity in this land.’” 916
14:14 Then the Lord said to me, “Those prophets are prophesying lies while claiming my authority! 917 I did not send them. I did not commission them. 918 I did not speak to them. They are prophesying to these people false visions, worthless predictions, 919 and the delusions of their own mind. 14:15 I did not send those prophets, though they claim to be prophesying in my name. They may be saying, ‘No war or famine will happen in this land.’ But I, the Lord, say this about 920 them: ‘War and starvation will kill those prophets.’ 921 14:16 The people to whom they are prophesying will die through war and famine. Their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem 922 and there will be no one to bury them. This will happen to the men and their wives, their sons, and their daughters. 923 For I will pour out on them the destruction they deserve.” 924
‘My eyes overflow with tears
day and night without ceasing. 926
For my people, my dear children, 927 have suffered a crushing blow.
They have suffered a serious wound. 928
14:18 If I go out into the countryside,
I see those who have been killed in battle.
If I go into the city,
I see those who are sick because of starvation. 929
For both prophet and priest go about their own business
in the land without having any real understanding.’” 930
14:19 Then I said,
“Lord, 931 have you completely rejected the nation of Judah?
Do you despise 932 the city of Zion?
Why have you struck us with such force
that we are beyond recovery? 933
We hope for peace, but nothing good has come of it.
We hope for a time of relief from our troubles, but experience terror. 934
14:20 Lord, we confess that we have been wicked.
We confess that our ancestors have done wrong. 935
We have indeed 936 sinned against you.
Do not treat with disdain the place where your glorious throne sits. 939
Be mindful of your covenant with us. Do not break it! 940
Do the skies themselves send showers?
Is it not you, O Lord our God, who does this? 942
So we put our hopes in you 943
because you alone do all this.”
15:1 Then the Lord said to me, “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for 944 these people, I would not feel pity for them! 945 Get them away from me! Tell them to go away! 946 15:2 If they ask you, ‘Where should we go?’ tell them the Lord says this:
“Those who are destined to die of disease will go to death by disease.
Those who are destined to die in war will go to death in war.
Those who are destined to die of starvation will go to death by starvation.
Those who are destined to go into exile will go into exile.” 947
15:3 “I will punish them in four different ways: I will have war kill them. I will have dogs drag off their dead bodies. I will have birds and wild beasts devour and destroy their corpses. 948 15:4 I will make all the people in all the kingdoms of the world horrified at what has happened to them because of what Hezekiah’s son Manasseh, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem.” 949
“Who in the world 951 will have pity on you, Jerusalem?
Who will grieve over you?
Who will stop long enough 952
to inquire about how you are doing? 953
You keep turning your back on me.’ 955
I have grown tired of feeling sorry for you!” 958
“In every town in the land I will purge them
like straw blown away by the wind. 960
I will destroy my people.
I will kill off their children.
I will do so because they did not change their behavior. 961
than the grains of sand on the seashores.
At noontime I will bring a destroyer
against the mothers of their young men. 963
I will cause anguish 964 and terror
to fall suddenly upon them. 965
All the breath will go out of her. 967
Her pride and joy will be taken from her in the prime of their life.
It will seem as if the sun had set while it was still day. 968
She will suffer shame and humiliation. 969
I will cause any of them who are still left alive
to be killed in war by the onslaughts of their enemies,” 970
says the Lord.
“Oh, mother, how I regret 972 that you ever gave birth to me!
I am always starting arguments and quarrels with the people of this land. 973
I have not lent money to anyone and I have not borrowed from anyone.
Yet all of these people are treating me with contempt.” 974
15:11 The Lord said,
“Jerusalem, 975 I will surely send you away for your own good.
I will surely 976 bring the enemy upon you in a time of trouble and distress.
15:12 Can you people who are like iron and bronze
break that iron fist from the north? 977
15:13 I will give away your wealth and your treasures as plunder.
I will give it away free of charge for the sins you have committed throughout your land.
For my anger is like a fire that will burn against you.”
“Lord, you know how I suffer. 980
Take thought of me and care for me.
Pay back for me those who have been persecuting me.
Do not be so patient with them that you allow them to kill me.
Be mindful of how I have put up with their insults for your sake.
and they filled my heart with joy and happiness
because I belong to you. 982
15:17 I did not spend my time in the company of other people,
laughing and having a good time.
I stayed to myself because I felt obligated to you 983
and because I was filled with anger at what they had done.
15:18 Why must I continually suffer such painful anguish?
Why must I endure the sting of their insults like an incurable wound?
Will you let me down when I need you
like a brook one goes to for water, but that cannot be relied on?” 984
“You must repent of such words and thoughts!
If you do, I will restore you to the privilege of serving me. 986
If you say what is worthwhile instead of what is worthless,
I will again allow you to be my spokesman. 987
They must become as you have been.
You must not become like them. 988
15:20 I will make you as strong as a wall to these people,
a fortified wall of bronze.
They will attack you,
but they will not be able to overcome you.
For I will be with you to rescue you and deliver you,” 989
says the Lord.
15:21 “I will deliver you from the power of the wicked.
I will free you from the clutches of violent people.”
16:1 The Lord said to me, 16:2 “Do not get married and do not have children here in this land. 16:3 For I, the Lord, tell you what will happen to 990 the children who are born here in this land and to the men and women who are their mothers and fathers. 991 16:4 They will die of deadly diseases. No one will mourn for them. They will not be buried. Their dead bodies will lie like manure spread on the ground. They will be killed in war or die of starvation. Their corpses will be food for the birds and wild animals.
16:5 “Moreover I, the Lord, tell you: 992 ‘Do not go into a house where they are having a funeral meal. Do not go there to mourn and express your sorrow for them. For I have stopped showing them my good favor, 993 my love, and my compassion. I, the Lord, so affirm it! 994 16:6 Rich and poor alike will die in this land. They will not be buried or mourned. People will not cut their bodies or shave off their hair to show their grief for them. 995 16:7 No one will take any food to those who mourn for the dead to comfort them. No one will give them any wine to drink to console them for the loss of their father or mother.
16:8 “‘Do not go to a house where people are feasting and sit down to eat and drink with them either. 16:9 For I, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all, tell you what will happen. 996 I will put an end to the sounds of joy and gladness, to the glad celebration of brides and grooms in this land. You and the rest of the people will live to see this happen.’” 997
16:10 “When you tell these people about all this, 998 they will undoubtedly ask you, ‘Why has the Lord threatened us with such great disaster? What wrong have we done? What sin have we done to offend the Lord our God?’ 16:11 Then tell them that the Lord says, 999 ‘It is because your ancestors 1000 rejected me and paid allegiance to 1001 other gods. They have served them and worshiped them. But they have rejected me and not obeyed my law. 1002 16:12 And you have acted even more wickedly than your ancestors! Each one of you has followed the stubborn inclinations of your own wicked heart and not obeyed me. 1003 16:13 So I will throw you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your ancestors have ever known. There you must worship other gods day and night, for I will show you no mercy.’”
16:14 Yet 1004 I, the Lord, say: 1005 “A new time will certainly come. 1006 People now affirm their oaths with ‘I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the people of Israel out of Egypt.’ 16:15 But in that time they will affirm them with ‘I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the people of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other lands where he had banished them.’ At that time I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors.” 1007
16:16 But for now I, the Lord, say: 1008 “I will send many enemies who will catch these people like fishermen. After that I will send others who will hunt them out like hunters from all the mountains, all the hills, and the crevices in the rocks. 1009 16:17 For I see everything they do. Their wicked ways are not hidden from me. Their sin is not hidden away where I cannot see it. 1010 16:18 Before I restore them 1011 I will punish them in full 1012 for their sins and the wrongs they have done. For they have polluted my land with the lifeless statues of their disgusting idols. They have filled the land I have claimed as my own 1013 with their detestable idols.” 1014
“Lord, you give me strength and protect me.
You are the one I can run to for safety when I am in trouble. 1016
Nations from all over the earth
will come to you and say,
‘Our ancestors had nothing but false gods –
worthless idols that could not help them at all. 1017
16:20 Can people make their own gods?
No, what they make are not gods at all.” 1018
“So I will now let this wicked people know –
I will let them know my mighty power in judgment.
Then they will know that my name is the Lord.” 1020
on their stone-hard 1022 hearts.
It is inscribed with a diamond 1023 point
on the horns of their altars. 1024
and their sacred poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah, 1027
set up beside the green trees on the high hills
I will give your wealth and all your treasures away as plunder.
I will give it away as the price 1029 for the sins you have committed throughout your land.
which I gave to you as a permanent possession.
I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you know nothing about.
For you have made my anger burn like a fire that will never be put out.” 1031
17:5 The Lord says,
“I will put a curse on people
who trust in mere human beings,
who depend on mere flesh and blood for their strength, 1033
and whose hearts 1034 have turned away from the Lord.
They will not experience good things even when they happen.
It will be as though they were growing in the desert,
in a salt land where no one can live.
17:7 My blessing is on those people who trust in me,
who put their confidence in me. 1036
17:8 They will be like a tree planted near a stream
whose roots spread out toward the water.
It has nothing to fear when the heat comes.
Its leaves are always green.
It has no need to be concerned in a year of drought.
It does not stop bearing fruit.
17:9 The human mind is more deceitful than anything else.
It is incurably bad. 1037 Who can understand it?
17:10 I, the Lord, probe into people’s minds.
I examine people’s hearts. 1038
I deal with each person according to how he has behaved.
I give them what they deserve based on what they have done.
17:11 The person who gathers wealth by unjust means
is like the partridge that broods over eggs but does not hatch them. 1039
Before his life is half over he will lose his ill-gotten gains. 1040
At the end of his life it will be clear he was a fool.” 1041
“Lord, from the very beginning
you have been seated on your glorious throne on high.
You are the place where we can find refuge.
All who leave you will suffer shame.
For they have rejected you, the Lord, the fountain of life. 1046
17:14 Lord, grant me relief from my suffering
so that I may have some relief.
Rescue me from those who persecute me
so that I may be rescued. 1047
They are saying, “Where are the things the Lord threatens us with?
Come on! Let’s see them happen!” 1049
I have not desired the time of irreparable devastation. 1051
You know that.
You are fully aware of every word that I have spoken. 1052
You are my source of safety in times of trouble.
17:18 May those who persecute me be disgraced.
Do not let me be disgraced.
May they be dismayed.
Do not let me be dismayed.
Bring days of disaster on them.
Bring on them the destruction they deserve.” 1054
17:19 The Lord told me, “Go and stand in the People’s Gate 1056 through which the kings of Judah enter and leave the city. Then go and stand in all the other gates of the city of Jerusalem. 1057 17:20 As you stand in those places 1058 announce, ‘Listen, all you people who pass through these gates. Listen, all you kings of Judah, all you people of Judah and all you citizens of Jerusalem. Listen to what the Lord says. 1059 17:21 The Lord says, ‘Be very careful if you value your lives! 1060 Do not carry any loads 1061 in through 1062 the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. 17:22 Do not carry any loads out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath day. 1063 But observe the Sabbath day as a day set apart to the Lord, 1064 as I commanded your ancestors. 1065 17:23 Your ancestors, 1066 however, did not listen to me or pay any attention to me. They stubbornly refused 1067 to pay attention or to respond to any discipline.’ 17:24 The Lord says, 1068 ‘You must make sure to obey me. You must not bring any loads through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day. You must set the Sabbath day apart to me. You must not do any work on that day. 17:25 If you do this, 1069 then the kings and princes who follow in David’s succession 1070 and ride in chariots or on horses will continue to enter through these gates, as well as their officials and the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. 1071 This city will always be filled with people. 1072 17:26 Then people will come here from the towns in Judah, from the villages surrounding Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin, from the western foothills, from the southern hill country, and from the southern part of Judah. They will come bringing offerings to the temple of the Lord: burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings, and incense along with their thank offerings. 1073 17:27 But you must obey me and set the Sabbath day apart to me. You must not carry any loads in through 1074 the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. If you disobey, I will set the gates of Jerusalem on fire. It will burn down all the fortified dwellings in Jerusalem and no one will be able to put it out.’”
18:1 The Lord said to Jeremiah: 1075 18:2 “Go down at once 1076 to the potter’s house. I will speak to you further there.” 1077 18:3 So I went down to the potter’s house and found him working 1078 at his wheel. 1079 18:4 Now and then 1080 there would be something wrong 1081 with the pot he was molding from the clay 1082 with his hands. So he would rework 1083 the clay into another kind of pot as he saw fit. 1084
18:5 Then the Lord said to me, 1085 18:6 “I, the Lord, say: 1086 ‘O nation of Israel, can I not deal with you as this potter deals with the clay? 1087 In my hands, you, O nation of Israel, are just like the clay in this potter’s hand.’ 18:7 There are times, Jeremiah, 1088 when I threaten to uproot, tear down, and destroy a nation or kingdom. 1089 18:8 But if that nation I threatened stops doing wrong, 1090 I will cancel the destruction 1091 I intended to do to it. 18:9 And there are times when I promise to build up and establish 1092 a nation or kingdom. 18:10 But if that nation does what displeases me and does not obey me, then I will cancel the good I promised to do to it. 18:11 So now, tell the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem 1093 this: The Lord says, ‘I am preparing to bring disaster on you! I am making plans to punish you. 1094 So, every one of you, stop the evil things you have been doing. 1095 Correct the way you have been living and do what is right.’ 1096 18:12 But they just keep saying, ‘We do not care what you say! 1097 We will do whatever we want to do! We will continue to behave wickedly and stubbornly!’” 1098
18:13 Therefore, the Lord says,
“Ask the people of other nations
whether they have heard of anything like this.
Israel should have been like a virgin.
But she has done something utterly revolting!
18:14 Does the snow ever completely vanish from the rocky slopes of Lebanon?
Do the cool waters from those distant mountains ever cease to flow? 1099
18:15 Yet my people have forgotten me
and offered sacrifices to worthless idols!
This makes them stumble along in the way they live
and leave the old reliable path of their fathers. 1100
They have left them to walk in bypaths,
in roads that are not smooth and level. 1101
People will forever hiss out their scorn over it.
All who pass that way will be filled with horror
and will shake their heads in derision. 1103
18:17 I will scatter them before their enemies
like dust blowing in front of a burning east wind.
I will turn my back on them and not look favorably on them 1104
when disaster strikes them.”
18:18 Then some people 1105 said, “Come on! Let us consider how to deal with Jeremiah! 1106 There will still be priests to instruct us, wise men to give us advice, and prophets to declare God’s word. 1107 Come on! Let’s bring charges against him and get rid of him! 1108 Then we will not need to pay attention to anything he says.”
“Lord, pay attention to me.
Listen to what my enemies are saying. 1110
18:20 Should good be paid back with evil?
Yet they are virtually digging a pit to kill me. 1111
Just remember how I stood before you
pleading on their behalf 1112
to keep you from venting your anger on them. 1113
18:21 So let their children die of starvation.
Let them be cut down by the sword. 1114
Let their wives lose their husbands and children.
Let the older men die of disease 1115
and the younger men die by the sword in battle.
18:22 Let cries of terror be heard in their houses
when you send bands of raiders unexpectedly to plunder them. 1116
For they have virtually dug a pit to capture me
and have hidden traps for me to step into.
18:23 But you, Lord, know
all their plots to kill me.
Do not pardon their crimes!
Do not ignore their sins as though you had erased them! 1117
Let them be brought down in defeat before you!
Deal with them while you are still angry! 1118
19:1 The Lord told Jeremiah, 1119 “Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. 1120 Take with you 1121 some of the leaders of the people and some of the leaders 1122 of the priests. 19:2 Go out to the part of the Hinnom Valley which is near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. 1123 Announce there what I tell you. 1124 19:3 Say, ‘Listen to what the Lord says, you kings of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem! 1125 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 1126 says, “I will bring a disaster on this place 1127 that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it ring! 1128 19:4 I will do so because these people 1129 have rejected me and have defiled 1130 this place. They have offered sacrifices in it to other gods which neither they nor their ancestors 1131 nor the kings of Judah knew anything about. They have filled it with the blood of innocent children. 1132 19:5 They have built places here 1133 for worship of the god Baal so that they could sacrifice their children as burnt offerings to him in the fire. Such sacrifices 1134 are something I never commanded them to make! They are something I never told them to do! Indeed, such a thing never even entered my mind! 19:6 So I, the Lord, say: 1135 “The time will soon come that people will no longer call this place Topheth or the Hinnom Valley. But they will call this valley 1136 the Valley of Slaughter! 19:7 In this place I will thwart 1137 the plans of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. I will deliver them over to the power of their enemies who are seeking to kill them. They will die by the sword 1138 at the hands of their enemies. 1139 I will make their dead bodies food for the birds and wild beasts to eat. 19:8 I will make this city an object of horror, a thing to be hissed at. All who pass by it will be filled with horror and will hiss out their scorn 1140 because of all the disasters that have happened to it. 1141 19:9 I will reduce the people of this city to desperate straits during the siege imposed on it by their enemies who are seeking to kill them. I will make them so desperate that they will eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters and the flesh of one another.”’” 1142
19:10 The Lord continued, 1143 “Now break the jar in front of those who have come here with you. 19:11 Tell them the Lord who rules over all says, 1144 ‘I will do just as Jeremiah has done. 1145 I will smash this nation and this city as though it were a potter’s vessel which is broken beyond repair. 1146 The dead will be buried here in Topheth until there is no more room to bury them.’ 1147 19:12 I, the Lord, say: 1148 ‘That is how I will deal with this city and its citizens. I will make it like Topheth. 19:13 The houses in Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will be defiled by dead bodies 1149 just like this place, Topheth. For they offered sacrifice to the stars 1150 and poured out drink offerings to other gods on the roofs of those houses.’”
19:14 Then Jeremiah left Topheth where the Lord had sent him to give that prophecy. He went to the Lord’s temple and stood 1151 in its courtyard and called out to all the people. 19:15 “The Lord God of Israel who rules over all 1152 says, ‘I will soon bring on this city and all the towns surrounding it 1153 all the disaster I threatened to do to it. I will do so because they have stubbornly refused 1154 to pay any attention to what I have said!’”
20:1 Now Pashhur son of Immer heard Jeremiah prophesy these things. He was the priest who was chief of security 1155 in the Lord’s temple. 20:2 When he heard Jeremiah’s prophecy, he had the prophet flogged. 1156 Then he put him in the stocks 1157 which were at the Upper Gate of Benjamin in the Lord’s temple. 1158 20:3 But the next day Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks. When he did, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s name for you is not ‘Pashhur’ but ‘Terror is Everywhere.’ 1159 20:4 For the Lord says, ‘I will make both you and your friends terrified of what will happen to you. 1160 You will see all of them die by the swords of their enemies. 1161 I will hand all the people of Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will carry some of them away into exile in Babylon and he will kill others of them with the sword. 20:5 I will hand over all the wealth of this city to their enemies. I will hand over to them all the fruits of the labor of the people of this city and all their prized possessions, as well as all the treasures of the kings of Judah. Their enemies will seize it all as plunder 1162 and carry it off to Babylon. 20:6 You, Pashhur, and all your household 1163 will go into exile in Babylon. You will die there and you will be buried there. The same thing will happen to all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.’” 1164
20:7 Lord, you coerced me into being a prophet,
and I allowed you to do it.
You overcame my resistance and prevailed over me. 1165
Now I have become a constant laughingstock.
Everyone ridicules me.
“Violence and destruction are coming!” 1168
This message from the Lord 1169 has made me
an object of continual insults and derision.
20:9 Sometimes I think, “I will make no mention of his message.
I will not speak as his messenger 1170 any more.”
But then 1171 his message becomes like a fire
locked up inside of me, burning in my heart and soul. 1172
I grow weary of trying to hold it in;
I cannot contain it.
Those who would cause me terror are everywhere! 1174
They are saying, “Come on, let’s publicly denounce him!” 1175
All my so-called friends 1176 are just watching for
something that would lead to my downfall. 1177
They say, “Perhaps he can be enticed into slipping up,
so we can prevail over 1178 him and get our revenge on him.
Therefore those who persecute me will fail and will not prevail over me.
They will be thoroughly disgraced because they did not succeed.
Their disgrace will never be forgotten.
You see into people’s hearts and minds. 1181
Pay them back for what they have done
because I trust you to vindicate my cause.
20:13 Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord!
For he rescues the oppressed from the clutches of evildoers. 1182
20:14 Cursed be the day I was born!
May that day not be blessed when my mother gave birth to me. 1183
20:15 Cursed be the man
who made my father very glad
when he brought him the news
that a baby boy had been born to him! 1184
that the Lord destroyed without showing any mercy.
May he hear a cry of distress in the morning
and a battle cry at noon.
20:17 For he did not kill me before I came from the womb,
making my pregnant mother’s womb my grave forever. 1186
20:18 Why did I ever come forth from my mother’s womb?
All I experience is trouble and grief,
and I spend my days in shame. 1187
21:1 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah 1188 when King Zedekiah 1189 sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. 1190 Zedekiah sent them to Jeremiah to ask, 1191 21:2 “Please ask the Lord to come and help us, 1192 because King Nebuchadnezzar 1193 of Babylon is attacking us. Maybe the Lord will perform one of his miracles as in times past and make him stop attacking us and leave.” 1194 21:3 Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah 21:4 that the Lord, the God of Israel, says, 1195 ‘The forces at your disposal 1196 are now outside the walls fighting against King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the Babylonians 1197 who have you under siege. I will gather those forces back inside the city. 1198 21:5 In anger, in fury, and in wrath I myself will fight against you with my mighty power and great strength! 1199 21:6 I will kill everything living in Jerusalem, 1200 people and animals alike! They will die from terrible diseases. 21:7 Then 1201 I, the Lord, promise that 1202 I will hand over King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, and any of the people who survive the war, starvation, and disease. I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will slaughter them with the sword. He will not show them any mercy, compassion, or pity.’
21:8 “But 1203 tell the people of Jerusalem 1204 that the Lord says, ‘I will give you a choice between two courses of action. One will result in life; the other will result in death. 1205 21:9 Those who stay in this city will die in battle or of starvation or disease. Those who leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians who are besieging it will live. They will escape with their lives. 1206 21:10 For I, the Lord, say that 1207 I am determined not to deliver this city but to bring disaster on it. 1208 It will be handed over to the king of Babylon and he will destroy it with fire.’” 1209
“Listen to what the Lord says,
The Lord says:
Deliver those who have been robbed from those 1215 who oppress them.
Otherwise, my wrath will blaze out against you.
It will burn like a fire that cannot be put out
because of the evil that you have done. 1216
‘You boast, “No one can swoop down on us.
No one can penetrate into our places of refuge.” 1220
21:14 But I will punish you as your deeds deserve,’
says the Lord. 1221
‘I will set fire to your palace;
it will burn up everything around it.’” 1222
22:1 The Lord told me, 1223 “Go down 1224 to the palace of the king of Judah. Give him a message from me there. 1225 22:2 Say: ‘Listen, O king of Judah who follows in David’s succession. 1226 You, your officials, and your subjects who pass through the gates of this palace must listen to what the Lord says. 1227 22:3 The Lord says, “Do what is just and right. Deliver those who have been robbed from those 1228 who oppress them. Do not exploit or mistreat foreigners who live in your land, children who have no fathers, or widows. 1229 Do not kill innocent people 1230 in this land. 22:4 If you are careful to 1231 obey these commands, then the kings who follow in David’s succession and ride in chariots or on horses will continue to come through the gates of this palace, as will their officials and their subjects. 1232 22:5 But, if you do not obey these commands, I solemnly swear 1233 that this palace will become a pile of rubble. I, the Lord, affirm it!” 1234
22:6 “‘For the Lord says concerning the palace of the king of Judah,
“This place looks like a veritable forest of Gilead to me.
It is like the wooded heights of Lebanon in my eyes.
But I swear that I will make it like a wilderness
whose towns have all been deserted. 1235
with their axes and hatchets.
They will hack up its fine cedar panels and columns
and throw them into the fire.
22:8 “‘People from other nations will pass by this city. They will ask one another, “Why has the Lord done such a thing to this great city?” 22:9 The answer will come back, “It is because they broke their covenant with the Lord their God and worshiped and served other gods.”
22:10 “‘Do not weep for the king who was killed.
Do not grieve for him.
But weep mournfully for the king who has gone into exile.
For he will never return to see his native land again. 1237
22:11 “‘For the Lord has spoken about Shallum son of Josiah, who succeeded his father as king of Judah but was carried off into exile. He has said, “He will never return to this land. 1238 22:12 For he will die in the country where they took him as a captive. He will never see this land again.” 1239
and treats people unfairly while adding its upper rooms. 1241
He makes his countrymen work for him for nothing.
He does not pay them for their labor.
22:14 He says, “I will build myself a large palace
with spacious upper rooms.”
He cuts windows in its walls,
22:15 Does it make you any more of a king
that you outstrip everyone else in 1244 building with cedar?
Just think about your father.
He was content that he had food and drink. 1245
He did what was just and right. 1246
So things went well with him.
22:16 He upheld the cause of the poor and needy.
So things went well for Judah.’ 1247
The Lord says,
‘That is a good example of what it means to know me.’ 1248
22:17 But you are always thinking and looking
for ways to increase your wealth by dishonest means.
Your eyes and your heart are set
on killing some innocent person
and committing fraud and oppression. 1249
People will not mourn for him, saying,
“This makes me sad, my brother!
This makes me sad, my sister!”
They will not mourn for him, saying,
“Poor, poor lord! Poor, poor majesty!” 1251
22:19 He will be left unburied just like a dead donkey.
His body will be dragged off and thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem.’” 1252
Go to the land of Bashan and cry out loudly.
Cry out in mourning from the mountains of Moab. 1254
For your allies 1255 have all been defeated.
But you said, “I refuse to listen to you.”
That is the way you have acted from your earliest history onward. 1257
Indeed, you have never paid attention to me.
Your allies will go into captivity.
Then you will certainly 1259 be disgraced and put to shame
because of all the wickedness you have done.
22:23 You may feel as secure as a bird
nesting in the cedars of Lebanon.
They will be like those of a woman giving birth to a baby. 1262
“As surely as I am the living God, you, Jeconiah, 1264 king of Judah, son of Jehoiakim, will not be the earthly representative of my authority. Indeed, I will take that right away from you. 1265 22:25 I will hand you over to those who want to take your life and of whom you are afraid. I will hand you over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his Babylonian 1266 soldiers. 22:26 I will force you and your mother who gave you birth into exile. You will be exiled to 1267 a country where neither of you were born, and you will both die there. 22:27 You will never come back to this land to which you will long to return!” 1268
22:28 This man, Jeconiah, will be like a broken pot someone threw away.
Why will he and his children be forced into exile?
Why will they be thrown out into a country they know nothing about? 1271
Listen to what the Lord has to say!
22:30 The Lord says,
“Enroll this man in the register as though he were childless. 1273
Enroll him as a man who will not enjoy success during his lifetime.
For none of his sons will succeed in occupying the throne of David
or ever succeed in ruling over Judah.”
23:1 The Lord says, 1274 “The leaders of my people are sure to be judged. 1275 They were supposed to watch over my people like shepherds watch over their sheep. But they are causing my people to be destroyed and scattered. 1276 23:2 So the Lord God of Israel has this to say about the leaders who are ruling over his people: “You have caused my people 1277 to be dispersed and driven into exile. You have not taken care of them. So I will punish you for the evil that you have done. 1278 I, the Lord, affirm it! 1279 23:3 Then I myself will regather those of my people 1280 who are still alive from all the countries where I have driven them. I will bring them back to their homeland. 1281 They will greatly increase in number. 23:4 I will install rulers 1282 over them who will care for them. Then they will no longer need to fear or be terrified. None of them will turn up missing. 1283 I, the Lord, promise it! 1284
when I will raise up for them a righteous branch, 1287 a descendant of David.
He will rule over them with wisdom and understanding 1288
and will do what is just and right in the land. 1289
and Israel will live in security. 1292
This is the name he will go by:
‘The Lord has provided us with justice.’ 1293
23:7 “So I, the Lord, say: 1294 ‘A new time will certainly come. 1295 People now affirm their oaths with “I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the people of Israel out of Egypt.” 23:8 But at that time they will affirm them with “I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the descendants of the former nation of Israel 1296 from the land of the north and from all the other lands where he had banished 1297 them.” 1298 At that time they will live in their own land.’”
My heart and my mind are deeply disturbed.
I tremble all over. 1301
I am like a drunk person,
like a person who has had too much wine, 1302
because of the way the Lord
and his holy word are being mistreated. 1303
They live wicked lives and they misuse their power. 1305
The pastures in the wilderness are withered.
“Both the prophets and priests are godless.
I have even found them doing evil in my temple!
23:12 So the paths they follow will be dark and slippery.
They will stumble and fall headlong.
For I will bring disaster on them.
A day of reckoning is coming for them.” 1310
The Lord affirms it! 1311
doing something that was disgusting. 1314
They prophesied in the name of the god Baal
and led my people Israel astray. 1315
doing something just as shocking.
They are unfaithful to me
and continually prophesy lies. 1317
So they give encouragement to people who are doing evil,
with the result that they do not stop their evildoing. 1318
I consider all of them as bad as the people of Sodom,
and the citizens of Jerusalem as bad as the people of Gomorrah. 1319
have something to say concerning the prophets of Jerusalem: 1321
‘I will make these prophets eat the bitter food of suffering
and drink the poison water of judgment. 1322
For the prophets of Jerusalem are the reason 1323
that ungodliness 1324 has spread throughout the land.’”
“Do not listen to what
those prophets are saying to you.
They are filling you with false hopes.
They are reporting visions of their own imaginations,
not something the Lord has given them to say. 1327
‘Things will go well for you!’ 1330
They say to all those who follow the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts,
‘Nothing bad will happen to you!’
Which of them have ever paid attention or listened to what he has said?
will come like a storm! 1335
Like a raging storm it will rage down 1336
on the heads of those who are wicked.
23:20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back
until he has fully carried out his intended purposes. 1337
In days to come 1338
you people will come to understand this clearly. 1339
23:21 I did not send those prophets.
Yet they were in a hurry to give their message. 1340
I did not tell them anything.
Yet they prophesied anyway.
they would have proclaimed my message to my people.
They would have caused my people to turn from their wicked ways
and stop doing the evil things they are doing.
