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Jeremiah 27:20-21

27:20 He has already spoken about these things that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon did not take away when he carried Jehoiakim’s son King Jeconiah of Judah and the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem away as captives. 1  27:21 Indeed, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 2  has already spoken 3  about the valuable articles that are left in the Lord’s temple, in the royal palace of Judah, and in Jerusalem.

1 tn 27:19-20 are all one long sentence in Hebrew. It has been broken up for the sake of English style. Some of the sentences still violate contemporary English style (e.g., v. 20) but breaking them down any further would lose the focus. For further discussion see the study note on v. 21.

2 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” For the significance of this title see the note at 2:19.

3 sn Some of the flavor of the repetitive nature of Hebrew narrative is apparent in vv. 19-21. In the Hebrew original vv. 19-20 are all one long sentence with complex coordination and subordinations. I.e., all the objects in v. 19 are all objects of the one verb “has spoken about” and the description in v. 20 is one long relative or descriptive clause. The introductory “For the Lord…has already spoken” is repeated in v. 21 from v. 19 and reference is made to the same articles once again, only in the terms that were used in v. 18b. By this means, attention is focused for these people (here the priests and the people) on articles which were of personal concern for them and the climax or the punch line is delayed to the end. The point being made is that the false prophets are mistaken; not only will the articles taken to Babylon not be returned “very soon” but the Lord had said that the ones that remained would be taken there as well. They ought rather pray that the Lord will change his mind and not carry them off as well.

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