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Jeremiah 28:10-14

Context

28:10 The prophet Hananiah then took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck and broke it. 28:11 Then he spoke up in the presence of all the people. “The Lord says, ‘In the same way I will break the yoke of servitude of all the nations to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon 1  before two years are over.’” After he heard this, the prophet Jeremiah departed and went on his way. 2 

28:12 But shortly after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah. 28:13 “Go and tell Hananiah that the Lord says, 3  ‘You have indeed broken the wooden yoke. But you have 4  only succeeded in replacing it with an iron one! 5  28:14 For the Lord God of Israel who rules over all 6  says, “I have put an irresistible yoke of servitude on all these nations 7  so they will serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. And they will indeed serve him. I have even given him control over the wild animals.”’” 8 

1 tn Heb “I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from upon the necks of all the nations.”

2 tn Heb “Then the prophet Jeremiah went his way.”

3 tn Heb “Hananiah, ‘Thus says the Lord….” The translation uses an indirect quotation here used to eliminate one level of embedded quotation.

4 tn The Greek version reads “I have made/put” rather than “you have made/put.” This is the easier reading and is therefore rejected.

5 tn Heb “the yoke bars of wood you have broken, but you have made in its stead yoke bars of iron.”

sn This whole incident (and the preceding one in Jer 28) is symbolic. Jeremiah’s wearing of the yoke was symbolic of the Lord’s message to submit to Babylonian authority. Hananiah’s breaking of the yoke was a prediction that that authority would not last beyond two years. By breaking the yoke he was encouraging rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar’s (and hence the Lord’s) authority (cf. 27:9, 14). However, rebelling would only result in further, harsher, more irresistible measures by Nebuchadnezzar to control such rebellion.

6 tn Heb “Yahweh of armies, the God of Israel.” See the study notes on 2:19 and 7:3 for this title.

7 tn Heb “An iron yoke I have put on the necks of all these nations.”

8 sn The emphasis is on the absoluteness of Nebuchadnezzar’s control. The statement is once again rhetorical and not to be taken literally. See the study note on 27:6.



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