23:24 “Do you really think anyone can hide himself
where I cannot see him?” the Lord asks. 1345
“Do you not know that I am everywhere?” 1346
the Lord asks. 1347
23:25 The Lord says, 1348 “I have heard what those prophets who are prophesying lies in my name are saying. They are saying, ‘I have had a dream! I have had a dream!’ 1349 23:26 Those prophets are just prophesying lies. They are prophesying the delusions of their own minds. 1350 23:27 How long will they go on plotting 1351 to make my people forget who I am 1352 through the dreams they tell one another? That is just as bad as what their ancestors 1353 did when they forgot who I am by worshiping the god Baal. 1354 23:28 Let the prophet who has had a dream go ahead and tell his dream. Let the person who has received my message report that message faithfully. What is like straw cannot compare to what is like grain! 1355 I, the Lord, affirm it! 1356 23:29 My message is like a fire that purges dross! 1357 It is like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces! 1358 I, the Lord, so affirm it! 1359 23:30 So I, the Lord, affirm 1360 that I am opposed to those prophets who steal messages from one another that they claim are from me. 1361 23:31 I, the Lord, affirm 1362 that I am opposed to those prophets who are using their own tongues to declare, ‘The Lord declares….’ 1363 23:32 I, the Lord, affirm 1364 that I am opposed to those prophets who dream up lies and report them. They are misleading my people with their reckless lies. 1365 I did not send them. I did not commission them. They are not helping these people at all. 1366 I, the Lord, affirm it!” 1367
23:33 The Lord said to me, “Jeremiah, 1368 when one of these people, or a prophet, or a priest asks you, ‘What burdensome message 1369 do you have from the Lord?’ Tell them, ‘You are the burden, 1370 and I will cast you away. 1371 I, the Lord, affirm it! 1372 23:34 I will punish any prophet, priest, or other person who says “The Lord’s message is burdensome.” 1373 I will punish both that person and his whole family.’” 1374
23:35 So I, Jeremiah, tell you, 1375 “Each of you people should say to his friend or his relative, ‘How did the Lord answer? Or what did the Lord say?’ 1376 23:36 You must no longer say that the Lord’s message is burdensome. 1377 For what is ‘burdensome’ 1378 really pertains to what a person himself says. 1379 You are misrepresenting 1380 the words of our God, the living God, the Lord who rules over all. 1381 23:37 Each of you should merely ask the prophet, ‘What answer did the Lord give you? Or what did the Lord say?’ 1382 23:38 But just suppose you continue to say, ‘The message of the Lord is burdensome.’ Here is what the Lord says will happen: ‘I sent word to you that you must not say, “The Lord’s message is burdensome.” But you used the words “The Lord’s message is burdensome” anyway. 23:39 So 1383 I will carry you far off 1384 and throw you away. I will send both you and the city I gave to you and to your ancestors out of my sight. 1385 23:40 I will bring on you lasting shame and lasting disgrace which will never be forgotten!’”
24:1 The Lord showed me two baskets of figs sitting before his temple. This happened after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon deported Jehoiakim’s son, King Jeconiah of Judah. He deported him and the leaders of Judah, along with the craftsmen and metal workers, and took them to Babylon. 1386 24:2 One basket had very good-looking figs in it. They looked like those that had ripened early. 1387 The other basket had very bad-looking figs in it, so bad they could not be eaten. 24:3 The Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I answered, “I see figs. The good ones look very good. But the bad ones look very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.”
24:4 The Lord said to me, 1388 24:5 “I, the Lord, the God of Israel, say: ‘The exiles whom I sent away from here to the land of Babylon 1389 are like those good figs. I consider them to be good. 24:6 I will look after their welfare 1390 and will restore them to this land. There I will build them up and will not tear them down. I will plant them firmly in the land 1391 and will not uproot them. 1392 24:7 I will give them the desire to acknowledge that I 1393 am the Lord. I will be their God and they will be my people. For they will wholeheartedly 1394 return to me.’
24:8 “I, the Lord, also solemnly assert: ‘King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, and the people who remain in Jerusalem 1395 or who have gone to live in Egypt are like those bad figs. I consider them to be just like those bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. 1396 24:9 I will bring such disaster on them that all the kingdoms of the earth will be horrified. I will make them an object of reproach, a proverbial example of disaster. I will make them an object of ridicule, an example to be used in curses. 1397 That is how they will be remembered wherever I banish them. 1398 24:10 I will bring war, starvation, and disease 1399 on them until they are completely destroyed from the land I gave them and their ancestors.’” 1400
25:1 In the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah 1401 concerning all the people of Judah. (That was the same as the first year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon.) 1402 25:2 So the prophet Jeremiah spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the people who were living in Jerusalem. 1403 25:3 “For the last twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amon was ruling in Judah 1404 until now, the Lord has been speaking to me. I told you over and over again 1405 what he said. 1406 But you would not listen. 25:4 Over and over again 1407 the Lord has sent 1408 his servants the prophets to you. But you have not listened or paid attention. 1409 25:5 He said through them, 1410 ‘Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and stop doing the evil things you are doing. 1411 If you do, I will allow you to continue to live here in the land that I gave to you and your ancestors as a lasting possession. 1412 25:6 Do not pay allegiance to 1413 other gods and worship and serve them. Do not make me angry by the things that you do. 1414 Then I will not cause you any harm.’ 25:7 So, now the Lord says, 1415 ‘You have not listened to me. But 1416 you have made me angry by the things that you have done. 1417 Thus you have brought harm on yourselves.’
25:8 “Therefore, the Lord who rules over all 1418 says, ‘You have not listened to what I said. 1419 25:9 So I, the Lord, affirm that 1420 I will send for all the peoples of the north 1421 and my servant, 1422 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and all the nations that surround it. I will utterly destroy 1423 this land, its inhabitants, and all the nations that surround it 1424 and make them everlasting ruins. 1425 I will make them objects of horror and hissing scorn. 1426 25:10 I will put an end to the sounds of joy and gladness, to the glad celebration of brides and grooms in these lands. 1427 I will put an end to the sound of people grinding meal. I will put an end to lamps shining in their houses. 1428 25:11 This whole area 1429 will become a desolate wasteland. These nations will be subject to the king of Babylon for seventy years.’ 1430
25:12 “‘But when the seventy years are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation 1431 for their sins. I will make the land of Babylon 1432 an everlasting ruin. 1433 I, the Lord, affirm it! 1434 25:13 I will bring on that land everything that I said I would. I will bring on it everything that is written in this book. I will bring on it everything that Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations. 1435 25:14 For many nations and great kings will make slaves of the king of Babylon and his nation 1436 too. I will repay them for all they have done!’” 1437
25:15 So 1438 the Lord, the God of Israel, spoke to me in a vision. 1439 “Take this cup from my hand. It is filled with the wine of my wrath. 1440 Take it and make the nations to whom I send you drink it. 25:16 When they have drunk it, they will stagger to and fro 1441 and act insane. For I will send wars sweeping through them.” 1442
25:17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand. I made all the nations to whom he sent me drink the wine of his wrath. 1443 25:18 I made Jerusalem 1444 and the cities of Judah, its kings and its officials drink it. 1445 I did it so Judah would become a ruin. I did it so Judah, its kings, and its officials would become an object 1446 of horror and of hissing scorn, an example used in curses. 1447 Such is already becoming the case! 1448 25:19 I made all of these other people drink it: Pharaoh, king of Egypt; 1449 his attendants, his officials, his people, 25:20 the foreigners living in Egypt; 1450 all the kings of the land of Uz; 1451 all the kings of the land of the Philistines, 1452 the people of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, the people who had been left alive from Ashdod; 1453 25:21 all the people of Edom, 1454 Moab, 1455 Ammon; 1456 25:22 all the kings of Tyre, 1457 all the kings of Sidon; 1458 all the kings of the coastlands along the sea; 1459 25:23 the people of Dedan, Tema, Buz, 1460 all the desert people who cut their hair short at the temples; 1461 25:24 all the kings of Arabia who 1462 live in the desert; 25:25 all the kings of Zimri; 1463 all the kings of Elam; 1464 all the kings of Media; 1465 25:26 all the kings of the north, whether near or far from one another; and all the other kingdoms which are on the face of the earth. After all of them have drunk the wine of the Lord’s wrath, 1466 the king of Babylon 1467 must drink it.
25:27 Then the Lord said to me, 1468 “Tell them that the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 1469 says, 1470 ‘Drink this cup 1471 until you get drunk and vomit. Drink until you fall down and can’t get up. 1472 For I will send wars sweeping through you.’ 1473 25:28 If they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink it, tell them that the Lord who rules over all says 1474 ‘You most certainly must drink it! 1475 25:29 For take note, I am already beginning to bring disaster on the city that I call my own. 1476 So how can you possibly avoid being punished? 1477 You will not go unpunished! For I am proclaiming war against all who live on the earth. I, the Lord who rules over all, 1478 affirm it!’ 1479
‘Like a lion about to attack, 1482 the Lord will roar from the heights of heaven;
from his holy dwelling on high he will roar loudly.
He will roar mightily against his land. 1483
He will shout in triumph like those stomping juice from the grapes 1484
against all those who live on the earth.
For the Lord will bring charges against the nations. 1486
He will pass judgment on all humankind
and will hand the wicked over to be killed in war.’ 1487
The Lord so affirms it! 1488
‘Disaster will soon come on one nation after another. 1490
A mighty storm of military destruction 1491 is rising up
from the distant parts of the earth.’
25:33 Those who have been killed by the Lord at that time
will be scattered from one end of the earth to the other.
They will not be mourned over, gathered up, or buried. 1492
Their dead bodies will lie scattered over the ground like manure.
25:34 Wail and cry out in anguish, you rulers!
Roll in the dust, you who shepherd flocks of people! 1493
The time for you to be slaughtered has come.
You will lie scattered and fallen like broken pieces of fine pottery. 1494
The shepherds of the flocks will not be able to escape.
25:36 Listen to the cries of anguish of the leaders.
Listen to the wails of the shepherds of the flocks.
They are wailing because the Lord
is about to destroy their lands. 1496
by the fierce anger of the Lord. 1498
So their lands will certainly 1500 be laid waste
by the warfare of the oppressive nation 1501
and by the fierce anger of the Lord.”
1 tn Or “This is a record of what Jeremiah prophesied and did”; Heb “The words [or affairs] of Jeremiah.” The phrase could refer to either the messages of Jeremiah recorded in the book or to both his messages and the biographical (and autobiographical) narratives recorded about him in the book. Since the phrase is intended to serve as the title or superscription for the whole book and recurs again in 51:64 at the end of the book before the final appendix, it might refer to the latter. The expression “The words of [someone]” is a standard introductory formula (Deut 29:1[28:69]; 2 Sam 23:1; Amos 1:1; Eccl 1:1; Neh 1:1).
2 sn The translation reflects the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the word for “Lord” for the proper name for Israel’s God which is now generally agreed to have been Yahweh. Jewish scribes wrote the consonants
3 tn Heb “to whom the word of the
4 sn This would have been August, 586
6 tn Heb “and it [the word of the
7 tn Heb “the womb.” The words “your mother’s” are implicit and are supplied in the translation for clarity.
8 tn Heb “I knew you.” The parallelism here with “set you apart” and “appointed you” make clear that Jeremiah is speaking of his foreordination to be a prophet. For this same nuance of the Hebrew verb see Gen 18:19; Amos 3:2.
9 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.”
sn The translation follows the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the Hebrew word for “God” for the proper name Yahweh in this compound name. See the study note on v. 2 for the substitution of “Lord” in a similar kind of situation.
10 tn Heb “Behold, I do not know how to speak.” The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, commonly rendered “behold”) often introduces a speech and calls special attention to a specific word or the statement as a whole (see IBHS 675-78 §40.2.1).
11 tn The words “well enough for that” are implicit and are supplied in the translation for clarity. Jeremiah is not claiming an absolute inability to speak.
12 tn Heb “I am a boy/youth.” The Hebrew word can refer to an infant (Exod 2:6), a young boy (1 Sam 2:11), a teenager (Gen 21:12), or a young man (2 Sam 18:5). The translation is deliberately ambiguous since it is unclear how old Jeremiah was when he was called to begin prophesying.
13 tn Or “For you must go and say.” The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) is likely adversative here after a negative statement (cf. BDB 474 s.v. כִּי 3.e). The
15 tn Heb “rescue.”
16 tn Heb “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.” This is an example of the Hebrew “scheduling” perfect or the “prophetic” perfect where a future event is viewed as so certain it is spoken of as past. The Hebrew particle rendered here “assuredly” (Heb הִנֵּה, hinneh) underlines the certitude of the promise for the future. See the translator’s note on v. 6.
sn The passage is reminiscent of Deut 18:18 which refers to the
18 tn Heb “I appoint you today over nations and kingdoms to uproot….” The phrase refers to the
19 sn These three pairs represent the twofold nature of Jeremiah’s prophecies, prophecies of judgment and restoration. For the further programmatic use of these pairs for Jeremiah’s ministry see 18:7-10 and 31:27-28.
20 tn This represents the Hebrew particle (כִּי, ki) that is normally rendered “for” or “because.” The particle here is meant to give the significance of the vision, not the rationale for the statement “you have observed correctly.”
21 tn Heb “watching over my word to do it.”
sn There is a play on the Hebrew word for “almond tree” (שָׁקֵד, shaqed), which blossoms in January/February and is the harbinger of spring, and the Hebrew word for “watching” (שֹׁקֵד, shoqed), which refers to someone watching over someone or something in preparation for action. The play on words announces the certainty and imminence of the
22 tn Heb “a blown upon [= heated; boiling] pot and its face from the face of the north [= it is facing away from the north].”
24 tn Heb “they will each set up.” The pronoun “they” refers back to the “kingdoms” in the preceding sentence. However, kingdoms do not sit on thrones; their kings do. This is an example of a figure of speech called metonymy where the kingdom is put for its king. For a similar use see 2 Chr 12:8.
26 tn Or “They will come and set up their thrones in the entrances of the gates of Jerusalem. They will destroy all the walls surrounding it and also destroy all the towns in Judah.” The text of v. 15b reads in Hebrew, “they will each set up his throne [near? in?] the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem and against all its walls…and against all the towns….” Commentators are divided over whether the passage refers to the kings setting up their thrones after victory in preparation for passing judgment on their defeated enemies in the city or whether it refers to setting up siege against it. There is no Hebrew preposition before the word for “the entrance” so that it could be “in” (which would imply victory) or “at/near” (which would imply siege), and the same verb + object (i.e., “they will set up their thrones”) governs all the locative statements. It is most often taken to refer to the aftermath of victory because of the supposed parallel in Jer 43:8-13 and the supposed fulfillment in Jer 39:3. Though this may fit well with the first part of the compound expression, it does not fit well with the latter part which is most naturally taken to refer to hostile attacks against Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah. The translation given in the text is intended to reflect the idea of an army setting up for siege. The alternate translation is intended to reflect the other view.
27 tn The Hebrew particle (the vav [ו] consecutive), which is often rendered in some English versions as “and” and in others is simply left untranslated, is rendered here epexegetically, reflecting a summary statement.
28 sn The Hebrew idiom (literally “I will speak my judgments against”) is found three other times in Jeremiah (4:12; 39:5; 52:9), where it is followed by the carrying out of the sentence. Here the carrying out of the sentence precedes in v. 15.
30 tn I.e., idols.
31 tn The name “Jeremiah” is not in the text. The use of the personal pronoun followed by the proper name is an attempt to reflect the correlative emphasis between Jeremiah’s responsibility noted here and the
32 tn Heb “gird up your loins.” For the literal use of this idiom to refer to preparation for action see 2 Kgs 4:29; 9:1. For the idiomatic use to refer to spiritual and emotional preparation as here, see Job 38:3, 40:7, and 1 Pet 1:13 in the NT.
33 tn Heb “I will make you terrified in front of them.” There is a play on words here involving two different forms of the same Hebrew verb and two different but related prepositional phrases, “from before/of,” a preposition introducing the object of a verb of fearing, and “before, in front of,” a preposition introducing a spatial location.
35 tn Heb “today I have made you.” The Hebrew verb form here emphasizes the certainty of a yet future act; the
36 tn Heb “I make you a fortified city…against all the land….” The words “as strong as” and “so you will be able to stand against all the people of…” are given to clarify the meaning of the metaphor.
38 tn Heb “I remember to/for you.”
39 tn Heb “the loyal love of your youth.”
sn The Hebrew word translated “how devoted you were” (חֶסֶד, khesed) refers metaphorically to the devotion of a new bride to her husband. In typical Hebraic fashion, contemporary Israel is identified with early Israel after she first entered into covenant with (= married) the
40 sn Heb “the first fruits of his harvest.” Many commentators see the figure here as having theological significance for the calling of the Gentiles. It is likely, however, that in this context the metaphor – here rendered as a simile – is intended to bring out the special relationship and inviolability that Israel had with God. As the first fruits were the special possession of the
41 tn Heb “house.”
42 tn Heb “house.”
43 tn Heb “fathers.”
44 tn Or “I did not wrong your ancestors in any way. Yet they went far astray from me.” Both translations are an attempt to render the rhetorical question which demands a negative answer.
45 tn Heb “They went/followed after.” This idiom is found most often in Deuteronomy or covenant contexts. It refers to loyalty to God and to his covenant or his commandments (e.g., 1 Kgs 14:8; 2 Chr 34:31) with the metaphor of a path or way underlying it (e.g., Deut 11:28; 28:14). To “follow other gods” was to abandon this way and this loyalty (i.e., to “abandon” or “forget” God, Judg 2:12; Hos 2:13) and to follow the customs or religious traditions of the pagan nations (e.g., 2 Kgs 17:15). The classic text on “following” God or another god is 1 Kgs 18:18, 21 where Elijah taunts the people with “halting between two opinions” whether the
46 tn The words “to me” are not in the Hebrew text but are implicit from the context: Heb “they followed after the worthless thing/things and became worthless.” There is an obvious wordplay on the verb “became worthless” and the noun “worthless thing,” which is probably to be understood collectively and to refer to idols as it does in Jer 8:19; 10:8; 14:22; Jonah 2:8.
47 tn This word is erroneously rendered “shadow of death” in most older English versions; that translation is based on a faulty etymology. Contextual studies and comparative Semitic linguistics have demonstrated that the word is merely another word for darkness. It is confined to poetic texts and often carries connotations of danger and distress. It is associated in poetic texts with the darkness of a prison (Ps 107:10, 14), a mine (Job 28:3), and a ravine (Ps 23:4). Here it is associated with the darkness of the wasteland and ravines of the Sinai desert.
48 sn The context suggests that the question is related to a lament where the people turn to God in their troubles, asking him for help and reminding him of his past benefactions. See for example Isa 63:11-19 and Ps 44. It is an implicit prayer for his intervention, cf. 2 Kgs 2:14.
50 tn Heb “eat.”
52 tn Heb “my inheritance.” Or “the land [i.e., inheritance] I gave you,” reading the pronoun as indicating source rather than possession. The parallelism and the common use in Jeremiah of the term to refer to the land or people as the
sn The land belonged to the
53 tn Heb “The priests…the ones who grasp my law…the shepherds…the prophets…they…”
55 tn Heb “those who handle my law.”
sn The reference is likely to the priests and Levites who were responsible for teaching the law (so Jer 18:18; cf. Deut 33:10). According to Jer 8:8 it could possibly refer to the scribes who copied the law.
56 tn Or “were not committed to me.” The Hebrew verb rendered “know” refers to more than mere intellectual knowledge. It carries also the ideas of emotional and volitional commitment as well intimacy. See for example its use in contexts like Hos 4:1; 6:6.
57 tn Heb “by Baal.”
58 tn Heb “and they followed after those things [the word is plural] which do not profit.” The poetic structure of the verse, four lines in which a distinct subject appears at the beginning followed by a fifth line beginning with a prepositional phrase and no distinct subject, argues that this line is climactic and refers to all four classes enumerated in the preceding lines. See W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:88-89. There may be a play or pun in the Hebrew text on the name for the god Baal (בַּעַל, ba’al) and the verb “cannot help you” (Heb “do not profit”) which is spelled יַעַל (ya’al).
59 tn Or “bring charges against you.”
sn The language used here is that of the law court. In international political contexts it was the language of a great king charging his subject with breach of covenant. See for examples in earlier prophets, Isa 1:2-20; Mic 6:1-8.
60 tn The words “your children and” are supplied in the translation to bring out the idea of corporate solidarity implicit in the passage.
sn The passage reflects the Hebrew concept of corporate solidarity: The actions of parents had consequences for their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Compare the usage in the ten commandments, Deut 5:10, and note the execution of the children of Dathan and Abiram, Deut 11:6, and of Achan, Josh 7:24-25.
61 tn Heb “For go west.”
62 tn Heb “pass over to the coasts of Kittim.” The words “west across the sea” in this line and “east of” in the next are implicit in the text and are supplied in the translation to give geographical orientation.
sn The Hebrew term translated Cyprus (“Kittim”) originally referred to the island of Cyprus but later was used for the lands in the west, including Macedonia (1 Macc 1:1; 8:5) and Rome (Dan 11:30). It is used here as part of a figure called merism to denote the lands in the west as opposed to Kedar which was in the east. The figure includes polar opposites to indicate totality, i.e., everywhere from west to east.
64 tn Heb “have exchanged their glory [i.e., the God in whom they glory].” This is a case of a figure of speech where the attribute of a person or thing is put for the person or thing. Compare the common phrase in Isaiah, the Holy One of Israel, obviously referring to the
66 sn In earlier literature the heavens (and the earth) were called on to witness Israel’s commitment to the covenant (Deut 30:12) and were called to serve as witnesses to Israel’s fidelity or infidelity to it (Isa 1:2; Mic 6:1).
67 tn It is difficult to decide whether to translate “fresh, running water” which the Hebrew term for “living water” often refers to (e.g., Gen 26:19; Lev 14:5), or “life-giving water” which the idiom “fountain of life” as source of life and vitality often refers to (e.g., Ps 36:9; Prov 13:14; 14:27). The contrast with cisterns, which collected and held rain water, suggests “fresh, running water,” but the reality underlying the metaphor contrasts the
68 tn Heb “Is Israel a slave? Or is he a house born slave?” The questions are rhetorical, expecting a negative answer.
69 tn Heb “Lions shout over him, they give out [raise] their voices.”
sn The reference to lions is here a metaphor for the Assyrians (and later the Babylonians, see Jer 50:17). The statement about lions roaring over their prey implies that the prey has been vanquished.
70 tn Heb “without inhabitant.”
71 tn Heb “the sons of…”
72 tc The translation follows the reading of the Syriac version. The Hebrew text reads “have grazed [= “shaved” ?] your skulls [as a sign of disgracing them].” Note that the reference shifts from third person, “him,” to second person, “you,” which is common in Hebrew style. The words “people of Israel” have been supplied in the translation to help identify the referent and ease the switch. The reading presupposes יְרֹעוּךְ (yÿro’ukh) a Qal imperfect from the verb רָעַע (ra’a’; see BDB 949 s.v. II רָעַע Qal.1 and compare usage in Jer 15:2; Ps 2:9). The MT reads יִרְעוּךְ (yir’ukh), a Qal imperfect from the root רָעָה (ra’ah; see BDB 945 s.v. I רָעָה Qal.2.b for usage). The use of the verb in the MT is unparalleled in the sense suggested, but the resultant figure, if “graze” can mean “shave,” is paralleled in Jer 47:5; 48:37; Isa 7:20. The reading of the variant is accepted on the basis that it is the rarer root; the scribe would have been more familiar with the root “graze” even though it is unparalleled in the figurative nuance implied here. The noun “head/skull” is functioning as an accusative of further specification (see GKC 372 §117.ll and compare usage in Gen 3:8), i.e., “they crack you on the skull” or “they shave you on the skull.” The verb is a prefixed form and in this context is either a preterite without vav (ו) consecutive or an iterative imperfect denoting repeated action. Some modern English versions render the verb in the future tense, “they will break [or shave] your skull.”
73 tn Heb “Are you not bringing this on yourself.” The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer.
74 tn Heb “at the time of leading you in the way.”
75 tn Heb “What to you to the way.”
76 tn The introductory particle וְעַתָּה (vÿ’attah, “and now”) carries a logical, not temporal, connotation here (cf. BDB 274 s.v. עַתָּה 2.b).
77 tn Heb “to drink water from the Shihor [a branch of the Nile].” The reference is to seeking help through political alliance with Egypt as opposed to trusting in God for help. This is an extension of the figure in 2:13.
78 tn Heb “What to you to the way.”
79 tn Heb “to drink water from the River [a common designation in biblical Hebrew for the Euphrates River].” This refers to seeking help through political alliance. See the preceding note.
80 tn Or “teach you a lesson”; Heb “rebuke/chide you.”
81 tn Heb “how evil and bitter.” The reference is to the consequences of their acts. This is a figure of speech (hendiadys) where two nouns or adjectives joined by “and” introduce a main concept modified by the other noun or adjective.
82 tn Heb “to leave the
83 tn Heb “and no fear of me was on you.”
84 tn Heb “the Lord Yahweh, [the God of] hosts.” For the title Lord
85 tn Or “For.” The Hebrew particle (כִּי, ki) here introduces the evidence that they had no respect for him.
86 tn Heb “you broke your yoke…tore off your yoke ropes.” The metaphor is that of a recalcitrant ox or heifer which has broken free from its master.
87 tc The MT of this verse has two examples of the old second feminine singular perfect, שָׁבַרְתִּי (shavarti) and נִתַּקְתִּי (nittaqti), which the Masoretes mistook for first singulars leading to the proposal to read אֶעֱבוֹר (’e’evor, “I will not transgress”) for אֶעֱבֹד (’e’evod, “I will not serve”). The latter understanding of the forms is accepted in KJV but rejected by almost all modern English versions as being less appropriate to the context than the reading accepted in the translation given here.
88 tn Heb “you sprawled as a prostitute on….” The translation reflects the meaning of the metaphor.
89 tc Heb “I planted you as a choice vine, all of it true seed. How then have you turned into a putrid thing to me, a strange [or wild] vine.” The question expresses surprise and consternation. The translation is based on a redivision of the Hebrew words סוּרֵי הַגֶּפֶן (sure haggefen) into סוֹרִיָּה גֶּפֶן (soriyyah gefen) and the recognition of a hapax legomenon סוֹרִיָּה (soriyyah) meaning “putrid, stinking thing.” See HALOT 707 s.v. סוֹרִי.
90 tn Heb “Even if you wash with natron/lye, and use much soap, your sin is a stain before me.”
93 tn Heb “Look at your way in the valley.” The valley is an obvious reference to the Valley of Hinnom where Baal and Molech were worshiped and child sacrifice was practiced.
94 sn The metaphor is intended to depict Israel’s lack of clear direction and purpose without the
95 tn The words “to get the scent of a male” are implicit and are supplied in the translation for clarification.
96 sn The metaphor is intended to depict Israel’s irrepressible desire to worship other gods.
97 tn Heb “Refrain your feet from being bare and your throat from being dry/thirsty.”
99 tn Heb “house of Israel.”
100 tn The words “for what they have done” are implicit in the comparison and are supplied in the translation for clarification.
101 tn Heb “wood…stone…”
102 sn The reference to wood and stone is, of course, a pejorative reference to idols made by human hands. See the next verse where reference is made to “the gods you have made.”
103 tn Heb “they have turned [their] backs to me, not [their] faces.”
104 tn This is an attempt to render the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki, “for, indeed”) contextually.
106 tn Heb “Your sword devoured your prophets like a destroying lion.” However, the reference to the sword in this and many similar idioms is merely idiomatic for death by violent means.
107 tn Heb “a land of the darkness of Yah [= thick or deep darkness].” The idea of danger is an added connotation of the word in this context.
108 tn Heb “my people.”
109 tn Or more freely, “free to do as we please.” There is some debate about the meaning of this verb (רוּד, rud) because its usage is rare and its meaning is debated in the few passages where it does occur. The key to its meaning may rest in the emended text (reading וְרַדְתִּי [vÿradti] for וְיָרַדְתִּי [vÿyaradti]) in Judg 11:37 where it refers to the roaming of Jephthah’s daughter on the mountains of Israel.
110 tn Heb “How good you have made your ways to seek love.”
111 tn Heb “so that even the wicked women you teach your ways.”
112 tn The words “for example” are implicit and are supplied in the translation for clarification. This is only one example of why their death was not legitimate.
sn Killing a thief caught in the act of breaking and entering into a person’s home was pardonable under the law of Moses, cf. Exod 22:2.
113 tn KJV and ASV read this line with 2:34. The ASV makes little sense and the KJV again erroneously reads the archaic second person feminine singular perfect as first person common singular. All the modern English versions and commentaries take this line with 2:35.
115 tn Heb “changing your way.” The translation follows the identification of the Hebrew verb here as a defective writing of a form (תֵּזְלִי [tezÿli] instead of תֵּאזְלִי [te’zÿli]) from a verb meaning “go/go about” (אָזַל [’azal]; cf. BDB 23 s.v. אָזַל). Most modern English versions, commentaries, and lexicons read it from a root meaning “to treat cheaply [or lightly]” (תָּזֵלִּי [tazelli] from the root זָלַל (zalal); cf. HALOT 261 s.v. זָלַל); hence, “Why do you consider it such a small matter to…”
116 tn Heb “You will be ashamed/disappointed by Egypt, just as you were ashamed/ disappointed by Assyria.”
118 tn Heb “The
119 tn Heb “May he go back to her again?” The question is rhetorical and expects a negative answer.
sn For the legal background for the illustration that is used here see Deut 24:1-4.
120 tn Heb “Would the land not be utterly defiled?” The stative is here rendered actively to connect better with the preceding. The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer.
121 tn Heb “But you have played the prostitute with many lovers.”
122 tn Heb “Returning to me.” The form is the bare infinitive which the KJV and ASV have interpreted as an imperative “Yet, return to me!” However, it is more likely that a question is intended, expressing surprise in the light of the law alluded to and the facts cited. For the use of the infinitive absolute in the place of a finite verb, cf. GKC 346 §113.ee. For the introduction of a question without a question marker, cf. GKC 473 §150.a.
123 tn Heb “and see.”
124 tn Heb “Where have you not been ravished?” The rhetorical question expects the answer “nowhere,” which suggests she has engaged in the worship of pagan gods on every one of the hilltops.
125 tn Heb “You sat for them [the lovers, i.e., the foreign gods] beside the road like an Arab in the desert.”
126 tn Heb “by your prostitution and your wickedness.” This is probably an example of hendiadys where, when two nouns are joined by “and,” one expresses the main idea and the other qualifies it.
127 tn Heb “you have the forehead of a prostitute.”
128 tn Heb “Have you not just now called out to me, ‘[you are] my father!’?” The rhetorical question expects a positive answer.
