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Jeremiah 12:4

Context

12:4 How long must the land be parched 1 

and the grass in every field be withered?

How long 2  must the animals and the birds die

because of the wickedness of the people who live in this land? 3 

For these people boast,

“God 4  will not see what happens to us.” 5 

Jeremiah 12:10

Context

12:10 Many foreign rulers 6  will ruin the land where I planted my people. 7 

They will trample all over my chosen land. 8 

They will turn my beautiful land

into a desolate wasteland.

1 tn The verb here is often translated “mourn.” However, this verb is from a homonymic root meaning “to be dry” (cf. HALOT 7 s.v. II אָבַל and compare Hos 4:3 for usage).

2 tn The words “How long” are not in the text. They are carried over from the first line.

3 tn Heb “because of the wickedness of those who live in it.”

4 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.

5 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 Lord’s words in Deut 32:20, which is part of a song that was to be taught to Israel in the light of their predicted rejection of the Lord.

6 tn Heb “Many shepherds.” For the use of the term “shepherd” as a figure for rulers see the notes on 10:21.

7 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.

8 tn Heb “my portion.”



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