129 tn Heb “Will he keep angry forever? Will he maintain [it] to the end?” The questions are rhetorical and expect a negative answer. The change to direct address in the English translation is intended to ease the problem of the rapid transition, common in Hebrew style (but not in English), from second person direct address in the preceding lines to third person indirect address in these two lines. See GKC 462 §144.p.
130 tn Heb “You do the evil and you are able.” This is an example of hendiadys, meaning “You do all the evil that you are able to do.”
131 tn “Have you seen…” The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer.
132 tn Heb “she played the prostitute there.” This is a metaphor for Israel’s worship; she gave herself to the worship of other gods like a prostitute gives herself to her lovers. There seems no clear way to completely spell out the metaphor in the translation.
133 tn Or “I said to her, ‘Come back to me!’” The verb אָמַר (’amar) usually means “to say,” but here it means “to think,” of an assumption that turns out to be wrong (so HALOT 66.4 s.v. אמר); cf. Gen 44:28; Jer 3:19; Pss 82:6; 139:11; Job 29:18; Ruth 4:4; Lam 3:18.
sn Open theists suggest that passages such as this indicate God has limited foreknowledge; however, more traditional theologians view this passage as an extended metaphor in which God presents himself as a deserted husband, hoping against hope that his adulterous wife might return to him. The point of the metaphor is not to make an assertion about God’s foreknowledge, but to develop the theme of God’s heartbreak due to Israel’s unrepentance.
134 tn The words “what she did” are not in the text but are implicit from the context and are supplied in the translation for clarification.
135 tc Heb “she [‘her sister, unfaithful Judah’ from the preceding verse] saw” with one Hebrew
136 tn Heb “because she committed adultery.” The translation is intended to spell out the significance of the metaphor.
137 tn The words “Even after her unfaithful sister, Judah, had seen this” are not in the Hebrew text but are implicit in the connection and are supplied for clarification.
138 tn Heb “she played the prostitute there.” This is a metaphor for Israel’s worship; she gave herself to the worship of other gods like a prostitute gives herself to her lovers. There seems no clear way to completely spell out the metaphor in the translation.
139 tc The translation reads the form as a causative (Hiphil, תַּהֲנֵף, tahanef) with some of the versions in place of the simple stative (Qal, תֶּחֱנַף, tekhenaf) in the MT.
140 tn Heb “because of the lightness of her prostitution, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood.”
141 tn Heb “And even in all this.”
142 tn Heb “ has not turned back to me with all her heart but only in falsehood.”
143 tn Heb “Wayward Israel has proven herself to be more righteous than unfaithful Judah.”
sn A comparison is drawn here between the greater culpability of Judah, who has had the advantage of seeing how God disciplined her sister nation for having sinned and yet ignored the warning and committed the same sin, and the culpability of Israel who had no such advantage.
144 tn Heb “Go and proclaim these words to the north.” The translation assumes that the message is directed toward the exiles of northern Israel who have been scattered in the provinces of Assyria to the north.
145 tn Heb “I will not cause my face to fall on you.”
146 tn Heb “Only acknowledge your iniquity.”
147 tn The words “You must confess” are repeated to convey the connection. The Hebrew text has an introductory “that” in front of the second line and a coordinative “and” in front of the next two lines.
148 tc MT reads דְּרָכַיִךְ (dÿrakhayikh, “your ways”), but the BHS editors suggest דּוֹדַיִךְ (dodayikh, “your breasts”) as an example of orthographic confusion. While the proposal makes sense, it remains a conjectural emendation since it is not supported by any actual manuscripts or ancient versions.
tn Heb “scattered your ways with foreign [gods]” or “spread out your breasts to strangers.”
149 tn Or “I am your true husband.”
sn There is a wordplay between the term “true master” and the name of the pagan god Baal. The pronoun “I” is emphatic, creating a contrast between the
150 tn The words, “If you do” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection of the Hebrew verb with the preceding.
151 tn Heb “shepherds.”
152 tn Heb “after/according to my [own] heart.”
153 tn Heb “you will become numerous and fruitful.”
154 tn Or “chest.”
155 tn Heb “the ark of the covenant.” It is called this because it contained the tables of the law which in abbreviated form constituted their covenant obligations to the
156 tn Or “Nor will another one be made”; Heb “one will not do/make [it?] again.”
158 tn Heb “will gather to the name of the
159 tn Heb “the stubbornness of their evil hearts.”
160 tn Heb “In those days.”
161 tn Heb “the house of Judah will walk together with the house of Israel.”
162 tn Heb “the land that I gave your [fore]fathers as an inheritance.”
164 tn Heb “How I would place you among the sons.” Israel appears to be addressed here contextually as the
sn The imagery here appears to be that of treating the wife as an equal heir with the sons and of giving her the best piece of property.
165 tn The words “What a joy it would be for me to” are not in the Hebrew text but are implied in the parallel structure.
166 tn Heb “the most beautiful heritage among the nations.”
167 tn Heb “my father.”
168 tn Heb “turn back from [following] after me.”
169 tn Heb “house of Israel.”
170 tn Heb “a wife unfaithful from her husband.”
171 tn Heb “A sound is heard on the hilltops, the weeping of the supplication of the children of Israel because [or indeed] they have perverted their way.” At issue here is whether the supplication is made to Yahweh in repentance because of what they have done or whether it is supplication to the pagan gods which is evidence of their perverted ways. The reference in this verse to the hilltops where idolatry was practiced according to 3:2 and the reference to Israel’s unfaithfulness in the preceding verse make the latter more likely. For the asseverative use of the Hebrew particle (here rendered “indeed”) where the particle retains some of the explicative nuance; cf. BDB 472-73 s.v. כִּי 1.e and 3.c.
172 tn Heb “have forgotten the
174 tn Or “They say.” There is an obvious ellipsis of a verb of saying here since the preceding words are those of the
175 tn Heb “Truly in vain from the hills the noise/commotion [and from] the mountains.” The syntax of the Hebrew sentence is very elliptical here.
176 tn Heb “Truly in the
177 tn Heb “From our youth the shameful thing has eaten up…” The shameful thing is specifically identified as Baal in Jer 11:13. Compare also the shift in certain names such as Ishbaal (“man of Baal”) to Ishbosheth (“man of shame”).
179 tn Heb “Let us lie down in….”
180 tn Heb “Let us be covered with disgrace.”
181 tn Or “If you, Israel, want to turn [away from your shameful ways (those described in 3:23-25)]…then you must turn back to me.” Or perhaps, “Israel, you must turn back…Yes, you must turn back to me.”
182 tn Heb “disgusting things.”
183 tn Or possibly, “If you get those disgusting idols out of my sight, you will not need to flee.” This is less probable because the normal meaning of the last verb is “to wander,” “ to stray.”
184 tn Heb “If you [= you must, see the translator’s note on the word “do” later in this verse] swear/take an oath, ‘As the
185 tn 4:1-2a consists of a number of “if” clauses, two of which are formally introduced by the Hebrew particle אִם (’im) while the others are introduced by the conjunction “and,” followed by a conjunction (“and” = “then”) with a perfect in 4:2b which introduces the consequence. The translation “You must…. If you do,” was chosen to avoid a long and complicated sentence.
186 tn Heb “bless themselves in him and make their boasts in him.”
187 tn The Hebrew particle is obviously asseverative here since a causal connection appears to make little sense.
188 tn Heb “Plow up your unplowed ground and do not sow among the thorns.” The translation is an attempt to bring out the force of a metaphor. The idea seems to be that they are to plow over the thorns and make the ground ready for the seeds which will produce a new crop where none had been produced before.
189 tn Heb “Circumcise yourselves to the
190 tn Heb “lest.”
192 tn It is unclear who the addressees of the masculine plural imperatives are here. They may be the citizens of Jerusalem and Judah who are sounding the alarm to others. However, the first person reference to the
194 tn Heb “ram’s horn,” but the modern equivalent is “trumpet” and is more readily understandable.
195 tn Heb “Raise up a signal toward Zion.”
196 tn Heb “out of the north, even great destruction.”
197 tn Heb “A lion has left its lair.” The metaphor is turned into a simile for clarification. The word translated “lair” has also been understood to refer to a hiding place. However, it appears to be cognate in meaning to the word translated “lair” in Ps 10:9; Jer 25:38, a word which also refers to the abode of the
198 tn Heb “his place.”
199 tn Or “wail because the fierce anger of the
200 tn Heb “In that day.”
201 tn The words “In response to all this” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to clarify the connection.
202 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” The translation follows the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the Hebrew word for God for the proper name Yahweh.
203 tn Or “You have deceived.” The Hiphil of נָשָׁא (nasha’, “to deceive”) is understood in a tolerative sense here: “to allow [someone] to be deceived.” IBHS 446 §27.5c notes that this function of the hiphil describes caused activity that is welcome to the undersubject, but unacceptable or disagreeable to a third party. Jerusalem and Judah welcomed the assurances of false prophets who deceived them. Although this was detestable to God, he allowed it.
204 tn Heb “this people and Jerusalem.”
205 tn Heb “Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace’”; or “You have deceived the people of Judah and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace.’” The words “you will be safe” are, of course, those of the false prophets (cf., Jer 6:14; 8:11; 14:13; 23:16-17). It is difficult to tell whether the charge here is meant literally as the emotional outburst of the prophet (compare for example, Jer 15:18) or whether it is to be understood as a figure of speech in which a verb of direct causation is to be understood as permissive or tolerative, i.e., God did not command the prophets to say this but allowed them to do so. While it is not beyond God to use false prophets to accomplish his will (cf., e.g., 1 Kgs 22:19-23), he elsewhere in the book of Jeremiah directly denies having sent the false prophets to say such things as this (cf., e.g., Jer 14:14-15; 23:21, 32). For examples of the use of this figure of speech, see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 571, 823 and compare Ezek 20:25. The translation given attempts to resolve the issue.
207 tn Heb “this people and Jerusalem.”
208 tn Heb “A scorching wind from the hilltops in the desert toward…”
sn The allusion is, of course, to the destructive forces of the enemy armies of Babylon compared above in 4:7 to a destructive lion and here to the destructive desert winds of the Near Eastern sirocco.
209 tn Heb “daughter of my people.” The term “daughter of” is appositional to “my people” and is supplied in the translation as a term of sympathy and endearment. Compare the common expression “daughter of Zion.”
210 tn Heb “not for winnowing and not for cleansing.” The words “It will not be a gentle breeze” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection. They are supplied in the translation here for clarification.
211 tn The word “No” is not in the text but is carried over from the connection with the preceding line “not for…”
212 tn Heb “will speak judgments against them.”
213 tn Heb “he is coming up like clouds.” The words “The enemy” are supplied in the translation to identify the referent and the word “gathering” is supplied to try to convey the significance of the simile, i.e., that of quantity and of an approaching storm.
214 tn Heb “his chariots [are] like a whirlwind.” The words “roar” and “sound” are supplied in the translation to clarify the significance of the simile.
215 tn The words “I cry out” are not in the text, but the words that follow are obviously not the
216 tn Heb “Woe to us!” The words “woe to” are common in funeral laments and at the beginning of oracles of judgment. In many contexts they carry the connotation of hopelessness or apprehensiveness of inevitable doom.
217 tn Heb “Oh, Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil.”
218 tn Heb “For a voice declaring from Dan and making heard disaster from the hills of Ephraim.”
219 tn The words “They are saying” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection and are supplied in the translation for clarification.
220 tn The word “surrounding” is not in the text but is implicit and is supplied in the translation for clarification.
221 tc Or “Here they come!” Heb “Look!” or “Behold!” Or “Announce to the surrounding nations, indeed [or yes] proclaim to Jerusalem, ‘Besiegers…’” The text is very elliptical here. Some of the modern English versions appear to be emending the text from הִנֵּה (hinneh, “behold”) to either הֵנָּה (hennah, “these things”; so NEB), or הַזֶּה (hazzeh, “this”; so NIV). The solution proposed here is as old as the LXX which reads, “Behold, they have come.”
222 tn The words, “this message,” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to make the introduction of the quote easier.
224 tn Heb “They have raised their voices against.” The verb here, a vav (ו) consecutive with an imperfect, continues the nuance of the preceding participle “are coming.”
225 tn Heb “will surround her.” The antecedent is Jerusalem in the preceding verse. The referent is again made explicit in the translation to avoid any possible lack of clarity. The verb form here is a form of the verb that emphasizes the fact as being as good as done (i.e., it is a prophetic perfect).
226 sn There is some irony involved in the choice of the simile since the men guarding a field were there to keep thieves from getting in and stealing the crops. Here the besiegers are guarding the city to keep people from getting out.
227 tn Heb “Your way and your deeds.”
228 tn Heb “How bitter!”
229 tn Heb “Indeed, it reaches to your heart.” The subject must be the pain alluded to in the last half of the preceding line; the verb is masculine, agreeing with the adjective translated “painful.” The only other possible antecedent “punishment” is feminine.
230 tn The words “I said” are not in the text. They are used to mark the shift from the
231 tn Heb “My bowels! My bowels!”
232 tn Heb “the walls of my heart!”
233 tn Heb “ram’s horn,” but the modern equivalent is “trumpet” and is more readily understandable.
234 tc The translation reflects a different division of the last two lines than that suggested by the Masoretes. The written text (the Kethib) reads “for the sound of the ram’s horn I have heard [or “you have heard,” if the form is understood as the old second feminine singular perfect] my soul” followed by “the battle cry” in the last line. The translation is based on taking “my soul” with the last line and understanding an elliptical expression “the battle cry [to] my soul.” Such an elliptical expression is in keeping with the elliptical nature of the exclamations at the beginning of the verse (cf. the literal translations of the first two lines of the verse in the notes on the words “stomach” and “heart”).
235 tn The words, “I see” are not in the text here or at the beginning of the third line. They are supplied in the translation to show that this is Jeremiah’s vision of what will happen as a result of the invasion announced in 4:5-9, 11-17a.
236 tn Heb “my.” This is probably not a reference to Jeremiah’s own tents since he foresees the destruction of the whole land. Jeremiah so identifies with the plight of his people that he sees the destruction of their tents as though they were his very own. It would probably lead to confusion to translate literally and it is not uncommon in Hebrew laments for the community or its representative to speak of the community as an “I.” See for example the interchange between first singular and first plural pronouns in Ps 44:4-8.
237 tn Heb “my.”
238 tn It is not altogether clear what Jeremiah intends by the use of this metaphor. In all likelihood he means that the defenses of Israel’s cities and towns have offered no more resistance than nomads’ tents. However, in light of the fact that the word “tent” came to be used generically for a person’s home (cf. 1 Kgs 8:66; 12:16), it is possible that Jeremiah is here referring to the destruction of their homes and the resultant feeling of homelessness and loss of even elementary protection. Given the lack of certainty the present translation is rather literal here.
239 tn Heb “the sound of ram’s horns,” but the modern equivalent is “bugles” and is more readily understandable.
240 tn These words are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to show clearly the shift in speaker. Jeremiah has been speaking; now the
242 tn Heb “They are senseless children.”
243 tn Heb “I looked at the land and behold...” This indicates the visionary character of Jeremiah’s description of the future condition of the land of Israel.
244 tn Heb “formless and empty.” This is a case of hendiadys (two nouns joined by “and” both describe the same thing): one noun retains its full nominal force, the other functions as an adjective. The words תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ (tohu vavohu) allude to Gen 1:2, hyperbolically picturing a reversal of creation and return to the original precreation chaos.
245 tn Heb “there was no man/human being.”
246 tn Heb “because of the
247 tn Heb “For this is what the
248 sn The earth and the heavens are personified here and depicted in the act of mourning and wearing black clothes because of the destruction of the land of Israel.
249 tn Heb “has spoken and purposed.” This is an example of hendiadys where two verbs are joined by “and” but one is meant to serve as a modifier of the other.
250 tn Heb “will not turn back from it.”
251 tn Heb “And you that are doomed to destruction.” The referent is supplied from the following context and the fact that Zion/Jerusalem represents the leadership which was continually making overtures to foreign nations for help.
252 tn Heb “What are you accomplishing…?” The rhetorical question assumes a negative answer, made clear by the translation in the indicative.
253 tn Heb “clothing yourself in scarlet.”
254 tn Heb “enlarging your eyes with antimony.” Antimony was a black powder used by women as eyeliner to make their eyes look larger.
255 tn Heb “they seek your life.”
256 tn The particle כִּי (ki) is more likely asseverative here than causal.
257 sn Jerusalem is personified as a helpless maiden.
258 tn Heb “spreading out her hands.” The idea of asking or pleading for help is implicit in the figure.
260 tn These words are not in the text, but since the words at the end are obviously those of the
261 tn It is not clear who is being addressed here. The verbs are plural so they are not addressed to Jeremiah per se. Since the passage is talking about the people of Jerusalem, it is unlikely they are addressed here except perhaps rhetorically. Some have suggested that the heavenly court is being addressed here as in Job 1:6-8; 2:1-3. It is clear from Jer 23:18, 22; Amos 3:7 that the prophets had access to this heavenly counsel through visions (cf. 1 Kgs 22:19-23), so Jeremiah could have been privy to this speech through that means. Though these are the most likely addressee, it is too presumptuous to supply such an explicit addressee without clearer indication in the text. The translation will just have to run the risk of the probable erroneous assumption by most English readers that the addressee is Jeremiah.
263 tn Heb “who does justice and seeks faithfulness.”
264 tn Heb “squares. If you can find…if there is one person…then I will…”
265 tn Heb “forgive [or pardon] it.”
266 tn Heb “Though they say, ‘As surely as the
267 tc The translation follows many Hebrew
tn Heb “Surely.”
268 tn Heb “they swear falsely.”
269 tn Heb “O
270 tn Commentaries and lexicons debate the meaning of the verb here. The MT is pointed as though from a verb meaning “to writhe in anguish or contrition” (חוּל [khul]; see, e.g., BDB 297 s.v. חוּל 2.c), but some commentaries and lexicons repoint the text as though from a verb meaning “to be sick,” thus “to feel pain” (חָלָה [khalah]; see, e.g., HALOT 304 s.v. חָלָה 3). The former appears more appropriate to the context.
271 tn Heb “They made their faces as hard as a rock.”
272 tn Or “to repent”; Heb “to turn back.”
273 tn Heb “Surely they are poor.” The translation is intended to make clear the explicit contrasts and qualifications drawn in this verse and the next.
274 tn Heb “the way of the
275 tn Heb “the judgment [or ordinance] of their God.”
276 tn Or “people in power”; Heb “the great ones.”
277 tn Heb “the way of the
278 tn Heb “the judgment [or ordinance] of their God.”
280 tn Heb “So a lion from the thicket will kill them. A wolf from the desert will destroy them. A leopard will watch outside their cities. Anyone who goes out from them will be torn in pieces.” However, it is unlikely that, in the context of judgment that Jeremiah has previously been describing, literal lions are meant. The animals are metaphorical for their enemies. Compare Jer 4:7.
281 tn Heb “their rebellions are so many and their unfaithful acts so numerous.”
282 tn These words are not in the text, but are supplied in the translation to make clear who is speaking.
284 tn Heb “your children.”
285 tn Heb “and they have sworn [oaths] by not-gods.”
286 tn Heb “I satisfied them to the full.”
287 tn Heb “they committed adultery.” It is difficult to decide whether literal adultery with other women or spiritual adultery with other gods is meant. The word for adultery is used for both in the book of Jeremiah. For examples of its use for spiritual adultery see 3:8, 9; 9:2. For examples of its use for literal adultery see 7:9; 23:14. The context here could argue for either. The swearing by other gods and the implicit contradiction in their actions in contrast to the expected gratitude for supplying their needs argues for spiritual adultery. However, the reference to prostitution in the next line and the reference to chasing after their neighbor’s wives argues for literal adultery. The translation opts for spiritual adultery because of the contrast implicit in the concessive clause.
288 tn There is a great deal of debate about the meaning of this word. Most of the modern English versions follow the lead of lexicographers who relate this word to a noun meaning “troop” and understand it to mean “they trooped together” (cf. BDB 151 s.v. גָּדַד Hithpo.2 and compare the usage in Mic 5:1 [4:14 HT]). A few of the modern English versions and commentaries follow the reading of the Greek and read a word meaning “they lodged” (reading ִיתְגּוֹרְרוּ [yitggorÿru] from I גּוּר [gur; cf. HALOT 177 s.v. Hithpo. and compare the usage in 1 Kgs 17:20] instead of יִתְגֹּדָדוּ [yitggodadu]). W. L. Holladay (Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 1:180) sees a reference here to the cultic practice of cutting oneself in supplication to pagan gods (cf. BDB 151 s.v. גָּדַד Hithpo.1 and compare the usage in 1 Kgs 18:28). The houses of prostitutes would then be a reference to ritual prostitutes at the pagan shrines. The translation follows BDB and the majority of modern English versions.
289 tn Heb “to a house of a prostitute.”
290 tn The meanings of these two adjectives are uncertain. The translation of the first adjective is based on assuming that the word is a defectively written participle related to the noun “testicle” (a Hiphil participle מַאֲשִׁכִים [ma’ashikhim] from a verb related to אֶשֶׁךְ [’eshekh, “testicle”]; cf. Lev 21:20) and hence “having testicles” (cf. HALOT 1379 s.v. שָׁכָה) instead of the Masoretic form מַשְׁכִּים (mashkim) from a root שָׁכָה (shakhah), which is otherwise unattested in either verbal or nominal forms. The second adjective is best derived from a verb root meaning “to feed” (a Hophal participle מוּזָנִים [muzanim, the Kethib] from a root זוּן [zun; cf. BDB 266 s.v. זוּן] for which there is the cognate noun מָזוֹן [mazon; cf. 2 Chr 11:23]). This is more likely than the derivation from a root יָזַן ([yazan]reading מְיֻזָּנִים [mÿyuzzanim], a Pual participle with the Qere) which is otherwise unattested in verbal or nominal forms and whose meaning is dependent only on a supposed Arabic cognate (cf. HALOT 387 s.v. יָזַן).
291 tn Heb “neighs after.”
292 tn Heb “Should I not punish them…? Should I not bring retribution…?” The rhetorical questions have the force of strong declarations.
293 tn These words to not appear in the Hebrew text but have been added in the translation for the sake of clarity to identify the implied addressee.
294 tn Heb “through her vine rows and destroy.” No object is given but “vines” must be implicit. The word for “vineyards” (or “vine rows”) is a hapax legomenon and its derivation is debated. BDB 1004 s.v. שּׁוּרָה repoints שָׁרוֹתֶיהָ (sharoteha) to שֻׁרוֹתֶיהָ (shuroteha) and relates it to a Mishnaic Hebrew and Palestinian Aramaic word meaning “row.” HALOT 1348 s.v. שּׁוּרָה also repoints to שֻׁרוֹתֶיהָ and relates it to a noun meaning “wall,” preferring to see the reference here to the walled terraces on which the vineyards were planted. The difference in meaning is minimal.
295 tn Heb “for they do not belong to the
296 tn Heb “the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
297 tn Heb “have denied the
298 tn Or “he will do nothing”; Heb “Not he [or it]!”
299 tn Heb “we will not see the sword and famine.”
300 tn Heb “will be wind.”
sn There is a wordplay on the Hebrew word translated “wind” (רוּחַ, ruakh) which also means “spirit.” The prophets spoke by inspiration of the Spirit of the
301 tc Heb “the word is not in them.” The MT has a highly unusual form here, the Piel perfect with the definite article (הַדִּבֵּר, haddibber). It is undoubtedly best to read with the LXX (Greek version) and one Hebrew
302 tn Heb “Therefore.”
sn Here the emphasis appears to be on the fact that the
304 tn The words, “to me” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection. They are supplied in the translation for clarification.
305 tn Heb “you have spoken.” The text here דַּבֶּרְכֶם (dabberkhem, “you have spoken”) is either a case of a scribal error for דַּבֶּרָם (dabberam, “they have spoken”) or an example of the rapid shift in addressee which is common in Jeremiah.
306 tn Heb “this word.”
307 tn Heb “like wood and it [i.e., the fire I put in your mouth] will consume them.”
308 tn Heb “oracle of the
309 tn Heb “Behold!”
310 tn Heb “house of Israel.”
311 tn Heb “All of them are mighty warriors.”
312 tn Heb “his quiver [is] an open grave.” The order of the lines has been reversed to make the transition from “nation” to “their arrows” easier.
313 tn Heb “eat up.”
314 tn Or “eat up your grapes and figs”; Heb “eat up your vines and your fig trees.”
sn It was typical for an army in time of war in the ancient Near East not only to eat up the crops but to destroy the means of further production.
315 tn Heb “They will beat down with the sword.” The term “sword” is a figure of speech (synecdoche) for military weapons in general. Siege ramps, not swords, beat down city walls; swords kill people, not city walls.
316 tn Heb “in those days.”
317 tn The word, “Jeremiah,” is not in the text but the second person address in the second half of the verse is obviously to him. The word is supplied in the translation here for clarity.
318 tn The MT reads the second masculine plural; this is probably a case of attraction to the second masculine plural pronoun in the preceding line. An alternative would be to understand a shift from speaking first to the people in the first half of the verse and then speaking to Jeremiah in the second half where the verb is second masculine singular. E.g., “When you [people] say, “Why…?” then you, Jeremiah, tell them…”
319 tn Heb “As you left me and…, so you will….” The translation was chosen so as to break up a rather long and complex sentence.
320 sn This is probably a case of deliberate ambiguity (double entendre). The adjective “foreigners” is used for both foreign people (so Jer 30:8; 51:51) and foreign gods (so Jer 2:25; 3:13). See also Jer 16:13 for the idea of having to serve other gods in the lands of exile.
321 sn The verbs are second plural here. Jeremiah, speaking for the
322 tn Heb “in the house of Jacob.”
323 tn Heb “they have eyes but they do not see, they have ears but they do not hear.”
324 tn Heb “Should you not fear me? Should you not tremble in awe before me?” The rhetorical questions expect the answer explicit in the translation.
325 tn Heb “it.” The referent is made explicit to avoid any possible confusion.
326 tn The words, “their own way” are not in the text but are implicit and are supplied in the translation for clarity.
327 tn Heb “say in their hearts.”
328 tn Heb “who keeps for us the weeks appointed for harvest.”
329 tn Heb “have turned these things away.”
330 tn Heb “have withheld the good from you.”
331 tn The meaning of the last three words is uncertain. The pointing and meaning of the Hebrew word rendered “hiding in ambush” is debated. BDB relates the form (כְּשַׁךְ, kÿshakh) to a root שָׁכַךְ (shakhakh), which elsewhere means “decrease, abate” (cf. BDB 1013 s.v. שָׁכַךְ), and notes that this is usually understood as “like the crouching of fowlers,” but they say this meaning is dubious. HALOT 1345 s.v. I שׁוֹר questions the validity of the text and offers three proposals; the second appears to create the least textual modification, i.e., reading כְּשַׂךְ (kesakh, “as in the hiding place of (bird catchers)”; for the word שַׂךְ (sakh) see HALOT 1236 s.v. שׂךְ 4 and compare Lam 2:6 for usage. The versions do not help. The Greek does not translate the first two words of the line. The proposal given in HALOT is accepted with some hesitancy.
332 tn Heb “a destroying thing.”
333 tn The words, “that have been caught” are not in the text but are implicit in the comparison.
335 tn Heb “therefore they have gotten great and rich.”
336 tn These words are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to show that this line is parallel with the preceding.
337 tn The meaning of this word is uncertain. This verb occurs only here. The lexicons generally relate it to the word translated “plate” in Song 5:14 and understand it to mean “smooth, shiny” (so BDB 799 s.v. I עֶשֶׁת) or “fat” (so HALOT 850 s.v. II עֶשֶׁת). The word in Song 5:14 more likely means “smooth” than “plate” (so TEV). So “sleek” is most likely here.
338 tn Heb “they cross over/transgress with respect to matters of evil.”
sn There is a wordplay in the use of this word which has twice been applied in v. 22 to the sea not crossing the boundary set for it by God.
339 tn Heb “Should I not punish…? Should I not bring retribution…?” The rhetorical questions function as emphatic declarations.
sn These words are repeated from 5:9 to give a kind of refrain justifying again the necessity of punishment in the light of such sins.
340 tn Heb “they shall rule at their hands.” Since the word “hand” can be used figuratively for authority or mean “side” and the pronoun “them” can refer to the priests themselves or the prophets, the following translations have also been suggested: “the priests rule under their [the prophets’] directions,” or “the priests rule in league with them [the prophets].” From the rest of the book it would appear that the prophets did not exercise authority over the priests nor did they exercise the same authority over the people that the priests did. Hence it probably mean “by their own hand/power/authority.”
341 tn Heb “But what will you do at its end?” The rhetorical question implies a negative answer: “Nothing!”
342 tn Heb “Flee for safety, people of Benjamin, out of the midst of Jerusalem.”
sn Compare and contrast Jer 4:6. There people in the outlying areas were warned to seek safety in the fortified city of Jerusalem. Here they are told to flee it because it was about to be destroyed.
343 tn Heb “ram’s horn,” but the modern equivalent is “trumpet” and is more readily understandable.
344 tn Heb “leans down” or “looks down.” This verb personifies destruction leaning/looking down from its window in the sky, ready to attack.
345 tn Heb “[It will be] a severe fracture.” The nation is pictured as a limb being fractured.
sn This passage is emotionally charged. There are two examples of assonance or wordplay in the verse: “sound” (Heb tiq’u, “blow”), which has the same consonants as “Tekoa” (Heb uvitqoa’), and “signal fire,” which comes from the same root as “light” (Heb sÿ’u mas’et, “lift up”). There is also an example of personification where disaster is said to “lurk” (Heb “look down on”) out of the north. This gives a sense of urgency and concern for the coming destruction.
346 tn The verb here is another example of the Hebrew verb form that indicates the action is as good as done (a Hebrew prophetic perfect).
347 sn Jerusalem is personified as a young maiden who is helpless in the hands of her enemies.
348 tn Heb “The beautiful and delicate one I will destroy, the daughter of Zion. The English versions and commentaries are divided over the rendering of this verse because (1) there are two verbs with these same consonants, one meaning “to be like” and the other meaning “to be destroyed” (intransitive) or “to destroy” (transitive), and (2) the word rendered “beautiful” (נָוָה, navah) can be understood as a noun meaning “pasture” or as a defective writing of an adjective meaning “beautiful, comely” (נָאוָה, na’vah). Hence some render “Fair Zion, you are like a lovely pasture,” reading the verb form as an example of the old second feminine singular perfect. Although this may fit the imagery of the next verse, that rendering ignores the absence of a preposition (לְ or אֶל, lÿ or ’el, both of which can be translated “to”) that normally goes with the verb “be like” and drops the conjunction in front of the adjective “delicate.” The parallel usage of the verb in Hos 4:5 argues for the meaning “destroy.”
349 tn Heb “Shepherds and their flocks will come against it.” Rulers are often depicted as shepherds; see BDB 945 s.v. רָעָה 1.d(2) (cf. Jer 12:10). The translation of this verse attempts to clarify the point of this extended metaphor.
350 tn Heb “They will thrust [= pitch] tents around it.” The shepherd imagery has a surprisingly ominous tone. The beautiful pasture filled with shepherds grazing their sheep is in reality a city under siege from an attacking enemy.
351 tn Heb “They will graze each one his portion.” For the use of the verb “graze” to mean “strip” or “devastate” see BDB 945 s.v. רָעָה 2.c. For a similar use of the word normally meaning “hand” to mean portion compare 2 Sam 19:43 (19:44 HT).
sn There is a wordplay involving “sound…in Tekoa” mentioned in the study note on “destruction” in v. 1. The Hebrew verb “they will pitch” is from the same root as the word translated “sound” (taqÿ’u [תִּקְעוּ] here and tiq’u [תִּקְעוּ] in v. 1).
352 tn These words are not in the text but are implicit in the connection. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
353 tn Heb “Sanctify war.” This is probably an idiom from early Israel’s holy wars in which religious rites were to precede the battle.
354 tn These words are not in the text but are supplied in the translation for clarity. Some commentaries and English versions see these not as the words of the enemy but as those of the Israelites expressing their fear that the enemy will launch a night attack against them and further destroy them. The connection with the next verse, however, fits better with them if they are the words of the enemy.
355 tn Heb “Woe to us!” For the usage of this phrase see the translator’s note on 4:13. The usage of this particle here is a little exaggerated. They have lost the most advantageous time for attack but they are scarcely in a hopeless or doomed situation. The equivalent in English slang is “Bad news!”
356 tn Heb “For.” The translation attempts to make the connection clearer.
357 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”
sn For an explanation of the significance of this title see the study note on 2:19.
358 tn Heb “Cut down its trees and build up a siege ramp against Jerusalem.” The referent has been moved forward from the second line for clarity.
359 tn Or “must be punished.” The meaning of this line is uncertain. The LXX reads, “Woe, city of falsehood!” The MT presents two anomalies: a masculine singular verb with a feminine singular subject in a verbal stem (Hophal) that elsewhere does not have the meaning “is to be punished.” Hence many follow the Greek which presupposes הוֹי עִיר הַשֶּׁקֶר (hoy ’ir hasheqer) instead of הִיא הָעִיר הָפְקַד (hi’ ha’ir hofqad). The Greek is the easier reading in light of the parallelism, and it would be hard to explain how the MT arose from it. KBL suggests reading a noun meaning “licentiousness” which occurs elsewhere only in Mishnaic Hebrew, hence “this is the city, the licentious one” (attributive apposition; cf. KBL 775 s.v. פֶּקֶר). Perhaps the Hophal perfect (הָפְקַד, hofÿqad) should be revocalized as a Niphal infinitive absolute (הִפָּקֹד, hippaqod); this would solve both anomalies in the MT since the Niphal is used in this nuance and the infinitive absolute can function in place of a finite verb (cf. GKC 346 §113.ee and ff). This, however, is mere speculation and is supported by no Hebrew
360 tn Heb “All of it oppression in its midst.”
361 tc Heb “As a well makes cool/fresh its water, she makes cool/fresh her wickedness.” The translation follows the reading proposed by the Masoretes (Qere) which reads a rare form of the word “well” (בַּיִר [bayir] for בְּאֵר [bÿ’er]) in place of the form written in the text (Kethib, בּוֹר [bor]), which means “cistern.” The latter noun is masculine and the pronoun “its” is feminine. If indeed בַּיִר (bayir) is a byform of בְּאֵר (be’er), which is feminine, it would agree in gender with the pronoun. It also forms a more appropriate comparison since cisterns do not hold fresh water.
362 tn Heb “Violence and destruction are heard in it.”
363 tn Heb “Sickness and wound are continually before my face.”
364 tn This word is not in the text but is supplied in the translation. Jeremiah uses a figure of speech (enallage) where the speaker turns from talking about someone to address him/her directly.
365 tn Heb “lest my soul [= I] becomes disgusted with you.”
sn The wordplay begun with “sound…in Tekoa” in v. 1 and continued with “they will pitch” in v. 3 is concluded here with “turn away” (וּבִתְקוֹעַ תִּקְעוּ [uvitqoa’ tiq’u] in v. 1, תָּקְעוּ [taq’u] in v. 3 and תֵּקַע [teqa’] here).
366 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”
sn For an explanation of the significance of this title see the study note on 2:19.
367 tn The words “to me” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation for clarity.
368 tn Heb “They will thoroughly glean those who are left in Israel like a vine.” That is, they will be carried off by judgment. It is not necessary to read the verb forms here as two imperatives or an infinitive absolute followed by an imperative as some English versions and commentaries do. This is an example of a third plural verb used impersonally and translated as a passive (cf. GKC 460 §144.g).
369 tn Heb “Pass your hand back over the branches like a grape harvester.” The translation is intended to clarify the metaphor that Jeremiah should try to rescue some from the coming destruction.
370 tn These words are not in the text but are supplied in the translation for clarity.
371 tn Or “To whom shall I speak? To whom shall I give warning? Who will listen?” Heb “Unto whom shall I speak and give warning that they may listen?”
372 tn Heb “are uncircumcised.”
373 tn Heb “Behold!”
374 tn Heb “They do not take pleasure in it.”
375 tn Heb “I am full of the wrath of the
376 tn These words are not in the text but are implicit from the words that follow. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
377 tn Heb “Pour it out.”
378 tn Heb “are to be captured.”
379 tn Heb “I will reach out my hand.” This figure involves both comparing God to a person (anthropomorphism) and substitution (metonymy) where hand is put for the actions or exertions of the hand. A common use of “hand” is for the exertion of power or strength (cf. BDB 290 s.v. יָד 2 and 289-90 s.v. יָד 1.e(2); cf. Deut 34:12; Ps 78:42; Jer 16:21).
380 tn Heb “They heal [= bandage] the wound of my people lightly”; TEV “They act as if my people’s wounds were only scratches.”
381 tn Heb “They say, ‘Peace! Peace!’ and there is no peace!”
382 tn Heb “They will fall among the fallen.”
384 tn Heb “Stand at the crossroads and look.”
386 tn Heb “the way of/to the good.”
388 tn Heb “I appointed watchmen over you.”
389 tn Heb “Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet.” The word “warning” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied.
390 tn These words are not in the text but are implicit from the flow of the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
391 tn Heb “Know, congregation [or witness], what in [or against] them.” The meaning of this line is somewhat uncertain. The meaning of the noun of address in the second line (“witness,” rendered as an imperative in the translation, “Be witnesses”) is greatly debated. It is often taken as “congregation” but the lexicons and commentaries generally question the validity of reading that word since it is nowhere else applied to the nations. BDB 417 s.v. עֵדָה 3 says that the text is dubious. HALOT 747 s.v. I עֵדָה, 4 emends the text to דֵּעָה (de’ah). Several modern English versions (e.g., NIV, NCV, God’s Word) take it as the feminine singular noun “witness” (cf. BDB 729 s.v. II עֵדָה) and understand it as a collective. This solution is also proposed by J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT], 259, n. 3) and appears to make the best sense in the context. The end of the line is very elliptical but is generally taken as either, “what I will do with/to them,” or “what is coming against them” (= “what will happen to them”) on the basis of the following context.
392 tn Heb “earth.”
393 tn Heb “Behold!”
394 tn Heb “disaster on these people, the fruit of their schemes.”
395 tn Heb “my word.”
396 tn Heb “To what purpose is it to me?” The question is rhetorical and expects a negative answer.
397 tn The words “when they offer up to me” are not in the text but are implicit from the following context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
398 tn Heb “Your burnt offerings are not acceptable and your sacrifices are not pleasing to me.” “The shift from “your” to “their” is an example of the figure of speech (apostrophe) where the speaker turns from talking about someone to addressing him/her directly. Though common in Hebrew style, it is not common in English. The shift to the third person in the translation is an accommodation to English style.
399 tn This is an attempt to render the Hebrew particle rendered “behold” joined to the first person pronoun.
400 tn Heb “I will put stumbling blocks in front of these people.” In this context the stumbling blocks are the invading armies.
401 tn The words “and fall to their destruction” are implicit in the metaphor and are supplied in the translation for clarity.
402 tn Heb “people.”
403 sn Jerualem is personified as a young maiden helpless before enemy attackers.
404 tn These words are not in the text, but, from the context, someone other than God is speaking and is speaking for and to the people (either Jeremiah or the people themselves). These words are supplied in the translation for clarity.
405 tn Or “We have lost our strength to do battle”; Heb “Our hands hang limp [or helpless at our sides].” According to BDB 951 s.v. רָפָה Qal.2, this idiom is used figuratively for losing heart or energy. The best example of its figurative use of loss of strength or the feeling of helplessness is in Ezek 21:12 where it appears in the context of the heart (courage) melting, the spirit sinking, and the knees becoming like water. For other examples compare 2 Sam 4:1; Zeph 3:16. In Neh 6:9 it is used literally of the builders “dropping their hands from the work” out of fear. The words “with fear” are supplied in the translation because they are implicit in the context.
406 tn Heb “For the enemy has a sword.”
407 tn Heb “Terror is all around!”
408 tn These words are not in the text but are implicit from the context.
410 tn Heb “suddenly.”
411 tn Heb “the destroyer.”
413 tn Heb “I have made you an assayer of my people, a tester [?].” The meaning of the words translated “assayer” (בָּחוֹן, bakhon) and “tester” (מִבְצָר, mivtsar) is uncertain. The word בָּחוֹן (bakhon) can mean “tower” (cf. BDB 103 s.v. בָּחוֹן; cf. Isa 23:13 for the only other use) or “assayer” (cf. BDB 103 s.v. בָּחוֹן). The latter would be the more expected nuance because of the other uses of nouns and verbs from this root. The word מִבְצָר (mivtsar) normally means “fortress” (cf. BDB 131 s.v. מִבְצָר), but most modern commentaries and lexicons deem that nuance inappropriate here. HALOT follows a proposal that the word is to be repointed to מְבַצֵּר (mÿvatser) and derived from a root בָּצַר (batsar) meaning “to test” (cf. HALOT 143 s.v. IV בָּצַר). That proposal makes the most sense in the context, but the root appears nowhere else in the OT.
414 tn Heb “test their way.”
415 tn These words are not in the text but are supplied in the translation for clarity. Some takes these words to be the continuation of the
416 tn Or “arch rebels,” or “hardened rebels.” Literally “rebels of rebels.”
417 tn Heb “The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire.” The translation tries to clarify a metaphor involving ancient metallurgy. In the ancient refining process lead was added as a flux to remove impurities from silver ore in the process of oxidizing the lead. Jeremiah says that the lead has been used up and the impurities have not been removed. The translation is based on the recognition of an otherwise unused verb root meaning “blow” (נָחַר [nakhar]; cf. BDB 1123 s.v. I חָרַר and HALOT 651 s.v. נָחַר) and the Masoretes’ suggestion that the consonants מאשׁתם be read מֵאֵשׁ תַּם (me’esh tam) rather than as מֵאֶשָּׁתָם (me’eshatam, “from their fire”) from an otherwise unattested noun אֶשָּׁה (’eshah).
418 tn Heb “The refiner refines them in vain.”
419 tn This translation is intended to reflect the wordplay in the Hebrew text where the same root word is repeated in the two lines.
420 tn Heb “The word which came to Jeremiah from the
421 tn Heb “Proclaim there…” The adverb is unnecessary in English style.
422 sn That is, all those who have passed through the gates of the outer court and are standing in the courtyard of the temple.
423 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God Israel.”
sn Compare the use of similar titles in 2:19; 5:14; 6:6 and see the explanation in the study note at 2:19. In this instance the title appears to emphasize the
424 tn Or “Make good your ways and your actions.” J. Bright’s translation (“Reform the whole pattern of your conduct”; Jeremiah [AB], 52) is excellent.
425 tn Heb “place” but this might be misunderstood to refer to the temple.
426 tn Heb “Stop trusting in lying words which say.”
427 tn The words “We are safe!” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation for clarity.
428 tn Heb “The temple of the
429 tn The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.
430 tn Heb “you must do justice between a person and his fellow/neighbor.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.
431 tn Heb “Stop oppressing foreigner, orphan, and widow.”
432 tn Heb “Stop shedding innocent blood.”
434 tn Heb “going after other gods to your ruin.”
435 tn The translation uses imperatives in vv. 5-6 followed by the phrase, “If you do all this,” to avoid the long and complex sentence structure of the Hebrew sentence which has a series of conditional clauses in vv. 5-6 followed by a main clause in v. 7.
436 tn Heb “live in this place, in this land.”
437 tn Heb “gave to your fathers [with reference to] from ancient times even unto forever.”
438 tn Heb “Behold!”
440 tn Heb “not profit [you].”
444 tn Or “‘We are safe!’ – safe, you think, to go on doing all those hateful things.” Verses 9-10 are all one long sentence in the Hebrew text. It has been broken up for English stylistic reasons. Somewhat literally it reads “Will you steal…then come and stand…and say, ‘We are safe’ so as to/in order to do…” The Hebrew of v. 9 has a series of infinitives which emphasize the bare action of the verb without the idea of time or agent. The effect is to place a kind of staccato like emphasis on the multitude of their sins all of which are violations of one of the Ten Commandments. The final clause in v. 8 expresses purpose or result (probably result) through another infinitive. This long sentence is introduced by a marker (ה interrogative in Hebrew) introducing a rhetorical question in which God expresses his incredulity that they could do these sins, come into the temple and claim the safety of his protection, and then go right back out and commit the same sins. J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 52) catches the force nicely: “What? You think you can steal, murder…and then come and stand…and say, ‘We are safe…’ just so that you can go right on…”
446 tn Heb “Is this house…a den/cave of robbers in your eyes?”
447 tn Heb “Behold!”
448 tn Heb “where I caused my name to dwell.” The translation does not adequately represent the theology of the
449 sn The place in Shiloh…see what I did to it. This refers to the destruction of Shiloh by the Philistines circa 1050
450 tn This reflects a Hebrew idiom (e.g., 7:25; 11:7; 25:3, 4), i.e., an infinitive of a verb meaning “to do something early [or eagerly]” followed by an infinitive of another verb of action. Cf. HALOT 1384 s.v. שָׁכַם Hiph.2.
451 tn Heb “I called to you and you did not answer.” The words “to repent” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation for clarity.
454 tn Heb “I will do to this house which I…in which you put…and to this place which…as I did to Shiloh.”
455 tn Heb “the descendants of Ephraim.” However, Ephraim here stands (as it often does) for all the northern tribes of Israel.
456 tn The words “Then the
457 tn Heb “As for you.” The personal name Jeremiah is supplied in the translation for clarity.
458 tn The words “to save them” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
459 tn Or “Just look at…” The question is rhetorical and expects a positive answer.
461 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.
462 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.
463 tn Heb “Is it I whom they provoke?” The rhetorical question expects a negative answer which is made explicit in the translation.
464 tn Heb “Is it not themselves to their own shame?” The rhetorical question expects a positive answer which is made explicit in the translation.
465 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” The translation follows the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the Hebrew word for God for the proper name Yahweh.
466 tn Heb “this place.” Some see this as a reference to the temple but the context has been talking about what goes on in the towns of Judah and Jerusalem and the words that follow, meant as a further explanation, are applied to the whole land.
467 tn Heb “the trees of/in the field and the fruit of/in the ground.”
469 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.”
sn See the study notes on 2:19 and 7:3.
470 tn Heb “Add your burnt offerings to your [other] sacrifices and eat the meat!” See the following sn for explanation. This is an example of the rhetorical use of the imperative for a sarcastic challenge. Cf. GKC 324 §110.a; cf. Amos 4:4, “Go to Bethel and sin!”
sn All of the burnt offering, including the meat, was to be consumed on the altar (e.g., Lev 1:6-9). The meat of the other sacrifices could be eaten by the priest who offered the sacrifice and the person who brought it (e.g., Lev 7:16-18, 32). Since, however, the people of Judah were making a mockery of the sacrificial system by offering sacrifices while disobeying the law, the
471 tn Heb “For” but this introduces a long explanation about the relative importance of sacrifice and obedience.
472 tn Verses 22-23a read in Hebrew, “I did not speak with your ancestors and I did not command them when I brought them out of Egypt about words/matters concerning burnt offering and sacrifice, but I commanded them this word:” Some modern commentators have explained this passage as an evidence for the lateness of the Pentateuchal instruction regarding sacrifice or a denial that sacrifice was practiced during the period of the wilderness wandering. However, it is better explained as an example of what R. de Vaux calls a dialectical negative, i.e., “not so much this as that” or “not this without that” (Ancient Israel, 454-56). For other examples of this same argument see Isa 1:10-17; Hos 6:4-6; Amos 5:21-25.
473 tn Heb “Obey me and I will be.” The translation is equivalent syntactically but brings out the emphasis in the command.
474 tn Heb “Walk in all the way that I command you.”
475 tn Or “They went backward and not forward”; Heb “They were to the backward and not to the forward.” The two phrases used here appear nowhere else in the Bible and the latter preposition plus adverb elsewhere is used temporally meaning “formerly” or “previously.” The translation follows the proposal of J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB), 57. Another option is “they turned their backs to me, not their faces,” understanding the line as a variant of a line in 2:27.
476 tn Heb “from the day your ancestors…until this very day.” However, “day” here is idiomatic for “the present time.”
478 tc There is some textual debate about the legitimacy of this expression here. The text reads merely “day” (יוֹם, yom). BHS suggests the word is to be deleted as a dittography of the plural ending of the preceding word. The word is in the Greek and Latin, and the Syriac represents the typical idiom “day after day” as though the noun were repeated. Either יוֹם has dropped out by haplography or a ם (mem) has been left out, i.e., reading יוֹמָם (yomam, “daily”).
479 tn Or “But your predecessors…”; Heb “But they….” There is a confusing interchange in the pronouns in vv. 25-26 which has led to some leveling in the ancient versions and the modern English versions. What is involved here are four levels of referents, the “you” of the present generation (vv. 21-22a), the ancestors who were delivered from Egypt (i.e., the “they” of vv. 22b-24), the “you” of v. 25 which involves all the Israelites from the Exodus to the time of speaking, and the “they” of v. 26 which cannot be the ancestors of vv. 22-24 (since they cannot be more wicked than themselves) but must be an indefinite entity which is a part of the “you” of v. 25, i.e., the more immediate ancestors of the present generation. If this is kept in mind, there is no need to level the pronouns to “they” and “them” or to “you” and “your” as some of the ancient versions and modern English versions have done.
480 tn Heb “hardened [or made stiff] their neck.”
481 tn The words, “Then the
482 tn Heb “Faithfulness has vanished. It is cut off from their lips.”
sn For the need for faithfulness see 5:1, 3.
483 tn The word “mourn” is not in the text. It is supplied in the translation for clarity to explain the significance of the words “Cut your hair and throw it away.”
484 tn The words, “you people of this nation” are not in the text. Many English versions supply, “Jerusalem.” The address shifts from second masculine singular addressing Jeremiah (vv. 27-28a) to second feminine singular. It causes less disruption in the flow of the context to see the nation as a whole addressed here as a feminine singular entity (as, e.g., in 2:19, 23; 3:2, 3; 6:26) than to introduce a new entity, Jerusalem.
485 tn The verbs here are the Hebrew scheduling perfects. For this use of the perfect see GKC 312 §106.m.
486 tn Heb “the generation of his wrath.”
487 tn The words “I have rejected them” are not in the Hebrew text, which merely says “because.” These words are supplied in the translation to show more clearly the connection to the preceding.
488 tn Heb “have done the evil in my eyes.”
489 sn Compare, e.g., 2 Kgs 21:3, 5, 7; 23:4, 6; Ezek 8:3, 5, 10-12, 16. Manasseh had desecrated the temple by building altars, cult symbols, and idols in it. Josiah had purged the temple of these pagan elements. But it is obvious from both Jeremiah and Ezekiel that they had been replaced shortly after Josiah’s death. They were a primary cause of Judah’s guilt and punishment (see beside this passage, 19:5; 32:34-35).
491 tn Heb “high places.”
sn These places of worship were essentially open air shrines often located on hills or wooded heights. They were generally connected with pagan worship and equipped with altars of sacrifice and of incense and cult objects such as wooden poles and stone pillars which were symbols of the god and/or goddess worshiped at the sight. The Israelites were commanded to tear down these Canaanite places of worship (Num 33:52) but they did not do so, often taking over the site for the worship of Yahweh but even then incorporating some of the pagan cult objects and ritual into their worship of Yahweh (1 Kgs 12:31, 32; 14:23). The prophets were especially opposed to these places and to this kind of syncretism (Hos 10:8; Amos 7:9) and to the pagan worship that was often practiced at them (Jer 7:31; 19:5; 32:35).
492 tn Heb “the high places of [or in] Topheth.”
sn The noun Topheth is generally explained as an artificial formation of a word related to the Aramaic word for “cooking stove” combined with the vowels for the word for “shame.” Hence, Jewish piety viewed it as a very shameful act, one that was contrary to the law (see Lev 18:21; 20:2-6). Child sacrifice was practiced during the reigns of the wicked kings Ahaz and Manasseh and apparently during Jeremiah’s day (cf. 2 Kgs 16:3; 21:6; Jer 32:35).
493 tn Heb “It never entered my heart.” The words “to command such a thing” do not appear in the Hebrew but are added for the sake of clarity.
494 tn Heb “Therefore, behold!”
495 tn Heb “it will no longer be said ‘Topheth’ or ‘the Valley of Ben Hinnom’ but ‘the valley of slaughter.’
496 tn Heb “And they will bury in Topheth so there is not room.”
497 tn Heb “Their dead bodies will be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth.”
498 tn Heb “At that time.”
499 tc MT, 4QJera and LXX read “the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven,” but 4QJerc reads “the sun and all the stars.”
tn Heb “the host of heaven.”
500 tn Heb “the sun, moon, and host of heaven which they…”
502 tn Heb “they will not” but the referent is far enough removed that it might be ambiguous.
503 tn Heb “like dung/manure on the surface of the ground.”
504 tn Heb “Death will be chosen rather than life by the remnant who are left from this wicked family in all the places where I have banished them.” The sentence is broken up and restructured to avoid possible confusion because of the complexity of the English to some modern readers. There appears to be an extra “those who are left” that was inadvertently copied from the preceding line. It is missing from one Hebrew
505 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”
sn For the significance of this title see the notes at 2:19 and 7:3.
506 tn The words “the
507 sn There is a play on two different nuances of the same Hebrew word that means “turn” and “return,” “turn away” and “turn back.”
508 tc The text is quite commonly emended, changing שׁוֹבְבָה הָעָם (shovÿvah ha’am) to שׁוֹבָב הָעָם (shovav ha’am) and omitting יְרוּשָׁלַםִ (yÿrushalaim); this is due to the anomaly of a feminine singular verb with a masculine singular subject and the fact that the word “Jerusalem” is absent from one Hebrew
509 tn Or “to their allegiance to false gods,” or “to their false professions of loyalty”; Heb “to deceit.” Either “to their mistaken beliefs” or “to their allegiance to false gods” would fit the preceding context. The former is more comprehensive than the latter and was chosen for that reason.
510 sn There is a continuing play on the same root word used in the preceding verse. Here the words “turn away from me,” “apostasy,” and “turn back to me” are all forms from the root that was translated “go the wrong way” and “turn around” in v. 4. The intended effect is to contrast Judah’s recalcitrant apostasy with the usual tendency to try and correct one’s mistakes.
511 tn Heb “I have paid attention and I have listened.” This is another case of two concepts being joined by “and” where one expresses the main idea and the other acts as an adverbial or adjectival modifier (a figure called hendiadys).
512 tn Heb “What have I done?” The addition of the word “wrong” is implicit in the context and is supplied in the translation for clarity. The rhetorical question does not function as a denial of wrongdoing, but rather as contrite shock at one’s own wrongdoing. It is translated as a declaration for the sake of clarity.
513 tn Heb “each one of them turns aside into their own running course.”
sn The wordplay begun in v. 4 is continued here. The word translated “turns aside” in the literal translation and “wayward” in the translation is from the same root as “go the wrong way,” “turn around,” “turn away from me,” “apostasy,” “turn back to me.” What God hoped for were confessions of repentance and change of behavior; what he got was denial of wrongdoing and continued turning away from him.
514 tn Heb “its appointed time.” The translation is contextually motivated to avoid lack of clarity.
515 tn There is debate in the commentaries and lexicons about the identification of some of these birds, particularly regarding the identification of the “swallow” which is more likely the “swift” and the “crane” which some identify with the “thrush.” For a discussion see the Bible encyclopedias and the UBS handbook Fauna and Flora of the Bible. The identity of the individual birds makes little difference to the point being made and “swallow” is more easily identifiable to the average reader than the “swift.”
516 tn Heb “keep.” Ironically birds, which do not think, obey the laws of nature, but Israel does not obey the laws of God.
517 tn Heb “do not know.” But here as elsewhere the word “know” is more than an intellectual matter. It is intended here to summarize both “know” and “follow” (Heb “observe”) in the preceding lines.
518 tn Heb “the ordinance/requirement of the
519 tn Heb “Surely, behold!”
520 tn Heb “the scribes.”
521 tn Heb “The lying pen of the scribes have made [it] into a lie.” The translation is an attempt to make the most common interpretation of this passage understandable for the average reader. This is, however, a difficult passage whose interpretation is greatly debated and whose syntax is capable of other interpretations. The interpretation of the NJPS, “Assuredly, for naught has the pen labored, for naught the scribes,” surely deserves consideration within the context; i.e. it hasn’t done any good for the scribes to produce a reliable copy of the law, which the people have refused to follow. That interpretation has the advantage of explaining the absence of an object for the verb “make” or “labored” but creates a very unbalanced poetic couplet.
522 tn Heb “be trapped.” However, the word “trapped” generally carries with it the connotation of divine judgment. See BDB 540 s.v. לָכַד Niph.2, and compare usage in Jer 6:11 for support. The verbs in the first two lines are again the form of the Hebrew verb that emphasizes that the action is as good as done (Hebrew prophetic perfects).
523 sn See Jer 6:12-15 for parallels to 8:10-12. The words of Jeremiah to the people may have been repeated on more than one occasion or have been found appropriate to more than one of his collection of messages in written and edited form. See Jer 36:4 and Jer 36:28 for reference to at least two of these collections.
525 tn Heb “They heal the wound of my people lightly.”
526 tn Heb “They say, ‘Peace! Peace!’ and there is no peace!”
527 tn Heb “They will fall among the fallen.”
528 tn Or “I will completely destroy them.” The translation which is adopted is based on the revocalization of the MT which appears to mean literally “gathering I will sweep them away,” a rather improbable grammatical combination. It follows the suggestion found in HALOT 705 s.v. סוּף (Hiph) of reading אֹסֵף אֲסִיפָם (’ose, a first singular Qal imperfect of אָסַף [’asaf] followed by a noun אָסִיף [’asif] with possessive suffix) instead of the MT’s אָסֹף אֲסִיפֵם (’aspf ’asifem, a Qal infinitive absolute of אָסַף [’asaf] followed by the Hiphil imperfect of סוּף [suf] plus suffix). For parallel usage of the verb אָסַף (asaf) see BDB 62 s.v. אָסַף Qal.4, and for a similar form of the verb see Mic 4:6. The alternate translation follows the suggestion in BDB 692 s.v. סוּף Hiph: אָסֹף (’asof) is to be interpreted as a form of the Hiphil infinitive absolute (הָסֵף [hasef] would be expected) chosen for assonance with the following form. This suggestion would gain more credence if the MT is to be retained in Zeph 1:2 where parallel forms are found. However, that text too has been questioned on lexical and grammatical grounds. The translation adopted fits the following context better than the alternate one and is based on less questionable lexical and grammatical parallels. The Greek translation which reads “they shall gather their fruits” supports the translation chosen.
529 tn The meaning of this line is very uncertain. A possible alternate translation is: “They have broken the laws that I gave them.” The line reads rather literally “And I gave them they passed over them.” The translation adopted treats the first expression as a noun clause (cf. GKC 488-89 §155.n) which is the subject of the following verb, i.e., “the things I gave them [contextually, the grapes, etc.] passed over from them.” The alternate translation treats the expression as a dangling object (a Hebrew casus pendens) resumed by the pronoun “them” and understands “the things that I gave them” to be the law or some related entity which is often the object of this verb (see BDB 717 s.v. עָבַר Qal.1.i). Neither of these translations is without its weakness. The weakness of the translation which has been adopted is the unusual use it assigns to the object suffix of the verb translated “pass over.” The weakness of the alternate translation is the rather abrupt and opaque introduction of a new topic of reference (i.e., the laws) into the context. On the whole the latter weakness would appear to outweigh the former. This line is missing from the Greek version and J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB]) and J. A. Thompson (Jeremiah [NICOT]) despair of giving a translation. For other possible suggestions see, W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:285-86.
531 tn Heb “Gather together and let us enter into the fortified cities.”
532 tn Heb “Let us die there.” The words “at least” and “fighting” are intended to bring out the contrast of passive surrender to death in the open country and active resistance to the death implicit in the context.
533 tn The words “of judgment” are not in the text but are intended to show that “poison water” is not literal but figurative of judgment at the hands of God through the agency of the enemy mentioned in v. 16.
534 tn Heb “against the
535 tn Heb “[We hoped] for a time of healing but behold terror.”
536 tn Heb “his stallions.”
537 tn The words “They are coming to destroy” are not in the text. They are inserted to break up a long sentence in conformity with contemporary English style.
538 tn These words which are at the end of the Hebrew verse are brought forward to show at the outset the shift in speaker.
539 tn Heb “Indeed [or For] behold!” The translation is intended to convey some of the connection that is suggested by the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) at the beginning of the verse.
540 tn Heb “I am sending against you snakes, poisonous ones which cannot be charmed.” In the light of the context literal snakes are scarcely meant. So the metaphor is turned into a simile to prevent possible confusion. For a similar metaphorical use of animals for enemies see 5:6.
541 tn Heb “they will bite you.” There does not appear to be any way to avoid the possible confusion that literal snakes are meant here except to paraphrase. Possibly one could say “And they will attack you and ‘bite’ you,” but the enclosing of the word “bite” in quotations might lead to even further confusion.
543 tn The meaning of this word is uncertain. The translation is based on the redivision and repointing of a word that occurs only here in the MT and whose pattern of formation is unparalleled in the Hebrew Bible. The MT reads מַבְלִיגִיתִי (mavligiti) which BDB provisionally derives from a verb root meaning “to gleam” or “to shine.” However, BDB notes that the text is dubious (cf. BDB 114 s.v. מַבְלִיגִית). The text is commonly emended to מִבְּלִי גְּהֹת (mibbÿli gÿhot) which is a Qal infinitive from a verb meaning “to heal” preceded by a compound negative “for lack of, to be at a loss for” (cf., e.g., HALOT 514 s.v. מַבְלִיגִית and 174 s.v. גּהה). This reading is supported by the Greek text which has an adjective meaning “incurable,” which is, however, connected with the preceding verse, i.e., “they will bite you incurably.”
545 tn Heb “Behold the voice of the crying of the daughter of my people.”
547 tn Heb “her King” but this might be misunderstood by some to refer to the Davidic ruler even with the capitalization.
548 tn The words, “The
549 sn The people’s cry and the
550 tn The words “They say” are not in the text; they are supplied in the translation to make clear that the lament of the people begun in v. 19b is continued here after the interruption of the
551 tn Heb “Harvest time has passed, the summer is over.”
sn This appears to be a proverbial statement for “time marches on.” The people appear to be expressing their frustration that the
553 tn Heb “Because of the crushing of the daughter of my people I am crushed.”
554 tn Heb “I go about in black [i.e., mourning clothes]. Dismay has seized me.”
555 tn Heb “balm.” The more familiar “ointment” has been used in the translation, supplemented with the adjective “medicinal.”
sn This medicinal ointment (Heb “balm”) consisted of the gum or resin from a tree that grows in Egypt and Palestine and was thought to have medicinal value (see also Jer 46:11).
556 tn Heb “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?” In this context the questions are rhetorical and expect a positive answer, which is made explicit in the translation.
sn The prophet means by this metaphor that there are still means available for healing the spiritual ills of his people, mainly repentance, obedience to the law, and sole allegiance to God, and still people available who will apply this medicine to them, namely prophets like himself.
558 tn Or more clearly, “restored to spiritual health”; Heb “Why then has healing not come to my dear people?”
sn Jeremiah is lamenting that though there is a remedy available for the recovery of his people they have not availed themselves of it.
559 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.
560 tn Heb “I wish that my head were water.”
562 tn Heb “I wish I had in the desert a lodging place [inn, or place to spend the night] for travelers.”
563 tn Or “bunch,” but this loses the irony; the word is used for the solemn assemblies at the religious feasts.
564 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.
565 tn The words “The
566 tn Heb “They have readied [or strung] their tongue as their bow for lies.”
567 tn Heb “but not through honesty.”
568 tn Heb “they go from evil to evil.”
569 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 : 31-37).
570 tn Heb “Be on your guard…Do not trust.” The verbs are second masculine plural of direct address and there seems no way to translate literally and not give the mistaken impression that Jeremiah is being addressed. This is another example of the tendency in Hebrew style to turn from description to direct address (a figure of speech called apostrophe).
571 tn Heb “cheating, each of them will cheat.”
sn There is perhaps an intentional pun and allusion here to Gen 27:36 and the wordplay on the name Jacob there. The text here reads עָקוֹב יַעְקֹב (’aqob ya’qob).
572 tn Heb “their tongues.” However, this is probably not a natural idiom in contemporary English and the tongue may stand as a part for the whole anyway.
573 tc An alternate reading for vv. 5d-6b is: “They wear themselves out doing wrong. Jeremiah, you live in the midst of deceitful people. They deceitfully refuse to take any thought of/acknowledge me.” The translation which has been adopted is based on a redivision of the lines, a redivision of some of the words, and a revocalization of some of the consonants. The MT reads literally “doing wrong they weary themselves. Your sitting in the midst of deceit; in deceit they refuse to know me” (הַעֲוֵה נִלְאוּ׃ שִׁבְתְּךָ בְּתוֹךְ מִרְמָה בְּמִרְמָה מֵאֲנוּ דַעַת־אוֹתִי). The Greek version reads literally “they do wrong and they do not cease to turn themselves around. Usury upon usury and deceit upon deceit. They do not want to know me.” This suggests that one should read the Hebrew text as שֻׁב׃ תֹּךְ בְּתוֹךְ מִרְ־מָה בְּמִרְ־מָה מֵאֲנוּ דַעַת אוֹתִי הַעֲוֵה נִלְאוּ, which translated literally yields “doing evil [= “they do evil” using the Hiphil infinitive absolute as a finite verb (cf. GKC 346 §113.ff)] they are not able [cf. KBL 468 s.v. לָאָה Niph.3 and see Exod 7:18 for parallel use] to repent. Oppression on oppression [cf. BDB 1067 s.v. תֹּךְ, II תּוֹךְ]; deceit on deceit. They refuse to know me.” This reading has ancient support and avoids the introduction of an unexpected second masculine suffix into the context. It has been adopted here along with a number of modern commentaries (cf., e.g., W. McKane, Jeremiah [ICC], 1:201) and English versions as the more likely reading.
575 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”
sn For the significance of this title see the notes at 2:19 and 7:3.
576 tn Heb “I will refine/purify them.” The words “in the fires of affliction” are supplied in the translation to give clarity to the metaphor.
578 tc Heb “For how else shall I deal because of the wickedness of the daughter of my people.” The MT does not have the word “wickedness.” The word, however, is read in the Greek version. This is probably a case of a word dropping out because of its similarities to the consonants preceding or following it (i.e., haplography). The word “wickedness” (רַעַת, ra’at) has dropped out before the words “my dear people” (בַּת־עַמִּי, bat-’ammi). The causal nuance which is normal for מִפְּנֵי (mippÿne) does not make sense without some word like this, and the combination of רַעַת מִפְּנֵי (mippÿne ra’at) does occur in Jer 7:12 and one very like it occurs in Jer 26:3.
579 tc This reading follows the Masoretic consonants (the Kethib, a Qal active participle from שָׁחַט, shakhat). The Masoretes preferred to read “a sharpened arrow” (the Qere, a Qal passive participle from the same root or a homonym, meaning “hammered, beaten”). See HALOT 1354 s.v. II שָׁחַט for discussion. The exact meaning of the word makes little difference to the meaning of the metaphor itself.
580 tn Heb “They speak deceit.”
581 tn Heb “With his mouth a person speaks peace to his neighbor, but in his heart he sets an ambush for him.”
582 tn Heb “Should I not punish them…? Should I not bring retribution…?” The rhetorical questions function as emphatic declarations.
sn See 5:9, 29. This is somewhat of a refrain at the end of a catalog of Judah’s sins.
583 tn The words “I said” are not in the text, but there is general agreement that Jeremiah is the speaker. Cf. the lament in 8:18-9:1. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity. Some English versions follow the Greek text which reads a plural imperative here. Since this reading would make the transition between 9:10 and 9:11 easier it is probably not original but a translator’s way of smoothing over a difficulty.
584 tn Heb “I will lift up weeping and mourning.”
585 tn Heb “for the mountains.” However, the context makes clear that it is the grasslands or pastures on the mountains that are meant. The words “for the grasslands” are supplied in the translation for clarity.
586 tn The words “the
588 tn Heb “a heap of ruins, a haunt for jackals.”
589 tn The words, “I said” are not in the text. It is not clear that a shift in speaker has taken place. However, the words of the verse are very unlikely to be a continuation of the
590 tn Heb “Who is the wise man that he may understand this?”
591 tn Heb “And [who is the man] to whom the mouth of the
592 tn Heb “and they have not walked in it (with “it” referring to “my law”).
594 tn Heb “the Baals,” referring either to the pagan gods called “Baals” or the images of Baal (so NLT).
595 tn Or “forefathers,” or “ancestors.” Here the referent could be the immediate parents or, by their example, more distant ancestors.
596 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.”
sn See the study notes on 2:9 and 7:3.
597 tn Heb “Therefore, thus says the
598 tn Heb “I will feed this people wormwood and make them drink poison water.” “Wormwood” and “poison water” are not to be understood literally here but are symbolic of judgment and suffering. See, e.g., BDB 542 s.v. לַעֲנָה.
599 tn Heb “fathers.”
600 tn Heb “I will send the sword after them.” The sword here is probably not completely literal but refers to death by violent means, including death by the sword.
602 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”
sn For the significance of this title see the notes at 2:19 and 7:3.
603 tn Heb “Thus says Yahweh of armies.” However, without some addition it is not clear to whom the command is addressed. The words are supplied in the translation for clarity and to help resolve a rather confusing issue of who is speaking throughout vv. 16-21. As has been evident throughout the translation, the speaker is not always indicated. Sometimes it is not even clear who the speaker is. In general the translation and the notes have reflected the general consensus in identifying who it is. Here, however, there is a good deal of confusion about who is speaking in vv. 18, 20-21. The Greek translation has the
604 tn Heb “Consider!”
605 tn Heb “Call for the mourning women that they may come and send for the wise/skilled women that they may come.” The verbs here are masculine plural, addressed to the people.
606 tn The words “And I said, ‘Indeed” are not in the text. They have been supplied in the translation to try and help clarify who the speaker is who identifies with the lament of the people.
607 tn The words “They will wail” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation to make clear that this is the wailing that will be heard.
sn The destruction is still in the future, but it is presented graphically as though it had already taken place.
608 tn Heb “How we are ruined!”
609 tn The order of these two lines has been reversed for English stylistic reasons. The text reads in Hebrew “because we have left our land because they have thrown down our dwellings.” The two clauses offer parallel reasons for the cries “How ruined we are! [How] we are greatly disgraced!” But the first line must contain a prophetic perfect (because the lament comes from Jerusalem) and the second a perfect referring to a destruction that is itself future. This seems the only way to render the verse that would not be misleading.
610 tn The words “I said” are not in the text. The text merely has “Indeed, yes.” The words are supplied in the translation to indicate that the speaker is still Jeremiah though he now is not talking about the mourning woman but is talking to them. See the notes on 9:17-18 for further explanation.
611 tn It is a little difficult to explain how the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) is functioning here. W. L. Holladay (Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 1:311) may be correct in seeing it as introducing the contents of what those who call for the mourning women are to say. In this case, Jeremiah picks up the task as representative of the people.
612 tn Heb “Listen to the word of the
sn In this context the “word of the
613 tn Heb “Teach…mournful song, and each woman her neighbor lady…”
614 sn Here Death is personified (treated as though it were a person). Some have seen as possible background to this lament an allusion to Mesopotamian mythology where the demon Lamastu climbs in through the windows of houses and over their walls to kill children and babies.
615 tn Or “‘Death has climbed…city squares. And the dead bodies of people lie scattered…They lie scattered…but has not been gathered.’ The
616 sn It is not always clear why verses were placed in their present position in the editorial process of collecting Jeremiah’s sermons and the words the
617 tn Or “Strong people should not brag that they are strong.”
618 tn Heb “…in their wisdom…in their power…in their riches.”
619 tn Or “fairness and justice, because these things give me pleasure.” Verse 24 reads in Hebrew, “But let the one who brags brag in this: understanding and knowing me that I, the
620 tn Heb “Behold!”
621 tn Heb “punish all who are circumcised in the flesh.” The translation is contextually motivated to better bring out the contrast that follows.
622 tn Heb “all those who are cut off on the side of the head who live in the desert.” KJV and some other English versions (e.g., NIV “who live in the desert in distant places”; NLT “who live in distant places”) have followed the interpretation that this is a biform of an expression meaning “end or remote parts of the [far] corners [of the earth].” This interpretation is generally abandoned by the more recent commentaries and lexicons (see, e.g. BDB 802 s.v. פֵּאָה 1 and HALOT 858 s.v. פֵּאָה 1.β). It occurs also in 25:33; 49:32.
623 tn Heb “For all of these nations are uncircumcised.” The words “I will do so” are supplied in the translation to indicate the connection with the preceding statement.
sn A contrast is drawn here between circumcision as a mere external cutting of the flesh and a sign of commitment to the covenant and the God of the covenant. The people of these nations practiced circumcision but not as a sign of the covenant. The people of Israel engaged in it as a religious practice but without any obedience to the covenant that it was a sign of or any real commitment to the
624 tn Heb “house of Israel.”
625 tn Heb “And all the house of Israel is uncircumcised of heart.”
626 tn Heb “house of Israel.”
628 tn Heb “signs.” The words “that occur” are supplied in the translation for clarity.
sn The Hebrew word translated here “things that go on in the sky” (אֹתוֹת, ’otot) refers both to unusual disturbances such as eclipses, comets, meteors, etc., but also to such things as the changes in the position of the sun, moon, and stars in conjunction with the changes in seasons (cf. Gen 1:14). The people of Assyria and Babylonia worshiped the sun, moon, and stars, thinking that these heavenly bodies had some hold over them.
629 tn Heb “statutes.” According to BDB 350 s.v. חֻקָּה 2.b it refers to the firmly established customs or practices of the pagan nations. Compare the usage in Lev 20:23; 2 Kgs 17:8. Here it is essentially equivalent to דֶּרֶךְ (derekh) in v. 1, which has already been translated “religious practices.”
630 sn This passage is dripping with sarcasm. It begins by talking about the “statutes” of the pagan peoples as a “vapor” using a singular copula and singular predicate. Then it suppresses the subject, the idol, as though it were too horrible to mention, using only the predications about it. The last two lines read literally: “[it is] a tree which one cuts down from the forest; the work of the hands of a craftsman with his chisel.”
631 tn The pronoun is plural in Hebrew, referring to the parts.
632 tn Heb “And it is not in them to do good either.”
633 tn The words “I said” are not in the Hebrew text, but there appears to be a shift in speaker. Someone is now addressing the
634 tn The form that introduces this line has raised debate. The form מֵאֵין (me’en) normally means “without” and introduces a qualification of a term expressing desolation or “so that not” and introduces a negative result (cf. BDB 35 s.v. II אַיִן 6.b). Neither of these nuances fit either this verse or the occurrence in v. 7. BDB 35 s.v. II אַיִן 6.b.γ notes that some have explained this as a strengthened form of אַיִן (’ayin) which occurs in a similar phrase five other times (cf., e.g., 1 Kgs 8:23). Though many including BDB question the validity of this solution it is probably better than the suggestion that BDB gives of repointing to מֵאַיִן (me’ayin, “whence”), which scarcely fits the context of v. 7, or the solution of HALOT 41 s.v. I אַיִן, which suggests that the מ (mem) is a double writing (dittograph) of the final consonant from the preceding word. That would assume that the scribe made the same error twice or was influenced the second time by the first erroneous writing.
635 tn Heb “Great is your name in power.”
636 tn Heb “Who should not revere you…?” The question is rhetorical and expects a negative answer.
637 tn Heb “For it is fitting to you.”
638 tn Heb “their royalty/dominion.” This is a case of substitution of the abstract for the concrete “royalty, royal power” for “kings” who exercise it.
639 tn Or “Those wise people and kings are…” It is unclear whether the subject is the “they” of the nations in the preceding verse, or the wise people and kings referred to. The text merely has “they.”
640 tn Heb “The instruction of vanities [worthless idols] is wood.” The meaning of this line is a little uncertain. Various proposals have been made to make sense, most of which involve radical emendation of the text. For some examples see J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 323-24, fn 6. However, this is probably a case of the bold predication that discussed in GKC 452 §141.d, some examples of which may be seen in Ps 109:4 “I am prayer,” and Ps 120:7 “I am peace.”
641 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.
642 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).
643 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.
644 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.
645 tn Heb “Blue and purple their clothing.”
646 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.”
647 tn Aram “The gods who did not make…earth will disappear…” The sentence is broken up in the translation to avoid a long, complex English sentence in conformity with contemporary English style.
648 tn This verse is in Aramaic. It is the only Aramaic sentence in Jeremiah. Scholars debate the appropriateness of this verse to this context. Many see it as a gloss added by a postexilic scribe which was later incorporated into the text. Both R. E. Clendenen (“Discourse Strategies in Jeremiah 10,” JBL 106 : 401-8) and W. L. Holladay (Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 1:324-25, 334-35) have given detailed arguments that the passage is not only original but the climax and center of the contrast between the
sn This passage is carefully structured and placed to contrast the
649 tn The words “The
650 tn Heb “At the voice of his giving.” The idiom “to give the voice” is often used for thunder (cf. BDB 679 s.v. נָתַן Qal.1.x).
651 tn Heb “from the ends of the earth.”
652 tn Heb “he brings out the winds from his storehouses.”
653 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.
654 tn Or “nothing but a phony god”; Heb “a lie/falsehood.”
655 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.
656 tn Or “objects of mockery.”
657 tn The words “The
sn The phrase the portion of Jacob’s descendants, which is applied to God here, has its background in the division of the land where each tribe received a portion of the land of Palestine except the tribe of Levi whose “portion” was the
658 tn Heb “The Portion of Jacob.” “Descendants” is implied, and is supplied in the translation for clarity.
659 tn Heb “And Israel is the tribe of his possession.”
660 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies is his name.”
sn For this rendering of the name for God and its significance see 2:19 and the study note there.
662 tn Heb “you who are living in/under siege.” The pronouns in this verse are feminine singular in Hebrew. Jerusalem is being personified as a single woman. This personification carries on down through v. 19 where she speaks in the first person. It is difficult, however, to reflect this in a translation that conveys any meaning without being somewhat paraphrastic like this.
663 tn The meaning of this last line is somewhat uncertain: Heb “I will cause them distress in order that [or with the result that] they will find.” The absence of an object for the verb “find” has led to conjecture that the text is wrong. Some commentators follow the lead of the Greek and Latin versions which read the verb as a passive: “they will be found,” i.e., be caught and captured. Others follow a suggestion by G. R. Driver (“Linguistic and Textual Problems: Jeremiah,” JQR 28 [1937-38]: 107) that the verb be read not as “they will find” (יִמְצָאוּ [yimtsa’u] from מָצָא [matsa’]) but “they will be squeezed/ drained” (יִמְצוּ [yimtsu] from מָצָה [matsah]). The translation adopted assumes that this is an example of the ellipsis of the object supplied from the context (cf. E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 8-12). For a similar nuance for the verb “find” = “feel/experience” see BDB 592 s.v. מָצָא Qal.1.f and compare the usage in Ps 116:3.
664 tn The words, “And I cried out” are not in the text. It is not altogether clear who the speaker is in vv. 19-25. The words of vv. 19-20 would best be assigned to a personified Jerusalem who laments the destruction of her city (under the figure of a tent) and the exile of her children (under the figure of children). However, the words of v. 21 which assign responsibility to the rulers do not fit well in the mouth of the people but do fit Jeremiah. The words of v. 22 are very appropriate to Jeremiah being similar to the report in 4:19-20. Likewise the words of v. 23 which appear to express man’s incapacity to control his own destiny and his resignation to the fate which awaits him in the light of v. 24 seem more appropriate to Jeremiah than to the people. There has been no indication elsewhere that the people have shown any indication of being resigned to their fate or willing to accept their punishment. Though the issue is far from resolved a majority of commentators see Jeremiah as the speaker so identifying himself with their fate that he speaks as though he were this personified figure. It is not altogether out of the question, however, that the speaker throughout is personified Jerusalem though I know of no commentator who takes that view. For those who are interested, the most thorough discussion of the issue is probably to be found in W. McKane, Jeremiah (ICC), 1:230-35, especially 233-35. Rendering the pronouns throughout as “we” and “our” alleviates some of the difficulty but some speaker needs to be identified in the introduction to allay any possible confusion. Hence I have opted for what is the majority view.
665 tn Heb “Woe to me on account of my wound.” The words “woe to” in many contexts carry the connotation of hopelessness and of inevitable doom (cf. 1 Sam 4:7, 8; Isa 6:5), hence a “deadly blow.” See also the usage in 4:13, 31; 6:4 and the notes on 4:13. For the rendering of the pronoun as “we” and “our” here and in the verses to follow see the preceding note.
666 tn Some interpret this as a resignation to the punishment inflicted and translate “But I said, ‘This is my punishment and I will just need to bear it.’” This is unlikely given the meaning and usage of the word rendered “sickness” (חֳלִי, khali), the absence of the pronoun “my,” and the likelihood that the particle אַךְ means “only” not “indeed” (cf. BDB s.v. אַךְ 2.b and compare its usage in v. 24).
sn What is being referred to here is the feeling that was encouraged by the false prophets that the ill fortunes of the nation were just temporary setbacks and everything would soon get better (cf. 6:14; 8:11).
667 tn Heb “My tent has been destroyed and my tent cords have been ripped apart.” For a very similar identification of Jeremiah’s plight with the plight of the personified community see 4:20 and the notes there.
668 tn Heb “my children have gone from me and are no more.”
sn What is being referred to is the exile of the people of the land. This passage could refer to the exiles of 605
669 tn Heb “the shepherds.”
670 tn Heb “They have not sought the
sn The idiom translated sought the
671 tn Heb “all their flock (or “pasturage”).”
sn This verse uses the figure of rulers as shepherds and the people they ruled as sheep. It is a common figure in the Bible. See Ezek 34 for an extended development of this metaphor.
672 tn Heb “The sound of a report, behold, it is coming.”
673 tn Heb “ coming, even a great quaking.”
675 tn Heb “Not to the man his way.” For the nuance of “fate, destiny, or the way things turn out” for the Hebrew word “way” see Hag 1:5, Isa 40:27 and probably Ps 49:13 (cf. KBL 218 s.v. דֶּרֶךְ 5). For the idea of “control” or “hold in one’s power” for the preposition “to” see Ps 3:8 (cf. BDB 513 s.v. לְ 5.b[a]).
676 tn Heb “Not to a man the walking and the establishing his step.”
677 tn Heb “with justice.”
678 tn The words, “to almost nothing” are not in the text. They are implicit from the general context and are supplied by almost all English versions.
680 tn Heb “tribes/clans.”
681 tn Heb “who do not call on your name.” The idiom “to call on your name” (directed to God) refers to prayer (mainly) and praise. See 1 Kgs 18:24-26 and Ps 116:13, 17. Here “calling on your name” is parallel to “acknowledging you.” In many locations in the OT “name” is equivalent to the person. In the OT, the “name” reflected the person’s character (cf. Gen 27:36; 1 Sam 25:25) or his reputation (Gen 11:4; 2 Sam 8:13). To speak in a person’s name was to act as his representative or carry his authority (1 Sam 25:9; 1 Kgs 21:8). To call someone’s name over something was to claim it for one’s own (2 Sam 12:28).
682 tn Heb “have devoured Jacob.”
683 tn Or “have almost completely destroyed them”; Heb “they have devoured them and consumed them.” The figure of hyperbole is used here; elsewhere Jeremiah and God refer to the fact that they will not be completely consumed. See for example 4:27; 5:10, 18.
685 tn The form is a second masculine plural which is followed in the MT of vv. 2-3 by second masculine singulars. This plus the fact that the whole clause “listen to the terms of this covenant” is nearly repeated at the end of v. 3 has led many modern scholars to delete the whole clause (cf., e.g. W. McKane, Jeremiah [ICC], 1:236-37). However, this only leads to further adjustments in the rest of the verse which are difficult to justify. The form has also led to a good deal of speculation about who these others were that are initially addressed here. The juxtaposition of second plural and singular forms has a precedent in Deuteronomy, where the nation is sometimes addressed with the plural and at other times with a collective singular.
686 sn The covenant I made with Israel. Apart from the legal profession and Jewish and Christian tradition the term “covenant” may not be too familiar. There were essentially three kinds of “covenants” that were referred to under the Hebrew term used here: (1) “Parity treaties” or “covenants” between equals in which each party pledged itself to certain agreed upon stipulations and took an oath to it in the name of their god or gods (cf. Gen 31:44-54); (2) “Suzerain-vassal treaties” or “covenants” in which a great king pledged himself to protect the vassal’s realm and his right to rule over his own domain in exchange for sovereignty over the vassal, including the rendering of absolute loyalty and submission to the great king’s demands spelled out in detailed stipulations; (3) “Covenants of grant” in which a great king granted to a loyal servant or vassal king permanent title to a piece of land or dominion over a specified realm in recognition of past service. It is generally recognized that the Mosaic covenant which is being referred to here is of the second type and that it resembles in kind the ancient Near Eastern suzerain-vassal treaties. These treaties typically contained the following elements: (1) a preamble identifying the great king (cf. Exod 20:2a; Deut 1:1-4); (2) a historical prologue summarizing the great king’s past benefactions as motivation for future loyalty (cf. Exod 20:2b; Deut 1:5–4:43); (3) the primary stipulation of absolute and unconditional loyalty (cf. Exod 20:3-8; Deut 5:1–11:32); (4) specific stipulations governing future relations between the vassal and the great king and the vassal’s relation to other vassals (cf. Exod 20:22–23:33; Deut 12:1–26:15); (5) the invoking of curses on the vassal for disloyalty and the pronouncing of blessing on him for loyalty (cf. Lev 26; Deut 27-28); (6) the invoking of witnesses to the covenant, often the great king’s and the vassal’s gods (cf. Deut 30:19; 31:28 where the reference is to the “heavens and the earth” as enduring witnesses). It is also generally agreed that the majority of the threats of punishment by the prophets refer to the invocation of these covenant curses for disloyalty to the basic stipulation, that of absolute loyalty.
687 tn Heb “this covenant.” The referent of “this” is left dangling until it is further defined in vv. 3-4. Leaving it undefined in the translation may lead to confusion hence the anticipatory nature of the demonstrative is spelled out explicitly in the translation.
688 tn Heb “and speak/tell them.” However, the translation chosen is more appropriate to modern idiom.
689 tn Or “those living in Jerusalem”; Heb “inhabitants of.”
690 tn Heb “Cursed is the person who does not listen to the terms of this covenant.” “This covenant” is further qualified in the following verse by a relative clause. The form of the sentence and the qualification “my” before covenant were chosen for better English idiom and to break up a long sentence which really extends to the middle of v. 5.
692 tn Heb “does not listen…this covenant which I commanded your fathers.” The sentence is broken up this way in conformity with contemporary English style.
693 tn Heb “out of the land of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.”
694 tn In place of the words “I said at that time” the Hebrew text has “saying.” The sentence is again being restructured in English to avoid the long, confusing style of the Hebrew original.
695 tn Heb “Obey me and carry them out.” The “them” refers back to the terms of the covenant which they were charged to keep according to the preceding. The referent is made specific to avoid ambiguity.
696 tn The words, “If you do” are not in the text. They have been supplied in the translation to break up a long sentence consisting of an imperative followed by a consequential sentence.
697 sn Obey me and carry out the terms of the agreement…and I will be your God. This refers to the Mosaic law which was instituted at Sinai and renewed on the Plains of Moab before Israel entered into the land. The words “the terms of the covenant” are explicitly used for the Ten Commandments in Exod 34:28 and for the additional legislation given in Deut 28:69; 29:8. The formulation here is reminiscent of Deut 29:9-14 (29:10-15 HT). The book of Deuteronomy is similar in its structure and function to an ancient Near Eastern treaty. In these the great king reminded his vassal of past benefits that he had given to him, charged him with obligations (the terms or stipulations of the covenant) chief among which was absolute loyalty and sole allegiance, promised him future benefits for obeying the stipulations (the blessings), and placed him under a curse for disobeying them. Any disobedience was met with stern warnings of punishment in the form of destruction and exile. Those who had witnessed the covenant were called in to confirm the continuing goodness of the great king and the disloyalty of the vassal. The vassal was then charged with a list of particular infringements of the stipulations and warned to change his actions or suffer the consequences. This is the background for Jer 11:1-9. Jeremiah is here functioning as a messenger from the
698 tn The phrase “a land flowing with milk and honey” is very familiar to readers in the Jewish and Christian traditions as a proverbial description of the agricultural and pastoral abundance of the land of Israel. However, it may not mean too much to readers outside those traditions; an equivalent expression would be “a land of fertile fields and fine pastures.” E. W. Bullinger (Figures of Speech, 626) identifies this as a figure of speech called synecdoche where the species is put for the genus, “a region…abounding with pasture and fruits of all kinds.”
699 tn Heb “‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ as at this day.” However, the literal reading is too elliptical and would lead to confusion.
700 tn The words “Let it be so” are not in the text; they are an explanation of the significance of the term “Amen” for those who may not be part of the Christian or Jewish tradition.
sn The word amen is found at the end of each of the curses in Deut 27 where the people express their agreement with the appropriateness of the curse for the offense mentioned.
701 tn Heb “the terms of this covenant.” However, this was a separate message and the ambiguity of “this” could still cause some confusion.
702 tn Heb “warned them…saying, ‘Obey me.’” However, it allows the long sentence to be broken up easier if the indirect quote is used.
704 tn Heb “So I brought on them all the terms of this covenant which I commanded to do and they did not do.” There is an interesting polarity that is being exploited by two different nuances implicit in the use of the word “terms” (דִּבְרֵי [divre], literally “words”), i.e., what the
705 tn Heb “Conspiracy [a plot to rebel] is found [or exists] among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
706 tn Or “They have repeated the evil actions of….”
708 tn Heb “house of Israel and house of Judah.”
709 tn Heb “Therefore, thus, says the
710 tn Heb “Then the towns of Judah and those living in Jerusalem will…”
711 tn The Hebrew construction is emphatic involving the use of an infinitive of the verb before the verb itself (Heb “saving they will not save”). For this construction to give emphasis to an antithesis, cf. GKC 343 §113.p.
712 tn This is again an attempt to render the Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) contextually. The nuance is a little hard to establish due to the nature of the rhetoric of the passage which utilizes the figure of apostrophe where the
714 tn Heb “For [or Indeed] the number of your [sing.] cities are your [sing.] gods, Judah, and the number of the streets of Jerusalem [or perhaps (your) streets, Jerusalem] you [plur.] have set up altars to the shameful thing, altars to sacrifice to Baal.” This passage involves a figure of speech where the speaker turns from describing something about someone to addressing him/her directly (a figure called apostrophe). This figure is not common in contemporary English literature or conversation and translating literally would lead to confusion on the part of some readers. Hence, the translation retains the third person in keeping with the rest of the context. The shift from singular “your cities” to plural “you have set up” is interpreted contextually to refer to a shift in addressing Judah to addressing the citizens of Jerusalem whose streets are being talked about. The appositional clause, “altars to sacrifice to Baal” has been collapsed with the preceding clause to better identify what the shameful thing is and to eliminate a complex construction. The length of this sentence runs contrary to the usual practice of breaking up long complex sentences in Hebrew into shorter equivalent ones in English. However, breaking up this sentence and possibly losing the connecting link with the preceding used to introduce it might lead to misunderstanding.
715 tn Heb “you.”
716 tn The words “to save them” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
sn Cf. Jer 7:16 where this same command is addressed to Jeremiah.
717 tc The rendering “when disaster strikes them” is based on reading “at the time of” (בְּעֵת, bÿ’et) with a number of Hebrew
718 tn The words “The
719 tn Heb “What to my beloved [being] in my house?” The text has been restructured to avoid possible confusion by the shift from third person in the first two lines to second person in the last two lines and the lines of the following verse. The reference to Judah as his “beloved” is certainly ironic and perhaps even sarcastic.
720 tc The meaning of this line is uncertain. The text reads somewhat literally either “her doing the wicked thing the many” or “doing it, the wicked thing, the many.” The text, relationship between words, and meaning of this whole verse have been greatly debated. Wholesale emendation based on the ancient versions is common in both the commentaries and the modern English versions. Many follow the lead of the Greek version which in many cases offers a smoother reading but for that very reason may not be original. The notes that follow will explain some of these emendations but will also attempt to explain the most likely meaning of the MT which is the more difficult and probably the more original text. Since it is presumed to be the original the text will be dealt with in the notes line for line in the MT even though the emendations often relate to more than one line. For example the Greek of the first two lines reads: “Why has the beloved done abomination in my house?” This ignores the preposition before “my beloved” (לִידִידִי, lididi) and treats the form “her doing” (עֲשׂוֹתָהּ [’asotah], Qal infinitive plus suffix) as a finite verb (עָשְׂתָה [’astah], Qal perfect third feminine). The forms are similar but the Greek is smoother. Moreover, it is difficult to explain the presence of “to” in the MT if the Greek is the original. The Greek text likewise does not have the difficulty that is exhibited in the MT by the word “the many” (הָרַבִּים, harabbim). It reads a word for “vows/votive offerings” (εὐχαί [eucai] regularly = נְדָרִים [gÿdarim]) in place of the word “many” (הָרַבִּים, harabbim) and takes it as part of a compound subject of the verb in the following line meaning “take away.” However, this word is far removed graphically from that in the MT and it would be difficult to explain how the MT arose from it. The Old Latin apparently reads a word for “fat” (adipes = חֲלָבִים, khalavim) which is closer in script to the MT and would be more likely original than the Greek. However, both of these resolutions look like attempts to smooth out a difficult text. Because there is no solid support for any single reading, it is probably best to retain the MT’s “the many.” Many do retain it and take it as a second accusative of “doing it” and read “she does the wicked thing with many [i.e., many false gods],” a use of the accusative which is hard to justify. Another alternative, taking the adjective “the many” to modify the noun “the wicked thing” is sometimes suggested but is not possible because the adjective is masculine plural and the noun is feminine singular which is contrary to Hebrew style. Hence one cannot read “she has done many wicked things.” The present translation follows the suggestion in D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 4:209, that it is the subject of the infinitive construct with an object suffix which is anticipatory of the noun “wickedness” that follows (cf. GKC 425 §131.m), i.e., “the many do it, namely the wickedness” (for the meaning of the noun see BDB 273 s.v. מְזִמָּה 3.b).
721 tn The meaning of this line is also uncertain. The Hebrew text reads somewhat literally, “holy meat they pass over from upon you.” The question of the subject of the verb is the main problem here. The verb is masculine plural and the only subject available is “holy meat” which is singular, a “they” which goes back to “the many,” or a noun from the end of the preceding line which is combined with “holy meat.” The latter is the solution of the Greek version which reads “Will votive offerings [or pieces of fat (following the Old Latin)] and holy meats take away from you your wickedness?” However, that resolution has been rejected in the preceding note as smoothing out the difficulties of the first two lines. It also leaves out the כִּי (ki) at the beginning of the following line and takes the noun “your wickedness” as the object of the verb. That certainly would make for an easier reading of both this line and the next and the assumption that כִּי may not be in the text is possible because it could be explained as a double writing of the pronoun on the end of the preceding phrase “from upon you” (מֵעָלָיִךְ, me’alayikh). However, besides being the smoother reading it leaves the last line too short poetically. The solution of the UBS, Preliminary Report, 4:209 is that “they” (referring back to “the many”?) is the subject. They read: “so that they carry away from you even sacrificial flesh.” But who are “they” and “you?” Is the “they” the priests and the “you” the people? (See 1 Sam 2:10-17 for a possible parallel.) This, however, introduces too many unknowns into the text. The translation adopted is based on a revocalization of the form “from upon you” (מֵעָלָיִךְ, me’alayikh) to “your treacherous acts” (מַעֲלָיִךְ, ma’alayikh; for this noun cf. BDB 591 s.v. I מַעַל 2), a solution which is also proposed in the margin of the NJPS which reads: “Can your treacheries be canceled by sacral flesh?” For the nuance of the verb presupposed here (= be removed, cease to exist) see BDB 718 s.v. עָבַר Qal.6.c and compare usage in Job 30:15. While this solution does preserve the consonantal text and is accepted here, it should be acknowledged that there is no ancient support for it and the reading of the noun “treacheries” in place of the compound preposition “from upon” is purely speculative.
722 tn Heb “for [or when] your wickedness then you rejoice.” The meaning of this line is uncertain. The Greek version, which reads “or will you escape by these things” (presupposing a Hebrew text אִם עַל זוֹת תָּעוּזִי, ’im ’al zot ta’uzi) is far removed from the reading in the MT (אָז תַּעֲלֹזִי [’az ta’alozi]; the rest of the Hebrew line has been left out because the Greek reads it with the preceding line) and again appears to be an attempt to smooth out a difficult text. The translation retains the MT but rewords it so it makes better sense in English. The translation presupposes that the phrase “your wickedness” is the object of the verb “take joy” and the adverb “then” refers back to the offering of sacred flesh, i.e., “even then [or at that time]” as a constructio ad sensum. For a similar use of the adverb (אָז, ’az) compare Gen 13:7. For the use of כִּי (ki) meaning “that” after a question see BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.f. A possible alternative would be to read as UBS, Preliminary Report, 4:209 do: “When trouble reaches you, then will you exult?” If the text of the whole verse followed here, the more difficult text, is not the original one, the most likely alternative would be: “What right does my beloved have to be in my house? She has does wicked things [reading עָשְׂתָה מְזִמֹּת, ’ostah mÿzimot]. Can fat pieces [reading הַחֲלָבִים, hakhalavim] and sacred meat take away your wickedness from you [reading יַעֲבִרוּ מֵעָלַיִךְ רָעָתֵכִי, ya’aviru me’alayikh ra’atekhi]? [If it could] then you could rejoice.” It should be emphasized that the text of the verse is uncertain in a number of places and open to more than one interpretation. However, regardless of which text or interpretation of it is followed, the Masoretic as interpreted here, the Greek as given in the notes, or an emended text based on both, the overall meaning is much the same. Judah has done evil and the
sn For the argument of this verse compare the condemnatory questions in Jer 7:9-11.
723 tn Heb “The
724 tn The verb form used here is another example of a verb expressing that the action is as good as done (the Hebrew prophetic perfect).
725 tn Heb “At the sound of a mighty roar he will set fire to it.” For the shift from third person “he” to the first person “I” see the preceding note. The Hebrew use of the pronouns in vv. 16-17 for the olive tree and the people that it represents is likely to cause confusion if retained. In v. 16 the people are “you” and the olive tree is “it.” The people are again “you” in v. 17 but part of the metaphor is carried over, i.e., “he ‘planted’ you.” It creates less confusion in the flow of the passage if the metaphorical identification is carried out throughout by addressing the people/plant as “you.”
726 tn The verb here has most commonly been derived from a root meaning “to be broken” (cf. BDB 949 s.v. II רָעַע) which fits poorly with the metaphor of setting the plant on fire. Another common option is to emend it to a verb meaning “to be burned up” (בָּעַר, ba’ar). However, it is better to follow the lead of the Greek version which translates “be good for nothing” (ἠχρειώθησαν, hcreiwqhsan) and derive the verb from רָעַע (ra’a’) meaning “be bad/evil” (cf. BDB 949 and compare the nuance of the adjective from this verb in BDB 948 s.v. רַע 5).
727 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”
sn For the significance of the term see the notes at 2:19 and 7:3.
728 tn The words “in the land” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to clarify the meaning of the metaphor.
729 tn Heb “For Yahweh of armies who planted you speaks disaster upon you.” Because of the way the term
730 tn Heb “pronounced disaster…on account of the evil of the house of Israel and the house of Judah which they have done to make me angry [or thus making me angry] by sacrificing to Baal.” The lines have been broken up in conformity with contemporary English style.
731 tn Heb “caused me to know that I might know.” Many English versions supply an unstated object “their plots” which is referred to later in the context (cf. v. 19). The presupposition of this kind of absolute ellipsis is difficult to justify and would create the need for understanding an ellipsis of “it” also after “I knew.” It is better to see a bipolar use of the verb “know” here. For the second use of the verb “know” meaning “have understanding” see BDB 394 s.v. ָידַע Qal.5.
732 tn Heb “Then you showed me their deeds.” This is another example of the rapid shift in person which is common in Jeremiah. As elsewhere, it has been resolved for the sake of avoiding confusion for the English reader by leveling the referent to the same person throughout. The text again involves an apostrophe, talking about the
733 tn Heb “against me.” The words “to kill me” are implicit from the context and are supplied in the translation for clarity.
734 tn The words “I did not know that they were saying” are not in the text. The quote is without formal introduction in the original. These words are supplied in the translation for clarity.
735 tn This word and its pronoun (לַחְמוֹ, lakhmo, “its bread”) is often emended to read “in/with its sap” = “in its prime” (either לֵחוֹ [lekho] or לֵחְמוֹ [lekhÿmo]); the latter would be more likely and the מוֹ (mo) could be explained as a rare use of the old poetic third plural suffix for the third singular; cf. GKC 258 §91.l for general use and Ps 11:7 and Job 27:23 for third singular use. Though this fits the context nicely the emendation is probably unnecessary since the word “bread” is sometimes used of other foodstuff than grain or its products (cf. BDB 537 s.v. לֶחֶם 2.a).
sn The word fruit refers contextually here to the prophecies that Jeremiah was giving, not (as some suppose) his progeny. Jeremiah was not married and had no children.
736 tn Heb “cut it [or him] off.” The metaphor of the tree may be continued, though the verb “cut off” is used also of killing people. The rendering clarifies the meaning of the metaphor.
737 tn Heb “so that his name will not be remembered any more.”
738 tn The words “So I said to the
739 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”
sn For the significance of the term see the notes at 2:19 and 7:3.
740 tn Heb “
741 tn Heb “Let me see your retribution [i.e., see you exact retribution] from them because I reveal my cause [i.e., plea for justice] to you.”
742 tn Heb “Therefore thus says the
743 tn Heb “the men of Anathoth.” However, this does not involve all of the people, only the conspirators. The literal might lead to confusion later since v. 21 mentions that there will not be any of them left alive. However, it is known from Ezra 2:23 that there were survivors.
744 tc The MT reads the 2nd person masculine singular suffix “your life,” but LXX reflects an alternative reading of the 1st person common singular suffix “my life.”
745 tn Heb “who were seeking my life, saying…” The sentence is broken up in conformity with contemporary English style.
746 tn Heb “or you will die by our hand.”
747 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies.”
sn For the significance of the term see the notes at 2:19 and 7:3.
749 tn Heb “will die by the sword.” Here “sword” stands contextually for “battle” while “starvation” stands for death by starvation during siege.
750 tn Heb “There will be no survivors for/among them.”
752 tn Heb “I will bring disaster on…, the year of their punishment.”
753 tn Or “
754 tn Heb “judgments” or “matters of justice.” For the nuance of “complain to,” “fair,” “disposition of justice” assumed here, see BDB 936 s.v. רִיב Qal.4 (cf. Judg 21:22); BDB 843 s.v. צַדִּיק 1.d (cf. Ps 7:12; 11:7); BDB 1049 s.v. מִשְׁפָּט 1.f (cf. Isa 26:8; Ps 10:5; Ezek 7:27).
755 tn Heb “Why does the way [= course of life] of the wicked prosper?”
756 tn Heb “You planted them and they took root.”
758 tn Heb “You are near in their mouths, but far from their kidneys.” The figure of substitution is being used here, “mouth” for “words” and “kidneys” for passions and affections. A contemporary equivalent might be, “your name is always on their lips, but their hearts are far from you.”
759 tn Heb “You,
sn Jeremiah appears to be complaining like Job that God cares nothing about the prosperity of the wicked, but watches his every move. The reverse ought to be true. Jeremiah shouldn’t be suffering the onslaughts of his fellow countrymen as he is. The wicked who are prospering should be experiencing punishment.
760 tn Heb “set aside for them a day of killing.”
762 tn The words “How long” are not in the text. They are carried over from the first line.
763 tn Heb “because of the wickedness of those who live in it.”
764 tn Heb “he.” The referent is usually identified as God and is supplied here for clarity. Some identify the referent with Jeremiah. If that is the case, then he returns to his complaint about the conspirators. It is more likely, however, that it refers to God and Jeremiah’s complaint that the people live their lives apart from concern about God.
765 tc Or reading with the Greek version, “God does not see what we are doing.” In place of “what will happen to us (אַחֲרִיתֵנוּ, ’akharitenu, “our end”) the Greek version understands a Hebrew text which reads “our ways” (אָרְחוֹתֵנו, ’orkhotenu), which is graphically very close to the MT. The Masoretic is supported by the Latin and is retained here on the basis of external evidence. Either text makes good sense in the context. Some identify the “he” with Jeremiah and understand the text to be saying that the conspirators are certain that they will succeed and he will not live to see his prophecies fulfilled.
sn The words here may be an outright rejection of the
766 tn The words “The
767 tn Some commentaries and English versions follow the suggestion given in HALOT 116 s.v. II בָּטַח that a homonym meaning “to stumble, fall down” is involved here and in Prov 14:16. The evidence for this homonym is questionable because both passages can be explained on other grounds with the usual root.
768 tn Heb “a land of tranquility.” The expression involves a figure of substitution where the feeling engendered is substituted for the conditions that engender it. For the idea see Isa 32:18. The translation both here and in the following line is intended to bring out the contrast implicit in the emotive connotations connected with “peaceful country” and “thicket along the Jordan.”
769 tn Heb “the thicket along the Jordan.” The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
sn The thick undergrowth along the Jordan River refers to the thick woods and underbrush alongside the Jordan where lions were known to have lived, and hence the area was considered dangerous. See Jer 49:14; 50:44. The
770 tn This is an attempt to give some contextual sense to the particle “for, indeed” (כִּי, ki).
sn If the truth be known, Jeremiah wasn’t safe even in the context of his own family. They were apparently part of the plot by the people of Anathoth to kill him.
771 tn Heb “they have called after you fully”; or “have lifted up loud voices against you.” The word “against” does not seem quite adequate for the preposition “after.” The preposition “against” would be Hebrew עַל (’al). The idea appears to be that they are chasing after him, raising their voices along with those of the conspirators to have him killed.
773 tn Heb “my house.” Or “I have abandoned my nation.” The word “house” has been used throughout Jeremiah for both the temple (e.g., 7:2, 10), the nation or people of Israel or of Judah (e.g. 3:18, 20), or the descendants of Jacob (i.e., the Israelites, e.g., 2:4). Here the parallelism argues that it refers to the nation of Judah. The translation throughout vv. 5-17 assumes that the verb forms are prophetic perfects, the form that conceives of the action as being as good as done. It is possible that the forms are true perfects and refer to a past destruction of Judah. If so, it may have been connected with the assaults against Judah in 598/7
774 tn Heb “my inheritance.”
775 tn Heb “the beloved of my soul.” Here “soul” stands for the person and is equivalent to “my.”
776 tn Heb “will give…into the hands of.”
777 tn See the note on the previous verse.
778 tn Heb “have become to me like a lion.”
779 tn Heb “have given against me with her voice.”
780 tn Or “so I will reject her.” The word “hate” is sometimes used in a figurative way to refer to being neglected, i.e., treated as though unloved. In these contexts it does not have the same emotive connotations that a typical modern reader would associate with hate. See Gen 29:31, 33 and E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 556.
781 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.
782 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.
783 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.
785 tn Heb “my vineyard.” To translate literally would presuppose an unlikely familiarity of this figure on the part of some readers. To translate as “vineyards” as some do would be misleading because that would miss the figurative nuance altogether.
sn The figure of Israel as God’s vine and the land as God’s vineyard is found several times in the Bible. The best known of these is the extended metaphor in Isa 5:1-7. This figure also appears in Jer 2:20.
786 tn Heb “my portion.”
787 tn For the use of this verb see the notes on 12:4. Some understand the homonym here meaning “it [the desolated land] will mourn to me.” However, the only other use of the preposition עַל (’al) with this root means “to mourn over” not “to” (cf. Hos 10:5). For the use of the preposition here see BDB 753 s.v. עַל II.1.b and compare the use in Gen 48:7.
sn There is a very interesting play on words and sounds in this verse that paints a picture of desolation and the pathos it evokes. Part of this is reflected in the translation. The same Hebrew word referring to a desolation or a waste (שְׁמֵמָה, shÿmemah) is repeated three times at the end of three successive lines and the related verb is found at the beginning of the fourth (נָשַׁמָּה, nashammah). A similar sounding word is found in the second of the three successive lines (שָׁמָהּ, shamah = “he [they] will make it”). This latter word is part of a further play because it is repeated in a different form in the last line (שָׁם, sham = “laying”); they lay it waste but no one lays it to heart. There is also an interesting contrast between the sorrow the
789 tn Heb “destroyers.”
790 tn Heb “It is the
791 tn Heb “For a sword of the
792 tn Heb “There is no peace to all flesh.”
793 sn Invading armies lived off the land, using up all the produce and destroying everything they could not consume.
794 tn The pronouns here are actually second plural: Heb “Be ashamed/disconcerted because of your harvests.” Because the verb form (וּבֹשׁוּ, uvoshu) can either be Qal perfect third plural or Qal imperative masculine plural many emend the pronoun on the noun to third plural (see, e.g., BHS). However, this is the easier reading and is not supported by either the Latin or the Greek which have second plural. This is probably another case of the shift from description to direct address that has been met with several times already in Jeremiah (the figure of speech called apostrophe; for other examples see, e.g., 9:4; 11:13). As in other cases the translation has been leveled to third plural to avoid confusion for the contemporary English reader. For the meaning of the verb here see BDB 101 s.v. בּוֹשׁ Qal.2 and compare the usage in Jer 48:13.
795 tn Heb “be disappointed in their harvests from the fierce anger of the
796 tn Heb “Thus says the
797 tn Heb “my wicked neighbors.”
798 tn Heb “touched.” For the nuance of this verb here see BDB 619 s.v. נָגַע Qal.3 and compare the usage in 1 Chr 16:22 where it is parallel to “do harm to” and Zech 2:8 where it is parallel to “plundered.”
800 tn Heb “I will uproot the house of Judah from their midst.”
sn There appears to be an interesting play on the Hebrew word translated “uproot” in this verse. In the first instance it refers to “uprooting the nations from upon their lands,” i.e., to exiling them. In the second instance it refers to “uprooting the Judeans from the midst of them,” i.e., to rescue them.
801 tn For the use of the verb “turn” (שׁוּב, shuv) in this sense, see BDB s.v. שׁוּב Qal.6.g and compare the usage in Pss 90:13; 6:4; Joel 2:14. It does not simply mean “again” as several of the English versions render it.
802 sn The
804 tn Heb “taught my people to swear by Baal.”
805 tn The words “I swear” are not in the text but are implicit to the oath formula. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
806 tn The words “If they do this” are not in the text. They are part of an attempt to break up a Hebrew sentence which is long and complex into equivalent shorter sentences consistent with contemporary English style. Verse 16 in Hebrew is all one sentence with a long complex conditional clause followed by a short consequence: “If they carefully learn the ways of my people to swear by name, ‘By the life of the
807 tn Heb “they will be built up among my people.” The expression “be built up among” is without parallel. However, what is involved here is conceptually parallel to the ideas expressed in Isa 19:23-25 and Zech 14:16-19. That is, these people will be allowed to live on their own land, to worship the
808 tn Heb “But if they will not listen, I will uproot that nation, uprooting and destroying.” IBHS 590-91 §35.3.2d is likely right in seeing the double infinitive construction here as an intensifying infinitive followed by an adverbial infinitive qualifying the goal of the main verb, “uproot it in such a way as to destroy it.” However, to translate that way “literally” would not be very idiomatic in contemporary English. The translation strives for the equivalent. Likewise, to translate using the conditional structure of the original seems to put the emphasis of the passage in its context on the wrong point.
809 tn The term here (אֵזוֹר, ’ezor) has been rendered in various ways: “girdle” (KJV, ASV), “waistband” (NASB), “waistcloth” (RSV), “sash” (NKJV), “belt” (NIV, NCV, NLT), and “loincloth” (NAB, NRSV, NJPS, REB). The latter is more accurate according to J. M. Myers, “Dress and Ornaments,” IDB 1:870, and W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:399. It was a short, skirt-like garment reaching from the waist to the knees and worn next to the body (cf. v. 9). The modern equivalent is “shorts” as in TEV/GNB, CEV.
sn The linen shorts (Heb “loincloth”) were representative of Israel and the wearing of them was to illustrate the
810 tn Heb “upon your loins.” The “loins” were the midriff of the body from the waist to the knees. For a further discussion including the figurative uses see, IDB, “Loins,” 3:149.
811 tn Or “Do not ever put them in water,” i.e., “Do not even wash them.”
sn The fact that the garment was not to be put in water is not explained. A possible explanation within the context is that it was to be worn continuously, not even taken off to wash it. That would illustrate that the close relationship that the
812 tn Heb “according to the word of the
813 tn Heb “upon your loins.” The “loins” were the midriff of the body from the waist to the knees. For a further discussion including the figurative uses see R. C. Dentan, “Loins,” IDB 3:149-50.
814 tn Heb “The word of the
816 tn Heb “Get up and go.” The first verb is not literal but is idiomatic for the initiation of an action.
817 tn There has been a great deal of debate about whether the place referred to here is a place (Parah [= Perath] mentioned in Josh 18:23, modern Khirbet Farah, near a spring ’ain Farah) about three and a half miles from Anathoth which was Jeremiah’s home town or the Euphrates River. Elsewhere the word “Perath” always refers to the Euphrates but it is either preceded by the word “river of” or there is contextual indication that the Euphrates is being referred to. Because a journey to the Euphrates and back would involve a journey of more than 700 miles (1,100 km) and take some months, scholars both ancient and modern have questioned whether “Perath” refers to the Euphrates here and if it does whether a real journey was involved. Most of the attempts to identify the place with the Euphrates involve misguided assumptions that this action was a symbolic message to Israel about exile or the corrupting influence of Assyria and Babylon. However, unlike the other symbolic acts in Jeremiah (and in Isaiah and Ezekiel) the symbolism is not part of a message to the people but to Jeremiah; the message is explained to him (vv. 9-11) not the people. In keeping with some of the wordplays that are somewhat common in Jeremiah it is likely that the reference here is to a place, Parah, which was near Jeremiah’s hometown, but whose name would naturally suggest to Jeremiah later in the
819 tc The translation reads בִּפְרָתָה (bifratah) with 4QJera as noted in W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:393 instead of בִּפְרָת (bifrat) in the MT.
820 tn Heb “Get from there.” The words “from there” are not necessary to the English sentence. They would lead to a redundancy later in the verse, i.e., “from there…bury there.”
821 tn Heb “dug and took.”
822 tn Heb “And behold.”
823 tn Heb “Then the word of the
824 tn Heb “Thus says the
825 tn In a sense this phrase which is literally “according to thus” or simply “thus” points both backward and forward: backward to the acted out parable and forward to the explanation which follows.
826 tn Many of the English versions have erred in rendering this word “pride” or “arrogance” with the resultant implication that the
sn Scholars ancient and modern are divided over the significance of the statement I will ruin the highly exalted position in which Judah and Jerusalem take pride (Heb “I will ruin the pride of Judah and Jerusalem”). Some feel that it refers to the corrupting influence of Assyria and Babylon and others feel that it refers to the threat of Babylonian exile. However, F. B. Huey (Jeremiah, Lamentations [NAC], 144) is correct in observing that the Babylonian exile did not lead to the rottenness of Judah, the corrupting influence of the foreign nations did. In Jeremiah’s day these came through the age-old influences of the Canaanite worship of Baal but also the astral worship introduced by Ahaz and Manasseh. For an example of the corrupting influence of Assyria on Judah through Ahaz’s political alliances see 2 Kgs 16 and also compare the allegory in Ezek 23:14-21. It was while the “linen shorts” were off Jeremiah’s body and buried in the rocks that the linen shorts were ruined. So the
828 tn Heb “to listen to my words.”
830 tn The structure of this verse is a little unusual. It consists of a subject, “this wicked people” qualified by several “which” clauses preceding a conjunction and a form which would normally be taken as a third person imperative (a Hebrew jussive; וִיהִי, vihi). This construction, called casus pendens by Hebrew grammarians, lays focus on the subject, here calling attention to the nature of Israel’s corruption which makes it rotten and useless to God. See GKC 458 §143.d for other examples of this construction.
831 tn The words “I say” are “Oracle of the
832 tn Heb “all the house of Israel and all the house of Judah.”
833 tn It would be somewhat unnatural in English to render the play on the word translated here “cling tightly” and “bound tightly” in a literal way. They are from the same root word in Hebrew (דָּבַק, davaq), a word that emphasizes the closest of personal relationships and the loyalty connected with them. It is used, for example, of the relationship of a husband and a wife and the loyalty expected of them (cf. Gen 2:24; for other similar uses see Ruth 1:14; 2 Sam 20:2; Deut 11:22).
834 tn Heb “I bound them…in order that they might be to me for a people and for a name and for praise and for honor.” The sentence has been separated from the preceding and an equivalent idea expressed which is more in keeping with contemporary English style.
835 tn Heb “So you shall say this word [or message] to them.”
836 tn Heb “Every wine jar is supposed to be filled with wine.”
sn Some scholars understand this as a popular proverb like that in Jer 31:29 and Ezek 18:2. Instead this is probably a truism; the function of wine jars is to be filled with wine. This may relate to the preceding where the
837 tn This is an attempt to render a construction which involves an infinitive of a verb being added before the same verb in a question which expects a positive answer. There may, by the way, be a pun being passed back and forth here involving the sound play been “fool” (נָבָל, naval) and “wine bottle” (נֶבֶל, nebel).
838 tn The Greek version is likely right in interpreting the construction of two perfects preceded by the conjunction as contingent or consequential here, i.e., “and when they say…then say.” See GKC 494 §159.g. However, to render literally would create a long sentence. Hence, the words “will probably” have been supplied in v. 12 in the translation to set up the contingency/consequential sequence in the English sentences.
839 sn It is probably impossible to convey in a simple translation all the subtle nuances that are wrapped up in the words of this judgment speech. The word translated “stupor” here is literally “drunkenness” but the word has in the context an undoubted intended double reference. It refers first to the drunken like stupor of confusion on the part of leaders and citizens of the land which will cause them to clash with one another. But it also probably refers to the reeling under God’s wrath that results from this (cf. Jer 25:15-29, especially vv. 15-16). Moreover there is still the subtle little play on wine jars. The people are like the wine jars which were supposed to be filled with wine. They were to be a special people to bring glory to God but they had become corrupt. Hence, like wine jars they would be smashed against one another and broken to pieces (v. 14). All of this, both “fill them with the stupor of confusion” and “make them reel under God’s wrath,” cannot be conveyed in one translation.
840 tn Heb “who sit on David’s throne.”
841 tn In Hebrew this is all one long sentence with one verb governing compound objects. It is broken up here in conformity with English style.
842 tn Or “children along with their parents”; Heb “fathers and children together.”
843 tn Heb “I will not show…so as not to destroy them.”
844 tn The words “Then I said to the people of Judah” are not in the text but are implicit from the address in v. 15 and the content of v. 17. They are supplied in the translation for clarity to show the shift from the
846 tn The words “of disaster” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation to explain the significance of the metaphor to readers who may not be acquainted with the metaphorical use of light and darkness for salvation and joy and distress and sorrow respectively.
sn For the metaphorical use of these terms the reader should consult O. A. Piper, “Light, Light and Darkness,” IDB 3:130-32. For the association of darkness with the Day of the
847 tn Heb “your feet stumble.”
848 tn Heb “you stumble on the mountains at twilight.” The added words are again supplied in the translation to help explain the metaphor to the uninitiated reader.
849 tn Heb “and while you hope for light he will turn it into deep darkness and make [it] into gloom.” The meaning of the metaphor is again explained through the addition of the “of” phrases for readers who are unacquainted with the metaphorical use of these terms.
sn For the meaning and usage of the term “deep darkness” (צַלְמָוֶת, tsalmavet), see the notes on Jer 2:6. For the association of the term with exile see Isa 9:2 (9:1 HT). For the association of the word gloom with the Day of the
850 tn Heb “If you will not listen to it.” For the use of the feminine singular pronoun to refer to the idea(s) expressed in the preceding verse(s), see GKC 440-41 §135.p.
851 tn Heb “Tearing [my eye] will tear and my eye will run down [= flow] with tears.”
sn The depth of Jeremiah’s sorrow for the sad plight of his people, if they refuse to repent, is emphasized by the triple repetition of the word “tears” twice in an emphatic verbal expression (Hebrew infinitive before finite verb) and once in the noun.
852 tn Heb “because the
853 tn The verb is once again in the form of “as good as done” (the Hebrew prophetic perfect).
854 tn The words “The
855 tn Or “You will come down from your thrones”; Heb “Make low! Sit!” This is a case of a construction where two forms in the same case, mood, or tense are joined in such a way that one (usually the first) is intended as an adverbial or adjectival modifier of the other (a figure called hendiadys). This is also probably a case where the imperative is used to express a distinct assurance or promise. See GKC 324 §110.b and compare the usage in Isa 37:30 and Ps 110:2.
sn The king and queen mother are generally identified as Jehoiachin and his mother who were taken into captivity with many of the leading people of Jerusalem in 597
856 tn Heb “have come down.” The verb here and those in the following verses are further examples of the “as good as done” form of the Hebrew verb (the prophetic perfect).
857 tc The translation follows the common emendation of a word normally meaning “place at the head” (מַרְאֲשׁוֹת [mar’ashot] plus pronoun = מַרְאֲוֹשׁתֵיכֶם [mar’aoshtekhem]) to “from your heads” (מֵרָאשֵׁיכֶם, mera’shekhem) following the ancient versions. The meaning “tiara” is nowhere else attested for this word.
858 tn Heb “The towns of the Negev will be shut.”
859 tn Heb “There is no one to open them.” The translation is based on the parallel in Josh 6:1 where the very expression in the translation is used. Opening the city would have permitted entrance (of relief forces) as well as exit (of fugitives).
860 sn The statements are poetic exaggerations (hyperbole), as most commentaries note. Even in the exile of 587
862 tn The word “Jerusalem” is not in the Hebrew text. It is added in the Greek text and is generally considered to be the object of address because of the second feminine singular verbs here and throughout the following verses. The translation follows the consonantal text (Kethib) and the Greek text in reading the second feminine singular here. The verbs and pronouns in vv. 20-22 are all second feminine singular with the exception of the suffix on the word “eyes” which is not reflected in the translation here (“Look up” = “Lift up your eyes”) and the verb and pronoun in v. 23. The text may reflect the same kind of alternation between singular and plural that takes place in Isa 7 where the pronouns refer to Ahaz as an individual and his entourage, the contemporary ruling class (cf., e.g., Isa 7:4-5 [singular], 9 [plural], 11 [singular], 13-14 [plural]). Here the connection with the preceding may suggest that it is initially the ruling house (the king and the queen mother), then Jerusalem personified as a woman in her role as a shepherdess (i.e., leader). However, from elsewhere in the book the leadership has included the kings, the priests, the prophets, and the citizens as well (cf., e.g., 13:13). In v. 27 Jerusalem is explicitly addressed. It may be asking too much of some readers who are not familiar with biblical metaphors to understand an extended metaphor like this. If it is helpful to them, they may substitute plural referents for “I” and “me.”
863 tn The word “enemy” is not in the text but is implicit. It supplied in the translation for clarity.
sn On the phrase the enemy that is coming from the north see Jer 1:14-15; 4:6; 6:1, 22; 10:22.
864 tn Heb “the flock that was given to you.”
865 tn Heb “the sheep of your pride.” The word “of your people” and the quotes around “sheep” are intended to carry over the metaphor in such a way that readers unfamiliar with the metaphor will understand it.
866 tn Or perhaps more rhetorically equivalent, “Will you not be surprised?”
867 tn The words “The
868 tn Or “to be rulers.” The translation of these two lines is somewhat uncertain. The sentence structure of these two lines raises problems in translation. The Hebrew text reads: “What will you do when he appoints over you [or punishes you (see BDB 823 s.v. פָּקַד Qal.B.2 for the former, Qal.A.3 for the latter)] and you, yourself, taught them over you friends [or chiefs (see BDB 48 s.v. I אַלּוּף 2 and Ps 55:13 for the former and BDB 49 s.v. II אַלּוּף and Exod 15:15 for the latter)] for a head.” The translation assumes that the clause “and you, yourself, taught them [= made them accustomed, i.e., “prepared”] [to be] over you” is parenthetical coming between the verb “appoint” and its object and object modifier (i.e., “appointed over you allies for rulers”). A quick check of other English versions will show how varied the translation of these lines has been. Most English versions seem to ignore the second “over you” after “you taught them.” Some rearrange the text to get what they think is a sensible meaning. For a fairly thorough treatment see W. McKane, Jeremiah (ICC), 1:308-10.
sn What is being alluded to here is the political policy of vacillating alliances through which Judah brought about her own downfall, allying herself first with Assyria, then Egypt, then Babylon, and then Egypt again. See 2 Kgs 23:29–24:7 for an example of this policy and the disastrous consequences.
869 tn Heb “Will not pain [here = mental anguish] take hold of you like a woman giving birth.” The question is rhetorical expecting a positive answer.
870 tn Heb “say in your heart.”
871 tn Heb “Your skirt has been uncovered and your heels have been treated with violence.” This is the generally accepted interpretation of these phrases. See, e.g., BDB 784 s.v. עָקֵב a and HALOT 329 s.v. I חָמַס Nif. The significance of the actions here are part of the metaphor (i.e., personification) of Jerusalem as an adulteress having left her husband and have been explained in the translation for the sake of readers unfamiliar with the metaphor.
872 tn The translation has been restructured to break up a long sentence involving a conditional clause and an elliptical consequential clause. It has also been restructured to define more clearly what “these things” are. The Hebrew text reads: “And if you say, ‘Why have these things happened to me?’ Because of the greatness of your iniquity your skirts [= what your skirt covers] have been uncovered and your heels have been treated with violence.”
873 tn This is a common proverb in English coming from this biblical passage. For cultures where it is not proverbial perhaps it would be better to translate “Can black people change the color of their skin?” Strictly speaking these are “Cushites” inhabitants of a region along the upper Nile south of Egypt. The Greek text is responsible for the identification with Ethiopia. The term in Greek is actually a epithet = “burnt face.”
874 tn Heb “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? [Then] you also will be able to do good who are accustomed to do evil.” The English sentence has been restructured and rephrased in an attempt to produce some of the same rhetorical force the Hebrew original has in this context.
875 tn The words, “The
876 tn Heb “them.” This is another example of the rapid shift in pronouns seen several times in the book of Jeremiah. The pronouns in the preceding and the following are second feminine singular. It might be argued that “them” goes back to the “flock”/“sheep” in v. 20, but the next verse refers the fate described here to “you” (feminine singular). This may be another example of the kind of metaphoric shifts in referents discussed in the notes on 13:20 above. Besides, it would sound a little odd in the translation to speak of scattering one person like chaff.
878 tn Heb “over your face and your shame will be seen.” The words “like a disgraced adulteress” are not in the text but are supplied in the translation to explain the metaphor. See the notes on 13:22.
879 tn Heb “Jerusalem.” This word has been pulled up from the end of the verse to help make the transition. The words “people of” have been supplied in the translation here to ease the difficulty mentioned earlier of sustaining the personification throughout.
880 tn Heb “[I have seen] your adulteries, your neighings, and your shameless prostitution.” The meanings of the metaphorical references have been incorporated in the translation for the sake of clarity for readers of all backgrounds.
sn The sentence is rhetorically loaded. It begins with three dangling objects of the verb all describing their adulterous relationship with the false gods under different figures and which are resumed later under the words “your disgusting acts.” The Hebrew sentence reads: “Your adulteries, your neighings, your shameful prostitution, upon the hills in the fields I have seen your disgusting acts.” This sentence drips with explosive disgust at their adulterous betrayal.
882 tn Heb “Woe to you!”
883 sn The form of Jer 14:1–15:9 is very striking rhetorically. It consists essentially of laments and responses to them. However, what makes it so striking is its deviation from normal form (cf. 2 Chr 20:5-17 for what would normally be expected). The descriptions of the lamentable situation come from the mouth of God not the people (cf.14:1-6, 17-18). The prophet utters the petitions with statements of trust (14:7-9, 19-22) and the
884 tn Heb “That which came [as] the word of the
886 tn Heb “Judah mourns, its gates pine away, they are in mourning on the ground.” There are several figures of speech involved here. The basic figure is that of personification where Judah and it cities are said to be in mourning. However, in the third line the figure is a little hard to sustain because “they” are in mourning on the ground. That presses the imagination of most moderns a little too far. Hence the personification has been interpreted “people of” throughout. The term “gates” here is used as part for whole for the “cities” themselves as in several other passages in the OT (cf. BDB 1045 s.v. שַׁעַר 2.b, c and see, e.g., Isa 14:31).
887 tn The words “to me” are not in the text. They are implicit from the fact that the
889 tn Though the concept of “cisterns” is probably not familiar to some readers, it would be a mistake to translate this word as “well.” Wells have continual sources of water. Cisterns were pits dug in the ground and lined with plaster to hold rain water. The drought had exhausted all the water in the cisterns.
890 tn The word “containers” is a generic word in Hebrew = “vessels.” It would probably in this case involve water “jars” or “jugs.” But since in contemporary English one would normally associate those terms with smaller vessels, “containers” may be safer.
891 tn Heb “they cover their heads.” Some of the English versions have gone wrong here because of the “normal” use of the words translated here “disappointed” and “dismayed.” They are regularly translated “ashamed” and “disgraced, humiliated, dismayed” elsewhere (see e.g., Jer 22:22); they are somewhat synonymous terms which are often parallel or combined. The key here, however, is the expression “they cover their heads” which is used in 2 Sam 15:30 for the expression of grief. Moreover, the word translated here “disappointed” (בּוֹשׁ, bosh) is used that way several times. See for example Jer 12:13 and consult examples in BDB 101 s.v. בּוֹשׁ Qal.2. A very similar context with the same figure is found in Jer 2:36-37.
892 tn For the use of the verb “is cracked” here see BDB 369 s.v. חָתַת Qal.1 and compare the usage in Jer 51:56 where it refers to broken bows. The form is a relative clause without relative pronoun (cf., GKC 486-87 §155.f). The sentence as a whole is related to the preceding through a particle meaning “because of” or “on account of.” Hence the subject and verb have been repeated to make the connection.
893 tn Heb “she gives birth and abandons.”
894 tn Heb “their eyes are strained because there is no verdure.”
895 tn The words “Then I said” are not in the text. However, it cannot be a continuation of the
896 tn Heb “Act for the sake of your name.” The usage of “act” in this absolute, unqualified sense cf. BDB 794 s.v. עָוֹשָׂה Qal.I.r and compare the usage, e.g., in 1 Kgs 8:32 and 39. For the nuance of “for the sake of your name” compare the usage in Isa 48:9 and Ezek 20:9, 14.
897 tn Or “bear witness against us,” or “can be used as evidence against us,” to keep the legal metaphor. Heb “testify against.”
898 tn The Hebrew particle כִּי (ki) can scarcely be causal here; it is either intensive (BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e) or concessive (BDB 473 s.v. כִּי 2.c). The parallel usage in Gen 18:20 argues for the intensive force as does the fact that the concessive has already been expressed by אִם (’im).
899 tn It would be a mistake to translate this word as “stranger.” This word (גֵּר, ger) refers to a resident alien or resident foreigner who stays in a country not his own. He is accorded the privilege of protection through the common rights of hospitality but he does not have the rights of the native born or citizen. The simile here is particularly effective. The land was the
900 tn This is the only time this word occurs in the Hebrew Bible. The lexicons generally take it to mean “confused” or “surprised” (cf., e.g., BDB 187 s.v. דָּהַם). However, the word has been found in a letter from the seventh century in a passage where it must mean something like “be helpless”; see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:433, for discussion and bibliography of an article where this letter is dealt with.
902 tn Heb “in our midst.”
904 tn Heb “Thus said the
905 tn It is difficult to be certain how the particle כֵּן (ken, usually used for “thus, so”) is to be rendered here. BDB 485 s.v. כֵּן 1.b says that the force sometimes has to be elicited from the general context and points back to the line of v. 9. IHBS 666 §39.3.4e states that when there is no specific comparative clause preceding a general comparison is intended. They point to Judg 5:31 as a parallel. Ps 127:2 may also be an example if כִּי (ki) is not to be read (cf. BHS fn). “Truly” seemed the best way to render this idea in contemporary English.
906 tn Heb “They do not restrain their feet.” The idea of “away from me” is implicit in the context and is supplied in the translation for clarity.
907 tn Heb “remember.”
908 tn Heb “their iniquities.”
909 tn Heb “on behalf of these people for benefit.”
911 tn Heb “through sword, starvation, and plague.”
sn These were penalties (curses) that were to be imposed on Israel for failure to keep her covenant with God (cf. Lev 26:23-26). These three occur together fourteen other times in the book of Jeremiah.
912 tn Heb “Lord Yahweh.” The translation follows the ancient Jewish tradition of substituting the Hebrew word for God for the proper name Yahweh.
914 tn The words “that you said” are not in the text but are implicit from the first person in the affirmation that follows. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
915 tn Heb “You will not see sword and you will not have starvation [or hunger].”
916 tn Heb “I will give you unfailing peace in this place.” The translation opts for “peace and prosperity” here for the word שָׁלוֹם (shalom) because in the context it refers both to peace from war and security from famine and plague. The word translated “lasting” (אֱמֶת, ’emet) is a difficult to render here because it has broad uses: “truth, reliability, stability, steadfastness,” etc. “Guaranteed” or “lasting” seem to fit the context the best.
917 tn Heb “Falsehood those prophets are prophesying in my name.” In the OT, the “name” reflected the person’s character (cf. Gen 27:36; 1 Sam 25:25) or his reputation (Gen 11:4; 2 Sam 8:13). To speak in someone’s name was to act as his representative or carry his authority (1 Sam 25:9; 1 Kgs 21:8).
919 tn Heb “divination and worthlessness.” The noun “worthlessness” stands as a qualifying “of” phrase (= to an adjective; an attributive genitive in Hebrew) after a noun in Zech 11:17; Job 13:4. This is an example of hendiadys where two nouns are joined by “and” with one serving as the qualifier of the other.
sn The word translated “predictions” here is really the word “divination.” Divination was prohibited in Israel (cf. Deut 18:10, 14). The practice of divination involved various mechanical means to try to predict the future. The word was used here for its negative connotations in a statement that is rhetorically structured to emphasize the falseness of the promises of the false prophets. It would be unnatural to contemporary English style to try to capture this emphasis in English. In the Hebrew text the last sentence reads: “False vision, divination, and worthlessness and the deceitfulness of their heart they are prophesying to them.” For the emphasis in the preceding sentence see the note there.
920 tn Heb “Thus says the
921 tn Heb “Thus says the
sn The rhetoric of the passage is again sustained by an emphatic word order which contrasts what they say will not happen to the land, “war and famine,” with the punishment that the
923 tn Heb “And the people to whom they are prophesying will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem and there will not be anyone to bury them, they, their wives, and their sons and their daughters.” This sentence has been restructured to break up a long Hebrew sentence and to avoid some awkwardness due to differences in the ancient Hebrew and contemporary English styles.
924 tn Heb “their evil.” Hebrew words often include within them a polarity of cause and effect. Thus the word for “evil” includes both the concept of wickedness and the punishment for it. Other words that function this way are “iniquity” = “guilt [of iniquity]” = “punishment [for iniquity].” Context determines which nuance is proper.
925 tn The word “Jeremiah” is not in the text but the address is to a second person singular and is a continuation of 14:14 where the quote starts. The word is supplied in the translation for clarity.
926 tn Many of the English versions and commentaries render this an indirect or third person imperative, “Let my eyes overflow…” because of the particle אַל (’al) which introduces the phrase translated “without ceasing” (אַל־תִּדְמֶינָה, ’al-tidmenah). However, this is undoubtedly an example where the particle introduces an affirmation that something cannot be done (cf. GKC 322 §109.e). Clear examples of this are found in Pss 41:2 (41:3 HT); 50:3; Job 40:32 (41:8). God here is describing again a lamentable situation and giving his response to it. See 14:1-6 above.
sn Once again it is the
927 tn Heb “virgin daughter, my people.” The last noun here is appositional to the first two (genitive of apposition). Hence it is not ‘literally’ “virgin daughter of my people.”
sn This is a metaphor which occurs several times with regard to Israel, Judah, Zion, and even Sidon and Babylon. It is the poetic personification of the people, the city, or the land. Like other metaphors the quality of the comparison being alluded to must be elicited from the context. This is easy in Isa 23:12 (oppressed) and Isa 47:1 (soft and delicate) but not so easy in other places. From the nature of the context the suspicion here is that the protection the virgin was normally privileged to is being referred to and there is a reminder that the people are forfeiting it by their actions. Hence God laments for them.
928 tn This is a poetic personification. To translate with the plural “serious wounds” might mislead some into thinking of literal wounds.
sn Compare Jer 10:19 for a similar use of this metaphor.
929 tn The word “starvation” has been translated “famine” elsewhere in this passage. It is the word which refers to hunger. The “starvation” here may be war induced and not simply that which comes from famine per se. “Starvation” will cover both.
930 tn The meaning of these last two lines is somewhat uncertain. The meaning of these two lines is debated because of the uncertainty of the meaning of the verb rendered “go about their business” (סָחַר, sakhar) and the last phrase translated here “without any real understanding.” The verb in question most commonly occurs as a participle meaning “trader” or “merchant” (cf., e.g., Ezek 27:21, 36; Prov 31:14). It occurs as a finite verb elsewhere only in Gen 34:10, 21; 42:34 and there in a literal sense of “trading,” “doing business.” While the nuance is metaphorical here it need not extend to “journeying into” (cf., e.g., BDB 695 s.v. סָחַר Qal.1) and be seen as a reference to exile as is sometimes assumed. That seems at variance with the causal particle which introduces this clause, the tense of the verb, and the surrounding context. People are dying in the land (vv. 17-18a) not because prophet and priest have gone (the verb is the Hebrew perfect or past) into exile but because prophet and priest have no true knowledge of God or the situation. The clause translated here “without having any real understanding” (Heb “and they do not know”) is using the verb in the absolute sense indicated in BDB 394 s.v. יָדַע Qal.5 and illustrated in Isa 1:3; 56:10. For a more thorough discussion of the issues one may consult W. McKane, Jeremiah (ICC), 1:330-31.
931 tn The words, “Then I said, ‘
932 tn Heb “does your soul despise.” Here as in many places the word “soul” stands as part for whole for the person himself emphasizing emotional and volitional aspects of the person. However, in contemporary English one does not regularly speak of the “soul” in contexts such as this but of the person.
sn There is probably a subtle allusion to the curses called down on the nation for failure to keep their covenant with God. The word used here is somewhat rare (גָּעַל, ga’al). It is used of Israel’s rejection of God’s stipulations and of God’s response to their rejection of him and his stipulations in Lev 26:11, 15, 30, 43-44. That the allusion is intended is probable when account is taken of the last line of v. 21.
933 tn Heb “Why have you struck us and there is no healing for us.” The statement involves poetic exaggeration (hyperbole) for rhetorical effect.
934 tn Heb “[We hope] for a time of healing but behold terror.”
sn The last two lines of this verse are repeated word for word from 8:15. There they are spoken by the people.
935 tn Heb “We acknowledge our wickedness [and] the iniquity of our [fore]fathers.” For the use of the word “know” to mean “confess,” “acknowledge” cf. BDB 394 s.v. יָדַע, Qal.1.f and compare the usage in Jer 3:13.
sn For a longer example of an individual identifying with the nation and confessing their sins and the sins of their forefathers see Ps 106.
936 tn This is another example of the intensive use of כִּי (ki). See BDB 472 s.v. כִּי 1.e.
937 tn Heb “For the sake of your name.”
939 tn English versions quite commonly supply “us” as an object for the verb in the first line. This is probably wrong. The Hebrew text reads: “Do not treat with contempt for the sake of your name; do not treat with disdain your glorious throne.” This is case of poetic parallelism where the object is left hanging until the second line. For an example of this see Prov 13:1 in the original and consult E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 103-4. There has also been some disagreement whether “your glorious throne” refers to the temple (as in 17:12) or Jerusalem (as in 3:17). From the beginning of the prayer in v. 19 where a similar kind of verb has been used with respect to Zion/Jerusalem it would appear that the contextual referent is Jerusalem. The absence of an object from the first line makes it possible to retain part of the metaphor in the translation and still convey some meaning.
sn The place of God’s glorious throne was first of all the ark of the covenant where God was said to be enthroned between the cherubim, then the temple that housed it, then the city itself. See 2 Kgs 19:14-15 in the context of Sennacherib’s attack on Jerusalem.
940 tn Heb “Remember, do not break your covenant with us.”
942 tn Heb “Is it not you, O
943 tn The rhetorical negatives are balanced by a rhetorical positive.
sn Moses and Samuel were well-known for their successful intercession on behalf of Israel. See Ps 99:6-8 and see, e.g., Exod 32:11-14, 30-34; 1 Sam 7:5-9. The
946 tn Heb “Send them away from my presence and let them go away.”
947 tn It is difficult to render the rhetorical force of this passage in meaningful English. The text answers the question “Where should we go?” with four brief staccato-like expressions with a play on the preposition “to”: Heb “Who to the death, to the death and who to the sword, to the sword and who to the starvation, to the starvation and who to the captivity, to the captivity.” The word “death” here is commonly understood to be a poetic substitute for “plague” because of the standard trio of sword, famine, and plague (see, e.g., 14:12 and the notes there). This is likely here and in 18:21. For further support see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:440. The nuance “starvation” rather than “famine” has been chosen in the translation because the referents here are all things that accompany war.
948 tn The translation attempts to render in understandable English some rather unusual uses of terms here. The verb translated “punish” is often used that way (cf. BDB 823 s.v. פָּקַד Qal.A.3 and compare usage in Jer 11:22, 13:21). However, here it is accompanied by a direct object and a preposition meaning “over” which is usually used in the sense of appointing someone over someone (cf. BDB 823 s.v. פָּקַד Qal.B.1 and compare usage in Jer 51:27). Moreover the word translated “different ways” normally refers to “families,” “clans,” or “guilds” (cf. BDB 1046-47 s.v. מִשְׁפָּחָה for usage). Hence the four things mentioned are referred to figuratively as officers or agents into whose power the
949 tn The length of this sentence runs contrary to the normal policy followed in the translation of breaking up long sentences. However, there does not seem any way to break it up here without losing the connections.
950 tn The words “The
951 tn The words, “in the world” are not in the text but are the translator’s way of trying to indicate that this rhetorical question expects a negative answer.
952 tn Heb “turn aside.”
953 tn Or “about your well-being”; Heb “about your welfare” (שָׁלוֹם, shalom).
954 tn Heb “oracle of the
955 tn Heb “you are going backward.” This is the only occurrence of this adverb with this verb. It is often used with another verb meaning “turn backward” (= abandon; Heb סוּג [sug] in the Niphal). For examples see Jer 38:22; 46:5. The only other occurrence in Jeremiah has been in the unusual idiom in 7:24 where it was translated “they got worse and worse instead of better.” That is how J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 109) translates it here. However it is translated, it has connotations of apostasy.
957 tn There is a difference of opinion on how the verbs here and in the following verses are to be rendered, whether past or future. KJV, NASB, NIV for example render them as future. ASV, RSV, TEV render them as past. NJPS has past here and future in vv. 7-9. This is perhaps the best solution. The imperfect + vav consecutive here responds to the perfect in the first line. The imperfects + vav consecutives followed by perfects in vv. 7-9 and concluded by an imperfect in v. 9 pick up the perfects + vav (ו) consecutives in vv. 3-4. Verses 7-9 are further development of the theme in vv. 1-4. Verses 5-6 have been an apostrophe or a turning aside to address Jerusalem directly. For a somewhat similar alternation of the tenses see Isa 5:14-17 and consult GKC 329-30 §111.w. One could of course argue that the imperfects + vav consecutive in vv. 7-9 continue the imperfect + vav consecutive here. In this case, vv. 7-9 are not a continuation of the oracle of doom but another lament by God (cf. 14:1-6, 17-18).
958 sn It is difficult to be sure what intertextual connections are intended by the author in his use of vocabulary. The Hebrew word translated “grown tired” is not very common. It has been used twice before. In 9:5-6b where it refers to the people being unable to repent and in 6:11 where it refers to Jeremiah being tired or unable to hold back his anger because of that inability. Now God too has worn out his patience with them (cf. Isa 7:13).
959 tn The words “The
960 tn Heb “I have winnowed them with a winnowing fork in the gates of the land.” The word “gates” is here being used figuratively for the cities, the part for the whole. See 14:2 and the notes there.
sn Like straw blown away by the wind. A figurative use of the process of winnowing is referred to here. Winnowing was the process whereby a mixture of grain and straw was thrown up into the wind to separate the grain from the straw and the husks. The best description of the major steps in threshing and winnowing grain in the Bible is seen in another figurative passage in Isa 41:15-16.
961 tn Or “did not repent of their wicked ways”; Heb “They did not turn back from their ways.” There is no casual particle here (either כִּי [ki], which is more formally casual, or וְ [vÿ], which sometimes introduces casual circumstantial clauses). The causal idea is furnished by the connection of ideas. If the verbs throughout this section are treated as pasts and this section seen as a lament, then the clause could be sequential: “but they still did not turn…”
962 tn Heb “to me.” BDB 513 s.v. ל 5.a(d) compares the usage of the preposition “to” here to that in Jonah 3:3, “Nineveh was a very great city to God [in God’s estimation].” The NEB/REB interpret as though it were the agent after a passive verb, “I have made widows more numerous.” Most English versions ignore it. The present translation follows BDB though the emphasis on God’s agency has been strong in the passage.
963 tn The translation of this line is a little uncertain because of the double prepositional phrase which is not represented in this translation or most of the others. The Hebrew text reads: “I will bring in to them, against mother of young men, a destroyer at noon time.” Many commentaries delete the phrase with the Greek text. If the preposition read “against” like the following one this would be a case of apposition of nearer definition. There is some evidence of that in the Targum and the Syriac according to BHS. Both nouns “mothers” and “young men” are translated as plural here though they are singular; they are treated by most as collectives. It would be tempting to translate these two lines “In broad daylight I have brought destroyers against the mothers of her fallen young men.” But this may be too interpretive. In the light of 6:4, noontime was a good time to attack. NJPS has “I will bring against them – young men and mothers together – ….” In this case “mother” and “young men” would be a case of asyndetic coordination.
964 tn This word is used only here and in Hos 11:9. It is related to the root meaning “to rouse” (so BDB 735 s.v. I עִיר). Here it refers to the excitement or agitation caused by terror. In Hos 11:9 it refers to the excitement or arousal of anger.
965 tn The “them” in the Hebrew text is feminine referring to the mothers.
966 tn Heb “who gave birth to seven.”
967 tn The meaning of this line is debated. Some understand this line to mean “she has breathed out her life” (cf., e.g., BDB 656 s.v. נָפַח and 656 s.v. ֶנפֶשׁ 1.c). However, as several commentaries have noted (e.g., W. McKane, Jeremiah [ICC], 1:341; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 109) it makes little sense to talk about her suffering shame and embarrassment if she has breathed her last. Both the Greek and Latin versions understand “soul” not as the object but as the subject and the idea being one of fainting under despair. This idea seems likely in light of the parallelism. Bright suggests the phrase means either “she gasped out her breath” or “her throat gasped.” The former is more likely. One might also render “she fainted dead away,” but that idiom might not be familiar to all readers.
968 tn Heb “Her sun went down while it was still day.”
sn The sun was the source of light and hence has associations with life, prosperity, health, and blessing. The premature setting of the sun which brought these seems apropos as metaphor for the loss of her children which were not only a source of joy, help, and honor. Two references where “sun” is used figuratively, Ps 84:11 (84:12 HT) and Mal 4:2, may be helpful here.
970 tn Heb “I will deliver those of them that survive to the sword before their enemies.” The referent of “them” is ambiguous. Does it refer to the children of the widow (nearer context) or the people themselves (more remote context, v. 7)? Perhaps it was meant to include both. Verse seven spoke of the destruction of the people and the killing off of the children.
971 tn The words “I said” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation for clarity to mark a shift in the speaker.
973 tn Heb “A man of strife and a man of contention with all the land.” The “of” relationship (Hebrew and Greek genitive) can convey either subjective or objective relationships, i.e., he instigates strife and contention or he is the object of it. A study of usage elsewhere, e.g., Isa 41:11; Job 31:35; Prov 12:19; 25:24; 26:21; 27:15, is convincing that it is subjective. In his role as God’s covenant messenger charging people with wrong doing he has instigated counterarguments and stirred about strife and contention against him.
974 tc The translation follows the almost universally agreed upon correction of the MT. Instead of reading כֻּלֹּה מְקַלְלַונִי (kulloh mÿqallavni, “all of him is cursing me”) as the Masoretes proposed (Qere) one should read קִלְלוּנִי (qilluni) with the written text (Kethib) and redivide and repoint with the suggestion in BHS כֻּלְּהֶם (qullÿhem, “all of them are cursing me”).
975 tn The word “Jerusalem” is not in the text. It is supplied in the translation for clarity to identify the referent of “you.” A comparison of three or four English versions will show how difficult this verse is to interpret. The primary difficulty is with the meaning of the verb rendered here as “I will surely send you out [שֵׁרִותִךָ, sherivtikha].” The text and the meaning of the word are debated (for a rather full discussion see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah [Hermeneia], 1:446-47, n. b-b). Tied up with that is the meaning of the verb in the second line and the identification of who the speaker and addressee are. One of two approaches are usually followed. Some follow the Greek version which has Jeremiah speaking and supporting his complaint that he has been faithful. In this case the word “said” is left out, the difficult verb is taken to mean “I have served you” (שֵׁרַתִּיךָ [sheratikha] from שָׁרַת [sharat; BDB 1058 s.v. שָׁרַת]) and the parallel verb means “I have made intercession for my enemies.” The second tack is to suppose that God is speaking and is promising Jeremiah deliverance from his detractors. In this case the troublesome word is taken to mean “deliver” (cf. BDB 1056 s.v. I שָׁרָה), “strengthen” (see BDB’s discussion) or read as a noun “remnant” (שֵׁרִיתְךָ = שְׁאֵרִיתְךָ [sheritekha = shÿ’eritekha]; again see BDB’s discussion). In this case the parallel verb is taken to mean “I will cause your enemies to entreat you,” a meaning it has nowhere else. Both of these approaches are probably wrong. The Greek text is the only evidence for leaving out “said.” The problem with making Jeremiah the addressee is twofold. First, the word “enemy” is never used in the book of Jeremiah’s foes, always of political enemies. Second, and more troublesome, one must assume a shift in the addressee between v. 11 and vv.13-14 or assume that the whole is addressed. The latter would be odd if he is promised deliverance from his detractors only to be delivered to captivity. If, however, one assumes that the whole is addressed to Jerusalem, there is no such problem. A check of earlier chapters will show that the second masculine pronoun is used for Judah/Jerusalem in 2:28-29; 4:1-2; 5:17-18; 11:13. In 2:28-28 and 4:1-2 the same shift from second singular to second plural takes place as does here in vv. 13-14. Moreover, vv. 13-14 continue much of the same vocabulary and is addressed to Jerusalem. The approach followed here is similar to that taken in REB except “for good” is taken in the way it is always used rather to mean “utterly.” The nuance suggested by BDB 1056 s.v. I שָׁרָה is assumed and the meaning of the parallel verb is assumed to be similar to that in Isa 53:6 (see BDB 803 s.v. פָּגַע Hiph.1). The MT is retained with demonstrable meanings. For the concept of “for good” see Jer 24:5-6. This assumes that the ultimate goal of God’s discipline is here announced.
977 tn Or “Can iron and bronze break iron from the north?” The question is rhetorical and expects a negative answer. The translation and meaning of this verse are debated. See note for further details. The two main difficulties here involve the relation of words to one another and the obscure allusion to iron from the north. To translate “literally” is difficult since one does not know whether “iron” is subject of “break” or object of an impersonal verb. Likewise, the dangling “and bronze” fits poorly with either understanding. Options: “Can iron break iron from the north and bronze?” Or “Can one break iron, even iron from the north and bronze.” This last is commonly opted for by translators and interpreters, but why add “and bronze” at the end? And what does “iron from the north” refer to? A long history of interpretation relates it to the foe from the north (see already 1:14; 4:6; 6:1; 13:20). The translation follows the lead of NRSV and takes “and bronze” as a compound subject. I have no ready parallels for this syntax but the reference to “from the north” and the comparison to the stubbornness of the unrepentant people to bronze and iron in 6:28 suggests a possible figurative allusion. There is no evidence in the Bible that Israel knew about a special kind of steel like iron from the Black Sea mentioned in later Greek sources. The word “fist” is supplied in the translation to try to give some hint that it refers to a hostile force.
sn Compare Isa 10:5-6 for the idea here.
978 tc This reading follows the Greek and Syriac versions and several Hebrew
979 tn The words “I said” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation for clarity to mark the shift from the
980 tn The words “how I suffer” are not in the text but are implicit from the continuation. They are supplied in the translation for clarity. Jeremiah is not saying “you are all knowing.”
981 sn Heb “Your words were found and I ate them.” This along with Ezek 2:8–3:3 is a poetic picture of inspiration. The prophet accepted them, assimilated them, and made them such a part of himself that he spoke with complete assurance what he knew were God’s words.
982 tn Heb “Your name is called upon me.”
983 tn Heb “because of your hand.”
984 tn Heb “Will you be to me like a deceptive (brook), like waters which do not last [or are not reliable].”
sn Jeremiah is speaking of the stream beds or wadis which fill with water after the spring rains but often dry up in the summer time. A fuller picture is painted in Job 6:14-21. This contrasts with the earlier metaphor that God had used of himself in Jer 2:13.
985 tn Heb “So the
986 tn Heb “If you return [ = repent], I will restore [more literally, ‘cause you to return’] that you may stand before me.” For the idiom of “standing before” in the sense of serving see BDB 764 s.v. עָמַד Qal.1.e and compare the usage in 1 Kgs 10:8; 12:8; 17:1; Deut 10:8.
987 tn Heb “you shall be as my mouth.”
sn For the classic statement of the prophet as God’s “mouth/mouthpiece,” = “spokesman,” see Exod 4:15-16; 7:1-2.
988 tn Heb “They must turn/return to you and you must not turn/return to them.”
sn Once again the root “return” (שׁוּב, shuv) is being played on as in 3:1–4:4. See the threefold call to repentance in 3:12, 14, 22. The verb is used here four times “repent,” “restore,” and “become” twice. He is to serve as a model of repentance, not an imitator of their apostasy. In accusing God of being unreliable he was coming dangerously close to their kind of behavior.
990 tn Heb “For thus says the
991 tn Heb “Thus says the
992 tn Heb “For thus says the
993 tn Heb “my peace.” The Hebrew word שְׁלוֹמִי (shÿlomi) can be translated “peace, prosperity” or “well-being” (referring to wholeness or health of body and soul).
994 tn Heb “Oracle of the
997 tn Heb “before your eyes and in your days.” The pronouns are plural including others than Jeremiah.
998 tn Heb “all these words/things.”
sn The actions of the prophet would undoubtedly elicit questions about his behavior and he would have occasion to explain the reason.
999 tn These two sentences have been recast in English to break up a long Hebrew sentence and incorporate the oracular formula “says the
1002 tn Heb “But me they have abandoned and my law they have not kept.” The objects are thrown forward to bring out the contrast which has rhetorical force. However, such a sentence in English would be highly unnatural.
1004 tn The particle translated here “Yet” (לָכֵן, lakhen) is regularly translated “So” or “Therefore” and introduces a consequence. However, in a few cases it introduces a contrasting set of conditions. Compare its use in Judg 11:8; Jer 48:12; 49:2; 51:52; and Hos 2:14 (2:16 HT).
1005 tn Heb “Oracle of the
1006 tn Heb “Behold the days are coming.”
1007 tn These two verses which constitute one long sentence with compound, complex subordinations has been broken up for sake of English style. It reads, “Therefore, behold the days are coming, says the
1008 tn Heb “Oracle of the
1009 tn Heb “Behold I am about to send for many fishermen and they will catch them. And after that I will send for many hunters and they will hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the cracks in the rocks.”
1010 tn Heb “For my eyes are upon all their ways. They are not hidden from before me. And their sin is not hidden away from before my eyes.”
1011 tn Heb “First.” Many English versions and commentaries delete this word because it is missing from the Greek version and is considered a gloss added by a postexilic editor who is said to be responsible also for vv. 14-16. This is not the place to resolve issues of authorship and date. It is the task of the translator to translate the “original” which in this case is the MT supported by the other versions. The word here refers to order in rank or order of events. Compare Gen 38:28; 1 Kgs 18:25. Here allusion is made to the restoration previously mentioned. First in order of events is the punishment of destruction and exile, then restoration.
1012 tn Heb “double.” However, usage in Deut 15:18 and probably Isa 40:2 argues for “full compensation.” This is supported also by usage in a tablet from Alalakh in Syria. See P. C. Craigie, P. H. Kelley, J. F. Drinkard, Jeremiah 1-25 (WBC), 218, for bibliography.
1013 tn Heb “my inheritance.”
1014 tn Many of the English versions take “lifeless statues of their detestable idols” with “filled” as a compound object. This follows the Masoretic punctuation but violates usage. The verb “fill” never takes an object preceded by the preposition בְּ (bet).
1015 tn The words “Then I said” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation to show the shift from God, who has been speaking to Jeremiah, to Jeremiah, who here addresses God.
sn The shift here is consistent with the interruptions that have taken place in chapters 14 and 15 and in Jeremiah’s response to God’s condemnation of the people of Judah’s idolatry in chapter 10 (note especially vv. 6-16).
1016 tn Heb “O
1017 tn Once again the translation has sacrificed some of the rhetorical force for the sake of clarity and English style: Heb “Only falsehood did our ancestors possess, vanity and [things in which?] there was no one profiting in them.”
sn This passage offers some rather forceful contrasts. The
1019 tn The words “The
1020 tn Or “So I will make known to those nations, I will make known to them at this time my power and my might. Then they will know that my name is the
tn There is a decided ambiguity in this text about the identity of the pronoun “them.” Is it his wicked people he has been predicting judgment upon or the nations that have come to recognize the folly of idolatry? The nearer antecedent would argue for that. However, usage of “hand” (translated here “power”) in 6:12; 15:6 and later 21:5 and especially the threatening motif of “at this time” (or “now”) in 10:18 suggest that the “So” goes back logically to vv. 16-18, following a grounds of judgment with the threatened consequence as it has in at least 16 out of 18 occurrences thus far. Moreover it makes decidedly more sense that the Jews will know that his name is the
1021 tn The chapter division which was not a part of the original text but was added in the middle ages obscures the fact that there is no new speech here. The division may have resulted from the faulty identification of the “them” in the preceding verse. See the translator’s note on that verse.
1023 tn Heb “adamant.” The word “diamond” is an accommodation to modern times. There is no evidence that diamond was known in ancient times. This hard stone (perhaps emery) became metaphorical for hardness; see Ezek 3:9 and Zech 7:12. For discussion see W. E. Staples, “Adamant,” IDB 1:45.
1024 tn This verse has been restructured for the sake of the English poetry: Heb “The sin of Judah is engraved [or written] with an iron pen, inscribed with a point of a diamond [or adamant] upon the tablet of their hearts and on the horns of their altars.”
sn There is biting sarcasm involved in the use of the figures here. The law was inscribed on the tablets of stone by the “finger” of God (Exod 31:18; 32:16). Later under the new covenant it would be written on their hearts (Jer 31:33). Blood was to be applied to the horns of the altar in offering the sin offering (cf., e.g., Lev 4:7, 18, 25, 20) and on the bronze altar to cleanse it from sin on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:18). Here their sins are engraved (permanently written, cf. Job 19:24) on their hearts (i.e., control their thoughts and actions) and on their altars (permanently polluting them).
1025 tn It is difficult to convey in good English style the connection between this verse and the preceding. The text does not have a finite verb but a temporal preposition with an infinitive: Heb “while their children remember their altars…” It is also difficult to translate the verb “literally.” (i.e., what does “remember” their altars mean?). Hence it has been rendered “always think about.” Another possibility would be “have their altars…on their minds.”
sn There is possibly a sarcastic irony involved here as well. The Israelites were to remember the
1026 tc This reading follows many Hebrew
1027 sn Sacred poles dedicated to…Asherah. A leading deity of the Canaanite pantheon was Asherah, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. She was commonly worshiped at shrines in or near groves of evergreen trees, or, failing that, at places marked by wooden poles (Hebrew אֲשֵׁרִים [’asherim], plural). They were to be burned or cut down (Deut 7:5; 12:3; 16:21; Judg 6:25, 28, 30; 2 Kgs 18:4).
1028 tc This reading follows some of the ancient versions. The MT reads, “hills. My mountain in the open field [alluding to Jerusalem] and your wealth…I will give.” The vocalization of the noun plus pronoun and the unusual form of the expression to allude to Jerusalem calls into question the originality of the MT. The MT reads הֲרָרִי (harari) which combines the suffix for a singular noun with a pointing of the noun in the plural, a form which would be without parallel (compare the forms in Ps 30:8 for the singular noun with suffix and Deut 8:9 for the plural noun with suffix). Likewise, Jerusalem was not “in the open field.” For a similar expression compare Jer 13:27.
1029 tc Or “I will give away your wealth, all your treasures, and your places of worship…” The translation follows the emendation suggested in the footnote in BHS, reading בִּמְחִיר (bimkhir) in place of בָּמֹתֶיךָ (bamotekha). The forms are graphically very close and one could explain the origin of either from the other. The parallel in 15:13-14 reads לֹא בִּמְחִיר (lo’ bimkhir). The text here may be a deliberate play on that one. The emended text makes decidedly better sense contextually than the MT unless some sardonic reference to their idolatry is intended.
1030 tc Or “Through your own fault you will lose the land…” As W. McKane (Jeremiah [ICC], 1:386) notes the ancient versions do not appear to be reading וּבְךָ (uvÿkha) as in the MT but possibly לְבַדְּךָ (lÿvaddÿkha; see BHS fn). The translation follows the suggestion in BHS fn that יָדְךָ (yadÿkha, literally “your hand”) be read for MT וּבְךָ. This has the advantage of fitting the idiom of this verb with “hand” in Deut 15:2 (see also v. 3 there). The Hebrew text thus reads “You will release your hand from your heritage.”
1031 tc A few Hebrew
tn Heb “you have started a fire in my anger which will burn forever.”
1032 sn Verses 5-11 are a collection of wisdom-like sayings (cf. Ps 1) which set forth the theme of the two ways and their consequences. It has as its background the blessings and the curses of Deut 28 and the challenge to faith in Deut 29-30 which climaxes in Deut 30:15-20. The nation is sinful and God is weary of showing them patience. However, there is hope for individuals within the nation if they will trust in him.
1033 tn Heb “who make flesh their arm.” The “arm” is the symbol of strength and the flesh is the symbol of mortal man in relation to the omnipotent God. The translation “mere flesh and blood” reflects this.
1034 sn In the psychology of ancient Hebrew thought the heart was the center not only of the emotions but of the thoughts and motivations. It was also the seat of moral conduct (cf. its placement in the middle of the discussion of moral conduct in Prov 4:20-27, i.e., in v. 23).
1035 tn This word occurs only here and in Jer 48:6. It has been identified as a kind of juniper, which is a short shrub with minute leaves that look like scales. For a picture and more discussion see Fauna and Flora of the Bible, 131.
1036 tn Heb “Blessed is the person who trusts in the
1037 tn Or “incurably deceitful”; Heb “It is incurable.” For the word “deceitful” compare the usage of the verb in Gen 27:36 and a related noun in 2 Kgs 10:19. For the adjective “incurable” compare the usage in Jer 15:18. It is most commonly used with reference to wounds or of pain. In Jer 17:16 it is used metaphorically for a “woeful day” (i.e., day of irreparable devastation).
1038 tn The term rendered “mind” here and in the previous verse is actually the Hebrew word for “heart.” However, in combination with the word rendered “heart” in the next line, which is the Hebrew for “kidneys,” it is best rendered “mind” because the “heart” was considered the center of intellect, conscience, and will and the “kidneys” the center of emotions.
1039 tn The meaning of this line is somewhat uncertain. The word translated “broods over” occurs only here and Isa 34:15. It is often defined on the basis of an Aramaic cognate which means “to gather” with an extended meaning of “to gather together under her to hatch.” Many commentators go back to a Rabbinic explanation that the partridge steals the eggs of other birds and hatches them out only to see the birds depart when they recognize that she is not the mother. Modern studies question the validity of this zoologically. Moreover, W. L. Holladay contests the validity on the basis of the wording “and she does hatch them” (Heb “bring them to birth”). See W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:498, and see also P. C. Craigie, P. H. Kelley, J. F. Drinkard, Jeremiah 1-25 (WBC), 229. The point of the comparison is that the rich gather their wealth but they do not get to see the fruits of it.
1040 tn The Hebrew text merely says “it.” But the antecedent might be ambiguous in English so the reference to wealth gained by unjust means is here reiterated for clarity.
1041 tn Heb “he will be [= prove to be] a fool.”
1042 tn The words, “Then I said” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation for clarity to show the shift in speaker.
1043 tn Heb “O glorious throne, O high place from the beginning, O hope of Israel, O
sn As King and Judge seated on his heavenly throne on high the
1044 tc The translation is based on an emendation suggested in W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 1:500, n. b-b. The emendation involves following the reading preferred by the Masoretes (the Qere) and understanding the preposition with the following word as a corruption of the suffix on it. Thus the present translation reads וּסוּרֶיךָ אֶרֶץ (usurekha ’erets) instead of וּסוּרַי בָּאֶרֶץ (usuray ba’erets, “and those who leave me will be written in the earth”), a reading which is highly improbable since all the other pronouns are second singular.
1045 tn Or “to the world of the dead.” An alternative interpretation is: “will be as though their names were written in the dust”; Heb “will be written in the dust.” The translation follows the nuance of “earth” listed in HALOT 88 s.v. אֶרֶץ 4 and found in Jonah 2:6 (2:7 HT); Job 10:21-22. For the nuance of “enrolling, registering among the number” for the verb translated here “consign” see BDB 507 s.v. כָּתַב Qal.3 and 508 s.v. Niph.2 and compare usage in Ezek 13:9 and Ps 69:28 (69:29 HT).
1046 tn Heb “The fountain of living water.” For an earlier use of this metaphor and the explanation of it see Jer 2:13 and the notes there. There does not appear to be any way to retain this metaphor in the text without explaining it. In the earlier text the context would show that literal water was not involved. Here it might still be assumed that the
1047 tn The translation fills in the details of the metaphor from a preceding context (15:18) and from the following context (17:18). The literal translation “Heal me and I will be healed. Rescue me and I will be rescued.” does not make much sense if these details are not filled in. The metaphor is filled in for clarity for the average reader.
1048 tn Heb “Behold, they are saying to me.”
1049 tn Heb “Where is the word of the
1050 tc Heb “I have not run after you for the sake of disaster.” The translation follows the suggestion of some ancient versions. The Hebrew text reads “I have not run from being a shepherd after you.” The translation follows two Greek versions (Aquila and Symmachus) and the Syriac in reading the word “evil” or “disaster” here in place of the word “shepherd” in the Hebrew text. The issue is mainly one of vocalization. The versions mentioned are reading a form מֵרָעָה (mera’ah) instead of מֵרֹעֶה (mero’eh). There does not appear to be any clear case of a prophet being called a shepherd, especially in Jeremiah where it is invariably used of the wicked leaders/rulers of Judah, the leaders/rulers of the enemy that he brings to punish them, or the righteous ruler that he will bring in the future. Moreover, there are no cases where the preposition “after” is used with the verb “shepherd.” Parallelism also argues for the appropriateness of this reading; “disaster” parallels the “incurable day.” The thought also parallels the argument thus far. Other than 11:20; 12:3; 15:15 where he has prayed for vindication by the
1052 tn Heb “that which goes out of my lip is right in front of your face.”
1053 tn Heb “do not be a source of dismay for me.” For this nuance of מְחִתָּה (mÿkhittah) rather than “terror” as many of the English versions have it see BDB 370 s.v. מְחִתָּה 1.b and the usage in Prov 21:15. Compare also the usage of the related verb which occurs in the next verse (see also BDB 369 s.v. חָתַת Qal.2).
sn Jeremiah now does what he says he has not wanted to do or been hasty to do. He is, however, seeking his own vindication and that of God whose threats they have belittled.
1055 sn Observance of the Sabbath day (and the Sabbatical year) appears to have been a litmus test of the nation’s spirituality since it is mentioned in a number of passages besides this one (cf., e.g., Isa 56:2, 6; 58:13; Neh 13:15-18). Perhaps this is because the Sabbath day was the sign of the Mosaic covenant (Exod 31:13-17) just as the rainbow was the sign of the Noahic covenant (Gen 9:12, 13, 17) and circumcision was the sign of the Abrahamic covenant (Gen 17:11). This was not the only command they failed to obey, nor was their failure to obey this one the sole determining factor in the
1056 sn The identity and location of the People’s Gate is uncertain since it is mentioned nowhere else in the Hebrew Bible. Some identify it with the Benjamin Gate mentioned in Jer 37:13; 38:7 (cf. NAB), but there is no textual support for this in the Hebrew Bible or in any of the ancient versions.
1058 tn The words “As you stand there” are not in the text but are implicit in the connection. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
1059 tn Heb “Listen to the word of the
1060 tn Heb “Be careful at the risk of your lives.” The expression with the preposition בְּ (bet) is unique. Elsewhere the verb “be careful” is used with the preposition לְ (lamed) in the sense of the reflexive. Hence the word “soul” cannot be simply reflexive here. BDB 1037 s.v. שָׁמַר Niph.1 understands this as a case where the preposition בְּ introduces the cost or price (cf. BDB 90 s.v. בּ III.3.a).
1061 sn Comparison with Neh 13:15-18 suggests that these loads were merchandise or agricultural produce which were being brought in for sale. The loads that were carried out of the houses in the next verse were probably goods for barter.
1062 tn Heb “carry loads on the Sabbath and bring [them] in through.” The two verbs “carry” and “bring in” are an example of hendiadys (see the note on “Be careful…by carrying”). This is supported by the next line where only “carry out” of the houses is mentioned.
1063 tn Heb “Do not carry any loads out of your houses on the Sabbath day and do not do any work.” Translating literally might give the wrong impression that they were not to work at all. The phrase “on the Sabbath day” is, of course, intended to qualify both prohibitions.
1064 tn Heb “But sanctify [or set apart as sacred] the Sabbath day.” The idea of setting it apart as something sacred to the
1065 tn Heb “fathers.”
1066 tn Heb “They.” The antecedent is spelled out to avoid any possible confusion.
1067 tn Heb “They hardened [or made stiff] their neck so as not to.”
1068 tn Heb “Oracle of the
1069 tn Heb “If you will carefully obey me by not bringing…and by sanctifying…by not doing…, then kings will….” The structure of prohibitions and commands followed by a brief “if” clause has been used to break up a long condition and consequence relationship which is contrary to contemporary English style.
1070 tn Heb “who sit [or are to sit] on David’s throne.”
1071 tn Heb “There will come through the gates of this city the kings and princes…riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials…” The structure of the original text is broken up here because of the long compound subject which would make the English sentence too long. The term “princes” is often omitted as a supposed double writing of the word that follows it and looks somewhat like it (the Hebrew reads here וְשָׂרִים יֹשְׁבִים, vÿsarim yoshÿvim) or the same word which occurs later in the verse and is translated “officials” (the word can refer to either). It is argued that “princes” are never said to sit on the throne of David (translated here “follow in the succession of David”). However, the word is in all texts and versions and the concept of sitting on the throne of someone is descriptive of both past, present, and future and is even used with the participle in a proleptic sense of “the one who is to sit on the throne” (cf. Exod 11:5; 12:29).
1072 tn Heb “will be inhabited forever.”
1073 tn Heb “There will come from the cities of Judah and from the environs of Jerusalem and from…those bringing…incense and those bringing thank offerings.” This sentence has been restructured from a long complex original to conform to contemporary English style.
1077 tn Heb “And I will cause you to hear my word there.”
1078 tn Heb “And behold he was working.”
1079 sn At his wheel (Heb “at the two stones”). The Hebrew expression is very descriptive of the construction of a potter’s wheel which consisted of two stones joined by a horizontal shaft. The potter rotated the wheel with his feet on the lower wheel and worked the clay with his hands on the upper. For a picture of a potter working at his wheel see I. Ben-Dor, “Potter’s Wheel,” IDB 3:846. See also the discussion regarding the making of pottery in J. L. Kelso, “Pottery,” IDB 3:846-53.
1080 tn The verbs here denote repeated action. They are the Hebrew perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive. The text then reads somewhat literally, “Whenever the vessel he was molding…was ruined, he would remold…” For this construction see Joüon 2:393-94 §118.n and 2:628-29 §167.b, and compare the usage in Amos 4:7-8.
1081 sn Something was wrong with the clay – either there was a lump in it, or it was too moist or not moist enough, or it had some other imperfection. In any case the vessel was “ruined” or “spoiled” or defective in the eyes of the potter. This same verb has been used of the linen shorts that were “ruined” and hence were “good for nothing” in Jer 13:7. The nature of the clay and how it responded to the potter’s hand determined the kind of vessel that he made of it. He did not throw the clay away. This is the basis for the application in vv. 7-10 to any nation and to the nation of Israel in particular vv. 10-17.
1082 tn The usage of the preposition בְּ (bet) to introduce the material from which something is made in Exod 38:8 and 1 Kgs 15:22 should lay to rest the rather forced construction that some (like J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 121) put on the variant כַּחֹמֶר (kakhomer) found in a few Hebrew
1083 tn Heb “he would turn and work.” This is an example of hendiadys where one of the two verbs joined by “and” becomes the adverbial modifier of the other. The verb “turn” is very common in this construction (see BDB 998 s.v. שׁוּב Qal.8 for references).
1085 tn Heb “Then the word of the
1086 tn This phrase (literally “Oracle of the
1087 tn The words “deals with the clay” are not in the text. They are part of an elliptical comparison and are supplied in the translation here for clarity.
1088 tn The word “Jeremiah” is not in the text but it is implicit from the introduction in v. 5 that he is being addressed. It is important to see how the rhetoric of this passage is structured. The words of vv. 7-10 lead up to the conclusion “So now” in v. 11 which in turns leads to the conclusion “Therefore” in v. 13. The tense of the verb in v. 12 is very important. It is a vav consecutive perfect indicating the future (cf. GKC 333 §112.p, r); their response is predictable. The words of vv. 7-10 are addressed to Jeremiah (v. 5) in fulfillment of the
1089 tn Heb “One moment I may speak about a nation or kingdom to…” So also in v. 9. The translation is structured this way to avoid an awkward English construction and to reflect the difference in disposition. The constructions are, however, the same.
1090 tn Heb “turns from its wickedness.”
1091 tn There is a good deal of debate about how the word translated here “revoke” should be translated. There is a good deal of reluctance to translate it “change my mind” because some see that as contradicting Num 23:19 and thus prefer “relent.” However, the English word “relent” suggests the softening of an attitude but not necessarily the change of course. It is clear that in many cases (including here) an actual change of course is in view (see, e.g., Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9; Jer 26:19; Exod 13:17; 32:14). Several of these passages deal with “conditional” prophecies where a change in behavior of the people or the mediation of a prophet involves the change in course of the threatened punishment (or the promised benefit). “Revoke” or “forgo” may be the best way to render this in contemporary English idiom.
sn There is a wordplay here involving the word “evil” (רָעָה, ra’ah) which refers to both the crime and the punishment. This same play is carried further in Jonah 3:10-4:1 where Jonah becomes very displeased (Heb “it was very evil to Jonah with great evil”) when God forgoes bringing disaster (evil) on Nineveh because they have repented of their wickedness (evil).
1094 sn Heb “I am forming disaster and making plans against you.” The word translated “forming” is the same as that for “potter,” so there is a wordplay taking the reader back to v. 5. They are in his hands like the clay in the hands of the potter. Since they have not been pliable he forms new plans. He still offers them opportunity to repent; but their response is predictable.
1098 tn Heb “We will follow our own plans and do each one according to the stubbornness of his own wicked heart.”
sn This has been the consistent pattern of their behavior. See 7:24; 9:13; 13:10; 16:12.
1099 tn The precise translation of this verse is somewhat uncertain. Two phrases in this verse are the primary cause of discussion and the source of numerous emendations, none of which has gained consensus. The phrase which is rendered here “rocky slopes” is in Hebrew צוּר שָׂדַי (tsur saday), which would normally mean something like “rocky crag of the field” (see BDB 961 s.v. שָׂדַי 1.g). Numerous emendations have been proposed, most of which are listed in the footnotes of J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah (NICOT), 436. The present translation has chosen to follow the proposal of several scholars that the word here is related to the Akkadian word shadu meaning mountain. The other difficulty is the word translated “cease” which in the MT is literally “be uprooted” (יִנָּתְשׁוּ, yinnatshu). The word is usually emended to read יִנָּשְׁתוּ (yinnashtu, “are dried up”) as a case of transposed letters (cf., e.g., BDB 684 s.v. נָתַשׁ Niph). This is probably a case of an error in hearing and the word נָטַשׁ (natash) which is often parallel to עָזַב (’azav), translated here “vanish,” should be read in the sense that it has in 1 Sam 10:2. Whether one reads “are plucked up” and understands it figuratively of ceasing (“are dried” or “cease”), the sense is the same. For the sense of “distant” for the word זָרִים (zarim) see 2 Kgs 19:24.
sn Israel’s actions are contrary to nature. See the same kind of argumentation in Jer 2:11; 8:7.
1101 sn Heb “ways that are not built up.” This refers to the built-up highways. See Isa 40:4 for the figure. The terms “way,” “by-paths,” “roads” are, of course, being used here in the sense of moral behavior or action.
1102 tn There may be a deliberate double meaning involved here. The word translated here “an object of horror” refers both to destruction (cf. 2:15; 4:17) and the horror or dismay that accompanies it (cf. 5:30; 8:21). The fact that there is no conjunction or preposition in front of the noun “hissing” that follows this suggests that the reaction is in view here, not the cause.
1103 tn Heb “an object of lasting hissing. All who pass that way will be appalled and shake their head.”
sn The actions of “shaking of the head” and “hissing” were obviously gestures of scorn and derision. See Lam 2:15-16.
1104 tc Heb “I will show them [my] back and not [my] face.” This reading follows the suggestion of some of the versions and some of the Masoretes. The MT reads “I will look on their back and not on their faces.”
sn To “turn the back” is universally recognized as a symbol of rejection. The turning of the face toward one is the subject of the beautiful Aaronic blessing in Num 6:24-26.
1105 tn Heb “They.” The referent is unidentified; “some people” has been used in the translation.
1107 tn Heb “Instruction will not perish from priest, counsel from the wise, word from the prophet.”
1108 tn Heb “Let us smite him with our tongues.” It is clear from the context that this involved plots to kill him.
1109 tn The words “Then I said” are not in the text. They are supplied in the translation for clarity to show that Jeremiah turns from description of the peoples’ plots to his address to God to deal with the plotters.
1110 tn Heb “the voice of my adversaries.”
sn Jeremiah’s prayers against the unjust treatment of his enemies here and elsewhere (see 11:18-20; 12:1-4; 15:15-18; 17:14-18) have many of the elements of the prayers of the innocent in the book of Psalms: an invocation of the
1111 tn Or “They are plotting to kill me”; Heb “They have dug a pit for my soul.” This is a common metaphor for plotting against someone. See BDB 500 s.v. כָּרָה Qal and for an example see Pss 7:16 (7:15 HT) in its context.
1112 tn Heb “to speak good concerning them” going back to the concept of “good” being paid back with evil.
1113 tn Heb “to turn back your anger from them.”
sn See Jer 14:7-9, 19-21 and 15:1-4 for the idea.
1114 tn Heb “be poured out to the hand [= power] of the sword.” For this same expression see Ezek 35:5; Ps 63:10 (63:11 HT). Comparison with those two passages show that it involved death by violent means, perhaps death in battle.
1115 tn Heb “be slain by death.” The commentaries are generally agreed that this refers to death by disease or plague as in 15:2. Hence, the reference is to the deadly trio of sword, starvation, and disease which were often connected with war. See the notes on 15:2.
1117 sn Heb “Do not blot out their sins from before you.” For this anthropomorphic figure which looks at God’s actions as though connected with record books, i.e., a book of wrongdoings to be punished, and a book of life for those who are to live, see e.g., Exod 32:32, 33, Ps 51:1 (51:3 HT); 69:28 (69:29 HT).
1118 tn Heb “in the time of your anger.”
1119 tn The word “Jeremiah” is not in the text. Some Hebrew
1120 tn Heb “an earthenware jar of the potter.”
sn The word translated “clay” here refers to a clay which has been baked or fired in a kiln. In Jer 18 the clay was still soft and pliable, capable of being formed into different kinds of vessels. Here the clay is set, just as Israel is set in its ways. The word for jar refers probably to a water jug or decanter and is onomatopoeic, baqbuq, referring to the gurgling sound made by pouring out the water.
1121 tc The words “Take with you” follow the reading of the Syriac version and to a certain extent the reading of the Greek version (the latter does not have “with you”). The Hebrew text does not have these words but they are undoubtedly implicit.
1122 tn Heb “elders” both here and before “of the people.”
sn The civil and religious leaders are referred to here. They were to be witnesses of the symbolic act and of the message that Jeremiah proclaimed to the leaders of Jerusalem and its citizens (see v. 3).
1123 sn The exact location of the Potsherd Gate is unknown since it is nowhere else mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. It is sometimes identified with the Dung Gate mentioned